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Ref: AFI 33-360, Publications and Forms Management

Ref: AFMAN 33-361, Publishing Process and Procedures

Air Force Policy Letter

This page is dedicated to the Air Force Policy Letter. We've received several requests for information but unfortunately we don't have any information or examples at this time. We need information on format and specific examples. Information or examples can be sent to

Most requests for information concern the policy letters issued at the workcenter level that are used to define rules and procedures. But recently, someone much more informed than me, wrote in looking for information on the Air Force level policy letter --the type of policy letter issued to augment official Air Force Instructions until a new edition was published. The specific question was 'what is the reference regulating how long this kind of policy letter may be in force?'. He thought it was a year or 180 days but didn't know the reference. Anybody know?

UPDATE: AFMAN 33-361, Attachment 3 lists the reference.

Policy Letters

AFI 33-360, Publications and Forms Management, states in Para 2.7: "Policy Letters, standard memoranda, guides, and bulletins are not recognized as part of the publishing program so are not considered official guidance; attempts to issue guidance in ?policy letters, standard memoranda, guides, or bulletins only create conflicts with official guidance. Commanders/Directors must refrain from issuing these types of documents if their intent is to require implementation or compliance. Official guidance must be established in a publication type described in this Instruction and processed accordingly."

What I understand this to mean is that:

  • Policy letters are not recognized as an authority requiring compliance.
  • Policy letters should not be written to establish authority for compliance.
  • Policy letters may be written to clarify issues not described in enough detail in Air Force pubs or to provide local guidance.
  • Not being part of the Air Force publishing program, policy letters are not subject to the rules guiding that program (my opinion).

Although AFI 33-360 claims policy letters are not part of the publishing program, AFMAN 33-361 contains guidance for Policy Memorandums.

Policy Memorandums

See AFMAN 33-361, Publishing Process and Procedures Attachment 3 and 4. It lists examples of "Policy Memorandums" which are documents issued at the HAF and Field Level and lists the requirement (in the example attachment) to include the statement, "The directions of this memorandum become void after 180 days have elapsed from the date of this memorandum, or upon publication of an Interim Change or rewrite of the affected publication, whichever is earlier." and cites AFI 33-360, Para as the authority.

It looks like the 180 day lifespan applies to Policy Memorandums but not Policy Letters. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

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