U.S. Air Force Enlisted Accessions: Upgrading the Pipeline
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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A widely accepted truism in the business world is organizations must adapt to changes in their operating environment or risk failure.1 Large government organizations like the Department of Defense DoD are no exception. DoD is currently undergoing a training transformation, described in the February 2009 Strategic Plan for Transforming DoD Training, to more flexibly respond to a rapidly changing environment.2 The U. S. Air Forces Air Education and Training Command AETC also fully subscribes to the necessity of organizational change. A 2008 AETC white paper states, If the Air Force of the 21st century is to be an agile, adaptive, learning organization, it must embrace change, accept risk, cope with reverses, and learn to reinvent itselfconstantly. 3 Several AETC initiatives are under way to understand and harness new education concepts such as knowledge management, continuous learning, and precision learning with experiments like MyBase, an interactive virtual environment. 4 1 John P. Kotter, Leading Change Boston, MA Harvard Business School Press, 1996, 3. Kotter writes, By any objective measure, the amount of significant, often traumatic, change in organizations has grown tremendously over the past two decadesMore and more organizations will be pushed to reduce costs, improve the quality of products and services, locate new opportunities for growth, and increase productivity. This willingness of AETC leadership to actively encourage organizational change bodes well for the future and should be applied at the very foundation of the Air Forcewhere citizens first come in contact with the Service in recruiting and initial training.