Championing the Agile Air Force Officer Career: Examining the Potential Use of New Career Management Flexibilities
[Technical Report, Research Report]
RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA
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The fiscal year FY 2019 John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act introduced several new personnel policies that offer all U.S. military services greater flexibility in officer career management. The Air Force asked RAND Project AIR FORCE to examine the potential utility of five of these options allowing the commissioning of candidates older than 42, enhancing the availability of constructive credit for officer candidates with skills desired by the Air Force, implementing merit-based promotion timing, allowing officers to opt out of promotion board consideration, and introducing new competitive categories with the option of allowing alternative promotion authority in the categories. Through semistructured interviews with officers in six career fields of particular interest to the Air Force, an extensive review of relevant literature, and simulations using the RAND Corporations Military Career Model, we determined that most of these options have the potential to be useful in many career fields, and officers are open to their use. However, there is variation among career fields in how the options would best be implemented, and implementation must be carefully monitored to ensure that outcomes address Air Force goals.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations