Air Force Senior Officer Promotions
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The United States Air Force officer promotion system has recently been severely criticized by Congress and the Office of the Secretary of Defense OSD. Accusations of impropriety and disregard for statue have caused the Air Force to make significant changes to the manner in which it identifies its senior officers for promotion. This paper begins by reviewing the legal framework for officer promotions and describing specific Air Force policies and procedures to implement an equitable promotion system. Congressional concerns with the brigadier general selection process, and subsequent changes recently implemented by the Air Force in response to these concerns, are then examined. The promotion process up through colonel has thus far been able to avoid the negative publicity focused on flag officer selections however, OSD has concern at this level, too. Based on over six years of personal experience conducting Air Force promotion boards for all grades through major general, the author then presents several possible changes to promotion board guidance and procedures, and recommends two for adoption to improve the overall effectiveness, utility and credibility of the central selection board process.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations