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The Total Army Competative Category Optimization Model: Analysis of U.S. Army Officer Accessions and Promotions

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Master's thesis

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The United States U.S. Armys mission is to protect our nation and fight its wars a mission that requires a substantial resource commitment. The Army today consist of over 505,000 soldiers more than any other U.S. military service, with over 81,000 of those soldiers comprising the Officer Corps. This thesis develops a linear program to help manage the Army Competitive Category ACC, a subset of the officer corps consisting of over 51,000 soldiers. The Total Army Competitive Category Optimization Model TACCOM prescribes annual accessions and above zone, primary zone, and below zone promotion rates for all grades from Lieutenant to Colonel over a forty-year horizon. We demonstrate TACCOM using data from fiscal year FY 2006 and requirement information for all officers in the ACC and also for the subset of officers just in the Aviation AV branch. We find a deficit at the grade of Major MAJ will continue to exist through FY 2021 if current policy is not changed. Our analysis on just the AV branch shows their mid-grade officer shortage can be remedied by either increasing training capacity by two-thirds, or reducing the attrition of Captains who have five years time in grade. Our analysis also shows the current ACC accessions plan and promotion policies remedy the shortages at the grade of MAJ for the next seven consecutive years, but that there are future shortages ahead. Using TACCOM, we find that one way to reduce the magnitude of the future shortfalls is to adjust the current promotion policy by increasing the number of early promotions to MAJ. By accelerating the promotion to MAJ in the ACC the Army is only facing a shortage of MAJs for four consecutive years, from FY 2013 through FY 2017, versus the seven year shortage without a policy change.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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