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Air Force Enlisted Force Management: System Interactions and Synchronization Strategies

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A fundamental goal of the Air Force personnel system is to ensure that the inventory, by Air Force specialty code AFSC and grade, matches requirements. However, there are structural obstacles that impede achieving this goal. To remove one of those obstacles, the authors propose a methodology that would marginally modify grade authorizations within skill levels to make it possible to better achieve manpower targets. One of their main messages is that force management is a complex task that is best accomplished from a systems perspective. Three primary systems affect the strength of the enlisted force by grade and AFSC 1 the manpower system, which sets requirements for each grade and AFSC combination 2 the strength management system, which establishes targets for overall strength, recruiting, retraining, and bonuses and 3 the enlisted promotion system, which determines the annual number of promotions for each grade in the aggregate and in each AFSC. These systems, with few exceptions, currently tend to function in isolation. Consequently, actions taken to control one system often adversely impact another. Hence, strength managers have often not realized their objectives because the overarching personnel system lacks broad coordinating and control mechanisms. Chapter 2 discusses the overall objectives of enlisted strength management, including those set forth in the governing DoD directive. Chapter 3 discusses the system for managing aggregate strength, and Chapter 4 outlines the system the Air Forces uses to manage disaggregate strengths. Chapter 5 discusses pertinent aspects of the enlisted promotion system. Chapter 6 covers the manpower system. Chapter 7 offers strategies for better synchronizing the manpower, strength management, and enlisted promotion systems. Chapter 8 offers seven near-term and long-term recommendations.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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