The Glass Ceiling for Remotely Piloted Aircraft
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIR FORCE RESEARCH INST
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Though written 500 years ago, Machiavelli s The Prince remains a seminal treatise on the art of acquiring and maintaining political power. The book contains many aphorisms, but the observation that acquiring power is more difficult than losing it reflects the organizational politics of the US Air Force. The service gained its independence in 1947 due in no small part to the valor of pilots during World War II. Since then, aviators have dominated Air Force leadership. Indeed, a nonpilot has never led the service. The selection of the individual who runs the Air Force is important because the development of new ways of fighting depends on the support of senior leaders. It is human nature to pursue initiatives that reinforce vested interests rather than adopt disruptive new weapons and doctrine. Given that tendency, Stephen Rosen, a leading scholar on military innovation, observes that military organizations rarely embrace new ways of fighting without the creation of new promotion paths to senior ranks. In fact, Rosen says that innovation within the armed forces normally proceeds only as fast as the rate at which young officers rise to the top. 1 Advocates of change find protectors and patrons, experiment doctrinally, and slowly climb the promotional ladder, contending with rivals for control over the direction of a military service.
- Pilotless Aircraft
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations