The US Air Force is beginning a major overhaul of their evaluation and promotion system for officers, following a similar overhaul of their enlisted performance system a year ago.
At an Air Force Association breakfast in Arlington Virginia, yesterday, USAF personnel chief Lieutenant General Gina Grosso announced the branch’s exploration of overhauling the system for the “21st century officer.”
“We’re doing a cradle-to-grave look,” Grosso said. “Everything’s on the table. So, how do we evaluate people, how do we think about promotion recommendations, how do we stratify” officers in the system, to presumably determine who is the best.
While the officer overhaul will be different from the enlisted overhaul, namely closing out performance reports for personnel that in a manner coinciding with their promotion eligibility cutoff date, ensuring that the evaluations are not “all over the place,” as Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said in 2014.
Grosso said now that the enlisted system revamp is complete, it is time to take a look at officers.
“I think the force is ready, frankly, from the feedback that we get,” Grosso said.
The three-star went on to say that the USAF will launch a new pilot program in December that will have a computer program try to use data on airmen’s jobs, skills and experiences to better match them up with commanders who need specific airmen for specific tasks.
“It may look like LinkedIn, it may not,” Grosso said. “How can we think differently about matching people’s desires with the requirements of the Air Force?”
Grosso also said the Air Force will need to reconsider the standards set for airmen (such as physical fitness and tattoos), saying that the people the USAF may need might not be eligible to join because of simple barriers- particularly as fewer young people are able to meet the fitness standards needed to get into the military?
“How much brawn does the military need, and how much intellect?” Grosso said. “I think about a cyber warrior. Do I care what a cyber warrior weighs? Do I care if he can run a mile and a half in 12 minutes?”
Grosso says that the USAF may consider allowing HIV-positive recruits to join if medical advancements allow.
According to Air Force Times, the USAF finished strong in FY2016, with 800 more personnel than their goal end strength.
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