Sustaining the US Air Force's Force Support Career Field through Officer Workforce Planning

by Kevin O'Neill

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Abstract

This dissertation recommends changes that can be made to the structure and management of the Air Force's Force Support officer career field to better align development of functional competencies with positional demand for those competencies. Data on Force Support relevant positions were coded on the competencies they require, and a RAND simulation tool provided the means to model the flow of personnel through these officer positions and the acquisition of competencies via on the job learning. A healthy and effective Force Support officer population plays an important role in delivering the overall Air Force mission, and this population of officers will be more effective when their accumulated competencies meet the demand for such competencies generated by Force Support billets. In this sense, this research is of immediate interest to Air Force and Force Support community leadership. While this dissertation focuses on improving the development of a specific population of personnel within the United States Air Force, the relevance of employed thought, methods, and analysis extends beyond United States Air Force career field management to any large organization. Determination and management of organizational human capital requirements and capacity to meet such requirements are necessary tasks to better assure organizational effectiveness. The findings should thus be of interest to personnel and policymakers concerned with the development and management of organizational human resources.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Methodology

  • Chapter Three

    Establishing Force Support Sustainability

  • Chapter Four

    Developing Breadth in the Company Grades

  • Chapter Five

    Fulfilling Field-Grade Requirements for Depth

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    USAF Human Capital Management System

  • Appendix B

    Relevant 38F Billet Functional Information

  • Appendix C

    A1PF Based MCM Simulation Inputs

  • Appendix D

    Monte Carlo Simulation Results

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in July 2012 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the RAND Pardee Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Nelson Lim (Chair), Al Robbert, and Craig Moore.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. PRGS dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a PRGS faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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