Analysis and Recommendations on the Company-Grade Officer Shortfall in the Reserve Components of the U.S. Army

by Catherine H. Augustine, James Hosek, Ian P. Cook, James Coley


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The U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) and the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) both have lower-than-authorized inventories of company-grade officers. Army Reserve Components (RCs) have higher-than-authorized inventories of lieutenants but lower-than-authorized inventories of captains. This monograph addresses the shortfall of captains, explores and confirms the magnitude of the captain shortfall in the Army RCs, identifies recommendations to address the captain shortfall, assesses whether the concept of a National Guard academy is a feasible partial solution to the shortfall, and assesses the impact of requiring Officer Candidate School entrants to hold a four-year degree. Aggressive measures will be needed to dramatically improve the fill rates in both RCs. The Army RCs could achieve a 100-percent captain fill rate in five to ten years if they can sustain recent low loss rates, increase officer accession rates, and promote lieutenants to captain more quickly. The ARNG could achieve a 100-percent captain fill rate before a new National Guard academy will have produced captains. Finally, the captain shortfall is migrating up to the rank of major. Understanding the specific requirements of the vacant captain and major positions could provide additional guidance on reclassifying positions, direct commissioning at higher ranks, or even eliminating the authorization.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Company-Grade Officer Fill Rates

  • Chapter Three

    Affiliations and Accessions

  • Chapter Four

    Promotion and Retention

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix

    Unit Type Code Definition Table

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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