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Times, as they say, are changing, and these changes have specifically affected Air Force jobs in space and missiles. The jobs available and the backgrounds required for them have changed substantially just over the careers of today’s officers. As a result, it has become difficult to match the right person to the right job — or even for an individual to prepare properly for a job that will be in demand at some time in the future. To address these and related issues, the authors surveyed experienced officers in these fields to identify the backgrounds — the education, skills, and experience — officers would need to perform each job (the demand), used personnel records to assess the backgrounds and career paths of today’s officers (the supply), and determined what gaps might exist between the supply and demand. Subsequent modeling showed that, while there are gaps, substantial improvement is possible. Recommendations included further refining the development and utilization patterns, use of the resulting information for career guidance, and possibly extending this guidance to enlisted and civilian space professionals.

The printed version of this document includes a CD-ROM that contains Appendices A though G. These appendixes are included in the downloadable PDF available on this page.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Backgrounds Required for Space and Missile Jobs: Demand

  • Chapter Three

    Space and Missile Officers’ Backgrounds and Career Paths: Supply

  • Chapter Four

    Gaps Between Supply and Demand

  • Chapter Five

    Modeling 13S Officer Development and Utilization

  • Chapter Six

    Improving Officer Development and Utilization

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    13S and Non-13S O-4, O-5, and O-6 Positions

  • Appendix B

    Background Rating Form and Instructions

  • Appendix C

    13S Officers: Selected Characteristics

  • Appendix D

    Trends in 13S Officers’ Acquired Backgrounds, 1986-2000

  • Appendix E

    13S Job Groups for Flow Modeling

  • Appendix F

    Case 2 Inventory

  • Appendix G

    Summary Tabulations Comparing Five Optimizations

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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