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Many colonel jobs need officers with a substantial background in more than one area (say, intelligence officers with expertise in political-military affairs or bomber pilots with experience in system acquisition), many can accept officers with different occupational backgrounds, many need officers with prior experience as colonels, and some are important for developing or testing officers with especially good prospects of becoming generals. Prior research targeted mixes of promotions that could help the Air Force sustain and assign inventories of generals consistent with requirements at each general-officer grade. Here, the authors develop and apply a flow model that recommends sizes for numerous skill pairings' pyramids of colonels, consistent with colonel jobs' needs and with targets for new general officers. The model also recommends annual numbers of new colonels with each occupational pairing and illustrates alignments between positions and each pyramid's colonels. Among other objectives, it aims to ensure that enough officers with the right occupational backgrounds will be available when job vacancies arise, that no more new colonels than necessary bring paired skills, and that the mix of colonels be as similar as possible to a reference (e.g., prior) mix. The method estimates the percentages of new colonels needed with each primary skill and paired skill, reflecting both preferred and less-demanding, or marginal, parameters.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Colonel Positions' Requirements for Occupational Skills and Experience

  • Chapter Three

    Shaping a Colonel Force to Meet Positions' Requirements

  • Chapter Four

    Two Optimal Solutions: The Basis for FY 2006's Occupational Development Floors

  • Chapter Five

    Deriving Developmental Floors for Officer Development Teams

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Line Colonel Positions' Requirements for Experience and Occupational Skills

  • Appendix B

    Linear Optimization Model

  • Appendix C

    Matches with Occupational Requirements

  • Appendix D

    Detailed Occupational Inflow Floors

  • Appendix E

    Air Force Briefing Slides That Presented the Skill-Pairing Floors

Research conducted by

The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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