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Since the advent of the all-volunteer force, one of the foremost personnel challenges of the U.S. Air Force has been recruiting and retaining an adequate number of medical and professional officers in the Air Force’s seven medical and professional officer corps: the Biomedical Sciences Corps (BSC), the Chaplain Corps, the Dental Corps, the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps (attorneys), the Medical Corps (physicians), the Medical Service Corps (MSC), and the Nurse Corps. For each of these corps, there are highly similar jobs in the private sector, so attracting and retaining these corps’ officers is a constant challenge. This report analyzes all seven Air Force medical and professional officer corps and their relative statuses with regard to end strengths, accession levels, promotion flow, and attrition since the late 1970s. The authors find that recent accession and retention trends have been most adverse in the Air Force’s Nurse Corps, while the MSC and the JAG Corps appear to have the most stable populations.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    An Overview of Air Force Medical and Professional Officer Corps' Populations

  • Chapter Three

    Accessions and retention in the Air Force Medical and Professional Officer Corps

  • Chapter Four

    Promotions in the Air Force Medical and Professional Officer Corps

  • Chapter Five

    Air Force Medical and Professional Officer Corps' recent Trends

  • Chapter Six

    Challenges using Authorization Data

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    The Air Force's BSC Population

  • Appendix B

    The Air Force's Chaplain Corps Population

  • Appendix C

    The Air Force's Dental Corps Population

  • Appendix C

    The Air Force's JAG Corps Population

  • Appendix C

    The Air Force's Medical Corps Population

  • Appendix C

    The Air Force's MSC Population

  • Appendix C

    The Air Force's nurse Corps Population

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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