Aligning the Stars: Improvements to General and Flag Officer Management

Aligning the Stars: Improvements to General and Flag Officer Management

Aligning the Stars: Improvements to General and Flag Officer Management

Aligning the Stars: Improvements to General and Flag Officer Management

Excerpt

Career patterns of general and flag officers (G/FOs) are of interest to Congress, the Secretary of Defense, and the military services. For example, the House and Senate conferees for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 stated in their report that “the current general and flag officer selection, assignment, and development process may not effectively contribute to the preparation of those officers for increasing levels of responsibility and maximum performance efficiency at each level of assignment.” Among specific stated concerns were

the tempo with which general and flag officers are rotated through important positions; the effect of this tempo both on the effectiveness of individual officers in each position to which they are assigned and on the overall value these officers add in each position to which they are assigned; and the consequences of requiring general and flag offices to retire upon completion of 35 years of service.

The Secretary of Defense has expressed similar concerns:

I kept noticing that people that were in their jobs 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15 months. And general officers, flags. I know that if you had a need to punch a ticket to get your schooling, your training, to get your joint pieces under Goldwater/Nichols, there is tremendous pressure to do that. I also know that it’s difficult for people to really learn a job . . .

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