PERSONNEL FUNCTIONS, ASPECTS, AND
Our earlier officer management study (MR-470-OSD) indicated that the officer career management system is composed of the four personnel functions described in Chapter One. Each function has a number of aspects that define the specific characteristics of an OCMS. For example, the aspects of accessing evaluated in this study are entry point, initial tenure, the type of pre-entry acculturation recommended, and each officer's amount of obligated service. Each aspect could take a variety of forms, or alternatives. For instance, for entry point, an aspect of accessing, we consider four alternatives: all officers enter at the earliest career level, transfer laterally from civilian life at any point in a career, enter laterally from prior service—commissioned or enlisted—or the reserve component, or some combination. Designing an OCMS entails making decisions about these alternatives, which in turn determines the aspects.
The research team designed the alternatives considered here. As Figure 2.1 shows, we drew heavily on the earlier report. It was clear from that research that some alternatives would figure into any officer management system—for example, only certain things can happen to an officer not selected for promotion: separation, retention in grade, and so forth. For these, we wanted to ensure that we included a range of alternatives bounding the status quo that was robust enough to capture most feasible options. In other cases, the previous research showed that some ideas were particularly attractive, such as longer careers. In these cases, we did not necessarily bound the