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Methinks getting rid of "up or out" would be easier if someone bothered to tell decision makers why it was originally instituted. It's not Friday, but here's the history lesson: - WW II created a huge number of officers from a very small number of year groups (basically six: mid-1939 to mid-1945), much like WW I did before it - The situation was especially bad in the Air Force, because the interwar Army had so screwed over the Air Service/Air Corps for manning before '39. The AAF had to grow way faster than the ground Army did during the war, which led to even bigger year-group imbalances within the air arm -- At its wartime peak of 2.4M in March 1944, all but maybe 1% of the AAF had less than 5 years of mil service. This created a huge "pig in a python" personnel-wise, since it would be decades before those folks were forced to retire due to age restrictions. -- The net result was that the Air Force would essentially have been filled by same five or six year groups' worth of folks, which would have left no room for new blood--with the fresh ideas and energy that young officers bring to the fight - Up or out policies sought to address this concern by forcing attrition at the senior ranks and those with higher time in service, in order to make more room for younger year groups that were the future of the Air Force In short, the Up or Out system was built because too many people wanted to stay in, which led to imbalance within the service. What we have now is the exact opposite problem--too few want to stay in, especially those in high-demand career fields. The overall problem is no longer getting rid of dead weight and making room for new talent as it is retaining quality so there can be some level of experience and stability. The problem set today is 180 degrees out from the circumstances that drove up-or-out. The solutions should be significantly different, as well. The problem is that fixing military personnel policies won't fix our civilian leaders' cluelessness wrt appropriate use of military force, inability to comprehend military culture, or incapacity to get along and overcome budget impasses in congress. Civilian-driven missteps are a major factor in discouraging quality individuals from remaining on active duty. I am an optimist at heart, and I take this discussion as a positive sign that our senior civ & mil leaders are least acknowledging there is a problem. I have little hope that we will fix our hemorrhaging of talent, though, until we quit with the social engineering efforts and attacks on military culture which discourage voluntary service. TT
It's funny but a lot of this stuff seems to be exactly counter to the Army's "big picture" over the last 5-8 years." - HRC is fighting homesteading because "we need you to get experience across the Army." Commanders Army wide have been turning of IPCOTs. When I got to Germany there were guys who had been there for 14 years, now you can only stay for 3. That's not a cheap place to move somebody. - Warrants which are by definition trade and tech experts have basically turned into a 3/5s CPT. On the ground technical side they are even acting as company commanders which is not their intent. - Up and Out has been all the rage because we need to find a "fair" way to cull our ranks and whether or not somebody got PME or some other mystery metric has been the only acceptable way to determine this.
While I gather they have since been removed, when I was flying the MC-12 out of Balad, they still had the standard King Air "relief tubes" installed (one at pilot station, the other by the "lav" (a porta-potty in the aft end of the cabin). I had a female crypto operator who was thrilled to get a Shewee & use the relief tube: "I peed on Iraq!!" was her battle cry for the rest of the deployment....