He noted that captain manning is generally low in most AFSCs, offset by high lieutenant manning. He also noted the heavy flow of field-grade officers from the 62E to the 63A career field.
The Air Force Director for Studies and Analyses, Assessments and Lessons Learned (AF/A9),11 who serves as the career field manager for analysts in the Air Force, noted no manning gaps other than the familiar captain-lieutenant imbalance. Among other topics, she discussed the effects of the Program Budget Decision 720 force reduction on the analyst workforce, as well as the role that AF/A9’s value model played in distributing the required reduction across officer career fields.
Finding 3-1. In some cases, the grade structures in officer career fields that require a STEM degree are not sustainable under the current legal and policy constraints. Additionally, in some cases, career fields requiring a STEM degree may have experienced below-average retention or promotion rates.
Finding 3-2. The workforce years-of-service profile (shown in Figure 3-1) indicates that a large proportion of the civilian STEM-degreed workforce will become eligible for retirement within the next 15 years.
Finding 3-3. Fill rates for field-grade officers in the Scientist and Developmental Engineer career fields, in the Acquisition Management career field, and in other career fields important to the acquisition life cycle, while responsive to the Air Force’s Non-Rated Personnel Prioritization Plan, are well below 100 percent, which perpetuates the manning shortfalls in these career fields.
The committee’s recommendations related to these findings and to the issues discussed in this chapter are in Chapter 6.