The Air Force on Thursday announced that from now on, commanders will nominate officers for in-residence developmental education opportunities.
Until now, most of the officers selected for developmental education were chosen by promotion boards. In a release, the Air Force said that the March 2017 Line of the Air Force major board — which will be released July 18 — will be the first to not include which officers had been selected for developmental education.
The Air Force said that commanders will choose which officers to nominate for developmental education based on their performance. Until now, senior raters were only allowed to nominate up to 20 percent of the officers to attend intermediate developmental education, and up to 25 percent of the officers to attend senior developmental education.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said the change is part of the service's effort to push more decision-making authority back down to commanders.
"The decision to separate school selection stemmed from inputs from the field and discussions with wing commanders about how we continue to improve joint warfighting excellence," Goldfein said. "This is about lethality. Winning in combat starts with great leadership. Our commanders know their people best, and must identify airmen whose consistent high performance makes them best suited for these developmental opportunities."
The first nominations under the new policy will be made in 2018 and will help choose officers to attend developmental education starting in 2019.
Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the Air Force's personnel chief, said it will provide "a more transparent and equitable process" for officers.
Officers who were previously selected by a promotion board will not lose their status until they finish their intermediate or senior developmental education program.
Grosso said the number of intermediate or senior opportunities will not change. As the selectees previously chosen by promotion boards work their way through, senior raters will be able to choose more and more of their own nominees.
Commanders will receive guidance on how the selection process will work by next February, at the latest.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.