The Air Force’s new policy of promoting all qualified captains to major is going to continue for at least the next three or four years, Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said Monday at the Air Force Association’s Air Space Cyber conference.
Goldfein, while taking part in a panel discussion with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright and their respective spouses, said that the expanded promotion opportunities will “provide some predictability and stability for the force,” and suggested it would remain that way at least as long as the service’s current leadership remains.
“For at least the next three to four years, we’re setting policy right here at the table, and it’s going to be 100 percent,” Goldfein said.
“The force has been through, quite frankly, a lot of fairly significant changes in terms of managing the force over the last several years,” Goldfein said when explaining why additional stability is needed. “We need all of those qualified captains to pin on major and become field grade officers.”
Goldfein also said that promoting all qualified captains will mean squadron commanders won’t have to do the paperwork involved, which he said amounted to “a pretty significant administrative burden” and would free up considerable amounts of their time.
Wilson also said that without these promotion boards, squadron commanders will have to step up and tell underperforming captains that they’re not cutting it.
“If you’ve got a captain who really shouldn’t become a major, you need to step forward and say so, and not move it to some faceless promotion board,” Wilson said.
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.