In December, a wave of promotions to major is going to hit the Air Force — and it could last for three or four years.

The Air Force in September announced that all line captains who are being considered for promotion to major will have a 100 percent promotion opportunity beginning in December. Captains who are qualified, recommended for promotion by their senior rater, and have exhibited exemplary conduct are guaranteed to make O-4.

Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein has promised to keep the promotions coming for three or four years, while the service’s current leadership remains in place.

Goldfein told airmen in late September that the expanded promotion opportunities were needed to provide predictability and stability for the force after years of cutbacks and stressful changes.

“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 at the time. “We need all of those qualified captains to pin on major and become field grade officers.”

Goldfein said the 100 percent promotion opportunity also would cut down on a significant amount of paperwork by squadron commanders.

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 He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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