The Air Force hopes to finish and roll out its massive overhaul of the officer performance evaluation and promotion system by fiscal 2020, the service’s top personnel officer said.
What’s more, the modernization effort taking place over the next 18 months will go hand-in-hand with an upgrade to IT systems that automates the performance evaluation process and puts it all on the Internet.
“When we deliver this to the force, it will be online,” Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso said. “We’re not going to roll out another system that we can’t automate.”
Grosso said it will differ from the enlisted evaluation overhaul of 2015, where the IT system couldn’t sync with the forms.
Phase 1 of the three-phase process included setting a baseline to lay out “what we value” in an officer performance system, Grosso said.
The second phase involves identifying what changes can already be made within the system as it exists today.
Once that is done, the Air Force will move on to the third and final phase — designing a new officer evaluation and promotion system and putting it into place. This process includes reconsidering what it should look like, she said — all the way down to whether forms are even necessary anymore.
“What would a new system look like?” Grosso said. “What would the forms look like? Would we have forms? How would we take this work that we’ve done on what we value in officer performance, and translate that into a system that officers actually get evaluated against?”
Grosso also said the Air Force is looking at several aspects of the previous enlisted performance system overhaul it can easily adapt to the new officer system for a “quick win.” She said it’s too early to say what enlisted elements might be borrowed for officers.
But last September, Grosso said the Air Force was considering moving the officer ranks to a series of static close-out dates, where all officers of the same rank have their performance reports done at the same time, rather than being staggered throughout the year.
A similar change was put into place for enlisted airmen in 2015.
Grosso also said last year that grade inflation in the officer ranks must be addressed.
The Air Force has also finished a review of the enlisted evaluation system overhaul from three years ago, she said.
The review suggests five recommendations to improve the system, she said, but the review cannot be released until Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein finishes looking over the recommendations.
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.