Carter: Proposals to change promotion rules designed for flexibility
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military must modernize its antiquated officer promotion system to give leadership greater flexibility to retain top performers, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday as he unveiled his most groundbreaking proposals to the Pentagon’s personnel policies to date.
Carter, surrounded by all four service chiefs and the three civilian service secretaries in the Pentagon’s courtyard late Thursday morning, announced four proposed amendments to the long-standing law that strictly governs military officer promotions. The proposals would relax time-in-rank restrictions that officers face, weigh promotions more heavily on merit than seniority, allow civilian experts in some specialized fields to commission at an advanced grade and end the long-standing “up-or-out” promotion system for some officers serving in high-tech or in-demand specialties.
The proposals to amend the 1980 Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, or DOPMA, would require approval from Congress. The new proposals are part of Carter’s “Force of the Future” initiative that he has touted since first taking office in February 2015.
After announcing the new proposals Thursday, Carter told Stars and Stripes that he saw no reason the plan should be nixed by lawmakers and it should be included in the upcoming defense authorization bill.
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