Proposed Modifications to the Officer Promotion System

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There’s been a lot of recent articles about proposed changes to the officer promotion system.  There are some references as the end of this post, but the summary is that all of the following are being considered but would require legislative change by Congress:

  • Incentivize our best performing officers by authorizing the services to establish policies to determine rank order for promotions based upon an individual’s superior performance, instead of promoting based on the date which the officer was initially commissioned.
  • Providing the option for an officer to defer when they are considered for a promotion, giving officers and the services flexibility to pursue career-broadening opportunities that benefit the force without jeopardizing their career progression.
  • Officers in a “critical career field” would be offered the chance to continue to serve beyond the current maximum terms (20 years as a LCDR, 28 years as a CDR, 30 years as a CAPT).  It is not clear whether medicine would be a “critical career field.”

Here are the references:



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