Adjusting Missileer Career Trajectory

The Air Force is restructuring the missileer career path in at attempt to retain officers longer. Air Force Global Strike Commander Gen. Robin Rand, in concert with the service’s Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration Directorate, directed a review of the nuclear and missile operations (13N) career field with the goal of creating a self-sustaining field that places a premium on experience and expertise at the wing level, according to an April 7 release. In the past, instructors, evaluators, and flight commanders were all in their first four years of service. “Overly strict policies and procedures were set in place as a substitute for a more experienced, mature, and engaging mid-level leadership,” said Brig. Gen. Ferdinand B. Stoss, Global Strike Command’s director of operations, in the release. “Wouldn’t we rather have an experienced instructor engage young lieutenants one-on-one to show them the way rather than subject the lieutenants to large group training sessions with make or break exams three times a month?” The restructuring will attempt to balance accessions with retention and will adjust grade structures across the field, redistributing the O-4 and O-5 billets. Other nuclear-related billets will be reviewed to determine if they should be included in the 13N career field. The plan is slated for review in May, Stoss said, and it is expected to stop crossflows to other career paths as early as 2019. (See also: Nuclear Force Improvements.)