Boards Selected Fewer New Air Force Majors in 2023

The race for Air Force captains to become majors was more competitive this year than last, with declines in both the total number and promotion rate for the O-4 rank in Line of the Air Force categories, according to newly-released data.

In all, 1,995 new majors were selected out of 2,367 captains considered at the selection board late last year, for an overall selection rate of about 84 percent.

By comparison, the 2022 promotion board process resulted in 2,177 new majors from a field of 2,531, for a selection rate of 86 percent, according to data provided by the Air Force Personnel Center.

The career fields included:

  • Air Operations and Special Warfare, which covers aviators and special operations; 1,071 selected out of 1,270 considered.
  • Nuclear and missile operations: 71 selected out of 96 considered.
  • Information warfare, which covers intelligence, cyber, weather, public affairs, and other fields: 398 selected out of 454 considered.
  • Combat support, which includes maintenance, security forces, airfield operations, and logistics: 311 selected out of 370 considered. 
  • Force modernization, which includes chemists, physicists, and developmental engineers: 144 selected out of 177 considered.

The promotion to major marks a transition from company grade officer ranks (2nd lieutenant through captain) to those of field grade officer (major through colonel). Much like how the enlisted transition from Airmen to noncommissioned officers, new FGOs must prepare for greater responsibility and develop a more thorough understanding of their mission and organization.

Besides majors, the Air Force also promoted 58 new lieutenant colonels out of 226 considered, all in the biomedical science corps, which involves medical and dental fields.