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Colonel promotion rate to drop


Air Force officials decreased the promotion opportunity to the rank of colonel to 48 percent for November’s Colonel Line of the Air Force, or LAF, Central Selection Board.

Since 1989, the promotion opportunity to colonel for line officers has been 50 or 55 percent; however, during the last colonel’s board, the Air Force discovered it was creating too many new colonel selects, which was causing many of them to wait longer to pin on, said Col. Dawn Keasley, the chief of Military Force Policy Division.

Also, it created a greater likelihood the Air Force would continue using selective early retirement boards, or SERBs, beyond fiscal 2014 to accommodate the size of the future force, which could be smaller, she added.

With this realization, the Air Force reexamined colonel requirements and developed a new five-year promotion plan, which is an annual plan used to manage the field grade officer force and develop the promotion board schedule, Keasley said.

With the changes set to take place, the Air Force will now use 1 percent instead of the old 5 percentage point increments to more accurately ensure the inventory of colonels matches the requirements for colonels. 

The goal of this is to keep pin-on dates for in-the-promotion-zone, or IPZ, promotees, also called the colonel promotion phase point, at 22-years of commissioned service, she said. This will also ensure promotion boards have a fairly consistent annual schedule.

With the reduction in promotion opportunity, Air Force officials also reduced the definitely promote, or DP, allocation rate from 25 percent of the IPZ eligibles to 15 percent.   

As a result, senior raters and management levels will have fewer DPs to allocate and the central selection board will select a higher percentage of officers with “promote” recommendations, Keasley said. According to previous analysis, this will provide a slightly higher quality pool of colonel selects.

The lieutenant colonels in the 1993 commissioned year group will be in the promotion zone for the November board. 

The promotion quotas for below-the-promotion-zone, or BPZ, selections have not changed and remain at 15 percent of the board quota, she said.

The 48 percent promotion opportunity and 15 percent definitely promote allocation rate apply only to this November’s Colonel LAF Central Selection Board, Keasley said.  The promotion opportunity and DP allocations for subsequent LAF colonel boards will be announced in advance of each board. 

Air Force officials will complete analysis and promotion plans for the rest of the LAF grades and the other competitive categories within the next several weeks.


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