Carter announces new Force of the Future initiatives Published June 9, 2016 By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced two new links of his Force of the Future initiative during remarks delivered at the Pentagon June 9. "The Force of the Future initiatives continue to showcase Secretary Carter and the (Defense Department’s) commitment to maintaining and growing a diverse and talented military and civilian force," said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. "As a service, diversity of background is vitally important to ensuring we remain the strongest Air Force in the world." The announcement introduced the third and fourth links of Future of the Force. One focused on the DOD's uniformed military side, particularly on giving the services room to make improvements to the officer promotion system, and the other targeted the DOD's civilian workforce. The first and second links of the initiative were announced in November 2015 and January 2016, respectively. The first link focused on building and expanding on-ramps and off-ramps for technical talent to flow between the DOD and the tech sector in both directions, and modernizing the department's talent management systems. The second link focused on supporting military families, including the expansion of maternity and paternity leave for service members. For the third link, the DOD will work to ensure that the military continues to be as ready to meet the challenges of the future as it is to meet the challenges of today. This includes six proposals or changes for additional military services flexibility in certain aspects of the military personnel management system that would do the following: The fourth link provides civilian workforce initiatives designed to extend the advantage civil servants provide the DOD and leverage the department's unique mission to encourage and incentivize public service, streamlining the path to DOD employment and maximizing talent. The following proposals and implementations in many ways propose programs parallel to those available to military personnel. "Winning the competition for good people is a critical part of our military edge," Carter said. "This latest set of proposals, targeting both our military officers and our civilian workforce, will help win that competition so we can meet the security challenges of the 21st century." The Air Force will work with DOD to support required legislation. Service specific implementation plans will be forthcoming for the remaining links. To view a copy of the official transcript, click here.