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Fighter jock culture may be holding Air Force back, Rand study says

March 2, 2019

From the Air Force Times website

The Air Force has been long dominated by fighter pilots at its senior leadership levels, but as careers in the service have become more diverse, a change in promotion preferences may be required to foster the innovation culture that also defines the service.

As it stands, the mass of fighter pilots in high-level leadership roles creates a hierarchy within the service, with fighter pilots first, bombers second and other specializations after, according to a recent Rand study sponsored by the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment.

“The more modern Air Force still demonstrates a preference for promoting fighter generals to the most-senior ranks of leadership, despite having a greater number of [non-fighter pilot] officers and a more technologically diverse set of missions,” according to the report, which includes interviews with many unnamed uniformed and civilian Air Force officials.

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