Officer promotion policy overhaul coming in 2020

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. IdalĂ­ BeltrĂ© Acevedo
  • 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs Personnel visited Peterson Air Force Base Colorado, July 9, to discuss a new proposal to overhaul the way officers are categorized and promoted.

Col. Kelly Sams, Senior Military Assistant, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs, explained the reason for the change.

“After more than 70 years under the same construct, we believe that it’s the time to adjust approaches and change business practices to foster joint warfighting experts, develop exceptional leaders and contribute to the Air Force we need for the future,” she said.

Sams explained the current categories.

“Line of the Air Force AFSCs includes all the AFSCs not related to Advocate General or the medical field and is (currently) the umbrella for more than 40 AFSCs including rated operations, non-rated operations, support and acquisitions,” Sams said.

The proposal will categorize Line of the Air Force AFSCs differently to benefit Airmen competing for promotion.

“The recommendation is to divide the current Line of the Air Force promotion category into six distinct categories,” she said. “Instead of being considered for promotion against officers from six different specialties, officers will now only be considered against those officers within their own respective category, all of which have similar career development patterns.”

Sams explained the new promotion categories.

“We identified the AFSCS with similar experiences, progression milestones, value of achievements, mission area focus, general identity and natural relationships we know exists between some specialties,” Sams said.

Shon Manasco, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs, mentioned the new proposed promotion categories are meant to develop Airmen further.

“This is about you and your officers that you lead in their development, we call this the ‘promotion category configuration’ but it’s really about development, think about it as developmental categories,” he said.

These new categories will optimize the way officers grow and develop in all aspects.

“These categories also represent the disciplines needed for future joint warfighting in ways that support the joint warfighter,” Sams said. “A new promotion category structure allows developmental agility to meet evolving mission needs which ultimately provide our joint partners and allies better professional warfighters across our full spectrum of capability.”

In a memorandum to commanders, Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Honorable Heather Wilson, former Secretary of the Air Force, are currently requesting feedback regarding the proposed changes which if approved, would be effective for regular Air Force promotion boards convening in the beginning of 2020.

“While these changes have been reviewed and discussed at leadership levels, we realize this would be a significant change for the officer corps. Rather than make an immediate decision, we thought it best to share the draft with commanders first in order to engage in a dialogue with the officers assigned (to them) and solicit feedback before proceeding.”

For more information about the Line of the Air Force Promotion Category Configuration visit: