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Policy changes to delay some Reserve officer promotions

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Starting this year, policy changes will result in some Air Force Reserve officers having to wait longer before becoming eligible for promotion.

One major change will require lieutenant colonels to serve four or more years' time in grade before meeting the colonel board. Air Force Reserve officials will phase in this change starting with the October 2008 board. To meet this board, officers will need three and half years or more time in grade.

Another change affects position vacancy promotions to lieutenant colonel and major. Promotion boards will look at the records of majors and captains only once, at the five-year, time-in-grade point.

Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, chief of Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, said the changes were driven by the Air Force Reserve strategic vision, operational reserve force policy, senior leader philosophy, force development and total force integration.

"These policy changes are designed to help us develop better officers and increase our ability to deliver highly experienced personnel to the fight," he said.

Lieutenant colonels meeting the October 2008 colonel promotion board will need a date of rank of March 31, 2005, or earlier. Those seeking promotion to colonel in October 2009 will need at least four years time in grade with a date of rank of Sept. 30, 2005, or earlier.

Changes in position vacancy promotion to lieutenant colonel will start with the April/June 2008 board. Changes to the major position vacancy board will begin in February 2009.

In July 2006, General Bradley appointed a general officer to lead a promotion working group of representatives from different functional areas.

"Their job was to develop a broad range of force management initiatives to more effectively manage our force, better develop our officers and take care of our people," he said. "These changes are designed to ultimately ensure we will have the right people doing the right jobs at the right time."

General Bradley said the time-in-grade eligibility changes were the last initiatives from the 2006 working group to be implemented.

"We had to be extremely careful in making these TIG changes," he said. "Therefore, I asked my Air Staff personnel directorate team to brief these changes to the Air Force Reserve Senior Steering Group, which includes the AFRC vice commander and numbered air force commanders, in March 2007 for further approval. The group unanimously supported the changes.

"I then chartered another cross-functional working group in August 2007 to build an implementation plan for the TIG changes. The phased implementation approach was the best recommendation the group proposed and the right thing to do for our force," General Bradley said.

Other policy changes recently implemented as a result of the 2006 working group deal with colonel promotion opportunity, discontinue selective continuation for lieutenant colonels beyond 28 years commissioned service, combine reserve categories into one promotion board and reduce the retirement time in grade requirement for colonels from three years to two years. (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)