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Growing Tomorrow’s Leaders in Today’s Environment, Mamta Sharma, 9781288281237

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Identifying and developing future leaders is the ultimate goal of officer professional development. Over the past decade, two new laws and three major policy changes implemented by senior Air Force leaders have altered the traditional career path for developing young rated officers into future Air Force leaders. The two legislative changes are the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and the Aviation Career Improvement Act of 1989. The three policy changes include the Air Force restructure that occurred in 1991, two major revisions to the officer assignment system, and the implementation of a Command Screening Board in 1996. These changes have resulted in a new career path. This paper will examine the shortcomings of the current leadership development model, the impact this model is having on the officer force, and recommendations for improving officer professional development. The author will argue that the relative importance placed on early promotion has increased while the emphasis placed on operational credibility has declined as a result of the officer professional development path being used today to grow tomorrow’s leaders.

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