Allocating Air Force career field accession targets : an optimization-based tool
Sickorez, Robert D.
Olwell, David H.
Carlyle, W. Matthew
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The USAF officer accession sources annually produce three thousand non-rated line officers who must be classified into career fields. Under the current system, many career field accession goals are not met. This mismatch occurs primarily because of unreasonable targets set for the various commissioning sources. This thesis presents an optimization-based target allocation tool that mitigates the existing mismatch between long-term manpower needs and near-term accession source outputs. This Java-based application enables users to weight multiple objectives, set priorities for filling various career fields, solve for optimal targets, and then explore results, presented in the form of interactive tables and charts. Within a friendly graphical user interface, users determine practical targets with ease by interactively adjusting the optimality criteria and fill priorities and then reviewing the resulting classifications. These new targets will vastly improve the ability of the USAF to meet accession needs, exploit the unique skills of its officers, and satisfy officer preferences. This means that officer recruiting dollars will be better utilized as long-term manpower needs are better met. Additionally, job performance and retention are likely to improve as more career fields are filled with highly qualified officers and officers are more frequently placed into their desired career fields.
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