REVITALIZATION OF AIR FORCE SOF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Redaja, Matthew O.
Strawser, Bradley J.
DiRenzo, Marco S.
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Military retention is a complex problem, particularly when it comes to leadership development. Currently, there are gaps in the Air Force’s force development for officers that could be addressed by best practices drawn from business leadership. This capstone explored avenues for revitalizing leadership development for Air Force Special Operations Forces and delivering additional intellectual capital to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School and the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Cochran Group. Based on an analysis of programs at Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, and McDonald’s, we offer three recommendations for AFSOC: (1) Refine onboarding programs to focus on dialogue and interaction, and to lay a foundation of learning and ownership of development early in an officer’s career; (2) create a consistent focus on individual development through additional customized support and resources to foster an atmosphere of leadership in action; and (3) enhance networking and mentoring programs to cultivate a culture of leaders developing leaders. The recommendations provide a comprehensive approach that begins when officers enter AFSOC and does not end at a specific time, but rather seeks to empower constant engagement among the Special Operations Forces officer corps.
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