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thedrifter
08-06-07, 10:28 AM
Career officers getting in line for promotions
Monday, August 06, 2007

The number of career officers who are joint service qualified, and thus more competitive for promotion, will rise sharply under a new Joint Qualification System (JQS) that the services will begin to implement Oct. 1.

The current list of almost 5,400 designated Joint Specialty Officers (JSO) in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines Corps could climb by at least 1,000 over the next year, officials estimate.

The designation of JSO will be changing as well this October to JQO, for Joint Qualified Officer.

One factor driving the overhaul of joint officer management are complaints from many officers that their "real world" experiences, particularly since 9/11, are ignored by narrowly defined rules set by the Goldwater-Nichols Act before the Cold War ended.

Goldwater-Nichols "was on target" in 1986 in setting requirements to ensure that officers, by the time they reach flag rank, are educated and experienced in joint operations," said Navy Rear Adm. Donna L. Crisp, director of manpower and personnel on the Joint Staff. But all of the services have become expeditionary forces since 9/11 and are operating more jointly today than the architects of Goldwater-Nichols had envisioned, Crisp said.

"We train together. We do exercises together. We do joint combat operations. We do joint non-combat and humanitarian missions together. Whether our missions are global or whether our missions are here, such as Task Force Katrina, we are together as one joint force," Crisp said.

As a result, the services need more tools and flexibility to ensure that their officers get proper credit for any and all joint experiences.

"To recognize the way we were using these officers and their talents, we needed to expand Goldwater-Nichols," said Sheila M. Earle, a director in the office of deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy. The new system will give officers involved with contingency operations -- including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, relief missions at home or abroad and joint task forces -- more opportunity to gain joint duty credit.

The credits will be gathered retroactively, too. Active duty officers will be able to ask their services to apply joint credit to duty and experiences back to Sept. 11, 2001, the start of the global war on terrorism.


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Ellie