Another reason why the air force is different. Officers in the Navy, Army, and marines get serious decision making responsibility rather early, whereas those in air force generally don't get such opportunities until they're brigadier generals (O-7). Army and Marine lieutenants (O-2s) command platoons, captains (O-3s) command companies, etc.. When these commanders are in the field, they have enormous freedom. Navy lieutenants (O-3s) sometimes command small boats, and lieutenant commanders (O-4) and commanders (O-5) of the line almost always have time in command. USAF officers are pretty much working directly for a more senior officer, even is they're squadron commanders, until they become senior officers.