Attrition: USAF Even Downsizing Lieutenants

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May 24, 2006: Automation, reorganization and outsourcing have reduced personnel needs so much that the U.S. Air Force is even getting rid of lieutenants. That is rare, because the military usually needs lots of lieutenants in order to get enough people who will stick around to become mid-level career officers. Lots of lieutenants discover that the military is not for them, and get out as soon as they can (after three or four years.) But the air force has found that it has far too many lieutenants in fields like finance, personnel and public affairs. Thus it is allowing 846 lieutenants in those areas go, before their terms of service are up. The air force has encouraged many other lieutenants to switch to another field. But oftenofficers don't have the training to handle other jobs, or the desire to switch fields. All this is part of a major reduction in personnel in the air force, with some 40,000 people being let go in the next year.

 


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