The October 2019 AFOCD and AFECD is officially released today

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
No significant changes in specialty classification (entry/retention of AFSC award) standards, qualifications, duty descriptions.

No specialty code change on the Officer side. CRO is still 13D, STO is still 13C and TACP-O is still 13L under the SPACE, NUCLEAR and MISSILE OPERATIONS, & COMMAND and CONTROL (C2) UTILIZATION FIELD (13XX).

Excerpt from the AFOCD 13XX utilization field description:

The Space, Nuclear and Missile Operations, and C2 Utilization Field encompasses the major areas of astronauts, space, nuclear and missile operations, air battle management, airfield operations, air liaison, combat rescue, command posts, and airfield operations management.
...

Special Tactics (13CX) and Combat Rescue Officer (13DX) responsibilities include mission planning and managing day-to- day operations of personnel recovery (PR) activities and special tactics teams (STT) deploying to provide air traffic control support to airlift and transitory flight operations on assault zones within airhead areas. STTs initiate and issue clearances and instructions for air traffic separation, and ensure safe, orderly, and expeditious air traffic flow in and around assault zones.

Air Liaison Officer (13LX) responsibilities include integrating Joint Fires during joint and multinational combat operations and serving as the primary Air Force advisor to ground force commanders for air, space, and cyber power capabilities.

...

Positions above wing level may qualify for the staff AFSC. The staff AFSC identifies an officer position above wing level specifically on the duty requirements of the role performed, not the fact that the authorization is on a staff above wing level. Use staff AFSCs (XXX4) to identify planning and policy-making positions above wing level. It requires the same skills as those for the qualified AFSC (XXX3), but applied to developing broad policies, plans, and procedures. Management responsibility increases without a corresponding increase in knowledge of the technical aspects of the function. Officers filling/have filled such positions are awarded the staff AFSC.

FYI: Staff Officer typically refers to award of 13C4, 13D4, or 13L4 qualification specialty code, but also includes award of AIR FORCE OPERATIONS STAFF OFFICER AFSC 16G1- Entry, 16G3-qualified, and 16G4 specialty code.
"3.5.2. For entry into this specialty, one of the following is desirable:
3.5.2.1. Prior qualification (XXX3) in one of the following AFSCs: 11XX - Pilot; 12XX - Navigator; 13BX - Air Battle Management; 13DX - Combat Rescue Officer; or 13SX - Space and Missile Operations, 14NX - Intelligence, 21AX - Aircraft Maintenance, or 31PX - Security Forces."

The enlisted 1Z Special Warfare Career Field is implemented. Excerpt of the career field description emphasizes distinct specific specialties and not specialty shreds:

The specialties included in the Special Warfare Career Field form the Air Force's premier ground maneuver element. The Airmen of Special Warfare are employed across the spectrum of conflict to extend Air Force air power and enhance its lethality. They operate within the Joint and Combined Force to build partnerships, develop asymmetric advantages and engage the enemy inside its own region. They provide the connective tissue required to bind multiple domains; focusing the integration of air, space, cyber and land issues through the lens of airpower from the ground up and delivering distinctive capability and expertise in any operating environment with unequaled lethality, accuracy, responsiveness, flexibility and persistence. This career field includes the functions and activities of global access, precision strike and personnel recovery.

The new enlisted Special Warfare career field specialty codes are:

AFSC 1Z1X1 - Pararescue.

AFSC 1Z2X1 - Combat Control

AFSC 1Z3X1- Tactical Air Control Party

AFSC 1Z4X1 - Special Reconnaissance (formerly Special Operations Weather)
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
In response to question posed to me about SERE.

SERE is now the only specialty in the "SPECIAL WARFARE ENABLER CAREER FIELD (1T)". This was previously the Aircrew Protection Career Field. There is no change to the SERE Specialty description or specialty code.

The new career field description (not specialty description) is :

The Special Warfare Enabler career field specialties within Special Warfare integrate with and accompany Special Warfare Career Field members (1Z) and teams to enable additional capabilities required for global access, precision strike, personnel recovery, command and control, and other multi-domain missions.

Special Warfare Enablers are employed across the spectrum of conflict to extend Air Force air power and enhance its lethality. They operate within the joint and combined force to build partnerships, develop asymmetric advantages and engage the enemy inside its own region. They provide the connective tissue required to bind multiple domains; focusing the integration of air, space, cyber and land issues through the lens of airpower from the ground up and delivering distinctive capability and expertise in any operating environment with unequaled lethality, accuracy, responsiveness, flexibility and persistence.

Special Warfare Enabler airmen may be employed alone or as part of a Special Warfare, Air Force, joint, interagency, or coalition force in support of Combatant Commander’s objectives. They are capable of rapid deployment during day or night, to any environment, including permissive, hostile, denied, or politically and/or diplomatically sensitive locales. They operate in all six geographic disciplines: mountain, desert, arctic, urban, jungle, and water. They may operate under austere conditions for extended periods.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
The 31 Oct 2019 AFECD also implements a new Special Duty Identifier AFSC-- AIR ADVISOR FUNCTIONAL CATEGORY (8LXXX).

SDI AFSC 8LXXX Enlisted Air Advisor (Conventional Force)

SDI 8L100, Air Advisor – Basic
SDI 8L200, Air Advisor (CF) Basic, Team Sergeant
SDI 8L300, Air Advisor (CF) Basic, Team Leader
SDI 8L400, Air Advisor (CF) Advanced
SDI 8L500, Air Advisor (CF) Advanced, Team Sergeant
SDI 8L600, Air Advisor (CF) Advanced, Team Leader

and

SDI AFSC 8LXXX Enlisted Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF)
SDI 8L700, Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF)
SDI 8L800, Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF) Team Sergeant
SDI 8L900, Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF) Team Leader

The 31 Oct 2019 AFOCD implements:

SDI AFSC Officer Air Advisor (Conventional Force)

89A0, Air Advisor (Basic)
89B0, Air Advisor (Basic) Team Leader
89C0, Air Advisor (Basic) Mission Commander

and

SDI AFSC Officer Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF)

89G0, Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF)
89H0, Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF) Team Leader
89I0, Combat Aviation Advisor (SOF) Mission Commander
 
No significant changes in specialty classification (entry/retention of AFSC award) standards, qualifications, duty descriptions.

No specialty code change on the Officer side. CRO is still 13D, STO is still 13C and TACP-O is still 13L under the SPACE, NUCLEAR and MISSILE OPERATIONS, & COMMAND and CONTROL (C2) UTILIZATION FIELD (13XX).

Excerpt from the AFOCD 13XX utilization field description:

The Space, Nuclear and Missile Operations, and C2 Utilization Field encompasses the major areas of astronauts, space, nuclear and missile operations, air battle management, airfield operations, air liaison, combat rescue, command posts, and airfield operations management.
...

Special Tactics (13CX) and Combat Rescue Officer (13DX) responsibilities include mission planning and managing day-to- day operations of personnel recovery (PR) activities and special tactics teams (STT) deploying to provide air traffic control support to airlift and transitory flight operations on assault zones within airhead areas. STTs initiate and issue clearances and instructions for air traffic separation, and ensure safe, orderly, and expeditious air traffic flow in and around assault zones.

Air Liaison Officer (13LX) responsibilities include integrating Joint Fires during joint and multinational combat operations and serving as the primary Air Force advisor to ground force commanders for air, space, and cyber power capabilities.

...

Positions above wing level may qualify for the staff AFSC. The staff AFSC identifies an officer position above wing level specifically on the duty requirements of the role performed, not the fact that the authorization is on a staff above wing level. Use staff AFSCs (XXX4) to identify planning and policy-making positions above wing level. It requires the same skills as those for the qualified AFSC (XXX3), but applied to developing broad policies, plans, and procedures. Management responsibility increases without a corresponding increase in knowledge of the technical aspects of the function. Officers filling/have filled such positions are awarded the staff AFSC.

FYI: Staff Officer typically refers to award of 13C4, 13D4, or 13L4 qualification specialty code, but also includes award of AIR FORCE OPERATIONS STAFF OFFICER AFSC 16G1- Entry, 16G3-qualified, and 16G4 specialty code.
"3.5.2. For entry into this specialty, one of the following is desirable:
3.5.2.1. Prior qualification (XXX3) in one of the following AFSCs: 11XX - Pilot; 12XX - Navigator; 13BX - Air Battle Management; 13DX - Combat Rescue Officer; or 13SX - Space and Missile Operations, 14NX - Intelligence, 21AX - Aircraft Maintenance, or 31PX - Security Forces."

The enlisted 1Z Special Warfare Career Field is implemented. Excerpt of the career field description emphasizes distinct specific specialties and not specialty shreds:

The specialties included in the Special Warfare Career Field form the Air Force's premier ground maneuver element. The Airmen of Special Warfare are employed across the spectrum of conflict to extend Air Force air power and enhance its lethality. They operate within the Joint and Combined Force to build partnerships, develop asymmetric advantages and engage the enemy inside its own region. They provide the connective tissue required to bind multiple domains; focusing the integration of air, space, cyber and land issues through the lens of airpower from the ground up and delivering distinctive capability and expertise in any operating environment with unequaled lethality, accuracy, responsiveness, flexibility and persistence. This career field includes the functions and activities of global access, precision strike and personnel recovery.

The new enlisted Special Warfare career field specialty codes are:

AFSC 1Z1X1 - Pararescue.

AFSC 1Z2X1 - Combat Control

AFSC 1Z3X1- Tactical Air Control Party

AFSC 1Z4X1 - Special Reconnaissance (formerly Special Operations Weather)
So no "Special Warfare Officer" (yet?), and nothing that suggests a merging of enlisted career fields in any meaningful way beyond budget streams? As noted by a couple mods here, most of the G2 being shared elsewhere on these updates seems to have been slightly right and mostly wrong.

Interestingly, rather than saying that all trainees go through SW A&S, the AFECD says PJ trainees go through the "Pararescue Assessment and Selection Course," CCT goes through the "Combat Control Selection Course," and SR goes through SW A&S.

TACP's inclusion is still an interesting anomaly, as there's still an immediate divergence from the other SW career fields following SW Prep (that's obviously not a surprise, but it keeps TACP apart in a one-of-these-is-different-from-the-others way). So, out of curiosity, how is TACP viewed within the SW world - now and in the future - given the continued difference in levels of selection, training, and capability?

And is this AFECD the last change for some time, or is it an intermediate step with further changes still to come in the near-term future?
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Hard to predict the future. However, supposedly the officer STO and CRO shred will merge again with each being a shred. It was that way for a few years when rescue was pull out of ACC into AFSOC and reverted to separate AFSCs when rescue was pulled out of AFSOC. Reference AFOCD, 31 July 2007, AFSC 13D, CONTROL AND RECOVERY, Shred A....Combat Rescue, Shred B Special Tactics.

Technically if organizational change happens to merge the Special Tactics Squadrons and Guardian Angel Rescue Squadrons into a Special Warfare Squadron certain issues such as office to enlisted ratio and redundancy and duplication of the officer specialty summary, duties and responsibilities would cause a loss of funded officer positions in the new organizational structure.

My guess is the 1Z career field specially descriptions will be tweaked a bit more in the next release. Scrutiny of the job descriptions of the enlisted specialties in the 1Z Special Warfare Career field and the SERE specialty in the Special Warfare Enabler career field reveal a few significant changes most likely in need of tweaking. IMO if special warfare career field was named fantasy super hero career field each specialty description is cutting and pasting a bit of Spiderman, hulk, aquaman, Sgt Rock, and etc to sound more impressive than the other specialties particularly since Career Field Education and Training Plans haven't been updated to reflect changes implemented in the AFECD. Also some of the mission creep into new utilization will drive a significant increase in manning that will be difficult to justify as other career fields, such as Security Forces, are pursuing increasing manning needs too.

Pararescue:

3.3. Training. For award of AFSC 1Z131, completion of the following courses is mandatory:
3.3.1. Pararescue Development Course
3.3.2. Pararescue Assessment and Selection Course.
3.3.3. Airborne (Parachutist).
3.3.4. Combat Diver.
3.3.5. Combat Survival Training.
3.3.6. United States Navy Underwater Egress Training.
3.3.7. Military Freefall Parachutist.
3.3.8. Pararescue EMT-Paramedic
3.3.9. Pararescue Apprentice Course.
3.4. Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated:
3.4.1. 1Z151. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z131. Also, experience performing Pararescue duties.
3.4.2. 1Z171. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z151. Also, experience performing or supervising Pararescue duties.
3.4.3. 1Z191. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z171. Also, experience performing or managing Pararescue functions as a Pararescue team leader.

Combat Control:

3.3. Training.
3.3.1. Completion of the following courses is mandatory for award of AFSC 1Z231:
3.3.1.1. Combat Control Selection Course.
3.3.1.2. Combat Control Operator (ATC).
3.3.1.3. Combat Survival.
3.3.1.4. Airborne (Static-line Parachutist).
3.3.1.5. Combat Control School.
3.3.2. Completion of the following courses is mandatory for award of AFSC 1Z251:
3.3.2.1. Military Freefall Parachutist (Parachutist).
3.3.2.2. Combat Diver Qualification Course
….

3.4. Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the AFSC indicated:
3.4.1. 1Z251. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z231. Also, experience in reconnaissance, terminal control, and combat enabling tasks.
3.4.2. 1Z271. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z251. Also, experience performing or supervising duties involving reconnaissance, and terminal control and enabling tasks.

Special Reconnaissance:

3.3. Training. For award of AFSC 1Z431, completion of the following formal courses is mandatory:
3.3.1. Special Warfare Preparatory Course.
3.3.2. Special Warfare Assessment and Selection Course.
3.3.3. Special Warfare SOF Common Skills Course.
3.3.4. Special Warfare Pre-dive Course.
3.3.5. Open and Closed Circuit Dive Courses.

3.3.6. U.S. Army Basic Airborne Course (Static-Line Parachutist).
3.3.7. Military Free Fall Course (MFF Parachutist).
3.3.8. Level C Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training.
3.3.9. Water Survival Course.
3.3.10. Underwater Egress Training Course.
3.3.11. Special Reconnaissance Apprentice Course.
3.4. Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of the 1Z4XX AFSC indicated:
3.4.1. 1Z451. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z431. Experience in reconnaissance, surveillance, long-range precision engagement and target interdiction, and combat enabling tasks.
3.4.2. 1Z471. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 1Z451. Experience performing and supervising duties involving reconnaissance, surveillance, long-range precision engagement and target interdiction, and combat enabling tasks.

SOWT training pipeline mirrored the CCT pipeline, it now mirrors the PJ pipeline pertinent to combat diver and MFF qualification requirements.

SERE::
Specialty Summary .... Conducts preparation activities as part of a supporting or supported force to survey areas for evasion, recovery corridors, contact sites, potential cache site establishment, areas of interest and physical infrastructure. Provides positive control of recovery/contact sites and caches. This is new to the specialty description and was abandoned by the AF to the Army when it developed its Special Forces unconventional/special warfare programs and units during the Korean War. Most interesting as the only limited success of such activities was during WWII and most of the E&E corridors (routes) and infrastructure were compromised within months of being put in place. Same occurrence during the Korean war and SEA conflicts.
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
So no "Special Warfare Officer" (yet?), and nothing that suggests a merging of enlisted career fields in any meaningful way beyond budget streams? As noted by a couple mods here, most of the G2 being shared elsewhere on these updates seems to have been slightly right and mostly wrong.

Interestingly, rather than saying that all trainees go through SW A&S, the AFECD says PJ trainees go through the "Pararescue Assessment and Selection Course," CCT goes through the "Combat Control Selection Course," and SR goes through SW A&S.

TACP's inclusion is still an interesting anomaly, as there's still an immediate divergence from the other SW career fields following SW Prep (that's obviously not a surprise, but it keeps TACP apart in a one-of-these-is-different-from-the-others way). So, out of curiosity, how is TACP viewed within the SW world - now and in the future - given the continued difference in levels of selection, training, and capability?

And is this AFECD the last change for some time, or is it an intermediate step with further changes still to come in the near-term future?
-The AFOCD release in April '20 will address the officer side. They will become 19Z's with shredouts for their specialty- CRO, STO, TACPO. The change was supposed to happen in October but some paperwork deadlines were missed. Will there be a SWO? No, not for the near term at least (unless they decide to call themselves SWO-CRO, SWO-STO, SWO-TACPO).

-There is no talk of any substance regarding merging enlisted career fields. But what is happening is talk of merging like-minded training items. Think: shoot, move, communicate type skills. This could help drive an AFSPECWAR common skills course somewhere in the pipeline for all AFSPECWAR operators.

-I wouldn't make much out of the PJ A&S vs CCT Selection Course vs SW A&S. It's most likely that the career field managers didn't align their verbiage 100%.

-TACP is the anomaly; very true. TACP fills an important conventional role in AFSPECWAR. There are some TACPs that get selected to STS's as well. They are great at what they do- being a JTAC and radio operator. Experienced operators know this and don't look at them in any less of a capacity. The primary reason they are not in A&S is due to the lack of a water confidence requirement. Even so, the Special Warfare Training Group is still taking TACP applicants to the pool in some capacity.
There is some talk on future TACP employment methods. It's mostly spit-balling / idea-generating type talks that may generate some experimentation. But at this stage of the game, its too early to share.

-I would expect only small incremental AFECD changes (if any) for the next few releases.

SW
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
Here's the current official Special Warfare definition. It's somewhat essential to have awareness of this definition as like Special Operations many do not understand the demarcations between conventional and nonconventional warfare activities and operations.

Special warfare is an Army Special Operations Forces doctrinal term meaning the “execution of activities that involve a combination of lethal and nonlethal actions taken by a specially trained and educated force that has a deep understanding of cultures and foreign language, proficiency in small-unit tactics, and the ability to build and fight alongside indigenous combat formations in a permissive, uncertain, or hostile environment.” It includes “special operations forces conducting combinations of unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, and/or counterinsurgency through and with indigenous forces or personnel. [Headquarters, U.S. Department of the Army, Special Operations, Army Doctrine Publication 3-05, Washington, D.C., August 2012c, p. 9.]

The text I highlighted in red emphasizes the most distinguishable activities of putting special into warfare. Indigenous is what brings importance to greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of other cultures and their customs, laws, language, religions, and being able to establish trusted and respected working relations with these indigenous peoples. In many instances the necessity during WWII evolved from the enemy of my enemy is my friend alliances with communist, fascists', loyalists, and revolutionary groups in regions that were occupied by armed Axis forces.

Understanding why WWII was pivotal to encouraging alliances with indigenous groups, parties and political factions requires understanding initial military occupation by Japanese, German and Italian forces caused these groups to pursue the use of armed warfare to achieve their goals and objectives. World War II differs from WWI in that major conflict wasn't contained to be waged in Europe among the Western Industrializing nations. The truly global ground and ocean warfighting nature of this war forced a need for greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of other cultures and their customs, laws, language, religions, and etc.

The two Allied organizations involved in conducting Special Warfare were the Unites States' Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the British's Special Operations Executive (SOE), a combined organizing of three existing organizations, formed on 22 July 1940 under Minister of Economic Warfare. The SOE's purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance (includes intelligence gathering) in areas/regions occupied by the enemy. Having indigenous groups (subversives, revolutionaries, partisans, guerilla groups/forces) aiding in these activities were critical to obtaining success. The British also established MI9 and MI1, both having focus on POWs. MI19 focused on escape and evasion and MI1 focused on obtaining information from German POWs and allied servicemen (mostly aircrew) who had escaped captivity.

There were also conventional units involved in performing Foreign Internal Defense under perspective of when Allies liberated an area the occupying forces were responsible for the care, feeding and welfare of the civilian indigenous people living in the liberated area (civil affairs), thus the Army had responsibility for law and order, and being the government until such infrastructure was reestablished by the indigenous population (communities).

Development of the concepts and doctrine of Special Warfare happened during the Korean War after such concepts and doctrine were for lack of a better word abandoned as a military necessity when World War II ended. OSS organizational model was adopted and doctrine was recreated by both CIA and U.S. Army Special Forces during the Korean war.

Interestingly during the 1950s and 1960s directing close air support, airfield seizures, and air traffic controlling of airborne assault drop zones and air heads (terminal control) wasn't considered being Special Warfare activities, but escape-and-evasion and irregular (nonconventional) warfare activities were. Consequently Special Warfare doctrine was initially developed by the U.S. Army during the 1950s with the Navy subsequent circa 1962 developing its Special Warfare doctrine focusing on maritime, coastal, and riverine environments

As most of the escape and evasion focus was on aircrews the Air Force retained ownership of SERE training, combat rescue and CIA (where there was no US military presence or activities authorized) and US Army Special Forces (where U.S. military presence and activities are authorized) got control of surveying areas for evasion, recovery corridors, contact sites, potential cache site establishment, areas of interest and physical infrastructure. The U.S Air Force retaining proponent auspices of SERE training and rescue-recovery of aircrews downed behind enemy lines left pararescue in operational capability position of integrating being there doing air and ground and water activities to include moving recovered personnel and materiel to safety or friendly control when recovery by aircraft is not possible. This by nature requires having ability to infiltrate and exfiltrate and move about on the surface. Other SERE activities specific to survey areas for evasion, recovery corridors, contact sites, potential cache site establishment, areas of interest and physical infrastructure that wasn't being done by US Army Special Forces or CIA was being done by the enlisted Life support specialty, and various Air Force intelligence organizations until period 1996 thru to 2007. Life Support was removed from the enlisted Aircrew Protection careeerfield effective July 2007, and changed to the Aircrew Flight Equipment Specialty in the Aircrew Flight Equipment career field.

Until the 1980s, Combat Control Teams, Tactical Air Control Parties, and various weather combat/special operations teams were primarily existing to go into an area with the Army units they were supporting, not in advance of, or before, the forces they were supporting. FID, humanitarian relief activities being an exception. Transitions changes in specialty descriptions happening since the 1980s document the increasing commonality in screening and assessment requirements and common training requirements. Thinking in terms of who has the better or most operational capability, essentially, who is the most elite is a false and immature reasoning path to pursue even before 1980 as each specialty had its specific purposes not connected to training, qualifications and experiences for existing and these purposes are too diverse to consider in terms of who (what specialty) is the best of the best.

Establishing the never previously existing enlisted Special Warfare and Special Warfare Enabler career fields and putting new activities and duties in specialty descriptions does very little without other changes being implemented. Some of the changes appearing in the specialty descriptions cannot be effectively implemented without the specialty changing from a small career field to a very large career field. The small to larger specialty perspective to consider is aircraft has made it easier and faster to travel great distances, the world remains large with many different indigenous peoples (ethnicity, language, culture, customs, religion, political persuasions), terrains, climates, fauna, and flora. This is quite an extensive diversity of expertise and human performance abilities being implied in the specialty descriptions.

I do agree much confusion is generated by the career field managers failing to align their verbiage 100%. This has been a problem for several decades now to include not knowing the difference between career field and enlisted occupation specialty.
 

SW

Administrator
Staff member
Operator
From HQ talking points published earlier this year:

1. WHAT IS THE SPECIAL WARFARE MISSION?
a. Air Force Special Warfare plans, leads, and conducts a range of multi-domain conventional and special operations by specially trained ground forces to achieve precise lethal and nonlethal effects disrupting an adversary or competitor’s activities.

2. WHO IS AIR FORCE SPECIAL WARFARE?
a. Special Operations component: Special Tactics (ST) and Guardian Angel (GA) will combine as the Air Force’s SOF ground force. They will be organized, trained, and equipped under AFSOC to conduct global access, precision strike, and recovery for the Air Component and Special Operations Component.
b. Conventional component: The TACP Weapons System provides the backbone of the Air Force’s Conventional ground force. They are organized with ACC as lead command to conduct precision strike, air to ground command and control, and the application and integration of joint fires and effects for the Air Component.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
A relevant and interesting Air Force press release of information within the past five days suggest or strongly implies proposed changes in the Air Force's officer promotion system will introduce signification change to officer utilization fields identified in the Air Force Officer Classification Directory (AFOCD).

Six new categories of officer career utilization fields being proposed are:

Air operations and special warfare – includes pilots, combat systems officers, remote piloted aircraft pilots, air battle managers, special tactics officers, combat rescue officers, and tactical air control party officers

Space operations – includes space operations officers and astronauts

Nuclear and missile operations – includes nuclear and missiles operations officers

Information warfare – includes cyber operations officers, intelligence officers, operations research analysts, weather officers, special investigations officers, information operations officers and public affairs officers

Combat support – includes airfield operations officers, aircraft maintenance officers, munitions and missile maintenance officers, logistics readiness officers, security forces officers, civil engineering officers, force support officers, contracting officers and financial management officers

Force modernization – includes chemists, physicist/nuclear engineers, developmental engineers and acquisition management officers.

The utilization fields these officer specialty codes are aligned as Utilization fields under the current career area:

OPERATIONS CAREER AREA (1XXX)
LOGISTICS CAREER AREA (2XXX)
SUPPORT CAREER AREA (3XXX)
MEDICAL CAREER AREA (4XXX)
PROFESSIONAL CAREER AREA (5XXX)
ACQUISITION AND FINANCIALMANAGEMENT CAREER AREA (6XXX)
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS CAREER AREA (71SX

Currently the pilots, combat systems officers, remote piloted aircraft pilots, air battle managers, special tactics officers, combat rescue officers, and tactical air control party officers specialty codes are found in one of the following utilization fields aligned under the Operations Career area.

PILOT UTILIZATION FIELD (11XX)
COMBAT SYSTEMSOFFICER UTILIZATION FIELD (12XX)
SPACE, NUCLEAR andMISSILE OPERATIONS, & COMMAND and CONTROL (C2) UTILIZATION FIELD (13XX)--The Special Tactics Officer, Combat Rescue Officer, and Tactical Air Control Party Officers specialty codes, three separate specialty codes, are currently aligned under this utilization field.

Most interesting potential ramifications and consequences if the currently three separate officer specialty codes are merged into one specialty code with duties being assignment shred driven. Consider for officers being in one careeerfield was insufficient gain of experience and competencies development for promotion to be competitive for promotion to rank and grade of Colonel and above. Still need to fill command appointment and staff officer promotion squares.

… in the beginning of each year, the Air Force will publish the career field brief, or specific instructions on what the service values in education, training and experience in each career field. For the first time, Kelly said, promotion boards will receive these briefs to tell them what they need to look for in an officer’s developmental path.
Of secondary interest is weather officers will be aligned under Information warfare.
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
The press releases are certainly indicating the non-rated line officers are happily dreaming of the eagles and stars in their future. Realignment under the new career utilization fields causing changes to scope and characteristics of the specialty isn't being disclosed or mentioned in the press releases. The interest is if the duty activities and responsibilities of the weather officer will change much or little.

FYI-significant change was implemented in AFOCD, 31 October 2019 for the 15W weather officer.
 
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