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Air Force officials reinstate captain central selection board

WASHINGTON -- Promotion opportunities for active-duty line of the Air Force first lieutenants competing for promotion to captain is being adjusted to 95 percent, Air Force officials announced Oct. 13 here.

Since the promotion opportunity to captain will now be less than 100 percent, the Air Force officials will reinstate a captain central selection board for LAF officers, officials said, citing 2002 as the last previous captain promotions board. The new change will be effective with the next captain LAF promotion board, scheduled for July 2011.

This falls in line with recent changes to the LAF promotion opportunity to major, which went from 95 percent opportunity to 90 percent opportunity, effective with the December 2010 major LAF board convening at the Air Force Personnel Center.

"These are efforts to ensure the Air Force selects only the best qualified officers for promotion to the ranks of captain and major," said Col. Julie Boit, the chief of Military Force Policy chief.

"It's important that our young officers understand that selection for promotion to the next higher rank is competitive, and promotions become increasingly competitive with each higher grade," Colonel Boit said.

The colonel added that junior officers, more than ever, must ensure their personnel records are in order.

"We've always encouraged our officers to review their personnel records at least annually; this drives the point home even more," she said. "Lieutenants and captains will now compete for fewer captain and major opportunities, resulting in a more highly competitive selection process for officers preparing to enter our field grade ranks, which typically demand much greater responsibility."

The colonel explained that as the Air Force continues to hone its force development plans and select officers to fill positions at the higher grade, the service will remain committed to selecting the best qualified officers for promotion.

New LAF promotion opportunity rates are not unusual and the new promotion opportunities will still be well within Department of Defense guidelines, the colonel said.

"These changes will better align us with the promotion rates of the other services," she said. "This is a move that makes sense in light of the increasing joint nature of the military."