The Air Force’s two top leaders have decided to return to the practice of letting officer promotion boards view advanced degree records. The service began “masking” that information for promotions to captain and major in March 1996 because leaders, at the time, wanted to “level the playing field” for officers with less opportunity to pursue off-duty education. In 2005, Air Force leadership went a step further, eliminating degrees from consideration at all levels to end the practice of obtaining “square-filling” degrees. Now, the pendulum has swung back to let boards see an officer’s “full potential.” The return to full disclosure will not take effect until 2008, per Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, who say that provides “almost two years to complete a degree.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.