November 18, 2007

Checking joint blocks

There's a great debate going on in the comments on Abu Muqawama's post on General Petraeus's role in the next GO selection board (Instapundit, Blackfive, and SWJ also have their irons in the fire on this one).

One part of that discussion is the role of joint tour requirements for making 1-star (O-7). Traditionally under Goldwater-Nichols this has required 22 months service in a "joint designated" post. Joint posts require the interaction of 2 or more departments, so Navy-Marine cooperation doesn't count. Nor does working across different components of one service (like the Marine Air-Ground Task Forces). So most of these jobs are found in the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, or in the Combatant Commands (CFR, IISS, and other think tanks are also options).

Now Charlie has word that the joint requirements are being altered somewhat. To become a "Joint Qualified Officer," you can now either serve in a traditional purple billet or acquire points throughout your career for joint service. (Joint educational requirements (JPME) remain the same.)

The methodology used to account for this joint experience, education, and training is a points system. This points system provides an inherent advantage over the traditional time-based system in that it creates an opportunity to account for the intensity of each joint activity. This plan leverages this unique characteristic by giving added value to joint combat and non-combat contingencies. The points system also allows the level of involvement of the individual to be weighted. Individuals who lead or plan joint exercises are given an increased number of points over participants.

But perhaps the best news for those junior officers doing some serious, mission-oriented joint service is that the point system is retro-active.

Additionally, all officers regardless of component will be able to self-nominate their joint activities for point recognition dating back to September 11, 2001. This will enable the capture of joint experience, education and training outside the traditional joint duty assignment positions.

Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

PS Check out SWJ's reprint of Ohio State's announcement of Col. Peter Mansoor's appointment as Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History. The Army's loss is the Academy's gain, as Ohio State has a literally world-class military history program. (NB, a number of the Army's PhD candidates make their way to Ohio State and go on to teach at West Point. Col. Mansoor's influence will continue for many more years).