Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Begging off command

I didn’t realize that so many eligible Air Force colonels were declining to be considered for command that the Air Force chief, Norton Schwartz, issued a letter in 2009 saying that henceforth everyone would be considered. Those who were selected against their will "still retain the option to retire," he noted. Apparently the policy is ...

U.S. Defense Dept./Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth, U.S. Air Force/Released/Flickr
U.S. Defense Dept./Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth, U.S. Air Force/Released/Flickr

I didn’t realize that so many eligible Air Force colonels were declining to be considered for command that the Air Force chief, Norton Schwartz, issued a letter in 2009 saying that henceforth everyone would be considered. Those who were selected against their will "still retain the option to retire," he noted. Apparently the policy is still in effect, but studies of its effects are hard to come by.

I didn’t realize that so many eligible Air Force colonels were declining to be considered for command that the Air Force chief, Norton Schwartz, issued a letter in 2009 saying that henceforth everyone would be considered. Those who were selected against their will "still retain the option to retire," he noted. Apparently the policy is still in effect, but studies of its effects are hard to come by.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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