Armed with the results of this research, the AF can conceivably manage their current inventory of officers more effectively, therefore minimizing separation rates, which in turn minimizes the missing officers in the middle ranks. Perhaps this research can also serve to help retention rates at least somewhat more predictable. AT the very least, it is hoped that this document will help to educate the senior AF leadership on the issues afflicting the junior offices, thereby bring light to to several issues that also affect overall morale.
This research is important because close to half of the acquisitions junior offices in the Air Force are at least considering separation. This rate of loss has intangible effects on unit morale in these career fields. The Air Force has mostly addressed retention by recruiting more-front loading the personnel in anticipation of high loss later on attempting to ultimately end up with the right
numbers of personnel in the senior ranks. But losing so many recruits after 4-5 years, precisely when they are becoming fully developed and most productive to the Air Force, is a serious problem that costs the Air Force, and the taxpayer, lots of money.