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Press Release

Defense Secretary’s Proposed Personnel System Changes Don’t Address Real Problems

Statement of Daniel Grazier, Jack Shanahan Fellow, Project On Government Oversight

Yesterday Defense Secretary Ashton Carter proposed changes to the Pentagon’s “up or out” promotion system:

These changes do not really address the real problem with the current system. Nothing Secretary Carter announced yesterday will help foster a culture of moral courage within the officer corps. It would just make it easier for a few people to get advanced degrees and perhaps lure a handful of mid-career tech types to leave their Silicon Valley jobs for a few years, get commissioned as a field grade officer and then go back insisting that everyone call them “colonel.”

Until policymakers acknowledge that the real problem in all the services is careerism and the cautious behavior that engenders, the changes they propose will have no effect on the myriad of problems the military currently faces.

Read more about the case for meaningful personnel reform: