Military Personnel:

Impact of Joint Duty Tours on Officer Career Paths

NSIAD-88-184BR: Published: Jun 6, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) proposed modifications of the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 concerning tour length requirements for joint officers.

GAO found that DOD cited limited time, crowded career paths, selection of officers, officer availability, problems with mid-year moves, increased experience, increased number of candidates, and less turbulence among officers in nonjoint assignments to support its proposal to reduce the minimum and average tour-length requirement for field-grade officers from 3.5 to 3 years and the tour-length requirement for general and flag officers from 3 to 2 years. GAO also found that: (1) the degree of difficulty in accommodating a 3.5-year joint tour for field-grade officers varied among the services; (2) each service typically had enough total non-war-fighting time to accommodate a 3.5-year joint tour for field-grade officers; and (3) the services would have to make significant changes in their assignment patterns to accommodate a 3-year joint tour for general and flag officers.

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