Military Aviators:

Assignment Policies and Practices

NSIAD-90-213: Published: Sep 24, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1990.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the aviator assignment policies and practices followed by the armed services to accommodate the assignment preferences of aviators.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of Defense developed and implemented general policies that affected the aviator assignment process in certain general areas, but was not involved in making specific assignments; (2) the services generally followed their own aviator assignment policies and procedures; (3) aviator-specific requirements affected aviator assignments; (4) the services considered aviators' career needs and desires in assignment decisions, although the services' needs remained the main concern; (5) aviators provided assignment preference statements that indicated location, educational, and specific assignment requests which the services weighed against their needs and aviators' developmental needs before making assignments; (6) the services discussed proposed assignments with aviators before finalizing them; and (7) aviators cited other factors than assignments as more important in affecting their decisions to stay in or leave the service; and (8) 75 percent of Navy aviators were pleased with their most recent assignment and one-half believed that the Navy was concerned about meeting their needs.

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