The Department of Defense announced today the details of a new joint qualification system (JQS), which will help to identify military personnel who possess the abilities needed to achieve success in the joint/interagency environment. This new program will allow DoD to better incorporate an officer's joint experiences and qualifications into assignment, promotion and development decisions.
Inherent in this new system is the ability to recognize the skills that aid U.S. military efforts to respond to national security threats, as well as interagency, combat operations and humanitarian crises at home and abroad. A four-level system serves to enhance the tenets of jointness set forth in the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act (GNA) of 1986 and will be implemented for all services on Oct. 1, 2007.
While officers may still earn designation as a Joint Qualified Officer, formerly known as a Joint Specialty Officer, by completing the requisite joint professional military education and a standard-joint duty assignment, officers may also earn qualifications by accumulating equivalent levels of joint experience, education, and training. The experience-based system awards points in tracking the progression through successive qualification levels, while accounting for the intensity, environment, and duration/frequency of each joint activity.
The system encourages officers’ career-long development of joint expertise because it recognizes experiences earned from commissioning to retirement. Earning these joint qualifications is vital for officers who wish to advance their careers to the highest level. As of Oct. 1, 2008, active component officers must have completed a full joint duty assignment and be designated a joint qualified officer in order to be appointed to the rank of general or flag officer.
The JQS also represents a “total force” approach that allows active and reserve component (RC) officers to earn the same joint qualifications. Recognizing that the reserve components lacked the opportunity to receive joint credit since the inception of the GNA in 1986, RC officers who served in qualifying joint assignments under provisions of title 10 U.S.C., chapter 38 that were in effect from Oct. 1, 1986, until Sep. 30, 2007, may be awarded joint duty credit. Additionally, all officers may self-nominate their joint activities for point recognition dating back to Sep. 11, 2001, enabling the recognition of joint experience outside of traditional joint duty assignment positions.