DoD Media Roundtable with Sheila M. Earl and RADM Donna Crisp in the Pentagon Briefing Room, Arlington Va.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JONATHAN WITHINGTON (OSD Public Affairs): Good afternoon. I'm Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Withington. I'm with OSD Public Affairs.
The roundtable briefers today are Ms. Sheila Earle, acting principal director to the deputy undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, and Rear Admiral Donna L. Crisp, Joint Staff director for Manpower and Personnel. They will use this opportunity to discuss the new joint officer qualification system.
There are no cameras today, but this is on the record and we're recording it in order to make transcripts, and we'll make them available to you. We have approximately 45 minutes. Ms. Earle and Admiral Crisp will start with opening statements and then answer your questions.
And with that, Ms. Earle, thank you, and I'll turn it over to you.
MS. EARLE: Again, as was just stated, Admiral Crisp and I are here today to discuss the significant changes in the joint officer management system. We're very excited about this. We hope you are, too. We think it's a great opportunity for our office corps, and we want to make sure that you get all the necessary details and information to get that story out and help us.
Goldwater-Nichols, though 1986 when it was passed, is a timeless piece of legislation that we are preserving. We are also expanding under this joint qualification system and we are able to now offer a dual track to give our officers the recognition for the work that they do in a joint environment wherever they may be with whomever they serve as long as they meet the criteria. And this recognizes the changes since 9/11 that have happened, since September 11th, 2001, where all the services are transitioning to an expeditionary force. So we think this is very important that we broaden the horizons within the Goldwater-Nichols construct and do that in our joint officer management arena.
Congress has been very helpful, and we owe a significant debt of gratitude for their role that they've taken in granting this department -- these authorities to have added flexibility to make sure all officers are recognized for their joint experiences. So again, we have a great deal of assistance from Congress and we are very thankful for that.
And the other part that's very important is the joint qualification system now offers a dual-track system. Again, we will get into that and explain it a little further, but I want to make sure that everybody understands. This is all governed by law, and from the law we will also put policy together. So this is very important for people to understand that there is a tremendous framework and we are trying not to speed on the implementation, that we are very judicious in the use of that authority and that we are able to offer our officers the recognition for the joint work that they do no matter where they do it.
ADM. CRISP: And this is very important to joint operations and mission accomplishment because today we are expeditionary, we go out rapidly as a joint force.
We train together. We do exercises together. We do joint combat operations. We do joint non-combat and humanitarian missions together. Whether our missions are global or whether our missions are here, such as Task Force Katrina, we are together as one joint force.
And so this allows -- this -- these changes and the new system will allow us to capture those experiences, so the officer can get credit for them, as well as it will allow the combatant commanders and leadership to know who those experts are, so we can utilize them in the future.
Now do you all feel comfortable just going into questions and answers, or what would you like?
Q Perhaps you could take us from where we are currently to now. It seems like now there's not really a system, if you will.
ADM. CRISP: Well --
Q It's sort of like a --
MS. EARLE: Ah.
Q You sort of get joint credit. You --
MS. EARLE: Do you all have a copy of this briefing? If not, we've brought extra copies. It's called the Joint Qualification System 101. That's sort of our 101 briefing.
ADM. CRISP: If you're comfortable, we can go through that with you and --
MS. EARLE: And that will maybe give you some more of a construct to understand why these changes are significant and give you a framework.
Q (Off mike.)
COL. WORTHINGTON: Please.
ADM. CRISP: Okay.
MS. EARLE: Okay. We'll go ahead and start Slide 3. This is the original -- whenever you get a briefing on Goldwater-Nichols, you've got to understand the original objectives of the Goldwater-Nichols Act. So we're already on Slide 3. Make sure everybody's there.
And those are -- very clearly spelled underneath that, what those are, and then there are some major provisions of law that underpin those particular objectives. So we've listed those, so you can see the major muscle movements, so you'll understand what the policies are.
I won't go into each one, but that'll give you a good idea of the framework before you.
If you go to the next slide, where it talks about joint credit, it's largely a time-based or a time-phased kind of a system. So along with having all these objective provisions, we also have a way that people got credit. They had to be assigned to a particular billet. It had to be on the Joint Duty Assignment List. They had to be in there for a certain amount of time. If they weren't there for 10 months on a JDAL -- that's what you'll hear, called Joint Duty Assignment List -- billet, if they weren't there for 10 months and got cumulative credit, they got no credit. And so this system gives us the ability to make -- the dual track or the Joint Qualification System will be able to capture those types of pieces of information and credit and experience.
And so what we looked for, if you go from -- 1986, largely we were in the Cold War -- it made perfectly good sense for the way it was built. But as we have seen the world change, we needed more flexibility.
That's where, if you go to Slides 5 and 6, we've given you two people's real-world experiences, where, when you read what they did, it was very clear that they should have received joint experience. Under the framework of the old Joint Officer Management System, they would not. And so many of the things that we have devised now in the Joint Qualification System were designed to capture this kind of an experience and give the credit where it needs to be.
So if you skip over to the next slide, just so that you have -- we're on Slide 7 now -- these changes that we're announcing that are about to happen on the 1st of October are so significant, and they've been many years in the making.
This isn't something that somebody just dreamed up yesterday and said, good idea; let's implement it, but rather goes back over five different -- five years of MBAAs, where we were asked to very methodically think about it, to have a strategic plan that combined both the management of officers and their professional military education, that we have an implementation plan where it was very carefully thought out how it would be implemented, and that we are able to look at this in a more strategic sense and a backdrop against not just officers but any other of the people who serve within the Department of Defense.
ADM. CRISP: I think it's important to know too that we worked very closely together. This was the Joint Staff, OSD, the combatant commanders and their services all working together on this in an effort to basically enhance Goldwater-Nichols and have it meet the needs of the 21st century.
MS. EARLE: And it's probably one of the closest partnerships I've had the experience to work on with my buddy here. (Laughs.)
So I -- we want to make sure that you understand it's a good news story, want to make sure that we get this out to the officers. But it's also important to understand that we've preserved the timeless tenets that are the cornerstones of Goldwater-Nichols. And so that's again a timeless piece of legislation. We're expanding with flexibility, making sure we have the opportunity for officers to get recognition for all their joint experiences and joint duty.
ADM. CRISP: And it's very important that now the Reserves can get that same credit. So both the Reserve and the National Guard were serving side by side as shipmates in what we do but they weren't getting the credit for it. And now under this system, they can come in and get the credit.
And so that's very important, because if you are looking for a specialist to do humanitarian operations, now we'll be able to find them. It will be listed. You can say, a-ha, this officer has spent time doing peacetime operations, humanitarian operations. So if our nation needs us to do something quickly we can quickly put together, rapidly put together, an expert team that has that background.
MS. EARLE: We've identified, through the next set of slides, the key authorities. And so that would give you a good idea of, you know, much of what you would consider to be maybe pieces of a system that wouldn't necessarily be garnered in law or actually captured in law.
So we have a very strict framework around which we are working. And one is that the secretary of Defense and one of the authorities, Section 516, is to establish different levels of joint qualifications. Now in our current system, we do have some different levels, and so what we're doing is expanding what those are in a dual system.
And in your hand out that we gave you -- this is a supposed to be a cheat sheet, so hopefully it'll be helpful -- is to show you that basically, you know, first it was time-based, and then it gives you the tenets on the side of the joint credit system. And then on the future system, we show you a really quick dual track. We tell you what the purpose of the joint qualification system is, and then we show you how the traditional path, time-based. Given the time as the admiral here on the Joint Staff or for some of the officers applying to the OSD staff, if they're there for X number of months -- and there's definite rules that all garner who can be pulled early, how long you have to stay to get full credit -- once they have all of that, that's the traditional path. What we've done here are the two people that we've shown you in our example, who were real-world experiences that don't get credit today, they, under our qualification system, joint qualification system, will be able to get credit.
These -- what's nice about the system is you can go back and forth between the tracks; you don't have to just stay on one track. And it's an ability to really holistically assess what an officer's joint experience is all about.
ADM. CRISP: I think the important thing is that Goldwater- Nichols Act was on target. If you look back to 1986, that act said, you know, the future is going to be joint, and so you need to educate together and you need to serve together. What we couldn't predict in 1986 is how joint we would become. And so what this does is allows us to capture all of that extra talent that is working on joint task forces and give them the credit of being a joint qualified officer.
So if you say to yourself, well, why is that important, well, it's important, first, because you have a more effective force. It's important as an officer because it helps you get promoted. It's important if you are a young officer that would like to become a general or an admiral some day, because the law requires you to be a level three joint qualified officer before you can pin on admiral or general.
And so those changes all together, both the need of our nation and the law, will bring us to where we need to be, in basically a dynamic environment with officers that can meet that challenge.
MS. EARLE: One of the significant areas -- and the Admiral probably will want to cover this -- is the definition of what constitutes joint matters. And you have a slide on that, Slide 11, and it talks about what it used to say and what we expanded it to encompass, which is very important.
ADM. CRISP: This is a really important change. So if you said, "Well, you know, what are the changes here that are that important?" -- changing the definition of joint matters is very important. If you look back to what it was under the current law, it's the integration of air, land and sea with multiservices. But if you look down on your Slide 11, you're going to see that now we have a much more dynamic -- we add in -- we still keep air, land and sea, but you have space and the information domain.
Now, all of these here listed, as far as A and B, the strategic planning, the contingency planning, that has always been there. But the difference is, now you're looking at not just multi-service, but multi-agencies, multi-nations, understanding nongovernment agencies such as the American Red Cross, knowing exactly what all of these partners need and how we can utilize each other's strengths and weaknesses.
So this is actually a pretty big deal when you change the definition -- for us -- and make it a much bigger aperture so that you as an officer now can get credit for the things that you are doing, whether it was Department of State or however you're working; it fits into this definition.
MS. EARLE: Okay. And then let's -- what I'd like to do now is if you could go back to Slides 12, 13 and 14, those are going to be the crux of the actual system that we've designed. If you bring up Slide 14, that's sort of the blow-up of these different levels, because remember, by law we have to define different levels of joint qualification. And so what we've done on Slide 12 is you see the traditional path, then it's also in your hand out, and then you see the experience path. On that experience path, it's a particular level plus a number of points you go to the next level. And that was meant so that you can go back and forth between the systems. If you had obtained level two and you get the next number of points, you've got the education piece, and then you can go to the next level.
If you're at that level and you are -- you have, let's say, completed a Joint Duty Assignment -- you've received credit and you all of a sudden might have only served 22 months in a Joint Duty Assignment List billet and gotten full credit -- you could have served 24; you could have served up to 36 for the credit -- all different kinds of rules. But then if you have the requisite level of education, because education is a cornerstone in this system -- it's absolutely essential and it's considered to be mandatory parts of the system. And so if you have that requisite education, you can see where you then go on to the next level.
But we wanted to make sure that it wasn't just, you know, add up the total points and then you'd say at the end, if you want to get down there to level four, you have to have 60 points or something along those lines. But rather it's a combination of maybe you go back and forth between the traditional path and the experience path. And so the differentiation that you see up here for level one, two, three and four -- we'll walk you through those and explain what they are.
ADM. CRISP: The reason this is important to an officer is it sends a signal. We have a joint specialty officer. And that meant that I would go to school and I would do a tour and that would make me a specialist. And if I ever needed to use that, I'd use it again.
What we're saying by these levels in the joint qualification system is this is now career-long. We're expecting all our officers, from the time they come into the academy or basic training, to begin their core courses in joint and to continue on, both in their education and in their experience, all the way up to four-star. So this is a lifelong learning change and why we are -- why we changed the name to a joint qualified officer instead of a joint specialty officer.
MS. EARLE: Now one of the things, you know -- on every slide, especially from DOD, you want to look at the fine print. On the bottom of slide 14 is the fine print you want to pay attention to. And this is where it talks about the different intensity. Intensity is an important aspect that we don't have in today's time-based system that we are introducing in this joint qualification system -- or the experience path.
And it's -- basically it's -- I like to use the Joint Staff, although it's probably hard work over in the Joint Staff. But if you're in the Joint Staff or at the PACOM staff in Hawaii, the intensity level of that might be one point for one month. If you're in a contingency environment, we're saying it's times-two relative to the 1.4 of the person that was on one of the staffs that we just mentioned.
ADM. CRISP: And a contingency would be, like, our relief to Pakistan for the earthquake, when we went to Katrina. That would be a contingency.
MS. EARLE: And then for those that are engaged in a combat zone, their intensity is a level of three. So for every point I might make -- might receive while I'm serving on a Joint Staff in Washington, they may be receiving three points for the intensity level. It is a way to capture the intensity and recognize -- everyone's very familiar that when you're in -- the closer to combat, it's much more of a surge environment. That intensity factor for the first time is recognized in this system, and it's very significant for our officers.
The other thing that we're trying to make sure that we do is -- it's always important; this is an important part to every officer -- is the retroactive nature. If you change the rules -- you know -- how far back can I reach? For the active component officers, we were using the touchstone of 11 September 2001. We think that the world markedly changed. Again, remember, we talked about how everyone -- all the services have shifted to an expeditionary framework, our type of a force. This allows them to go back for that experience path and capture, and we will be working with the services that will announce how they will be able to go about getting that credit.
As the admiral mentioned, some of this will affect some of the upcoming boards -- promotion boards, and so the services will want to pay particular attention to which officers are eligible for -- however they want to smooth flow it. So we'll work with them. We don't want to take away their ability and their judgment on how they do that portion of the implementation.
But it's also a total force system because one of the components -- remember, we went back to the 2002, brought it forward -- is we're trying to make sure that our Reserve component officers, those in the Reserves and the Air National Guard or the National Guard, can receive credit for their experiences. The retroactive piece for them would be back to the inception of Goldwater-Nichols for our Reserve component officers for the type of experiences that they would have had, commensurate with the law. So if Goldwater-Nichols at that time had certain rule sets -- which, you know, by now you've gotten the fact that it was very highly structured in law -- if those officers served in an active billet or served on active duty, they have the ability to come back and get credit, as the other officers, the active component officers, did during that time frame.
They also, for the experience base, can go back to 11th September 2001.
ADM. CRISP: So the officers that require joint qualification to make admiral and general are the active force. The only requirement in the Reserve force is that their service chief of the Reserve force has significant experience in joint matters.
MS. EARLE: And the other thing we want to make sure that you understand on Slide 19 -- just to make sure I have this correctly -- on Slide 19, you'll see some transition spirals. I would tell you that we're being very ambitious, but we're a bit cautious as well. So we're trying to make sure that we do this in a well thought-out and meticulous manner. And so you'll see different transition spirals that we hope to roll out. So this starts a lot of changes that will be coming, and again, it will give you an idea of what we will be evolving to.
And a lot of it has to do with, as we were saying, the business rules. How will services choose to implement? We're doing policy development. There's all kinds of aspects of this will take a lot of effort. So we're trying to make sure that we do this in a very, again, methodical, well thought-out way.
The importance of about the spirals is, although we've got them laid out, there could be more, so don't hold us to four. We could find that we get really good at this, and we might compress them. And so again, because most of the officers want to have the full flexibility of these different changes in authority available to them at the earliest opportunity -- and that's what our goal is as well.
So if you were looking for a one-snapshot capture of the key change levers or authorities, I personally would recommend to you Slide 22. And that includes for you what are the most significant modifications to the joint officer management statutes, and it captures in a very compact sense those things that were changed.
And these all go into effect on 1 October 2007.
So this hopefully will give you good feel for -- it is pretty complicated, but the original system was actually very complicated. Many people didn't know that it was bound by law and had policy on top of it.
ADM. CRISP: Now does that help as an overview?
Q (Off mike.)
ADM. CRISP: All right. So --
MS. EARLE: Okay. They have questions?
ADM. CRISP: All right.
How is this going to affect -- I'll rephrase that. Will the promotion of officers become something more uniform within the services in terms of criteria? And/or how with this be, I guess, briefed to promotion boards in the different services so that you have a -- since the joint credit for the Navy is considered just as important as joint credit within the Army for a certain rank, is it --
ADM. CRISP: The criteria and the importance will remain the same. So if you go into a promotion board, no matter what service, the promotion board would tell you if that officer was a joint specialty officer. It will now tell you they're a joint qualified officer. And those records will be marked as the promotion boards are looking at them.
So the difference now in these two paths is that the officers that have been serving for the last several years on joint task forces can now come in right now and say, "Here's all the experience I got. I didn't have the opportunity to work at a combatant commander, the Joint Staff, but I have 36 points of joint task force duty." Their service will then forward it to the Joint Staff; we will forward to the secretary. That officer would then get a JQO. So back to your promotion board, the promotion boards will be the same and the service records will come up and the people will know that that's a JQO.
Q If you're a JQO in the Army and you're going up for an O-5 board, will that be still considered, say, 25 percent of -- or whatever it would be of the total grading package, if you will, as it would be for an O-5 in the Air Force?
ADM. CRISP: I have to be honest with you. I haven't delved into each individual service at the junior ranks. I know everyone is concerned that you are a joint qualified officer. But I don't -- you know, whether or not they're going to measure the percentages.
MS. EARLE: I think the most important thing is today they don't do it that way. And so don't expect them to change what they do under this system to change that -- to put more or less weight on that. It's the importance of the jobs that they do. For some people, depending on what their MOS or AFSC is, they may not have an opportunity.
If they had very small opportunities to go joint there today and perhaps not penalized. Tomorrow they won't be penalized under this system either. But if you have a lot of opportunity and you have no way to capture the experience, you also -- a lot of officers felt they weren't getting the dually -- dual reward for what they had actually done. This gives them that recognition.
Q At what grade does someone typically become a joint qualified officer? I know it's called joint specialty officer now. But is it O-5 or O-6 or?
ADM. CRISP: You can be an O-4 and get a JQO. I would say typically it would be O-5.
Q Okay. Well -- then that prefaces this question. What portion of the force, of the officer force -- and what is it, about 200,000 strong or two -- 300,000 strong together across the four services -- what portion of that force is joint officer qualified, and what portion will be under this change?
ADM. CRISP: Well, I know right now there's about 5,000 JSOs, but I would have to look to see how that compares to the total number. And these are the O-4s, O-5s and O-6s, so I don't have the number broken down with me, although we could get it --
MS. EARLE: We'll get -- I'll get that.
ADM. CRISP: -- of the number of 0-4s, O-5s and O-6s that are in the service.
Q Right, but if about 5,000 are now qualified just by doing nothing more than the snapshot of their service now counts differently, how many additional officers are likely to become joint qualified as a result of these changes?
MS. EARLE: Well, actually what this does is it gives every officer the opportunity to get credit. So where you might have a smaller number-- and we'll get the numbers that are, you know, joint officer qualified, joint specialty officers, and then, you know -- but what this does is gives everybody the ability to have the credit that they've earned at the level they've earned.
The rules before were such that you couldn't get all the credit for the time that you did. If you didn't make a particular time frame, when we were saying cumulative credit, 10 months; you had to be assigned to a billet that was on the joint duty assignment list for 10 months to just get cumulative credit. If you were at a task force, you had a certain amount of months you had to be assigned on a joint task force. Today, you'll have credit without having to have a waiver. It will be something that you can actually put on your record.
So it's a great benefit. It isn't -- there's not really an aspect -- and an officer would look at this and say there's any downside to what's being offered?
Q Right. I understand that this is making more officers qualify, but I wondered if the percentage of officers in the O-4, O-5, O-6 rank who are joint qualified was 15 percent today. Well, can you say that about -- just because of the implementation of these changes, that that percentage will rise to 30 or 45 percent? Will it?
ADM. CRISP: And get a sense of how many -- (off mike) -- potentially be affected by that.
MS. EARLE: We'll need to look into this and get back to you about what would we think those projections would be. But I would tell you that it's rather significant, because just expansion of the definition alone, the ability to get credit for the jobs without those time issues, and the expanded ability of grades -- in the current system, it's restricted. For credit, you had to be an O-4, -5 or -6, you know, to get the actual credit. Today you can get that credit as early as O-1.
But we've added dimension to it, because we think that there's also another attribute that was very important: the recency of it. So you can't look at all the points you needed as a lieutenant and then wait till you go to the right school and say: Okay, make me be whatever level. It has a recency dimension as well.
ADM. CRISP: But I'll certainly know how many O-6s feel that way within the next month or so, because we'll be getting their packages in.
Q With the revised definition, is the list expanded?
ADM. CRISP: The Joint Duty Assignment List expanded -- there's about 10,000 permanent billets and about 934 temporary joint task force billets on that list. So --
Q (Off mike) -- to that?
ADM. CRISP: It has been expanded to that. So that's the current list.
There are a variety of task forces that individuals can now come in and request credit for.
Another significant change was that if you're in a service billet, you -- under the current law, you could not even be looked at for credit. The chain -- Congress has allowed us to look at service billets if we can prove that 75 percent of that service billet was dealing in the area of joint matters. So that will be additional people.
Q And for Reserve component officers, does any of it take into account their traditional or part-time service?
MS. EARLE: That's actually -- this part is the first part that says, get credit for everything that the active component got credit for; make it retroactive and make it -- bring it open to the reserve components. Our Reserve Affairs folks are working on a plan that would be able to give the traditional drilling reservist, as you're referring to, proper credit and recognition as well. And we're working with them on that.
Q Promotions can be very competitive in the services, especially at the upper levels. And as you pointed out, some of these people were missing credits for some very, very significant joint experience. Since this is being made retroactive, is there going to be any type of redress for people who maybe missed a promotion because they didn't get credit for some very significant joint service that they had?
ADM. CRISP: No, we're not going to have people come back and say, I'd like to be relooked at. Because this is -- the qualification for a JQO is the active force only. And there was a way in which you could have a job in Joint Matters beyond the list, which is why we added the Joint Task Forces. So one of the things we've said is we don't plan on having officers come back in and say, had I had that years ago, I would have been more competitive.
MS. EARLE: But they all have their normal service avenues to pursue whatever that officer believes is in their best interest. That doesn't go away.
Q I still don't understand the difference between -- aside from like a Joint Task Force to go out to Indonesia to help with hurricanes or whatever, I don't understand what kind of jobs are not eligible right now that will give you credit now. I mean, can you give us like some specific jobs that someone would be doing?
MS. EARLE: Do you want to --
ADM. CRISP: No, go ahead.
MS. EARLE: If you go to the -- the two that I like the best are actually on the slides, and that will help you out a little bit. If you look at slide five and six, this tells you what an individual on slide five and again, you know -- go ahead. I know you want to --
ADM. CRISP: No, no, it's -- you know, basically they -- if we take you through -- this is a JPME-phase graduate, so he did a headquarters at MNF-I for 19 months. And then he also worked in Bosnia as the bilateral affairs officer. So these were jobs that he was not eligible to get credit for. And so now he can come in and get credit for them.
So, all of the jobs on Joint Task Forces are currently not on a Joint Duty Assignment List. So this allows and officer to come in and say, I did this job; here are my reports; it meets the criteria of law; I would like the credit. So that is an example of the two jobs this individual filled.
MS. EARLE: What happens is a lot of people will go and say, "I have an experience. I worked on a joint task force. I don't understand why I didn't get credit. I worked with every service. We did, you know, what was the employment of every air, land and sea operation, and I can't understand how that didn't qualify." And it -- under the Goldwater-Nichols construct alone and our joint officer management system, if it wasn't assigned to a Joint Staff, if it wasn't -- if that billet wasn't actually on a joint duty assignment listing, if it wasn't a joint task force that was cleared for joint credit, there'd be no credit.
In some of the organizations that are defense agencies, only half of their population would receive credit today. Now they may be sitting in an office side by side -- they believe they're doing the same thing and maybe over the years that is true -- one may get credit, the other might not. This gives us a chance to treat everybody equally and treat what they do fairly.
It isn't to say that the jobs weren't significant -- and maybe at one time there was actual distinction -- but over time sometimes those jobs would become very similar. And the officers who serve in them, if they're -- the difference is whether one was on this list or not on the list for some of those. It seems like it's more of an accounting exercise, but it's a great deal more than that. And it's very significant to the officers.
Q You mentioned -- (off mike) -- that if someone were to come in and -- eventually approved, that eventually it would go to the secretary -- Secretary Gates --
ADM. CRISP: Because it's law, it comes in. So for instance, we're going to do our first board in August because we're preparing for the boards that are coming up for FY `09, which means all the people that are in the zone for promotion to admiral and general their boards are coming up, and so those officers are putting together their records right now. They will come in, we will have an OSD, service, Joint Staff combined board; we will review it all, then quickly get it through the chairman, over to secretary of Defense because the secretary of Defense is the one who approves if an officer is a joint qualified officer. And we'll be working around the clock to get that done for these first few boards so that we can give them every advantage that we can.
Q Are you seeing a lot of talent left on the cutting room floor, in effect, when promotion boards for flags were coming up? And was that some of the concern that the leaders in the Pentagon had, that they wanted to look at more people for the promotion to O-7 and above and they found a pretty limited universe when the qualifications were --
ADM. CRISP: I wouldn't say that, that they were leaving talented people behind, because you had a very robust waiver.
You could get a waiver.
ADM. CRISP: And so that existed. The law requiring you to be a JQO just starting in the fiscal year '09 board has energized the services to get their officers into joint duty assignments and through their joint education. So I don't think that past was an issue.
Q I know that a lot of officers -- do you expect that this will smooth out current paths and have them make more sense when the officers are planning them? Because I know a lot of officers do back flips to try to get that joint assignment in, and you end up having to take an assignment that really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you got to get your joint credit. So you might pull yourself off what makes a lot of sense on your career path just to get that rubber stamp on your joint credit. Now you won't necessarily have to do that because you can get joint credit for something that makes a lot more sense in your own career.
MS. EARLE: It gives a combination of both, actually. It allows you to let an officer to have that joint experience at the right time, but most important to the officer was what they considered to be some of the most valuable experiences were being overlooked. And so while they were, as you state, trying to do those back flips to get a joint job that would give them the right level of credit because of the way that we had our framework, today this is that meaningful experience that they had previously identified that they thought they should have received credit for, they will in the future. And that's what we were trying to do.
Q So what's this going to do for any officer besides someone who's going for flag rank, other than professional develop them and make them a better officer? I mean, what's it going to do for them promotionally?
ADM. CRISP: Do I feel that they will help them in promotions because they're more effective? Yes.
Q But how? Is it just an individual, whoever is seeing --
ADM. CRISP: An individual --
Q -- (inaudible) -- look at it as they see it, as they view the importance of it.
ADM. CRISP: I think that an individual, who goes out to learn in today's dynamic environment how the other services work together, how we work with interagencies, will be a more effective officer, and by definition will be more promotion eligible.
MS. EARLE: But I want to make sure you understand too there's almost -- it's not an either/or.
And a lot of times people will in the joint arena try and place it that way, and I think that's where your question's taking it.
If you go back to the question over here on the side, where she said some of the officers would do back flips to get the right credit at the right time; if you look at what this offers to the officers -- credit for the real experience that they do -- but what's most important in the joint environment is the officers have to be steeped in whatever their service brings to the table.
So what -- it's not just a question of filling a square. It's bringing -- you know, when you employ forces and you have a team together, if you look to the Army officer and they're supposed to be able to bring you that land perspective; you have an Air Force officer who brings you the air power perspective, they have to represent those kinds of things from their service. When they bring that into the joint environment, that's where you get the synergistic effect of bringing in that knowledge.
Q I understand all that, but how does it manifest itself in promotion?
MS. EARLE: In -- and what I'm trying to say is, if you're much more effective in the job that you do, every service recognizes the officers' potential for promotion based on their record of performance. If they're more effective in what they're doing because they have that experience, many officers will tell you that it has helped them be a better officer to have that joint experience. Then it gives them a competitive advantage in their boards.
But if you're asking for -- do you get an extra couple of points here or there, the service boards don't really work that way -- the promotion boards.
Q Well, like -- for instance, you have a matrix here. All right. So if someone's going for O-6 or O-8, does it matter whether they are a 2 or a 3? You know-- have you all broken it down to that kind of level, or, you know, anything below flag? Does it matter what level you're at in the matrix when you're going for certain ranks, when you're going before boards for certain ranks?
MS. EARLE: I think the only thing that makes the real difference is that you're level 3 and that you must be a level 3 before you can be promoted to O-7.
COL. WITHINGTON: Okay. Any follow-ups?
Q Can I ask you -- the last several boards are something that you may have looked at for O-7 promotion. What percentage of the officers who were promoted actually had attained a joint specialty qualification at the 3 level? Maybe that wasn't the level -- but I mean, at the level that -- level 3 is what you're suggesting is equivalent of it, and percentage needed waivers to be promoted to O-7?
ADM. CRISP: I don't have that information with me, but I can get it. So let me make sure I understand what your question is. When you have a promotion board to O-7, you're asking me, what percentage had waivers and what percentage were JSOs?
ADM. CRISP: So if you make sure that we have your name, we're going to get back to you. You can --
Q (Off mike.) We got it.
ADM. CRISP: Okay, super.
Q But the other thing was then, will almost everyone going up for 0-7 have a JQO -- now under this?
ADM. CRISP: Yeah, I would say a good portion will have JQO level three.
MS. EARLE: Potentially if they have the education and everything goes with it and the experience, but it's not something that's a relevancy factor to the currency, and so I think it will be an expanded pool. I don't think everybody will, though.
ADM. CRISP: Okay.
Q (Off mike) -- to the point where it's locked in; it's automatic. I mean, people -- if they don't have it, they won't even -- so -- (inaudible) -- you pack it in.
MS. EARLE: I -- no, I'm not willing to say that.
ADM. CRISP: You will always have good service waivers. That exists under Goldwater-Nichols and that will still exist.
MS. EARLE: But it has been the whole -- now don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say here.
The current Goldwater-Nichols construct requires they become a JSO effective 1 October --
ADM. CRISP: 1 October 2008.
MS. EARLE: And so that's been on the books for some time. That -- this will not do away with that. It just adds a different dimension.
So again, this is something that -- the services have been working long and hard to develop officers so that their pool of eligible’s would be robust. That doesn't mean we won't have waivers.
ADM. CRISP: Yes, yes, you in the back, what's your name?
ADM. CRISP: Hi, Chris.
Q Am I correct in understanding that under the current system that Reserve officers were not -- are not qualified as they come up for joint service, but under the future system that Reserve officers would be?
ADM. CRISP: Under the current system where -- we were not required to give Reserve officers a joint duty credit, because their promotion system did not require them to have it. The only requirement the Reserves had was that their Reserve chief have significant joint experience. The Reserve force wanted to have the credit, and the combatant commanders wanted to know the exact talent base that they had working for them. So this is a win-win by opening up the system and having the joint -- the Reserve officers come in and document their credit.
MS. EARLE: And remember, there -- Reserve Affairs is working on a system for the drilling Reservists, and so that's still yet to come.
Q If I can ask one more, what was the mindset of Goldwater- Nichols that to this generation of officers made it look -- they were being stingy with giving out this credit for joint -- as a joint specialist? What was the mindset back then? Was it formal training or?
ADM. CRISP: Well, if you look -- to me, Goldwater-Nichols Act was on target. It basically said in 1986, "Wake up. Your future is going to require joint operations for you to be successful," and so what we didn't realize in 1986 is we would go way beyond that and that we would begin working day to day in a joint environment. So I really think that Congress realized that. That's why they asked us in 2005, is there anything else you'd like to change with this to make this more 21st century, and that's where we worked with Congress to say yes. We have gone beyond the expectations of Goldwater-Nichols and become more joint than we thought we would in 1986, and we'd like to open it up to all these other people that are actually earning experience and knowledge and ability in a joint environment.
STAFF: Excuse me, we have time --
MS. EARLE: One more?
Q Was there polling data that you had from officers that indicated a frustration with the current system that people felt like the real-world experience that they had was not getting recognized? Was -- because I know you folks were constantly doing surveys, asking officers and enlisted as well.
MS. EARLE: I'm not aware of the polling data, but we have an awful lot of requests that have come up through command channels, where people are asking for the credit, where commanders were asking for the credit because the world had changed.
Q So the large volume of waiver requests had something to do --
MS. EARLE: It's not -- not necessarily a large volume of waiver requests because they weren't -- you couldn't waiver and get the credit. What was happening is they were asking why they couldn't get credit for experiences that under the law they couldn't get credit for, and so to be able to expand that, to recognize the way we were using these officers and their talents, we needed to expand Goldwater- Nichols. And that's what caused that to be expanded.
But if you go back to the original tenets of Goldwater-Nichols, remember they were also trying to get stability on staff; they were trying to have high-quality officers come to those staffs; recognizing professional military education and the need for that; and were also about bringing in a commonality into the joint world for high-quality officers.
And so I think we are beyond just the original objective. I think people have accepted those, and we are now trying to make sure that people get the credit that they do in jobs and places that aren't so narrowly defined on a joint duty assignment list.
ADM. CRISP: Okay. Thank you very much.
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