Officers Get New Joint Credit Qualification System

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007 - A new system that updates rules written in 1986 governing how officers receive credit for serving in joint assignments was unveiled at the Pentagon today.

Sheila M. Earle, acting principal director to the deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, and Navy Rear Adm. Donna L. Crisp, director for manpower and personnel for the Joint Staff, hosted a media roundtable to announce the new Joint Qualification System for awarding joint credit to officers.

"We think it's a great opportunity for our officer corps," Earle said.

The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 set the criteria for joint positions that the Defense Department has used ever since. The new system keeps in place the tenets of the act, but allows for the post-9/11 operating environment, Crisp said.

The previous system offered only a time-phased sequence of schools and assignments offering rigid standards for the time and type of service that could receive credit. Also, it allowed only for full credit, so if only nine months of a 10-month position were served, no partial credit was given.

The new system, which takes effect Oct. 1, offers an additional "experience-based" track with a point system for recognizing joint service. The original track remains in place, but the second track allows for awarding partial credit or for awarding credit for an expanded list of joint positions. All original educational requirements remain in place, but some credit can be given for additional education, training and exercises.

The new system recognizes the skills that aid U.S. military efforts to respond to national security threats, as well as interagency, combat operations and humanitarian crises, officials said. It also accounts for the intensity, environment, and duration or frequency of a joint activity.

A key change is the ability to award credit to reserve component officers, previously not allowed.

"What we couldn't predict in 1986 is how joint we would become. What this does is allows us to capture all of that extra talent that is working on joint task forces and gives them the credit and brings them into being a joint qualified officer," Crisp said. "We are together as one joint force. The 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."

The new system also encourages on career-long, joint development, Crisp said.

Active-duty officers will be able to recover credit for positions served since Sept. 11, 2001, Crisp said. Reserve component officers who served in qualifying joint assignments from Oct. 1, 1986, until Sep. 30, 2007, may be awarded joint duty credit, she added.

As of Oct. 1, 2008, active component officers are required to complete a full joint duty assignment and be designated a joint qualified officer for appointment to the rank of general or flag officer.
Officers Get New Joint Credit Qualification System [ ]