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SOF DT undergoes transformation

  • Published
  • By Capt Savannah Stephens
  • AFSOC Public Affairs

As Air Force Special Operations Command drives towards transformation to the “AFSOC of Tomorrow” by developing its human capital, the Special Operations Forces Developmental Team instituted a more rigorous evaluation and scoring process to give SOF officers more specific feedback and purposeful career development. This enhanced process kicked off this year with the Apr. 20-24, 2020 SOF DT.

 “Over the last five to seven years, development team scoring hasn’t changed,” said Maj. Brandon Webster, Chief, Command Force Development. “There was no clear path on how we wanted to develop an individual, and we wanted to give officers more options and transparency on the future of their career.”

Historically, the DT only scored records for officers who were being considered for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. The new process now incorporates scoring to begin with Captains, allowing for feedback and mentorship at a much earlier point in an officer’s career.

“Looking at an officer earlier on allows us to be intentional,” said Webster. “We now have the ability to look at a Captain’s records and tell him or her where they stand against their peers, and what their career pathway could look like five to ten years down the road based on where they’re at right now.”

DT record scoring provides objective data for more informative assignment placement, hiring for special duty positions, flying assignments outside of an officer’s normal aircraft, and the addition of sub-developmental pathways.

 “Overall, we’ve revamped the entire DT process. We’re focusing a lot more time on the individual to provide substantial feedback and mentor our officers at all levels, beginning at the rank of Captain,” said Webster. “It is the DT’s responsibility to ensure the right officer is placed in the right job at the right time, with the right training, education, and experiences.”

The fall DT, held Oct. 19-23, consisted of group scoring for Captains, Majors, and graduated squadron commanders. Each officer’s developmental vector will follow a percentile format, giving members direct feedback on where they fall among their peers.

“Synchronizing our efforts provides senior leadership the ability to manage officers and strengthen our future force,” said Webster. “The transformation of the SOF DT is one-step closer to building the SOF officers we need for tomorrow.”