Air Force makes changes to senior nuclear command candidates

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Air Force makes changes to senior nuclear command candidates
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III; Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, outgoing Air Force Global Strike Command commander; and Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, new AFGSC commander, stand at attention during reading of the orders for the AFGSC change of command, Oct. 23, 2013. AFGSC?s mission is to develop and provide combat ready forces for safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrence and global strike operations to support the President of the United States and combatant commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Micaiah Anthony)

The Air Force plans to make changes to how it selects senior nuclear command candidates. After some recent issues with current commanders, it has decided to change the process. It plans to take a closer look at records and histories of the candidates.

The U.S. Air Force wants to make the screening process more detailed for senior nuclear command candidates, according to the Associated Press. The recent dismissal of Maj. Gen. Michael Carey seems to have influenced the decision. It was discovered he had alcohol problems.

The new screening procedures would focus on senior candidates. Often, their years of service in the Air Force may make them seem like an ideal candidate. However, their background and histories still need to be examined. The Air Force plans to look closely at medical records. It also plans to look at Internet histories.

The new process will focus on the overall individual and not just the person’s achievements. Although a long career in the military with multiple awards may make a person seem like a good choice, there are other aspects that have to be considered. The Air Force believes looking at more information will improve the process.

Oddly, the Air Force had no prior rules requiring an Internet search for a candidate. No one had been using Google or other search engines to see if the person had an unsavory history online. Applications and recommendations may have glowing reviews, but the Internet can reveal more details. Now, the Air Force will be using the Internet to search for information about each candidate.

Many wonder why the Air Force was not using stricter criteria before for its senior nuclear command candidates. This is an important position with access to dangerous weapons. It appears that misconduct from commanders was necessary for change to occur. There should already have been rules in place to screen candidates better.

The Air Force promises to do a better job of screening for health and mental health problems. This is why health records will play an important part in the process. Candidates with serious issues will be turned down. The Air Force also believes its Internet searches will help uncover more details about their lives. Although privacy settings and technology may hide some of their histories, candidates could still be leaving behind large footprints online. The Air Force hopes these new measures will results in better senior nuclear command candidates.

 

 

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