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U.S. Space Force Personnel Role Distinctions: Differentiating Between Officer, Enlisted, and Civilian : RAND Corporation , April 18, , 2024

April 18, 2024

RAND Corporation

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"As the U.S. Space Force (USSF) continues to define its identity and culture, it will need to decide how best to use its officer, enlisted, and civilian forces to meet its unique mission requirements. The objective of this research was to characterize how the USSF currently distinguishes between the roles of military and civilian personnel, as well as between officers and enlisted personnel.

The authors reviewed policy and guidance, assessed unit manning data, interviewed stakeholders across the USSF, and conducted focus groups with USSF Space Delta 8 and Space Delta 7 personnel to describe the current structure and practices and identify considerations and constraints in rebalancing these roles in the operations community. Findings showed that units varied greatly in how they assigned officer, enlisted personnel, and civilian roles.

The authors propose guidelines for defining the roles of each personnel type going forward and present an example rubric to establish a deliberate and systematic approach to making these decisions while still allowing for adjustments and unique applications when necessary. With confusion and change fatigue already identified as the USSF stands up, leadership should decide personnel policies and structures now that will facilitate transition to a future with increased automation and fewer required personnel."

Authors - Yonekura, Emmi, DiNicola, Samantha E., Mann, Sean, Kelly Atkinson, Paul Schaffner



Yonekura, Emmi, DiNicola, Samantha E., Mann, Sean, Kelly Atkinson, Paul Schaffner


RAND Corporation


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