UNITED STATES AIR FORCE: SHOULD COMBAT ARMS BE
REVERTED TO ITS OWN CAREER FIELD
Joseph L. Brewer
A Research Proposal Presented to:
George Byrtek, Instructor
Portland 120 Cohort
April 27, 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SURVEY 1 - TRAINEES
SURVEY 2 SECURITY FORCES MEMBERS
At present, the United States Air Force has combined the Security Forces (Military Police) and Combat Arms Training and Maintenance (CATM) career fields. The design of the merger was to facilitate cross training of personnel, maximize unit manning strengths and ensure interchangeability between the two career fields: i.e. a Security Forces member could become a CATM instructor and a CATM could provide military police duties. The theory was sound however in practice it has caused difficulties which resulted in logistical problems. The design in this research proposal is to determine through a series of questionnaires the perspectives of the Portland Air Base personnel regarding the splitting of the Combat Arms Career Field. Setting
The United States Air Force is a group of approximate 350,000 active duty (work full time as military) members as well as hundreds of thousands of Reserve and National Guard members. The range of ages spans from 17 to 60 with a balance of women and men. The military structures its ranks between enlisted and commission officer personnel, with officers assuming roles of command and leadership. The enlisted force comprises the largest percentage of manning in the Air Force and is further sub-divided into airmen and NCOs (Non-Commission Officers.) The NCOs serve as middle management in units and work conjunctively with the officers to manage unit's mission and requirements. The Air Force also divides its personnel into separate job-skill classifications called AFSC (Air Force Specialty Codes.) Each AFSC has its own requirements for skills, but all rely on an individual's ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) examination results to determine their capacity to be trained and perform in that specific specialty. This comprises the formal structure of each organization, but across any Air Force installation, one will find a comradeship that resembles unity on a college campus. Each member assigned to Base "X" is proud to be a part of that installation and represents the units that comprise that base. Amongst each individual unit at that base there are also individual cultures that comprise the unit as well as cliques within the unit. The Security Forces career field is no different. There are two specific groups within a security forces organization and they can be classified as front-line shift workers and back-office staff. The largest percentage of staffing is comprised of front-line shift workers responsible for the safety and security of the installation. They work 24 hours a day, usually in three rotating eight hour shifts. The back office staff is a small percentage (usually around 10-12% of totally manning) of members who assume specific training or management positions. The Combat Arms Training and Maintenance (CATM) section fits under the umbrella of back-office and is responsible to the unit as well as the base. Their mission is to train all military personnel in the use of small arms, i.e. rifle, pistol, grenade launcher, shotgun and small caliber machine gun usage. They complete formal classroom instruction as well as conduct live-fire exercises at a wide variety of...
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