Military Bureaucracy and Personnel Administration: The Case of the U.S. Air Force
This chapter provides an introduction to military organization theory and behavior for civilians. More specifically, it attempts to translate an important problem relating to the evaluation of military personnel into Standard English. Like Caesar’s Gaul, administration is divided into three parts: public administration, business administration, and administration of nonprofit organizations. Military administration is virtually invisible, occupying its own world, with its own specialized journals. It is all the more isolated since the advent of the all-volunteer military in the United States. It takes something like the Gulf War to focus attention on the existence and importance of military bureaucracies. The centralized personnel evaluation systems in the armed forces are indispensable to the operations of the military. The promotion process for majors in the Marine Corps illustrates the difficulties facing all the military services. Military personnel specialists consult the private-sector literature on personnel assessment and other matters.