Juan A. Kays

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Daniel T. Holt, PhD

Second Advisor

Sonia E. Leach, PhD


It is clear that job characteristics are key selection criteria for upward mobility. However, there are questions as to what types of position details facilitate individual objective success within an organization like the United States Air Force that relies solely on an internal labor market. While it is an individual responsibility to develop an employment plan, there are particular duties that are more desirable for continuation. This thesis looked at the professional records of a sample of officers to assess what position characteristics led to more advancement opportunities. It examined what duty experiences fared well for one measure of career progression that lends favorably to promotion in the Air Force: school in-residence selection. This study found that there was some support for the notion that proximity to mission enhanced opportunities for individual achievement in an internal labor market. The research better supported the theories that exposure to senior leadership and service overseas improved the likelihood of upward mobility.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number