Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Jesse G. Wales, PhD


The current method of assigning graduating cadets from the United States Air Force Academy and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) detachments to their career fields uses an integer programming model to maximize \global" Air Force utility, subject to several Air Force-defined constraints. This utility evaluates the positive benefit of assigning a certain cadet to a certain career field. This paper discusses the issues with such a model, as well as presents a new, more refined approach to the problem. Rather than provide a one-size-fits-all formulation of this particular assignment problem, a Value-Focused Thinking (VFT) framework is applied, in conjunction with an optimization model using the framework, to measure overall solution quality for an alternative assignment of cadets to career fields, given numerous weight and value parameters. The power of optimization under a VFT framework is in the ability to capture what decision-makers want, as well as how much they want it. This research shows that the new VFT model outperforms the original model on solution quality by almost 7 when measured using different VFT weight and value parameters.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number