Air Force Specialty Code Assignment Optimization
Each year, the Air Force Personnel Center determines which career field newly commissioned officers will serve under during their time in the Air Force. The career fields are assigned while considering five priorities, dictated by Headquarters Air Force, Manpower and Personnel: target number of cadets, education requirements, average cadet percentile, cadet source of commissioning, and cadet preference. A mixed-integer linear program with elasticized constraints is developed to generate cadet assignments according to these priorities. Each elasticized constraint carries an associated reward and penalty, which is used to dictate the importance of the constraint within the model. A subsequent analysis is conducted on historical data to display the interaction of the constraints and the impact of the rewards and penalties on the model results. The new formulation can generate a feasible set of assignments using the elasticized constraints in instances where the cadet and AFSC data would cause infeasibility in the original assignments model. It also provides users and decision makers with the ability to identify trade-offs between goals and prioritize each constraint.