Rand study: Warrant officer pilots would hurt retention in the Air Force ? but a flying-only track might help

Bringing back a cadre of warrant officers to the Air Force and making them pilots might not be the solution to the aviator shortfall plaguing the service, and would actually hurt retention, a recent report from the Rand Corporation concluded.


But creating an ?aviation technical track? for commissioned officers, in which they would focus only on flying and not on career development opportunities to prepare them for leadership, might help.


In the report, ?Supplemental Career Paths for Air Force Pilots,? released Aug. 16, Rand researchers said that carving out about 1,000 warrant officer pilots, out of the nearly 13,000 total pilot population, would initially save money due to lower personnel costs. Warrant officer pay maxes out at about what captains make, so the Air Force would have to pay those pilots lower basic pay, allowances, pilot incentive pay and lower retirement costs in the future.