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Air Force Colonel

O-6 Field Officer, U.S. Air Force
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How to get promoted to Colonel History of the Air Force Colonel Rank

A Colonel is a Field Officer in the United States Air Force at DoD paygrade O-6.

The colonel rank is derived from the British rank of same name. However, the duties, responsibilities, and selection process are very different from the modern-day equivalent. Colonels back then were commissioned to form a regiment from scratch and train them. As a result, most early colonels were respected individuals who ties to local communities and also active in the politics.

Until the 20th century, the rank of colonel disappeared often and for great lengths of time. However, the two world wars gave rise to the largest number of commissioned colonels ever. The responsibilities for colonels began to resemble the present-day usage around the Korean War. By the late 1970s, colonels were officers who usually had over twenty years of service and were not temporary officers.

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History of the Air Force

The Air Force was founded in 1947, just after WWII. It was created using most of the existing Army Air Corps that had just made significant contributions to the war effort. The Air Force is the most technological of the branches, as well as the "most business-like" (least strict). There is a general concensus in the military that quality of life for servicemembers in the Air Force is highest. Just as the Army fights land wars and the Navy fights sea wars, the Air Force was originally envisioned to fight air wars. While wars in the past 70 years couldn't be fought with aircraft alone, the age of Drones and Artificial Intelligence may cause a paradigm shift where air-only wars are possible.