Is the "Up-or-Out" policy on the way out? I for one hope so.
In place officially* since at least 1980, this policy has wreaked havoc and caused a deleterious effect on leadership. Many officers became strictly risk averse, worried that any mistake no matter how small would end their career.
Or as g2mil.com put it: <i>"The current system is like the game of musical
chairs in which large numbers of officers are forced out every few years as
fellow officers shove them aside. This produces a paranoid officer corps
skilled at avoiding blame and evading problems as they focus their attention on
the limited number chairs for when the music stops and selection board convenes."</i>
And that I believe is why we have ended up lately with some poor performing generals and admirals.
* note: Official policy in 1980 when the DOPMA (Defense Officer Personnel Management Act) standardized it. But the practice was used during the late 70s before that by some commands. And it was in use for both officers and enlisted.