This website contains accumulated information about the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) and Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA) policies and practices.
About this Website
The military services manage their officer corps with the primary goal of fulfilling roles and missions that support the national security strategy. Within that broad goal, they also manage their officers to provide them with individual opportunities and a reasonable quality of life, in a cost-effective way. Officer management occurs within a framework of law, policy, and practice. If one of the services wishes to alter its management of military officers, its ability to do so depends on what governs the specific activity. Changing a law requires Congressional and Presidential action, typically a lengthy process. Changing a service policy practice can happen much more quickly.
This resource was developed by researchers at the RAND Corporation in the fall of 2010. It describes the laws and policies that affect various aspects of active and reserve component officer personnel management. It identifies salient aspects of law and policy but does not attempt to provide a comprehensive review of either. For example, there are nearly 60 sections of Title 10 that address some aspect of retirement pay, which have been distilled to a few paragraphs within this resource. Many of the policy documents are dozens of pages long, often with very detailed procedural instructions that are largely excluded from this resource. The summaries of law and policy are meant to reflect how the officer corps is generally managed and are not meant to provide precise legal interpretations.
An important aspect of this resource is the wiki feature for communities of practice. This is a place for those involved in manpower and personnel management to provide additional information on how their particular service, command, or office interprets and implements law and policy. The wikis make this a collaborative tool and a dynamic resource.
How to Use this Website
This majority of this site is publicly available. The menu at the left appears on each page. The headings or subheadings provide links to pages with information on law, policy, and practice related to a particular aspect of military officer management. Each page has links to U.S. Code, DoD directives and instructions, and service policy documents. All of the information is publicly available. Each page also has links to Community of Practice Wiki pages for communities of practice. These wiki pages are password protected to limit participation to members of the military and Department of Defense. The wikis are a professional forum and are not intended to be used as a message board or for any purpose other than to convey information about how a particular service, command, office, etc. implements laws and policies relevant to a particular aspect of military officer management. Lastly, each page has links for further reading.
Users of this resource can also provide feedback on the content to Content Feedback. There is a link to this resource on each web page.