The Air Force is simplifying how it grades nuclear-missile officers who are authorized to key in launch codes. The service has "made the monthly [certification] test pass-fail," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh announced, though he declined to say what percentage of correct answers would be needed to pass.


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This is actually a change for the better.

Essentially, missile command officers were getting promoted based almost solely on how high they scored on their proficiency tests. Anything less than 100% meant that you would have little chance for advancing your rank, even though a score of 90% was required for passing. Thus, a lot of officers who had career ambitions took the dubious step of sharing answers.

This new method is better because it still keeps intact the high score requirements for passing, but it does not have nearly the weight it used to in determining if a missile command officer will be promoted.