Defense officials say U.S. service members may be able to sidestep the Pentagon's entrenched "up or out" promotion system under sweeping new proposals being unveiled Thursday, aimed at keeping high-tech experts on the job.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is expected to unveil the plans Thursday. It marks the third installment in his campaign to modernize the military's antiquated bureaucracy. The officials say the proposals are aimed at allowing the military to attract quality service members and keep them in jobs where they excel.

They say Carter's plan won't abolish the traditional system that forces service members to leave if they don't get promoted within a certain period of time. The officials weren't authorized to discuss the plan publicly and spoke anonymously.

Many of the proposals will require congressional approval.