AP Interview: General says Air Force can boost nuke force morale by empowering junior officers

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The commander of the nation's nuclear missile corps says the key to improving morale in his force is to put more responsibility in the hands of junior officers and enlisted airmen.

In an Associated Press interview Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein said he is pushing to empower those who maintain, operate and secure the nation's 450 Minuteman 3 land-based nuclear missiles.

Their morale has suffered, he said, in part because they are told their work is important but they are not permitted to make even basic decisions about how to perform it. He said that over time this has tended to detract from their sense of purpose.

Weinstein predicted morale will improve as more members of the ICBM force are allowed to make decisions commensurate with their rank.