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STARNOM refers to certain positions in which the commander gets to pick the person for the job, such as 4-star aides (which are usually O-3's). I know there are a few more categories but I can't think of them now.

These positions are called "direct hire" positions. As I'm sure you're aware, but other readers may not be, the Air Force assignment system is a push system, not a pull system, which means the assignment officers (detailers) at Air Force Personnel Center make assignments based on needs of the service, professional development, etc. However, general officers get to select individuals for some jobs, for example aides-de-camp, executive officers (above wing level), commanders, etc. The rule book describes these positions as "dirct hire."

The Air Force Assignment System only applies to officers of rank lieutenant colonel and below. The Air Force manages colonels and general officers differently. For those who are fascinated with the Air Force Assignment System, you can get more information from this link:

David Jacobs
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