Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DoD 'wargames' look at the future of recruiting, retention challenges

There is nothing more annoying than people who have never served in the military lecturing senior officers and NCOs on how they could do things so much better.

DoD 'wargames' look at the future of recruiting, retention challenges

Most businesses have a single core competency (tech, manufacturing, chemicals, etc) that makes it much easier to develop a "money ball" approach to recruiting and retaining top talent.  None of those high-priced technical experts though will ever be asked to give up their life for their country.  A military full of troops recruited specifically for their particular talents will create an even more elitist mentality in the ranks (see "fighter pilots" in USAF, combat arms in US Army, infantry in the USMC, surface warfare/aviators in the US Navy).

I agree we have an antiquated, ineffective personnel system in the US military and it is in desperate need of repair.  The condescending manner of Michael Jones and the other tech wizards fails to grasp the basic core of the military.  In order to win at war, everyone has to function as a cohesive unit and not as a bunch of innovators.  Military maneuvers, something going back to ancient times, are based on the concept of everyone moving as one.  Start populating the ranks with innovators and you may look awesome during peace time at home station but it will be a disaster during war time.

Think about this for a minute, not a single USAF fighter pilot or Marine infantryman thinks about himself when doing the mission.  They do the the job they way they were trained for years and it works because everyone else can execute their job in synchronization.  Innovation sounds sexy and exciting but it will get people killed in combat.

To his assertion that he can designed robots to replaced 80% of the troops performing tasks today, I remain skeptical.  Just look at the claims the much vaunted F-35, which recently failed to outperform a F-16C Block 40 in 1 V 1 dogfight…an aircraft the F-35 is supposed to replace.  Sure in theory, many tasks can be automated but what fallback is there when that tech breaks down?  A robot designed to refuel an aircraft on a carrier deck breaks down due to constant exposure to saltwater…now what?  You better still have manned crews that can take that over to launch the aircraft.

The military needs to do away with performance appraisals that rate solely on the assignment and needs to look at the whole person.  The military needs to stop penalizing personnel that cross-train into other career fields (you are no longer staying in your lane and thus the personnelists don't know what the hell to do with you for your next assignment).  Speaking of, we could with eliminating or greatly reducing the manpower centers.  Manpower is like huge HR office, it becomes this anonymous group that moves personnel in and out of assignments giving commanders the perfect alibi for not getting involved in who is coming into their unit.  Yes, that does risk nepotism but do you really think the current way personnel are assigned is any better?  It means the military has to do a better job of vetting who becomes a commander.

No comments: