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Reducing watch-standing requirements and rotating crews on ships without losing operational effectiveness might be best managed by the fleet. By integrating efforts in these three and possibly other areas, the Navy could develop a unified and effective plan for increasing retention. The Navy's recruit quality has improved dramatically since the early s. By FY , these numbers had improved to 95 percent and 67 percent, respectively. Today, the Navy recruits about 62 percent from the very best group HSDG and upper mental group in contrast to only about 38 percent in Also, the Navy no longer recruits personnel from the lowest acceptable mental group Category IV and limits its recruiting among.

The Effects of Perstempo on Officer Retent...

In spite of this excellent record of improvement, the Navy ranks last among the Services in its ability to attract high-quality recruits. The Army and Marine Corps are much closer to the Navy, but in most years they have had a slightly greater proportion of high-quality recruits. As recruit quality has improved, benefits have been felt throughout the fleet.

The Center for Naval Analyses devised an index 7 to measure the changes in crew quality based on the influence of crew characteristics on SORTS scores. The Personnel Quality Index includes five components: 1 percentage of the crew who were high school degree graduates; 2 percentage of the crew who score in the upper half of the AFQT; 3 average number of years of service; 4 percentage of the crew demoted; and 5 percentage of the crew promoted to E-5 second-class petty officer within the first four years of service.

Demotions are much more frequent among junior personnel and also among high school dropouts. As retention falls or recruit quality declines, demotions become more frequent and readiness declines. Finally, in the Navy's vacancy-driven advancement system, rapid too rapid promotions are more common during periods of low retention. Monitoring recruiting success and retention levels then provides much of the critical information necessary to monitor the health of the personnel system.

The Personnel Readiness Index is one way to capture in a single metric the cumulative effect of recruiting and retention in the present relative to the past. In order to tie this index to fleet readiness, separate indicators are constructed for specific platform types. Figure 1. As the Navy approaches the end of its planned downsizing, the Personnel Quality Index for surface combatants is high. The index is displayed on a scale with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1. At the end of FY , the index stood more than 2 standard deviations above the average level over the entire period and 3 standard deviations above the level during the hollow force of the late s and early s.

The index improved steadily throughout the middle and late s as improvements were made in recruiting performance. A greater proportion of recruits came in with school diplomas and in the upper mental groups. As recruit quality improved, discipline problems started to wane and demotions fell. The index started to accelerate upward in the s as a result of the downsizing. Recent data suggest that quality as measured by the Personnel Quality Index is leveling off.

The Personnel Quality Index rose so rapidly during downsizing partly as a result of the Navy's strategy to avoid involuntary layoffs. As recruiting was curtailed, the average tenure of sailors rose rapidly. In just six years, the average increased from 6. This high level of readiness is not sustainable under the Navy's current program. After a few years, one of the major benefits of the downsizing strategy i. Projections indicate that the average tenure will return to pre-drawdown levels by about FY The only way to maintain the higher average tenure rates into the future will be for the Navy to increase its retention rates.

Golding, and C. The changing demographic profile of the United States could pose both a challenge and an opportunity for the Navy. Three demographic factors seem especially worth considering: 1 the rate of growth of the total population, 2 shifts in the age distribution, and 3 shifts in the racial and ethnic composition of the population.

The U. Census Bureau makes a series of projections of future population growth. This discussion focuses on the middle projection. The Census Bureau estimates 8 that by the year , the overall population of the United States will increase by 32 percent compared to , but the youth population age 15 to 34 will grow by only 15 percent. This youth population reached its low point in to It will increase slightly, reaching approximately 90 percent of its level, after The reduced supply of year-olds has a significant impact on the Services because industry, academia, and the military must compete for the same quality youth.

However, in the absence of a major threat to U. With a 15 percent rise in the youth population, recruiting will become easier even though the population is aging. The racial and ethnic makeup of the population is also shifting. Today, minorities constitute roughly 19 percent of the youth population. By the year they will increase to about 26 percent. High-level policy within the Depart-. Day, Jennifer C. Bureau of the Census, U. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. Considerable senior leadership attention is also being paid to increasing ethnic diversity in high-technology enlisted occupations.

With improved training and educational technology, the Navy may be in a better position to help disadvantaged youth overcome shortcomings in the educational system. Although U. The declining wages of high school graduates have helped all the armed services achieve their recruiting goals over the past 15 years. Youth earnings that rise faster than the Navy's budget would put considerable pressure on recruiting commands and all other aspects of the human resource system.

To remain competitive in an all-volunteer force, starting wages in the military would have to rise also. If youth wages increase by only 2 percent per year faster than the Navy's budget each year for 35 years, the Navy will have to double the size of the military personnel-Navy MPN account to remain competitive, lose quality in the force, or cut strength by half.

Although demographic trends are often cited as a major concern in the future, it may well be that economics—remaining competitive in the youth labor market—will be a greater source of problems for the future Navy. In the discussion that follows, the panel focuses on issues that will affect the overall management of the Navy Department's personnel system in the future. All of these factors are a part of an integrated and interactive system. If one part of the system is changed, it will affect many other parts of the system.

For example, if technology reduces the requirement for numbers of people but places greater demands on individuals, such changes will affect whom the Navy recruits, how they are assigned, trained, and compensated, how long their careers should last, and how quickly they can advance through the ranks. It is difficult to predict what changes may be required, but it is clear that policy makers will need flexibility in adjusting to changing circumstances. The personnel system of 35 years ago, which was built around a draft of significant numbers of personnel, is no more appropriate for today than today's personnel system will be 35 years into the future.

The Department of the Navy may be able to increase the productivity of its people by better matching individual abilities, preferences, skills, and interests to. Such a classification and assignment system will take more fully into account the differences in levels of abilities across the population and differences among individuals to better allocate human resources to meet Navy needs. The current classification and assignment system appears to contribute little to making effective job matches.

An improved system would increase productivity, job and career satisfaction, and retention by better matching people to jobs. There are two problems with the current system. First, the current composites i.

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Second, minimum composite cutoff scores are so low that nearly every recruit qualifies for all jobs. The Department of the Navy could take a two-pronged approach to improving initial job assignments. First, current technology could provide test composites that differentiate and predict the demands of different jobs; it would better match people to jobs. Research suggests that the cost of such changes would be low relative to the benefits.

Evidence for the possibility of improvement comes from Army research because the Navy has not done classification research showing productivity gains in dollar terms. Nord and Schmitz 10 evaluated the economic benefits of improving the mean predicted performance and found that even an increase of only 0.

The current military compensation system uses a single pay and allowance table for all the Services even though they need quite different personnel. Flexibility has been grafted onto the system through different grade structures and myriad special payments such as selective reenlistment bonuses. To recruit better people and increase the average tenure within the Service, some changes in the compensation system will be necessary. Probably the most important reform is in the retirement pay system. Under the current retirement system, military personnel are fully vested at 20 years of service, but they are not vested before.

Civilian employers are required by law For a general discussion, see Kyllonen, P. Detterman, ed. Nord, R. Zeidner and C. Johnson, eds. Code, Sec.

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The military retirement system skews the career lengths of a large fraction of the career force toward 20 years. As a result, some personnel stay too long, and others not long enough. A new system is needed that smoothes out retirement incentives over a longer portion of the career. Furthermore, new late-career retention incentives and modification of the mandatory retirement rules will be needed to encourage the continuation of top performers. Under the current selective reenlistment program, bonuses are available only to personnel with fewer than 14 years of service. The assumption has been that the retirement pay system provides such strong incentives that retention past 14 years will be close to percent.

Once the pay system for retirees is modified, late-career retention bonuses will become necessary. The move toward recruiting more community college graduates may also require changes in thinking about enlistment and reenlistment bonuses. In current practice, money is allocated separately for the two programs. With increased community college recruiting, the Navy may face tradeoffs between recruiting a new community college graduate or reenlisting and training an active duty sailor. To make rational tradeoffs, planners will have to move funding between these two sources of money much more freely.

Another problem with the current compensation system is the fixed relationship between basic pay and allowances for officers and enlisted personnel. Pay raises are applied at a fixed rate for the entire pay table, and the same rate is often applied to allowances also. A similar comparison for military pay produces about the same ratio. The problem with this fixed ratio is that pay practices in the civilian world have changed substantially over the same period. The President's Council of Economic Advisors reports that the ratio of pay for college graduates i.

Office of the Secretary of Defense. Council of Economic Advisors. Since the passage of the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act in the early s, most officers have had to retire at or before 30 years of service.

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Such practices are generally illegal in the civilian economy, even though other government institutions also have mandatory retirement at relatively young ages. The Navy should support increases in the length of a military career as another way of increasing retention. Along with provisions for longer military careers and reforms in military retirement, more capable mechanisms will be required to retire workers who are no longer productive.

Reduce the numbers of sailors required on ships and ashore, and increase their performance by investing in their professional development and personal well-being. Fiscal restraints, among other considerations, compel the Navy to build ships that will operate with smaller crews at the same time that naval operational environments require it to increase its capabilities.

Fortunately, advances in technology make satisfaction of both of these demands possible, and this will be accomplished if technology investments are made now to ensure that these advances are included in the design of future ship classes. The Navy has achieved significant reductions of as much as two-thirds in the manning of warships, at least in some cases.

These reductions are not uniform across ship operating departments. Manning for some combat systems departments has increased more than 30 percent in the past half century due to the addition of sensors e. Further, an optimum mix of people and automation has to be established to optimize the cost-effectiveness of operating warships. Determining this mix. Mandatory retirement was made illegal under the Age Discrimination Act of , 29 U.

Current investments in personnel research and development may deserve review and continuing oversight to ensure that proper levels and priorities have been established to seek these advances. It should be noted that reducing ship manning has corollary benefits in that it reduces the shore infrastructure and overhead required to maintain current manning levels.

Reducing shore infrastructure and undertaking ashore work in a new way—outsourcing and transferring work to civilians—will also enable the Navy to achieve substantial savings while still getting necessary work done. The resources saved can be used to support the remaining force better and otherwise modernize Navy operations. However, if the Navy pushes hard with important and highly worthwhile efforts such as today's smart ship effort, manning requirements for the 10,ton cruiser can be expected to decline from about to about people by This is neither the radical reduction that many are expecting nor the magnitude of reduction that the panel foresees as being needed.

The smart ship represents a systematic effort to reduce the manning required aboard warships. Currently, however, the manning reduction achieved by the smart ship effort is about 44 enlisted billets and 4 officer billets Box 1. Use on-call rather than full watch for advanced intelligence center and Condition III. Utilize forward-lookout rather than port and starboard forward-lookout watch stations. Reduce electronic technician and data systems technician Navy enlisted code or billet requirements. The Navy would benefit from a total-ship initiative to produce the dramatic manning reductions that will soon be required.

The goal should be a greater than 50 percent reduction not only on the ship level but also on the total infrastructure that supports the people on board ships. It may be achieved by capitalizing on technological opportunities such as the following:. To do so will require rethinking culture and tradition, technology, and ship design. An effort to answer the following questions may be in order: What cultural changes offer promise for reducing total ship life-cycle-related Navy manning?

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What technologies offer promise for reducing total ship life-cycle-related Navy manning? What ship design paradigm changes are necessary for reducing ship-related Navy manning? There are substantial differences between the Navy's manning levels and those of its commercial counterparts for similar functions. A comparison of. It is, of course, not possible to adopt all commercial practices to reduce Navy manning, but systematic review and analysis of these practices would likely yield a valuable set of lessons learned that would more than pay for the effort.

The basic difference between the Navy and its commercial counterparts is that Navy officers and personnel supervise routine activities to a much greater degree than in the commercial world. The Navy may have to adapt strategies from commercial practices that rely on the use of fewer but more experienced people, require lower manning costs, and yield greater readiness. The Navy should eliminate the need for human monitoring and assessment of purely mechanical functions, eliminate excessive layers of supervision, and expand the concept of just-in-time manning.

Key elements that should be examined in detail include watch standing, damage control, maintenance and repair, and training. Examples of initiatives that might be undertaken to reduce manning for watch standing are as follows:. Eliminate the need for human monitoring and assessment of purely mechanical functions. Eliminate the need for human intervention in system functions and tasks that can be fully automated.

Initiatives that reduce damage control manning may considerably leverage manning requirements on Navy warships. Examples of initiatives that might be undertaken to reduce manning for damage control are the following:. Critically examine functional coverage and retain those functions essential to survival—eliminate or defer others.

Provide more automation of damage control functions e. Initiatives that might be considered in this area are as follows:. Expand the use of digital maintenance, reference, and technical manuals especially the use of interactive electronic technical manuals. Expand the use of condition-based maintenance to replace preventive maintenance where practicable. Significant new ship designs may be required to achieve the reductions needed in ship maintenance. Some areas to consider in new designs are low-density arrangement, double hull, size for passive vulnerability, enclaved or zonal manning and systems, blast-tolerant bulkheads and materials, and no-corners housekeeping.

Training is a force multiplier that allows manning reductions through better use of personnel on board. Training and ergonomic design considerations must be elevated to a position of importance equal to that of operations in system design requirements and development. Training initiatives are described at greater length in Chapter 2 , but in brief, the following initiatives should be considered as means to reduce manning as well as improve training functions:.

Embed training in systems and provide training on demand—the ship should be empowered to train itself based on its personnel needs, mission assignments, materiel, readiness status, and so on. Provide systems that supply continuous learning through continuous, dynamic skill enhancement and automated performance assessment.

Expand the use of performance aids such as electronic manuals, automated advisors based on expert systems, and electronic performance support systems. The interface between humans and machines could be dramatically improved through the use of interfaces that read human brain activity and then produce a. Recent progress in this area suggests that this capability could well be available by It could have far-reaching implications for control of complex systems such as aircraft or teleoperated vehicles such as small submarines or even smaller devices transporting microsensors in the human body.

Mindmachine communication of this sort is of direct interest to the naval forces. It will leverage human performance potential, act as a force multiplier, and permit manning reductions.

see It should be pursued as a research priority. Retention of personnel is another force multiplier and a way to make better use of existing human resources. As new warships are designed and built, the Navy should continue to focus on shipboard habitability and use technology to increase the quality of life at sea. Many research studies and analyses 16 have suggested that, more than any other factor, satisfaction on the job is key to retention. Duty in the naval forces may be arduous and even dangerous, but these conditions should be borne only when necessary. The perception that discomfort and danger have been minimized by the organization to the fullest extent practicable will increase the retention of skilled and experienced individuals.

In conclusion, life-cycle costs, not just those limited to shipboard and not just acquisition costs, should be used as the measure of effectiveness in system tradeoff studies. Senior management must lead the effort to determine the extent to which legacies of culture and tradition are allowed to drive future ship manning.

More sailors and most Navy civilians have jobs in naval shore activities. These activities account for a significant portion of the Navy's budget. Modeling Methodolgy PDF. References PDF. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors. Related Products Research Brief. Jan 1, Also available in print form. Fricker, Ronald D. Military , Santa Monica, Calif. PDF file. Add to Cart.