February 28, 2018

DoD must consider non-traditional approaches to military service

By Andrew Swick and Emma Moore

Last week the Pentagon began to follow through with Secretary Jim Mattis’ promise to increase military “lethality” by removing all service members who have been on “non-deployable” status for more than a year.

The new policy will likely achieve its goal of reducing the number of non-deployable service members, if only by forcing them to schedule dental appointments and update personnel records. At the same time, the policy cuts against President Trump’s primary goal for the military — increasing its size. Notwithstanding these countervailing goals, the Department of Defense (DoD) already faces large hurdles to expanding the military, mainly because shockingly few Americans are both willing and able to serve.

If the administration wants to have it both ways — growing the military without sacrificing standards and simultaneously making the force leaner and more lethal — it will need to develop a fundamentally different concept of military service than currently exists.

Read the full article in The Hill.

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