The U.S. military has long seen the need to move past various industrial-age personnel policies as it works to attract and retain talented people, and has begun to do so. But the pandemic will bring changes to the labor market and to defense budgets that will make it harder to compete for the talent that is key to great power competition. Now is the time to press forward with reforms.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown how critically important personnel are to overall readiness. Yet for all Defense Department leaders’ talk about the qualitative advantage that American troops possess over our adversaries, still innovation and investment in people processes have taken a back seat to exquisite and expensive weapons. If the trillions of dollars in pandemic-relief spending lead to lower defense budgets and end-strengths, the services will need to be better equipped to identify and retain exactly the right people with the right mix of skills and experience.
Read the full article in Defense One.