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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force 4 The Role of Research Tools in Implementing Change In previous chapters the committee has said that large forces at work in and on the Navy and Marine Corps will alter the demands on sailors and marines and require changes in the manpower and personnel systems of the two services. Specialization and generalization seem to be pulling at the same time on future technicians and leaders. Navy and Marine Corps requirements for a transformed force demand new manpower and personnel policies that are more flexible and adaptive. Research tools ranging from surveys and analyses of administrative data to pilot demonstrations and experimentation have always been key tools in formulating policies that support military manpower transformation. They should be used now, too, as the naval forces strive to adapt manpower policies and procedures to the new demands of the transformed naval services. The Navy must begin to prepare for manning newly constructed ships with smaller crews of sailors with new skills in new combinations, while Navy managers have to continue to man the existing fleet largely as it has in the past, with sizable crews of sailors who have a conventional range of occupations. At the same time, the introduction of new technologies and the downsizing of the Navy demand that more capabilities be available from a smaller yet increasingly talented, educated, and integrated workforce. As a result of the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, both the Navy and the Marine Corps have growing requirements for more specialized, highly skilled teams and individuals supporting the high demand-low density commands (e.g., Seabees, combat engineers, Special Forces, force reconnaissance, military police, computer and network specialists, and foreign area officers). Marines today engage in stability and security operations, and then transition to counterinsurgency operations. Skill requirements not previously dominant in the force range from language and cultural competences
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force for both marines and sailors to the train-to-qualify concept, in which sailors must step aboard ship essentially ready to stand watch and carry out the duties of the positions to which they are assigned. Achieving transformation will be complex, and the road to transformation may present some countercultural challenges. Establishing and sustaining transformation in Navy and Marine Corps manpower and personnel policies will require the use of a variety of research tools to address the many facets of the naval services’ transformation equation. The external and internal forces that affect the ability of the Navy and Marine Corps to shape their manpower processes, investments, and personnel inventory will require that experiments and pilot demonstrations be conducted when appropriate, that surveys and analyses of existing data sources continue to be conducted on a routine basis, and that funding, forces, and equipment be made available to support an ongoing research agenda. When data are not available to provide a body of knowledge from which to analyze diverse workforce configurations, organizational structures, or new skill sets, experimentation has been one of the research tools that the Department of Defense and the Navy in particular have used in achieving changes to the shape of military forces. Through experimentation, military planners learn the characteristics of proposed battlefield systems and become able to predict the performance of those systems in actual situations.1 Lessons derived from evaluation of these research projects must be harvested if the Navy and Marine Corps are to meet the challenges of the future discussed in this report. This chapter lays the groundwork for incorporating various research methods into transformation planning. It discusses the fundamentals of surveys, simulations, pilot demonstrations, the analysis of administrative data, and experimentation. Some of the findings and recommendations of previous military manpower research programs that had an impact on subsequent policy and implementation decisions are then presented. This chapter suggests specific strategies that the Navy and Marine Corps could use to address recommendations in this committee’s report. ROLE OF SURVEYS, SIMULATIONS, ANALYSIS OF ADMINISTRATIVE RECORDS, PILOT PROGRAMS, AND EXPERIMENTS IN IMPLEMENTING CHANGE Military planners have a long history of designing various types of experiments, pilot programs, simulations, and surveys in order to learn the characteristics of proposed battlefield systems and become able to predict the performance of those systems in actual operational and combat conditions. With respect to manpower and personnel policies, there is also a large body of research conducted 1 National Research Council. 2004. The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force for the Navy using surveys and administrative data. In the context of this study, however, surveys and retrospective data may not always be reliable predictors for the transformation of manpower and personnel policies, and experimentation may well become a critical enabler of fundamental change when evaluating manpower and personnel policies.2 The discussion below presents five approaches to evaluating proposals for policy changes, reviews some of the relevant literature that explores the structure of well-designed studies (experiments, simulations, surveys, and pilot programs), and discusses the resulting advantages and disadvantages of the approaches. The pros and cons of each approach must be weighed by the analyst, and sometimes multiple approaches can be used. Surveys A survey is a system for collecting information to describe, forecast, compare, or explain knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Surveys involve setting objectives for information collection, designing research, preparing a reliable and valid data collection instrument, administering and scoring the instrument, weighting and analyzing data, and reporting the results. The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), as well as the individual services, regularly survey, both civilian and military personnel in a number of areas. A good survey has the following features: Reliable and valid survey instruments, Sound research design that enhances the precision of the results, Sound choice of population or sample to reduce bias, Specific objectives that can be measured, Appropriate analysis plan leading to an accurate reporting of survey results and logical conclusions, and Reasonable resources to conduct a statistically valid survey.3 For instance, two manpower factors sometimes considered for a survey are those that reveal attitudes and preferences about existing personnel and compensation issues, as well as proposed changes to these policies. Surveys are not reliable for getting good earnings data because people have poor recall. It is even 2 The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (http://www.dict.org/bin/Dict) defines “experiment” as “a trial or special observation made to confirm or disprove something uncertain; esp., one under controlled conditions determined by the experimenter; an act or operation undertaken in order to discover some unknown principle or effect, or to test, establish, or illustrate some hypothesis, theory, or known truth; practical test.” 3 Arlene Fink. 2002. The Survey Handbook, 2nd Edition, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force questionable how useful survey data are for predicting the effects of manpower and personnel decisions on transformation. Simulations A simulation develops a model of a real system and conducts experiments using the model for the purpose of understanding the behavior of the system or evaluating various strategies for the operation of the system. Simulations are invaluable for understanding both the effect of a policy change and the path of change over time. Simulations are particularly valuable when the outcomes of a proposed policy change will take time to unfold. In a prospective simulation, outcomes in the presence of the intervention (e.g., a policy or new program that is not consistent with routine procedures) are not measured directly but are projected on the basis of prior information or assumptions about the effects of the intervention or its elements. For example, in 1994 Warner and Asch used a computer simulation to look at military retention, cost, and productivity for each of a variety of retirement and personnel systems.4 Analysis of Administrative Records Administrative records offer a solution for generating timely statistics at much lower costs than survey data collection. For the purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of military pay and personnel policies, administrative data provide information on the effects of military compensation on enlistments, attrition, and retention. Advances in computing technology and record-linkage accuracy have significantly increased the feasibility of expanded uses of administrative records for statistical purposes that avoid repetitive and burdensome inquiries of the population under study. These advances, coupled with spiraling costs of and resistance to traditional data collection, have increased the opportunity for significant benefits through use of administrative records in data collection, estimation, and evaluation systems.5 Pilot Programs Pilot programs (often referred to as demonstration programs or trials) are a good way to test and fine-tune a proposed policy change when a controlled experiment is not feasible. They are valuable for developing and improving tech- 4 Beth Asch and John Warner. 1994. A Policy Analysis of Alternate Military Retirement Systems, RAND Corporation, MR-465-OSD, Santa Monica, Calif. 5 Ron Prevost and Charlene Leggieri. 1999. “Expansion of Administrative Records Uses at the Census Bureau: A Long-Range Research Plan,” presentation at the Meeting of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, Washington, D.C., November.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force niques and demonstrating the effectiveness of specialized methods. They typically represent policy initiatives that are to be tested and examined on a limited basis before full-scale implementation. A pilot intervention may be an entirely new program, but it is more commonly a significant modification to an existing program. Three distinguishing features of a demonstration lead to evaluation strategies that differ from those for ongoing programs: The intervention is new. In principle, evaluation activities can begin at the same time as implementation of the demonstration, or even before. The intervention has not been mandated by law for the entire program or service population. The intervention is applied to a restricted number of participants. During the relevant periods, some potential targets will be subject to the intervention and some will not. However, pilot programs have limited scope, calling into question the advisability of generalizing their results. Pilot programs do not randomize treatment and control groups as a well-designed experiment would, so they do not produce findings as statistically powerful as do experiments. Experimentation Evaluating programs with experimental design methods has been one of the keys to defense planning in an era of high uncertainty and rapid technological change. An experimental design is appropriate and ideal for long-term changes that are transformational, where a long time horizon is feasible, and where the investment in doing the experiment is worthwhile. As a key tool in the shaping of military forces, this type of experimentation has traditionally provided a means for answering questions in order to operate effectively against future threats. In a controlled experiment, program targets are randomly assigned either to an experimental (or treatment) group that will be subject to the program being assessed, or to a control group from which the program will be withheld. The program’s impact is then estimated by comparing the average outcomes in the experimental group, after sufficient exposure to the program, with control group outcomes measured at the same time. Because the experimental and control groups differ at the outset only by chance, they are considered fully alike at that point—equivalent, in the statistical aggregate, on all permanent and transitory characteristics. Subsequently the only systematic difference between the groups is exposure to the program. It is credible to infer that any postprogram differences between the two groups are caused
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force by the program, provided that the differences are greater than what might occur by chance.6 Controlled experiments put policies into practice on a trial basis to provide direct evidence of their worth. The results are more credible because the policies are tested in practice, not by opinion polls or other indirect methods. These kinds of experiments can be carried out in such a way as to control the other factors that might otherwise tend to confound the cause-and-effect relationship between treatments and outputs. The committee has chosen here to dwell a bit on the construction of experimentation. This is because Navy manpower and personnel transformation is calling for new skills and approaches to staffing that must coexist with traditional staffing for many years to come. As a result, indirect approaches to analyzing data (i.e., using administrative records or conducting surveys and simulations) may not provide policy makers with adequate information to evaluate the effect of these sometimes profound changes. Experiments are developed by assembling a multidisciplinary team of advisers who possess the appropriate domain knowledge (practitioners as well as theoreticians), technical knowledge (for instrumentation and exercise support), and experimentation expertise (in design, measurement, and analysis), along with constituents who will have a stake in the outcomes. A conceptual model is then developed that embodies the key elements of the theory, formulation of questions and hypotheses, and collection of evidence and analysis. An experiment can be replicated in another setting when attention is paid to the principles of science that prescribe how these activities should be conducted, how peer reviews should be executed, and when attention should be paid to the widespread dissemination of findings and conclusions.7 Guidelines for good experimental designs should include the following: Objectives of the experiment that are clearly stated; Treatments (interventions) that are prescribed in detail; Treatment and control groups that are representative of the target population and are set up to assure valid estimates of the treatment effects; Size and duration of the experiment that are sufficient to meet the experimental objectives; Provisions for gathering reliable, comprehensive data and developing the analysis plan that are established in advance of the experiment; and 6 William L. Hamilton and Peter H. Rossi. 2002. Effects of Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs on Nutrition and Health: Volume 1, Research Design, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report Number 19-1, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., February, p. 3. 7 Paraphrased from Richard E. Hayes, 2006, “Analytical Rigor in Joint Warfighting Framework,” presentation at Bringing Analytical Rigor to Joint Warfighting Experimentation Conference, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., October 3-5.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force Performance metrics that are agreed upon by the experimenters and the policy makers who will be using the information.8 Articulating the benefits anticipated from an innovation or intervention and the conditions under which they are anticipated is important. You do not know for sure whether a process or policy will yield the anticipated results until you conduct the experiments. It is much better to realize problems and unintended consequences of the design during an experiment than it is to go out and just implement a new policy based on anecdotal evidence or some academic sense of what is right or wrong.9 Military leaders are particularly sensitive to the fact that the treatment group in an experiment may be provided with special privileges, raising questions of inequity. Given the magnitude of the costs associated with adopting ineffective personnel policies in the military and the foregone opportunities to invest these resources in other ways, the military has an obligation to evaluate new programs as carefully as possible before they are implemented. Thus, the decision not to experiment also involves ethical considerations. There is an investment associated with experimentation, but the investment is modest with respect to the payoff in terms of improved military effectiveness and efficiency.10 By avoiding funding sinkholes the cost more than justifies the expense.11 Consider, too, that many of the costs associated with experimentation are start-up costs that new programs would have to bear anyway. Efficiencies realized in putting the policy into practice on a trial basis may lead to reduced costs in implementing a program later. The end of this section describes an experiment in 1973 to test the feasibility of shortening the term of enlistment in the reserves. The end results demonstrate that there are best practices as well as risks for developing and executing an experiment. The risks associated with experimentation include: Moving ahead without sufficient evidence and understanding, Prematurely settling on an approach, Failing to capitalize on the creativity present in the force, and Progressing by trial and error rather than by theory.12 8 Paraphrased from Gus W. Haggstrom, 1975, “The Pitfalls of Manpower Experimentation,” The Rand Paper Series, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif., April, p. 4. 9 ADM Harold W. Gehman Jr., USN. 2004. “The Role of Joint Experimentation,” Defense Horizons, Number 46, Center for Technology and National Security Policy, National Defense University, December. 10 An estimate for all experimentation and battlefield exercises is approximately 1 percent of the annual defense budget. 11 Andrew Krepinevich. 2002. Lighting the Path Ahead: Field Exercises and Transformation, The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Washington, D.C., February 25. 12 David S. Alberts and Richard E. Hayes. 2005. Campaigns of Experimentation: Pathways to In
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force Relating experimentation to transformation, Alberts and Hayes discuss the process of systematic observation, experimentation, and analysis that form the core answers to specific questions about why and how. In Campaigns of Experimentation: Pathways to Innovation and Transformation,13 they argue that experiments are a source of knowledge, and that experimentation is a process rather than just a collection of experiments—a process that combines and structures experimental results and steers future experimentation activities. Beyond the methodologies discussed above, there are other ways to gather information and evaluate the impact of proposed policy changes. The opinions of experts and the views of focus groups also provide indirect evidence useful in evaluating the potential effects of personnel policies. However, although the data are often compelling, the results can be difficult to replicate on a large scale. Even so, the information gathered from these approaches is valuable for ensuring the development of the right questions for a survey instrument, or establishing metrics for understanding a new policy rollout; they are good tools as well for helping decision makers fine-tune proposals and build momentum for change. But they provide no reliable base line of comparability. Consequently, the lessons derived cannot be scaled for a force-wide rollout, and give little indication of sustainability. PAST FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS DEVELOPED IN PREVIOUS MILITARY MANPOWER EXPERIMENTATION Experiments on Enlistment The Navy Enlistment Marketing Experiment was initiated in 1978 to examine the marketing effectiveness of the U.S. Navy recruiting program and to quantify the relationship between marketing efforts and enlistment achievements. The conclusions led to the reallocation of the advertising budget, development of a tenure-based recruiter incentive system, and a change in emphasis from recruit accessions to contracts. Some of the findings of this experiment included the following: The number of recruiters had a significant impact; Advertising expenditures of certain types were effective, while others were not; novation and Transformation, DOD Command and Control Program, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March. 13 David S. Alberts and Richard E. Hayes. 2005. Campaigns of Experimentation: Pathways to Innovation and Transformation, DOD Command and Control Program, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., March.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force Socioeconomic factors such as unemployment and urbanization had major impacts; and Navy marketing efforts led to an expansion of the total market for military enlistments in addition to their impact on Navy enlistments.14 The Enlistment Bonus Experiment was initiated in 1981 in response to the challenges for defense managers to attract a sufficient number of new enlistees into critical occupational specialties within a reasonable level of recruiting expenditures. The design of the experiment quantified the effects of bonuses on increasing the total number of people joining the Army, shifting enlistments toward those with skills eligible for the test bonuses, and changing enlistees’ choices among 4-year, 3-year, and 2-year terms of obligated service. The results showed that: An $8,000 bonus for 4 years had the potential to produce 4.1 percent more high-quality Army enlistments than did the control programs; A choice of an $8,000 bonus for 4 years or a $4,000 bonus for 3 years produced 5 percent more high-quality enlistments; and The experimental results showed that bonuses are a very flexible policy tool. Without altering the fundamental structure or level of military compensation, bonuses can be quickly altered when shortfalls appear in specific personnel categories.15 The Army’s experiment in 1973 to test the feasibility of shortening the term of enlistment in the reserves is a demonstration of the hazards of conducting a manpower experimentation study without taking precautions to assure the validity of the experimental results. A small-scale controlled experiment began with Air Reserve Forces during which a few selected units were permitted to offer potential recruits a “3 × 3” enlistment option—3 years of regular reserve duty followed by 3 years in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Other units were permitted to offer a “4 × 2” option—4 years of regular reserve duty followed by 2 years in the IRR. Seven months later the experimental results indicated that the shortened enlistment options proved to be far less effective in attracting new recruits than the military had expected. Unfortunately a month after the Air Force experiment began the Army Reserve Components undertook a similar experiment except that they offered the 3 × 3 option in all reserve units in 16 states and the 4 × 2 option in 12 other states. The Army officials were convinced that a shorter enlistment tour was essential for manning the reserves, and were concerned that a delay for 14 Vincent P. Carroll, Ambar G. Rao, Hau L. Lee, Arthur Shapiro, and Barry L. Bayus. 1985. “The Navy Enlistment Marketing Plan,” Warrington College of Business, University of Florida, Vol. 4, No. 4, Gainesville, Fla. 15 J. Michael Polich, James N. Dertouzos, and S. James Press. 1986. The Enlistment Bonus Experiment, RAND Corporation, R-3353-FMP, Santa Monica, Calif., April.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force experimentation would contribute to a further decline in reserve strength. Because these options did not stimulate recruiting enough to offset the man-year losses, the net effect of offering the options saddled the Army reserves with a large group of short-term enlistees. The Army also suffered a shortage in reserve strength for a substantial period as a result. Given the magnitude of the costs associated with adopting ineffective personnel policies in the military and the foregone opportunities to invest these resources in other ways, the naval services have an obligation to evaluate new programs as carefully as possible before they are implemented. The above examples lay the groundwork for several proposed experiments that are based on the findings of this committee. The Navy is familiar with the challenges and rewards of experimentation. The next section discusses a well-executed Navy experiment, Sea Swap, which was initiated in 2002 in anticipation of changing policy to get more productivity out of each hull by forward-basing ships and swapping multiple crews into them. The Navy developed inputs, outputs, and metrics in advance of the experiment and evaluated and assessed outcomes with a control group of ships on regular deployments. The Navy Understands the Value and Challenges of Experimentation As stated earlier, the naval services have been willing to undertake important projects and trials to determine whether a new method of operating would improve productivity, combat effectiveness, and quality of life. In some cases these projects have been intended to explore whether changes to existing operating procedures would improve operations. The most recent major trial of that kind is the Navy’s Sea Swap project. The Navy began manning ballistic missile submarines with two crews each in the 1960s. These crews, identified as Blue and Gold, rotated aboard the ships, each taking charge from the other for a strategic missile patrol; the off-duty crew devoting itself to training and administration in homeport during the patrol period served by the other. This continues in the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines in service today. In the 1990s the Navy’s Mine Warfare Command confronted the need to provide mine countermeasures ships to the 5th Fleet Commander in the Arabian Gulf. The great distance (and relatively slow speed of the ships) dictated that the ships, once deployed, should stay on station if possible. Political and economic conditions in the region, however, made it impractical to home-base crews and families in Bahrain, where the ships would be. The Navy first tried and then adopted the procedure of forming four crews for groups of three ships, rotating the crews through rest and training, maintenance, ship training, and forward deployed ships as they moved from hull to hull, from Ingleside, Texas, to Manama, Bahrain, and back.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force In two other cases the Navy created two crews per ship, Blue and Gold style. The patrol coastal (PC) ships, also stationed in Bahrain, support Special Forces operations with small Navy special warfare combatant crews, two rotational crews per ship. Two crews have served also in one of the Navy’s experimental ships, high-speed vessel (HSV)-2 Swift, to permit that ship to remain underway during intensive periods of hull-form testing at sea. Sea Swap was undertaken during 2002-2005 to see whether the approach to ship manning that had worked well in the rarified resources realm of the strategic missile fleet, and with the small crews of (relatively uncomplicated) mine warfare ships and PCs, could be employed to extend the on-station time of Spruance-class destroyers and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. This project was judged by the Navy and the Center for Naval Analyses to be a qualified success. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), while indicating that the project had taught the Navy many valuable lessons, criticized certain aspects of the test.16 The GAO cited issues of data collection and methods of measurement in recommending improvements in the trial’s technique and questions for further examination. Sea Swap consisted of two kinds of crew exchanges. In the first the Navy took advantage of the fact that several modernized Spruance-class destroyers in the Pacific Fleet were being decommissioned. These ships would, when put out of service, make crews available for additional duty if the crews were not broken up and dispersed to other duties as is usually the case. The availability of rested crews made it possible to rotate home the deployed crews of the (very similar) ships that could then remain on station. The second Sea Swap exchange involved identifying pairs of Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers and scheduling each of those pairs to swap crews. This would allow the fleet commander to keep one of the ships on station for 11.5 months instead of the more usual 5 months resulting from subtracting transit time from a 6-month deployment. The idea was to wring nearly a year out of the deployed time of two crews and ships, rather than the more usual 10 months on station realized from two ships and crews deploying in the more usual way. If the Navy needs to rotate crews among ships its leaders will be able to do so in a more informed way as a result of Sea Swap. As is sometimes the case in pilot programs most of the issues that would arise during the program were identified in advance. Even so, some of the issues proved to be more important than expected and some less. In both cases subsequent use of ships and crews will benefit in a variety of ways by virtue of the Navy’s leadership having taken advantage of the opportunity to try something new and look carefully at the results. 16 U.S. Government Accountability Office. 2004. Force Structure: Navy Needs to Fully Evaluate Options and Provide Standard Guidance for Implementing Surface Ship Rotational Crewing, GAO-05-10, Washington, D.C., November 10.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force SUGGESTIONS FOR EXPERIMENTATION Putting some of the recommendations of the committee into practice on a trial basis can provide the Navy and Marine Corps with the necessary information to determine their impact on transformation. Integrating the insights and lessons derived from experimentation into policy changes will enhance the prospects for successful innovation and transformation. Career Paths: Some Experimentation The Embedded Oval—Pilot Test The Navy’s plans for manning ships in the future will require a level of multitasking that may or may not be realistic, given issues related to recruitment, assignment, and training. This experiment is designed to simulate anticipated littoral combat ship (LCS) requirements in a familiar and controlled environment. The LCS will be manned by a new crew. Planning dictates that the ship’s crew will be much smaller, more senior, and more experienced than that of other ships of this size and capability. Historically the shape of the chart that portrays the numbers of sailors at each pay grade in Navy activities at sea and ashore has resembled a pyramid. Many positions are at the bottom of the pyramid, and there are fewer at each succeeding pay grade above. Many seamen, firemen, and airmen are overseen by fewer petty officers, and those by still fewer chiefs and junior officers, in turn responsible to a single commanding officer. For the LCS the shape of the equivalent personnel structure has been described instead as an oval. The Navy’s manpower and personnel system, and its training and learning establishment in particular, will have to adjust to the needs of a ship which demands the experience that a sailor gains as a junior member of a ship’s crew but provides none of that experience. The Navy expects that in the near future the lack of junior positions and people in the crew will not be a problem. The Navy will tailor the commissioning crews of the first few of these special ships carefully, assigning sailors from the large, traditional career specialties to new training also tailored for these ships. In the long run, though, the Navy must fold all of the new ships’ recruiting, training, manning, advancement, and career requirements into its routine business. It is not clear to the committee that the Navy has determined at this point what all of the implications are of this new class of ship, whose numbers may grow quickly. The committee suggests a trial to help Navy leaders evaluate their plans for dealing with the special requirements imposed by the crewing needs of the LCS and other new ship classes. At least six new issues arising from the Navy’s LCS crewing concept appear worthy of testing:
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force Sailors on the LCS will be asked to learn multiple skills and perform in multiple roles. Can Navy schools teach “hybrid sailors” and traditional specialists simultaneously? How will sailors perform in operational environments when tasked heavily in these multiple roles? Sailors will have to train to qualify. The sailor production process is to promise that new arrivals will not need much, if any, additional time to learn on the job. There is to be little learning curve for new crew members. No time for that is built in to the manning plan for the ship. Billets aboard the LCS will be for journeymen and masters. Apprentice preparations for future LCS crew members will have to occur elsewhere in the personnel system. In steady state where will that be? Sailors who have served on the LCS will have different experiences and skills from those of their brothers and sisters who have served elsewhere at sea. Will LCS sailors be unsuitable for routine assignments in their specialties? How can their special competencies be sustained to be reused in subsequent LCS assignments? Sailors on the LCS (and increasingly on other new ship classes) will be “one deep” with no backups. How will the distribution systems for officers and enlisted personnel manage to achieve perfection in manning the ships, providing the right person, every time, all the time? LCS crew members will possess skills and aptitudes that are much in demand both in the Navy and in the civilian world. Will LCS crewmembers’ pay be adequate for the new skill sets? How will the promotion process need to be adjusted to recognize their new training, skills, and careers? Here is a way that new procedures and concepts for accommodating LCS could be tested on a larger scale at the same time as the Navy is moving forward in actually manning the first LCS crews. The committee suggests that subsets of existing combatant crews assigned to existing ships be used to simulate the crews of LCSs in service, as follows: Select the 40 billets in the manning document of DDG-51-class ships that most resemble the billets to be manned in the basic crew of the LCS. Call this the “embedded DDG/LCS.” Under current plans the shape that will best represent the grade structure of the LCS is an oval. The committee calls this the “embedded oval.” Determine the degree to which the requirements of these DDG billets differ from their LCS counterparts. Rewrite the billet descriptions in the embedded DDG/LCS oval to eliminate the difference, and adjust the descriptions of the associated DDG work centers to ensure that the work of the DDG host still gets done. Some duties might move from one work center to another. The idea would be to adapt the host DDG
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force to supporting the embedded LCS, and to employ the embedded LCS crew members in ways that approximate their LCS duties as closely as possible. Train the embedded DDG/LCS incumbents and inbound replacements to the new DDG/LCS billet requirements. Manage the sailors who leave the embedded DDG/LCS billets in the way that Navy leaders plan for all LCS-experienced sailors to be managed eventually. Smaller crews will demand nearly perfect matching of numbers and skills to requirements. The Navy’s personnel system can test its intended processes for achieving near perfection in LCS by using the same processes for precisely supporting the embedded DDG/LCS. The crew’s experience on the LCS would be valuable in normal service because future Navy ships will require skill sets similar to what the LCS would require. Since the embedded DDG/LCS crew members will be performing in an operational ship well before LCSs join the fleet in numbers, the Navy Personnel Research, Studies, and Technology Office of the Navy Personnel Command will have something like an operational laboratory in which to test the performance of hybrid sailors (both officer and enlisted) under somewhat realistic circumstances. The committee understands that the Navy is working on plans to support the special roles that men and women will play in LCSs, as well as on processes to ensure high levels of crew productivity. Forming these embedded DDG/LCS test beds in ships in operating environments, training the people for them, stressing the crew, assigning them to follow-on tours, and keeping their numbers just right will reveal a good deal about the efficacy of those plans. The committee believes that this type of test will reduce the eventual risk of manning an LCS without appreciable risk to the operating fleet today. On/Off Ramp—A Proposal for a Controlled Randomized Experiment Professionals in industry and academia are given the opportunity to take a sabbatical leave for the purpose of fulfilling a specific personal goal (e.g., writing a book, traveling extensively for research, and taking family leave for starting a family or caring for an ailing family member). In software and systems development companies, law firms, consulting agencies, and other high-stress industries, sabbaticals have been recognized as a useful management tool in countering burnout. It is estimated that 14 to 24 percent of corporations in America have established sabbatical programs. Today 37 percent of all professional women leave the workforce at some point in their careers. Most say they want to come back, but the challenges of finding
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force work after having been out of the workforce for some period of time mean that only a fraction finally do—and few of them work full-time jobs.17 The Navy and Marine Corps are also faced with the prospect that many skilled sailors and marines (officers and enlisted) whose talents are highly valued by the naval forces may face burnout or choose to leave the service to attain more schooling, develop new foreign language skills, or tend to family issues. Consideration of sabbaticals and other types of temporary leave options is not new to the Department of Defense. In 2003 the RAND Corporation conducted an analysis for the DOD on extended leaves for officers.18 Descriptive in nature, the work lays out various kinds of extended leave programs, evaluates the return on investment likely from different programs, and offers recommendations for specific programs as well as observations about how extended leave programs, more broadly, might be instituted. One could expand on this idea with an experiment to test the assumptions of the value of various leave options to the Navy. To begin the research some preliminary focus group and survey data collection activities can be conducted to gauge the interest service members might have in various leave offerings. This would be followed by the design of an experiment such as the one described below, to help the Navy explore the notion of the on/off ramp—where people can put their obligation (if any) on hold, take a leave from the Navy (or Marine Corps) for a predetermined period, and return to the service and continue their active duty. An outline of the experiment follows. Consistent with best experimentation practices, the committee recommends that a multidisciplinary team of advisers (as described above) be assembled to work out the detailed design. The option for a sabbatical would be offered to a randomly selected group of sailors (or marines) in both the enlisted and officer ranks. Only specific job skills in hard-to-fill, high-demand fields based on rating, Military Operation Specialty, and Navy Enlisted Code would be eligible for the experiment. The sailor’s or marine’s time in service would pause when he or she is put on sabbatical and renewed upon return to active duty (i.e., the clock stops while the service member is pursuing another endeavor). The size of the experiment would have to be sufficient to meet the experimental objectives to produce reliable estimates for the predetermined metrics. The duration of the experiment would be approximately four years, long enough to measure outcomes to determine or at least estimate the success of the approach and any possible unintended consequences. 17 Tamara J. Erickson, Robert Morrison, and Ken Dychtwald. 2006. Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, April. 18 Harry J. Thie, Margaret C. Harrell, and Marc Thibault. 2003. Officer Sabbaticals: Analysis of Extended Leave Options, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force TABLE 4.1 Treatment and Controls for On/Off Ramp Experiment Sailor or Marine Status Treatment Control (not eligible for the experiment) Officer—still has an obligation Clock stops on their obligation, and resumes upon return to active duty Same rank and designator, matched for age and other demographics Officer—beyond initial service obligation Clock stops on their obligation, and resumes upon return to active duty Same rank and designator, matched for age and other demographics Enlisted E-5 Clock stops on their obligation, and resumes upon return to active duty Same Navy enlisted codes, matched for age and other demographics The analysis plan would be set up to measure specific outcomes, including retention behavior, achievements and accomplishments attained when off the ramp, and enhanced value to the Navy. It is entirely possible that sabbaticals, and the career pause that accompanies them, will permit many career professionals to do on their own exactly what their services would like them to do anyway. Examples of sabbatical pursuits that would benefit the Navy and Marine Corps include language training and regional travel; advanced degrees using GI Bill benefits; creating more stable family situations to avoid future difficulties; making a religious or philanthropic contribution to society. Some of the parameters are described in Table 4.1. Lateral Entry Pilot Demonstration The Navy and Marine Corps appreciate the value of cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences with other organizations, as demonstrated over the years by provision of a variety of personnel exchange programs, opportunities for schooling for marines and sailors, experience tours, and short programs like “Executives to Sea.” The committee believes that creating a more fundamental kind of exchange of people, skills, and perspectives has a place in the manpower and personnel system for a transformed naval force. At least four new issues or opportunities present themselves for the transformed force in the new, distributed battle space: (1) the Navy will need sailors with advanced knowledge and experience in ships that will provide no billet base in which sailors can gain seniority and that experience (LCS); (2) the Navy and Marine Corps increasingly will need specific skills that heretofore have been scarce in the naval services but are important to the conduct of all phases of
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force the war (especially phase IV)19 and are now in short supply among uniformed personnel; (3) skills and experiences the services value can be taught by others; thus sailors and marines can join the services with high-level skills achieved elsewhere, for which the services do not have to pay; (4) the nation will benefit from more interaction between ordinary citizens and their military, and especially service members; in particular, policy makers and those who influence the career choices of America’s young people need more exposure to the value of military experience and training. It is possible that all of these issues can be addressed to some degree through a greatly expanded program of lateral entry and exit for sailors and marines. The committee recommends that both the Navy and Marine Corps undertake a pilot demonstration, a test of limited and focused accession of sailors and marines in several areas to determine the degree to which such a program could address the issues above and to assess the willingness of people from the private sector to join at an advanced pay grade for a specified period. It is the committee’s view that civilians at an advanced stage of their careers would potentially be attracted to a period of Navy service for several reasons. First, there are the advantages the Navy advertises to potential new recruits: travel, the opportunity to serve their country, the chance to gain solid work experience. The committee believes it is possible that people in the midst of careers in the civilian sector would often see a period of military service, and the opportunities offered in that service, as valuable additions to their resumes. The lateral entry and exit demonstration could explore at the same time some of the alternatives for the sabbatical experiment suggested earlier. In a group offered the opportunity for a sabbatical, for example, those who did not choose to leave the service to take advantage of a brief separation opportunity could choose a sabbatical to experience another professional area of military interest. The naval services often need skills and experience that are not fully developed in their uniformed members. The services sometimes need skills only temporarily or have an emerging requirement that demands skills that are out of the ordinary, and there are a variety of potential sources of such expertise (e.g., contractors, nondefense government personnel, academia). It is possible that people with the skills the services need would want to serve in the Navy or Marine Corps on a limited basis, yet be unwilling to serve for an entire career or even to accept the full-length obligation that regularly accompanies an enlistment or commissioning. The services could benefit from people such as these serving for some period of time on active duty, and such people would ultimately return to their prior employment with genuine Navy or Marine Corps experience. The committee believes that these people would function as service advocates. During the period of temporary service, the individual’s command would benefit from his 19 Phase IV of a campaign is activities conducted after decisive combat operations to stabilize and reconstruct the area of operations.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force or her functioning as an integral member of the command and having the added credibility of being a member of the team in full uniformed status. The committee recommends that a pilot program be undertaken to evaluate the availability of such talent, the willingness of people with such talent to serve in this capacity, and the effective contribution that such people could bring to a real-world naval service situation. There are numerous current situations that could be considered for such a pilot. For instance, the lead ship of the LCS class could benefit from having as a member of the crew (in uniform) one or more members of the ship’s or ship system’s design or build team. Such a person would be of immense help to the crew as it worked through the initial operations. The expert’s service could continue through the initial deployment of the ship. The individual(s) involved would return to their civilian jobs imbued with increased real-world experience. Their civilian employers would undoubtedly see these returning crew members as more valuable employees with improved perspective on the operational and personnel environment in which Navy ships perform. The standup and operation of Joint Task Force Horn of Africa or Africa Command could benefit from having resident experts with cultural knowledge and language skills as uniformed experts embedded in each command. People with such skills could be obtained from other governmental agencies such as the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development or from academia. Having this expertise on the command staff would make initial policy formulation and execution much more accurate and effective. These new commands could also benefit from the service of an individual with organizational design experience who could be involved on a daily basis as the command is stood up to ensure that the command has from the outset all the advantages of being designed for effectiveness and responsiveness. Such expertise also could be obtained from academia or from organizational design expert contractors who would don uniforms. Upon completion of their assignments, these individuals would return to their civilian jobs with the benefit of understanding how the naval services function and be in position to be a more fully informed asset to their employer, as well as the services. The transformation of the naval service manpower system could benefit from having real corporate world and academic expert assistance in the areas of organizational design, systems engineering, and human relations design and better enabling implementation of a human capital strategy. Although this might be seen as able to be accomplished using reservists, existing active-duty personnel or contract personnel, those avenues have shortcomings. The committee believes that some individuals who possess the appropriate skills and would welcome the opportunity to serve for a brief period might be wary of the more open-ended commitment of reserve service, particularly in the wake of recent stop-loss orders and IRR call-ups. Moreover, using recognized or certified assistance from outside the reserve or active-duty forces could bring fresh perspectives, experience, and input. Such individuals would “live the life,” gaining organizational perspective
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force and at the same time credibility with team members as someone other than an outsider. Once the term of service was completed, both parties would have gained from the experience. Before starting such a pilot demonstration project, specific criteria for measurement of impact and success must be developed. Criteria should begin with project identification and proceed through recruitment, training, assignment, work assignment, and definition of outcomes ending in final pilot evaluation. No project should be commenced without a complete set of criteria against which clear success or failure can be determined. Such a pilot study would require some special permissions or authorities to execute. There would need to be a provision for enlistment or commissioning such individuals for limited time frames. Agreements with employers may need to be negotiated. Just-in-time training may need to be delivered to ensure full ability to integrate into the military command. Compensation: A Pilot Program in Sea Pay Chapter 3 discussed various potential changes to the services’ retirement and compensation systems. The committee understands the need for congressional, or at least DOD, authorities to undertake many of the possible reforms that the committee addressed. Still, the Navy and Marine Corps have the authority needed to conduct some trials or pilots in compensation. Special pays in particular constitute an area where the services have substantial latitude to try new things. The Navy and Marine Corps pay career sea pay in accordance with a formula that considers the grade of the recipient and the amount of sea duty served. The services could examine paying career sea pay in a different way. Having succeeded in using assignment incentive pay (AIP) to encourage qualified sailors to volunteer for duty in somewhat isolated locations using an auction system, the Navy could lead the way in examining possible sea pay changes by considering using an auction system for a trial group of sailors for that pay too. It is recognized that there is no shortage of creativity on the Navy’s part in encouraging sailors to undertake the more difficult duties essential for operations at sea. Recently the Navy instituted a pilot program aimed at testing the effects of offering to compensate sailors specifically for extending tours at sea or shortening tours ashore to go to sea.20 These two versions, called Sea Duty Incentive Compensation, Extend (SDIC-E) or Curtail (SDIC-C), offer sailors in selected ratings (ratings with shortages at sea) $500 to $750 per month for the months of adjustment of their sea duty tours. The committee applauds this initiative and agrees that this offer will improve 20 Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs. 2007. “Pilot Program to Support a More Sea Centric Navy,” Bureau of Naval Personnel message, March 20, Washington, D.C. See <http://www.npc.navy.mil/AboutUs/NPC/PublicAffairs/NewsDetails/SeaCentric.htm>. Accessed on October 5, 2007.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force manning at sea in a focused way. It believes that a pilot program would be useful in helping the Navy to determine the appropriate size of the incentive by exploring the “take rate” for the incentives of various sizes. While SDIC addresses specific shortages at sea, the committee questions whether the payment of career sea pay in blanket amounts based on pay grade and months at sea is the most efficient use of the resources. There may be a better way to determine the value of the incentive if the Navy’s intent is to use sea pay to offset each individual’s perceived personal and professional cost of going to sea. The Navy could build on its experience with both AIP and SDIC to test a sea pay auction approach to the filling of sea duty billets in general. The Navy employs an excellent tool for conducting assignment transactions among detailers (assignment officials) and enlisted sailors. This system, called Super-JASS (Job Assignment Selection System), permits important information to flow between detailer and constituent and allows enlisted sailors to make informed decisions about their assignments and careers. It is used already to negotiate the auction prices of positions in the AIP. It could be used also to create an experiment in the allocation of sailors to sea duty by variable economic incentive that might replace the blanket amount of sea pay now in use. Encouraging Warfare Behaviors and Service Appropriate to the Requirements of Irregular Warfare In the committee’s view, the naval services need to recognize deliberately the service and encourage the behaviors that are appropriate and necessary to the transformed naval service in the new reality of warfare. Some important changes are underway and others are needed to permit the services to create and retain the special capabilities they now require in their people. The Navy and Marine Corps are encouraging sailors and marines to acquire a broad range of skills needed in the expanded missions of the global war on terror and irregular warfare. Events of the last 4½ years have shown, however, that certain knowledge and skills are in short supply in the naval services. Chapter 2 discusses the importance of foreign language ability, regional experience, being able to contribute to nationbuilding (construction, policing, provisionally governing, accomplishing other civil affairs tasks), and cultural and ethnic awareness. The Cold War demanded much less agility from the naval services on these dimensions than it appears will be required in coming years with the new naval missions. The Navy and Marine Corps have focused in the past on combat arms and warfighting skills. This approach has served the military needs of the nation well. Specialties in combat support and combat service support have been sustained largely through partitioning them off from competition with the combat arms for advancement of specialists and allocation of resources within the services. There is a pertinent and instructive Navy example of the problem of creating an important specialty for officers that was not walled off from competing
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force with those serving in warfare specialties. Navy leaders have made more than one attempt over the years to create cadres of officers with regional expertise and language ability, officers who retained their warfare specialty designations at the same time. In the 1980s the Navy’s Country, Area, Regional Specialist (CARS) and Country, Area, Regional Specialty Officer (CARSO) programs were created and sailors, both officer and senior enlisted, were encouraged to become specialists in one or another part of the world. Developing and sustaining area and language specialties, however, distracted warriors (or so it seemed to promotion and advancement selection boards) from their primary warfare duties. Without high-level sponsorship and the commitment of the Navy to sustaining their skills, members of the community gradually lost out in competition with warfare specialists for promotion. The CARS and CARSO officer programs survived for little more than a decade, although the need remained. Based on this and other experiences of the services in building specialty communities, the committee believes that the Navy and Marine Corps will need a better plan for equipping sailors and marines with the skills they need to be both warriors and builders of nations and relationships for coming missions. Many sailors and most marines have contributed in significant ways to the difficult efforts required in these early years of the global war on terror. Specific recognition of their contributions could be a powerful incentive for others, to ensure that they contribute also. Reviews of administrative data, for instance, by boards convened to conduct the reviews, could provide specific details on marines’ and sailors’ contributions. Having that information, the CMC and the CNO might choose to publicize the extent of these contributions. This could have the effect on the one hand of praising those who have done so much, while on the other hand illustrating which skills have been called on again and again in the new operational environment. The services could consider some tangible recognition of those who achieve important added skills and put those skills to use: Individuals who strive for sound leadership and other combat skills, while at the same time learning what it takes to communicate and build relationships in the new environments and missions, would be recognized in special ways. The committee believes that the services should focus on the outcome when determining the changes needed for the manpower and personnel systems for the transformed force. During the course of this study, many briefings included a discussion of the impact of both external and internal forces that influence the manpower and personnel decisions and challenges that the Navy and Marine Corps face. Experiments, surveys, analyses, and pilot demonstrations inform these decisions by collecting data that will estimate the potential impacts of proposed policy changes. Therefore the committee offers the following finding and recommendation: Finding: Establishing and sustaining transformation in Navy and Marine Corps manpower and personnel policies will require the use of a variety of research tools.
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Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force Research tools ranging from surveys and analyses of administrative data to pilot demonstrations and experimentation have always been key tools in formulating policies that support military manpower transformation. Experimentation has been one of the research tools that the Department of Defense and the Navy in particular have used in achieving changes to the shape of military forces, and the Navy’s recent Sea Swap project illustrates that the Navy understands the value and challenges of experimentation. Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, the Chief of Naval Personnel, and the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps for Manpower and Reserve Affairs should continue to develop and use research tools and experimentation to address the many facets of the naval services’ transformation equation. In particular, the committee recommends the following projects: Evaluate Navy plans for dealing with the special requirements imposed by the crewing needs of the littoral combat ship (LCS) and other ship classes by using “embedded ovals,” that is, subsets of existing combatant crews, assigned to existing ships, to simulate the crews of LCSs in service. Design and conduct a controlled experiment to test the assumptions of the value of various leave options, including the notion of the on/off ramp. Undertake a pilot demonstration of a lateral entry and exit program to evaluate the availability of needed talent outside the services, the willingness of people with such talent to serve for a limited duration, and the contribution such people could bring to real-world naval service situations. Use the Navy’s Job Assignment Selection System, Super-JASS, to create an experiment in the allocation of sailors to sea duty by using a variable economic incentive that could replace the blanket amount of sea pay now in use. Use administrative data and other research tools to identify warfare behaviors and service appropriate to the requirements of irregular warfare, and encourage such behaviors and service by publicizing and rewarding them.