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Executive Summary Introduction As the 20th century closes, the United States is pursuing a worldwide foreign policy. It is one of the few countries, and in many instances the only country, capable of leading in international politics. That the U.S. armed forces are a principal tool of this leadership will surely be as true in 2035 as it is today. Many features of the present world order are likely to exist in 2035, but it is also likely that the United States will face, in one form or another, competition for world leadership and possibly an emerging, powerful adversary. The armed forces will be no less important in 2035 than they are today, and their capabilities and competence may well become more important. One difference between 1997 and 2035 will be the dramatic advances in technology and its applications occurring over these years. Such advances in technologies represent both significant challenges and opportunities. The Navy and the Marine Corps must adapt to these advances and make the most of them if they are to meet their responsibilities for leadership among the world's military organizations. These adaptations must not be limited to the acquisition of materiel. Without the people—the human competence—needed to operate, maintain, deploy, and command the naval force materiel assets, investment in these assets will return far less than what is intended and may, in fact, be wasted. Modernization should also include Navy and Marine Corps processes for recruiting, training, educating, managing, and supporting people. These initiatives should keep pace with investments made to apply technology elsewhere.
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They cannot wisely be shortchanged in favor of materiel acquisition. They are modest compared to investments in materiel and will support themselves. Most importantly, they will yield significant advances in naval force effectiveness. The criticality of human performance to Navy and Marine Corps operations and its effective development and management were recognized in the terms of reference for the original Navy-21 study, Implications of Advancing Technology for Naval Operations in the Twenty-First Century.1 This earlier study foresaw the following trends: Increasing system complexity; Long operational periods away from home bases; High demand for high-aptitude people; A smaller, more mature, and more proficient force whose members are retained longer in the Service; Increasing need for reliable, easily used equipment to reduce manning requirements; Increasing substitution of intelligent machines for people; Increasing use of advanced technology for training; and Increasing use of embedded training to distribute training to distributed forces. Many of these trends are carried forward into the current report, as are the concern with human performance and the necessity of ensuring human competence in our naval forces. The present study seeks, in part, to update Navy-21 findings in the light of technological and strategic changes that have occurred in the intervening 10 years. It also responds to additional tasking in the areas of quality of life and medical care. Approach To This Study The most difficult aspect of the panel's task involved anticipating developments and requirements in the year 2035. How might the United States have developed training for World War II before fighting World War I? How might our nation have prepared for the Korean War in, say, 1920? Revolutionary breakthroughs are rare and, by definition, difficult to foresee. It is possible, however, to extrapolate developments that are evolving from current technology and global trends. The Panel on Human Resources sought to determine what might be done now to encourage the evolution of capabilities and practices that will ensure the efficient acquisition and management of human 1 Naval Studies Board. 1988. Navy-21: Implications of Advancing Technology for Naval Operations in the Twenty-First Century, Volume I: Overview, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
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resources needed by the Navy and Marine Corps to meet operational requirements in 2035. The panel specifically tried to identify areas in which relatively small investments are likely to yield substantial returns. Some aspects of the operational environment likely to exist in 2035 could have a substantial impact on the development and management of human resources and thus are emphasized here. The panel assumed the following: Service personnel will be inundated with technology and information. Fewer people will be required or available for Navy and Marine Corps missions, but the investment in those people will be greater. Individuals will have more training, autonomy, decision-making responsibility, and military value. Many operations will involve joint and/or multinational forces. Service personnel will have to deal successfully with organizational and cultural diversity and to coordinate their operations with both military and civilian organizations. Units will be dispersed, but most operations will require rapid organizing of tasks and training for preparation of forces. The Department of the Navy will require the capability to determine quickly and accurately the location and capabilities of units and individuals as well as their specialized skills and knowledge. Responsibilities for missions other than war (i.e., peacekeeping, peace imposition, disaster relief, and counter-terrorism) will continue. These missions will require rapid, ad hoc preparations for unusual and unforeseen contingencies. Biological and chemical threats will increase. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES IDENTIFIED Eight Strategic Objectives On the basis of the considerations noted above and in response to its charge, the panel developed eight strategic objectives that it believes require and deserve the attention of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) if our nation's naval forces are to develop and maintain the human resources—the human performance and competence—they will need to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The eight strategic objectives, and the chapters in which they are discussed, are as follows: Recruit a higher proportion of people with above-average abilities, including already trained people through lateral entry, and retain high performers for longer periods (Chapter 1). Reduce the numbers of sailors required on ships and ashore, and increase their performance by investing in their professional development and personal well-being (Chapter 1). Emphasize education for officers as an essential part of career development, especially education in science and engineering (Chapter 2).
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Invest more in the conversion of conventional forms of training to technology-based, distributed training (Chapter 2). Provide for significant advances in the development and application of medical technologies for reducing combat casualties and deaths (Chapter 3). Strive for a duty, career, and personal life environment that increases retention, enhances readiness, and promotes performance (Chapter 4). Invest more in people-centered research to support the introduction of useful new technologies and to increase efficiency (Chapter 5). Develop a more integrated system for managing people in response to advancing technologies, in order to increase efficiency and improve readiness (Chapter 5). Discussion of Strategic Objectives Manpower and Personnel Recruit a higher proportion of people with above-average abilities, including already trained people through lateral entry, and retain high performers for longer periods. Personnel selection pays off. During the late 1970s, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) was misnormed,2 with the result that the test scores of recruits were highly inflated. Because of this error, about 30 percent of recruits actually fell into the lowest acceptable category, rather than the 5 percent being reported at the time. In the aftermath of the misnorming problem, Congress ordered the Services to validate the ASVAB as a selection device by using hands-on tests of performance. Based on analysis of the results of these new tests, an estimated $3 billion across all of the Department of Defense (DOD) was lost in lower than expected productivity as a result of this inadvertently poor selection. Clearly, continuing vigilance to maintain the validity of the ASVAB is necessary. The Navy and Marine Corps, like all the Services, take a bifurcated approach to recruiting. Most enlisted recruits are high school graduates, and most officers are college graduates or beyond. This model has served well in the past because most young people fell into one or the other of these two categories. In the future, however, continuation of current recruitment practices may become increasingly problematic because more and more young people are graduating with associate degrees from community colleges and thus fall outside the two categories. Cur- 2 Nord, R., and E. Schmitz. 1991. ''Estimating Performance and Utility Effects of Alternative Selection and Classification Policies," The Economic Benefits of Predicting Job Performance, J. Zeidner and C.D. Johnson, eds., Volume 3, The Gains of Alternative Policies, Praeger Publishers, New York.
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rently the Department of the Navy recruits only about 400 of the more than half a million people who graduate with an associate degree every year. Navy and Marine Corps recruiters should consider expanding their presence in this large market of skilled people—a market that is growing while the Navy Department's traditional market for personnel is decreasing. Policies and procedures, such as provisions for lateral entry allowing individuals who possess advanced skills to enlist at advanced pay grades, or to advance rapidly to them, should also be considered for this population. Classifying people into their correct job and career categories will also be important. One study using Army test data3 found that the average predicted performance of soldiers could be more than doubled if these data were used to match people to jobs and military skill requirements. Technology, particularly computer-based testing (using items that can be presented only by computer), can provide comprehensive profiles of the interests, values, and abilities of individual recruits and may yield substantial returns in terms of increased retention and personnel readiness and reduced attrition and recruiting costs. These benefits are likely to be large and should be pursued by systematic programs of research and development in both selection and classification. The current retirement system, which provides 100 percent vesting at 20 years of service but none before, 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 necessary to encourage top performers to continue serving in the naval forces. 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 will require that future ships be designed to operate with smaller crews, and technology investments will be necessary to effect this change. Reducing ship manning4 has the collateral benefit of reducing the shore infrastructure and overhead required to maintain current ship manning levels. "Outsourcing" and turning more work over to civilians will enable the Navy to achieve substantial savings while still getting necessary work done. The re- 3 Zeidner, J., and C. Johnson. 1989. The Economic Benefits of Predicting Job Performance, IDA Paper P-2241, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Va. 4 The term "manning" is used as a convenient, generic shorthand for assigning personnel, male or female, to organizational and technical tasks within major systems and support bases.
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sources saved can be used to better support the remaining force and otherwise modernize Navy operations. Since World War II the Navy has reduced the manning of warships—by as much as two-thirds in some cases. However, an optimum mix of people and automation must be established to maximize the cost-effectiveness of operating warships. For example, some combat system departments have increased substantially in the past half century because of the addition of sensors, computers, and weapons that did not even exist earlier, whereas some engineering departments have experienced a 30 percent decrease in manning due to the substitution of gas turbine for steam propulsion. There should be a total-ship initiative to produce the significant manning reductions that are required. The goal should be a greater than 50 percent reduction, not only of ship manning, but also of the total infrastructure that supports the people on board ships. There are vast differences between Navy manning and its commercial counterparts. The Department of the Navy will have to adapt strategies from commercial practices using fewer but more experienced people to yield lower manning costs and higher readiness. Watch standing, damage control, maintenance and repair, and training all must be examined in light of the need to reduce personnel requirements. The Navy will have to reduce 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. The Navy will have to design ships for inherent resistance to damage, provide more automation for damage control, and provide better tools for repair parties. It will need to design ships for reduced maintenance and increased reliability; instrument for condition-based monitoring using embedded diagnostics; provide vital equipment redundancy; and expand the concept of fly-in maintenance and repair teams, the use of digital maintenance manuals, and the use of just-in-time maintenance capabilities such as electronic performance support systems. Shipboard habitability and technology that increase the quality of life aboard ship will also be important for future ship design. The Navy should also explore the possibility of enhancing human performance through the use of improved human-machine interfaces, possibly including mind-machine communication. Finally, the Department of the Navy should elevate training to a position of importance equal to that of operations in systems design requirements and development. It should use embedded training and training on demand, provide continuous learning systems, and expand the use of adaptive training and job performance support systems. Life-cycle costs, not just shipboard and acquisition costs, should be used as the measure of effectiveness in studies of system tradeoff. Senior management must lead the effort to determine the extent to which legacies of culture and tradition are allowed to drive future ship manning.
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Education and Training Emphasize education for officers as an essential part of career development, especially education in science and engineering. Although it is commonly recognized both here and abroad that the real strength of the U.S. educational system is at the graduate level, paradoxically there is little indication that Navy leadership prizes U.S. graduate-level education as a necessary component of an officer's educational background. The discipline in graduate study of tackling an original research problem that has no known "right" answer; of learning how to frame and tackle a question; of knowing how to interpret data, how to draw significant conclusions from them, and how to present and demonstrate the validity of the result provides an extraordinarily effective approach to problem solving that is beneficial throughout a career. The nature of the discipline or the particular problem is less important than the process. The Navy does not value sufficiently the problem-solving potential represented in substantive graduate programs in technology, engineering, and science. The needs of the Department of the Navy are not limited to what graduate education can supply. The rate of technological change substantially increases the need for officers with a strong undergraduate foundation in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. It also increases the premium on technically capable and technically talented enlisted personnel. Navy Department needs are now, and will increasingly become, highly advanced scientifically and technologically. The march of information and communication technology, sensing and display techniques, computer system capabilities, material and power options, and other technically sophisticated capabilities has reduced routine shipboard manning requirements and improved war fighting strength. However, these technical capabilities substantially increase the Navy's need for personnel able to analyze and choose among competing technological avenues, critically assess and lead technological development, and continuously formulate new technological visions. Present Navy needs in science and technology may now be met insufficiently by its officer corps and civilian laboratory personnel. Moreover, the gradient of the quality and quantity of naval force talents in technology, relative to mission needs, is not positive but negative. This trend limits the technical capacity of our naval forces today and increasingly will isolate them from the technological growth and innovation essential to sustained military effectiveness over the next 35 years. Some indications of this trend are the following: The Navy no longer encourages or nurtures postgraduate technical education among its officer corps. Fewer of the best U.S. high school graduates opt for a Navy career or a college education in fields relevant to Navy technology needs.
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Few of the students who are preparing for a Navy career via higher education specialize in science, mathematics, or engineering. Officers who specialize in science, mathematics, or engineering as undergraduates are less frequently provided postgraduate education, are less rapidly promoted, and are more likely to retire early. Navy civilian laboratory personnel, once nationwide leaders in science and engineering, are now less prepared to meet important new Navy needs. To supply the level of human performance required for naval operations in an increasingly technology-intensive environment, the Department of the Navy will have to do the following: Increase significantly the proportion of naval force officers who obtain bachelor's degrees in science, mathematics, or engineering; Ensure time in the career paths of all officers who are capable of and motivated to invest the considerable effort required for postgraduate study in science and technology, and ensure that they are rewarded in their careers for their added skills and capabilities; Restructure the mode of teaching science and technology at the U.S. Naval Academy with the use of personnel on loan from major research institutions and industrial laboratories and/or the establishment of joint programs with research-based academic institutions; Reconfigure promotion policies and practices to retain and more fully reward technically skilled officers and enlisted personnel, who will be increasingly needed for predominantly high-technology naval duties; Identify the most promising leaders among those technologically educated for special management talent recognition and fast-track movement to leadership positions that can benefit from their expertise; and Place priority on ensuring a continuing stream of fresh, young talent employed in naval laboratories. Those who are retained in a longer career path should have regular opportunities to refresh their talents. Invest more in the conversion of conventional forms of training to technology-based, distributed training. Education and training are key to developing and sustaining the levels of human performance required by 21st-century naval forces. The effectiveness and efficiency of the Navy's education and training programs can be improved substantially through the application of instructional technologies. Investments in these technologies will yield significant returns that can be used to fill gaps that now exist in the delivery of training, to further modernize training, and to increase its efficiency. The most fundamental promise of technology applied to training appears to
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be its ability to tailor pace, sequence, content, presentation style, and even difficulty to the needs of individual learners. Research suggests that the difference between those taught in classroom groups of 30 and those taught individually by an instructor may be as great as 2 standard deviations in terms of achievement. However, individual, one-on-one tutoring is prohibitively expensive. In military training as in civilian education, providing a single instructor for every student is an instructional necessity and an economic impossibility. Technology—substituting the capital of technology for the labor of human instructors—can replace some of the individualized tutoring and its instructional value that are now lost to economic necessity. Comparisons5 of technology-based training with more conventional approaches have found that its use can raise student achievement by 15 percentile points, that it reduces the time to reach given instructional objectives by about 30 percent, that it lowers costs of training for equipment operation and repair by about 40 percent, and that students generally prefer it. It also makes training more accessible. Use of CD-ROM or newer digital videodisk (DVD) technology to provide training aboard ship and at other dispersed locations can overcome residential classroom limitations of both time and place. A natural application for technology-based training is in specialized skill areas. If 20 percent of Navy and Marine Corps students in specialized training were to use technology-based training that reduced training time by about 20 percent, the annual savings in training costs and student pay and allowances would amount to many millions of dollars. These economic benefits exclude the improvements in readiness that might result if students were able to graduate earlier from training. Despite these promising indications, the current use of technology-based naval training is minimal. Available records6 indicate that of the 3,139 courses presented by the Navy in FY 1997, only 47, about 1.5 percent, used interactive instructional technology. An additional 49 courses were taught using video teletraining to accomplish learning at a distance. Overall, technology-based approaches are unlikely to be found in more than 4 percent of all Navy and Marine Corps training. It is time to increase their use. Investments in these technologies are likely to increase substantially both the effectiveness and the efficiency of training, to yield significant returns that can be used to fill existing gaps in training delivery, and to increase the pace of training modernization. Moreover, technology-based instruction can allow the collection of data on individual and group performance for use by local commanders in determining the composition of small teams. 5 Fletcher, J.D. 1997. "What Have We Learned About Computer-Based Instruction in Military Training?" Virtual Reality, Training's Future? , R.J. Seidel and P.R. Chatelier, eds., Plenum Publishing, New York. 6 These records are available from the Defense Instructional Technology Information System (DITIS), which is maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center, Washington, D.C.
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Traditionally, budget decisions on the use of technology-based training have tended to focus almost exclusively on the potential for savings within operation and maintenance (O&M) accounts. There are O&M savings to be gained by investments in converting from current training approaches to those that are technology based, but significant additional payoffs can be realized as well, such as the reductions in time needed to train students and the concomitant increase in the time that these individuals are available for duty. One difficulty is that although the investment needed to convert training programs will most probably come from O&M accounts, major savings will appear in personnel accounts, not in O&M. Outsourcing is a high-priority concern within DOD. Recent studies have found that costs to produce instructional materials and operate networked training simulations may be lowered and fewer instructional personnel may be required when outsourcing is used.7,8 Outsourcing cannot be applied universally in Navy and Marine Corps training, but it can produce significant economies in obvious areas such as specialized skill training and the delivery of relevant education and training programs that are already available from community colleges and trade schools. Medical Care/Combat Medicine Provide for significant advances in the development and application of medical technologies for reducing combat casualties and deaths. When combat care is required, the need is immediate and occurs under the most stressful of conditions. Combat care is urgently needed in small contingency actions—such as those in Lebanon and Somalia—that are likely to occur in the future and allow little public tolerance for casualties. Combat care is also vitally needed in bigger wars, which may occur periodically. More than 55,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam, and a sample9 of Army and Marine Corps casualties showed that more than 50 percent of the wounded who died, did so within 30 minutes. Further, as the current Gulf War medical debate illustrates, new weapons (chemical and biological) may be available to adversary nations for which new combat treatments are required. Combat care—particularly urgent battlefield care—should be given priority in DOD and Navy Department medical investments and in new technology development. Medical career patterns in the 7 Tighe, C., and S. Kleinman. 1996. Outsourcing and Competition: Tools to Increase Efficiency, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Va. 8 Metzko, J. 1996. Government vs. Contractor Training at the U.S. Army Signal Center, IDA Document D-1942, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Va. 9 Carey, N.B., C.R. Rattleman, and H.Q. Nguyen. 1996. Information Requirements in Future Medical Operations, CAB 96-94, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Va.
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Navy should be modified to emphasize the importance of a capability as well as experience in combat medicine. Many promising technologies under development or on the horizon could help to improve combat and battlefield care. These include new types of protective clothing that provide greater protection against small-arms fire or shrapnel and against chemical and biological threats. A range of new sensors will be available, such as advanced biochemical sensors and personal status monitors, some of which are implanted, that perform as personal black boxes analogous to black boxes in aircraft. Protective clothing may incorporate some of these sensors and automatically administer physiologically protective agents as needed, as well as some forms of emergency care. Gels are being developed that can be applied directly to wounds on the battlefield, can stop bleeding, and can increase the time available to save a person's life. Similarly, artificial white blood cells can be injected on the battlefield to help the body fight against chemical or biological attack. Other valuable technologies are emerging that will stabilize individuals against shock; enable a wounded person to remain inert but alive while waiting for transport to medical facilities; improve information and communications for deciding evacuation priorities; digitize medical records and provide integrated, interoperable medical databases; and so on. The Department of the Navy should support accelerated R&D programs in combat medicine that integrate protection and monitoring systems; in at-sea medical systems using telemedicine capabilities; and in advanced pharmaceutical products that are effective against new battlefield weapons. The Department of the Navy should also enhance its combat medical capability through the development of a battlefield threat assessment and response system by supporting R&D in biotechnology to improve methods for early detection, identification, and countermeasures to prevent or neutralize the adverse effects of chemicals, toxins, or biological threats; to counter nuclear and directed-energy threats; and to provide the means to reduce the risks posed by environmental hazards. Finally, and most importantly, the Navy should place much more emphasis on the pursuit of combat medicine capability in its medical caregivers and should reward those who specialize in combat medicine more fully in accord with its value to U.S. naval forces and naval operations. Quality of Life Strive for a duty, career, and personal life environment that increases retention, enhances readiness, and promotes performance. A recent study10 of the quality of life (QOL) in the Marine Corps demon 10 Kerce, Elyse W. 1995. Quality of Life in the U.S. Marine Corps, TR 95-4, Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, San Diego, Calif.
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strated a causal relationship between QOL and behavioral outcomes, including readiness, reenlistment intentions, and performance. These results support what military leaders have long believed—i.e., that QOL investments have an important payoff in desired military outcomes. Additional research is needed to track these investments, the scope of their implementation and use, and their impact on measures of outcome. In many instances, the data required are collected but not made available. Means should be found to place them in databases that can be used to inform decisions about investments in QOL. The Navy and Marine Corps can ensure an acceptable level of quality of life for members and families and, in turn, contribute to retention, readiness, performance of duty, and overall mission accomplishment, by giving priority to the following five areas: Commitment and community. Positive perceptions of Navy and Marine Corps life are critical in attracting and retaining qualified personnel, and QOL in duty-related life domains has an impact on morale and performance. The Navy should continue to encourage and develop commitment to the organization and a sense of connection to the military community by demonstrating concern for members and families through a range of QOL services. Innovative programs to build and foster commitment and community among Navy and Marine Corps families, such as the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Family Team Building and Community Action Process initiatives, should be encouraged. Privatizing the delivery of QOL benefits and services should be reviewed. Workplace characteristics. As new technologies reshape the workplace, there is a need to ensure that the cognitive and sensory demands of complex tasks do not exceed normal human capabilities or reasonable levels of stress. The Navy must maintain a watch for unintended consequences of technology in the workplace so as to take optimum advantage of the potential for enrichment and minimize the negative aspect of restructuring. Duty assignment is a critical QOL component, and it requires better matching of individual capabilities and preferences with job demands. Communication. Separations due to training, operational deployments, and unaccompanied tours of duty are typically considered among the most difficult aspects of military family life.11,12,13 The availability of improved communication technologies should be exploited to help deployed personnel deal with 11 Cooke, T.W., A.J. Marcus, and A.O. Quester. 1992. Personnel Tempo of Operations and Navy Enlisted Retention, CNA Research Memorandum, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Va., pp. 91-150. 12 Coolbaugh, K., and A. Rosenthal. 1992. Family Separations in the Army, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va. 13 Segal, M.W., and J.J. Harris. 1993. What We Know About Army Families, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va.
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one of the major stresses of Navy life and to enhance QOL by providing opportunities to maintain closer contact with families and other loved ones. Leaders must learn how to manage the use of these communication technologies without compromising the security of the mission or the well-being of the Service member. Professional growth. Because of the skills and skill levels required to protect its education and training investment, the Navy Department will increasingly stress retention and will include a greater percentage of career personnel who are both better trained and older than members of today's force. In general, higher educational levels engender greater expectations, which in turn emphasize the importance of QOL in both duty and personal life domains. The growth of military professionalism must be provided for among both enlisted and officer Navy Department personnel. Research and analyses. Regular, systematic assessment of QOL should be established and routinized. Available technology and information systems can be used effectively and efficiently to build centralized databases of demographic information that can be combined with other data to answer questions about the utility and cost-effectiveness of QOL programs. The results of these efforts should be applied to allow policy makers to make more informed decisions about tradeoffs among programs based on their utility and their contribution to mission accomplishment. Results of these efforts should also be used to strike a proper balance overall between resources allocated to QOL programs and those allocated to meet other Navy Department needs. General R&D Objectives Invest more in people-centered research to support the introduction of useful new technologies and to increase efficiency. A substantial number of new technologies will become available over the next several decades to help improve the way the Navy Department makes use of its human resources. Understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of technologies available for improving performance, facilitating training and education, and improving QOL for service personnel and the cost-effectiveness of different approaches for applying those technologies should be important research objectives. Otherwise, technologies that could enable more effective use of the Navy's human resources may be applied in a piecemeal and less efficient way. Research into the cultural and organizational implications of technological change will also be important because these factors are at least as significant for effecting change as the technology itself. Systematic review of developments in understanding of human cognitive processes, limitations, and workload constraints should be part of this research agenda. Periodic full-system analyses will
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be needed to understand the interactions among technologies and the tradeoffs among the various means for developing and maintaining human productivity. Research in performance enhancement, training and education, and QOL, especially applied research that could help organizations make choices among technologies and facilitate their adoption, appears to be limited. Data on investment in research in this area are hard to come by, but the investment appears to be relatively small. For example, in FY 1996, the Department of the Navy invested only $29 million in the two congressional budget categories associated with people-centered research relevant to training (education and training, simulators and training devices), when the total amount spent on residential training for individuals, excluding the amounts spent on field and fleet training, was more than $5 billion. Also in FY 1996, Navy Department spending on all human resource research was about $86 million from a military work force account of more than $23 billion. This area might be examined further, with the aim of developing an overall investment plan. The return on a research investment of this type could be substantial. Develop a more integrated system for managing people in response to advancing technologies, in order to increase efficiency and improve readiness. Many components combine to produce the human resources—the human competence—needed by the Navy and the Marine Corps. Among these are recruitment, selection, classification, assignment, training, and job design (which includes ergonomic design of equipment, as well as use of job aids or performance support systems). All of these components are interdependent. If they are managed as independent stove-piped entities, their interactions will not be accounted for, and improvements sought in one component may be overwhelmed by consequences created elsewhere. For instance, self-paced instruction provided by a training system will be of little value if the personnel system cannot cut orders to meet varying graduation times or to provide rewarding assignments for those who finish early. Alternatively, issues seen as problems in one component may be better resolved by investment in another. For example, issues treated as training problems may be better resolved through adjustments in classification or job design. Studies have found that the Air Force Integrated Maintenance Information System (IMIS), which provides just-in-time advice to maintenance technicians, can reduce training and selection requirements. Implementation of IMIS provides another instance in which one budget category (acquisitions or operations) must pay for an investment whose returns are found in another budget category (personnel). It also illustrates well the need to better understand system-wide, cost-effectiveness tradeoffs among selection, training, and job-aiding.14 14 Teitlebaum, D., and J. Orlansky. 1996. ''Costs and Benefits of the Integrated Maintenance Information System (IMIS)," IDA Paper P-3173, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Va.
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The full human resource system must be taken into account. Investments in personnel selection, classification, assignment, training, and job design should be balanced and coordinated to optimize returns in readiness and force effectiveness. The key may be to view the provision of mission-ready, competent human performance as the goal, rather than seeking isolated improvements in training, selection, human factors, or other essential but subsidiary components of the system. Developing and maintaining a system view of human performance or human resources will require both cultural and organizational changes, as well as research and analyses of the system-wide costs and effectiveness of different approaches. Organizationally, there needs to be a Navy Department focal point where all aspects of human resources are routinely considered together as an interacting system. The Navy and Marine Corps should consider creating a personnel "battle lab" whose role would be to develop and assess human-centered technologies for more efficient use of people. This battle lab could also be tasked to manage the changes necessary to transfer promising approaches from research to their intended areas of application. Battle labs have been used in this context by both the Army and the Air Force. Moreover, personnel research and analyses are needed to assess interactions and tradeoffs and to address gaps in management of Navy readiness. They should include ongoing, high-level review of our understanding of human cognitive processes, limitations, and workload constraints. This review should be used to inform policy decisions about human resource management, design of weapons systems, and operational doctrine. Research and analyses of this sort are not expensive. Currently, the ratio of research money invested in human resource issues relative to the amounts spent on human resources appears to be less than one-half of 1 percent. It may deserve to be increased. The payoff will exceed the required investment. A FINAL WORD It should be recognized that human competence is essential to every Navy and Marine Corps operation. Its presence will not guarantee the success of these operations, but its absence will most certainly ensure their failure. The availability of human performance at the highest practicable levels of competence is a matter of first importance to the Department of the Navy. Investments in human resources that are modest compared to other areas will yield substantial returns. They should be treated as significant issues that deserve both priority and high-level attention.
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