Units will be dispersed, but most operations will require rapid task organizing 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 and 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.
On the basis of these considerations, the panel arrived at eight strategic objectives. It was the consensus of the panel that these objectives 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. These eight strategic objectives are discussed in the remainder of this report.
Recruit a higher proportion of people with above-average abilities, including already trained people through lateral entry, and retain high performers for longer periods.
The quality of the fighting force can be linked directly to the quality of recruits entering the Navy and Marine Corps. The quality of recruits can be measured within a two-by-two matrix based on high school degree and score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). The highest-quality recruits are high school diploma graduates (HSDGs) who score within the upper half of the AFQT. As a group, high school dropouts, including those who go back for a general equivalency diploma (GED), and recruits in the lower mental category perform more poorly on all performance criteria than do HSDGs.
High quality in recruits implies better individual performance and better unit performance. Much research has shown that high-quality recruits are more likely to complete their first term of service, less likely to be demoted or receive nonjudicial punishment, and more likely to be promoted faster and further than others.
Strong evidence of these benefits comes from a misnorming incident of the late 1970s.1 Test scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) were misnormed so that recruits received highly inflated scores on the AFQT, the test composite that determines eligibility for service. Because of this