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4— Quality of Life Strive for a duty, career, and personal life environment that increases retention, enhances readiness, and promotes performance. ''Quality of life, as a term, is difficult to define comprehensively. Each service member may evaluate the quality of his or her life in somewhat different terms. Basically, the term embraces the human dimensions of service life—the environment in which our people work and live."1 The Navy and Marine Corps are voluntary organizations and will remain so into 2035. As such, they must compete with civilian employers, as well as the Army and Air Force, to recruit and retain a work force by providing not only a competitive compensation package but also a set of duty and living conditions, educational and training programs, and career opportunities that are comparable to civilian activities. Military service has certain unique characteristics, most notably a requirement for commitment to service and sacrifice that extends well beyond most civilian occupations. This commitment often requires members to leave home and loved ones for extended periods and occasionally exposes members to the hazards associated with military operations—including combat. Military members live by a code of behavior more demanding than that required of the average citizen. These unique demands require military leaders to seek ways to deal with the special stresses inherent in a military lifestyle and career.2 1 Tice, R. 1991. "Testimony Before the Defense MILCON Appropriations Committee," Washington, D.C., February 18, pp. 420-425. 2 Segal, M.W. 1986. "The Military and the Family as Greedy Institutions," The Armed Forces and Society, 13:9-38.
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The human dimensions of service life—what is defined broadly as quality of life—are critical components for achieving military retention, readiness, and performance objectives. Although "the actual details of the future will always be different from what we envision,"3 the realization of a smaller, smarter Navy and Marine Corps and implementation of the technological developments anticipated in the next half-century will not diminish the importance of quality of life (QOL) provisions for sailors, marines, and their families. Changes in how QOL priorities are ordered by individuals and families and how they can best be delivered should be expected. To adapt to these changes, the Navy and Marine Corps must be both flexible and cognizant of the complexity of human needs and the interrelationships among military duty and personal concerns. The Department of the Navy invests significant resources to provide for the well-being of its members and families in the form of compensation, benefits, and services. As noted in a recent Defense Science Board report,4 QOL expenditures are a significant part of the overall defense budget, with specific DOD installation programs costing more than $6 billion per year and overall housing expenditures representing more than $11 billion. The Navy's (not including the Marine Corps) 1998 budget request includes $22.6 billion for broadly defined quality of life.5 This includes $13.2 billion for pay, $4.6 billion for medical care, $3.3 billion for shelter, $1 billion for exchanges and commissaries, and $0.44 billion for traditional installation-based QOL programs (morale, welfare and recreation, child care, voluntary education, family services, legal and chaplain services, and so on). These proposed expenditures do not include funds that will be spent to enhance the duty environment of service personnel or funds invested in their military skill and career development. Navy QOL strategies for the 21st century require an expanded examination of the relationships between QOL investments and militarily relevant variables. This analysis must take into consideration assumptions about the future Navy and Marine Corps and their mission in the 21st century, possible effects of emerging technologies on QOL, ways in which various demographic and social changes may affect QOL perceptions, and evolving procedures and methods for delivering cost-effective human services. 3 Buder, S. 1990. Visionaries and Planners: The Garden City Movement and the Model Community, Oxford University Press, New York. 4 Defense Science Board. 1990. Achieving an Innovative Support Structure for 21st-Century Military Superiority: Higher Performance at Lower Costs, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., November. 5 Eltringham, R. 1997. Personal communication, Navy Quality of Life Program Office, Washington, D.C.
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THE ROLE OF QUALITY OF LIFE Today, quality of life is thought of as a multidimensional concept, defined as factors that promote physical, psychological, and social well-being, as determined both by the actual environment and by the perceptions of individuals.6 The way individuals perceive their lives overall is typically measured as the sum of their feelings about a number of different domains (or aspects) of life, combined in a linear fashion.7 The set of subjective QOL domains that corresponds with General Tice's human dimensions of service life includes the perceptions of duty and career matters, socioeconomic issues, and family and personal concerns. This cluster of domains has been found to be relatively stable across individuals and over time. Such stability implies that Navy personnel and their families will continue to be concerned with the same facets of their lives regardless of future environmental and technological changes. For the Navy and Marine Corps, QOL is important because of its relationship to military recruitment and retention, as well as its contribution to personal readiness and performance.8,9,10,11,12 Positive perceptions of Navy and Marine Corps life are critical to the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, while QOL in duty-related life domains has an important impact on individual morale, group (small unit) cohesion, and organizational esprit de corps.13 The Marine Corps philosophy of camaraderie, mission accomplishment, faithfulness, loyalty, and service as a daily way of living is notable in this context. This philosophy is extended to Marine Corps families through a variety of means. In-depth programs are provided prior to scheduled deployments. Family support for deployed units is provided through electronic mail, videos, commanding officers' letters, the establishment of "home support units," and other means to 6 Parmenter, T. 1994. "Quality of Life as a Concept and Measurable Entity," Social Indicators Research, 33:9-46. 7 Scarpello, V., and J.P. Campbell. 1983. "Job Satisfaction: Are All the Parts There?" Personnel Psychology, 36:577-600. 8 Sadacca, R., and A. DiFazio. 1991. Analysis of Army Family Research Program Measures of Unit Readiness, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va. 9 Burnham, M., L. Meredith, C. Sherbourne, R. Valdez, and G. Vernez. 1992. Army Families and Soldier Readiness, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, Calif. 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. 11 Coolbaugh, K. 1995. Draft Literature Review on Measurement and Evaluation Research on Family Center Programs and Mission Outcomes , Caliber Associates, Fairfax, Va. 12 Koopman, M.E., and D.D. Goldhaber. 1997. Return on Quality of Life Investment, CRM-96-147, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Va. 13 Manning, F. 1991. "Morale, Cohesion, and Esprit de Corps," Handbook of Military Psychology, R. Gal and A. Mangelsdorff, eds., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., New York.
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keep family members aware of what is happening within the operational and security constraints of the deployment. Commitment to the Marine Corps involves a family commitment to the Marine Corps philosophy and its QOL implications. Many Navy and Marine Corps families benefit from the DOD school system operated by the DOD Education Activity (DODEA). Currently there are more than 230 schools in this system serving more than 110,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Of these, 167 overseas schools in 14 countries are now participating in the recently announced Presidential Technology Initiative. This initiative, which is coordinated through the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, intends that the DODEA schools will serve as exemplars for the use of technology in education. All schools are to have a local area network and all are to be connected to the World Wide Web, but the initiative is focused on curriculum and content. About $20 million will be provided over the next 5 years to implement and integrate technology-based curricula into the DODEA schools. The intent is to provide DOD families with an exemplary school system solidly based on the capabilities and economies available from information technology. Helping Service members and their families adapt to military life and cope with its unique duty and career stresses has an obvious effect on retention and readiness. Further, an organization that demonstrates that it values people is able to enhance members' connection to the institution, its missions, and other members. QOL investments are a concrete example of the value and importance that the Department of the Navy places on its people. These initiatives facilitate the level of commitment necessary for mission accomplishment and help to moderate aspects of military life stress and to sustain member well-being. ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE NAVY IN THE 21ST CENTURY As we move into the 21st century, the Navy's primary QOL challenges involve expected changes in the nature of military duties and career expectations and the impact of specific duty and career demands on personal and family life.14 Future sailors and marines will be based out of a smaller number of geographic locations, primarily in the United States rather than overseas. Most will be in combat and combat support occupational specialties, and regardless of their duty assignments, more advanced technological skills will be required of all sailors and marines. More individuals will find themselves in low-density, high-autonomy duty settings. Frequent and rapid training and operational deployments 14 Naval Studies Board. 1988. Navy 21: Implications of Advancing Technology for Naval Operations in the Twenty-First Century, Volume 1: Overview, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
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will be the norm, but training and educational moves will be less frequent as a result of various forms of distance learning. Military careers will typically be longer than today's 20-year norm, although the actual size of the overall career component of the force may be even less than today as a reflection of an overall smaller force. Many individuals, especially those in the Marine Corps, will still serve only one or two terms before returning to civilian life. Although many duty-related changes will be technology driven, most career and life-style changes will continue to be determined by policy decisions. Typically, these decisions have second- and third-order effects on those to whom they apply. For example, as the Navy and Marine Corps decrease the stock of on-base housing in favor of private sector, off-base housing development and monetary entitlements, there are potential impacts on each member's sense of psychological connection to and identification with the Navy and Marine Corps as institutions.15,16 In addition, such changes will affect the need for and use of other human service programs.17 Where people live represents an important component of their formal and informal social interactions and subsequent group identification. Future policy and management decisions, like housing policy, need to include a broadly viewed QOL impact assessment. IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY The greatest impact of technological developments will be in the performance of military duties, because it is in the operational environment that changes are expected to be most dramatic. With the prominent role that job perceptions play in the overall QOL of individuals, the Department of the Navy is presented with a number of opportunities to enhance duty QOL as these technological changes are implemented in the operational environment. Most planners believe that emerging weapons and communication technologies will enable the department to reduce overall manpower requirements. As this is accomplished, fewer people and more sophisticated methods are likely to modify the manner in which 15 Defense Science Board. 1995. Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Quality of Life, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., October. 16 Defense Science Board. 1996. Achieving an Innovative Support Structure for 21st-Century Military Superiority: Higher Performance at Lower Costs, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., November. 17 Twiss, P., and J. Martin. 1997. Family Housing: A Critical Military Quality of Life Issue, Special Report, Military Family Institute, Marywood University, Scranton, Pa.
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duties are carried out in a number of ways, including more widely dispersed work groups and fewer face-to-face interactions, duties with increased autonomy and responsibility, information inundation, and duties that are intrinsically more interesting. Each of these modifications has the potential to improve the nature of the duty environment and increase duty satisfaction, but safeguards against unintended negative consequences are required to realize these potential benefits. At the same time, new leadership skills and supervisory techniques will be demanded. For example, adequate communication networks must be available to offset any negative effects of isolation and to maintain optimal contact with peers and supervisors. These evolving 21st-century duties and duty environments must consider what military history has taught us about establishing and maintaining individual morale, unit cohesion, and organizational esprit de corps.18 As the composition of the primary group and methods of operation radically change, especially in combat environments, adherence to these military principles is critical. From a sailor's or marine's perspective, successful mission accomplishment leads to high morale 19 and subsequently to a satisfying military quality of life. Family separations because of training, operational deployments, and unaccompanied tours of duty are typically considered among the most difficult aspects of military life.20,21,22 The availability of improved communication technologies can help at-sea members deal with one of the major stresses of Navy life. Application of communication technologies can enhance personal QOL by allowing service members an opportunity to maintain closer contact with their families and other loved ones and to maintain meaningful participation in family life. Inherent risks of such personal communications include security issues and the introduction of home-front stress into the operational environment. Leaders must learn how to manage the use of these inevitable communication technologies without compromising the security of the mission and the performance and well-being of the service member.23,24 18 Manning, F. 1991. "Morale, Cohesion, and Esprit de Corps," Handbook of Military Psychology, R. Gal, and A. Mangelsdorff, eds., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., New York. 19 Manning, F. 1991. "Morale, Cohesion, and Esprit de Corps," Handbook of Military Psychology, R. Gal, and A. Mangelsdorff, eds., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., New York. 20 Etheridge, R. 1989. Family Factors Affecting Retention: A Review of the Literature, Research Report 1511, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va. 21 Coolbaugh, K., and A. Rosenthal. 1992. Family Separations in the Army, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va. 22 Segal, M.W., and J.J. Harris. 1993. What We Know About Army Families (special report for Contract DAAL03-86-D-0001), University of Maryland, College Park, Md. 23 Applewhite, L., and D. Segal. 1990. "Telephone Use by Peacekeeping Troops in the Sinai," Armed Forces & Society, 17(1):117-126. 24 Medical Follow-up Agency, Institute of Medicine (IOM). 1996. Health Consequences of Service During the Persian Gulf War: Recommendations for Research and Information Systems, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
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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 create unmanageable levels of stress. Research and development investments in human factors technology, cognitive and physical workload assessment, and improved means for matching people to jobs and duty assignments will increase job satisfaction. Increases in job satisfaction will, in turn, lead to increases in efficiency and organizational commitment.25,26,27 In the off-duty domains of life, the proliferation of currently available technology should have a positive effect on QOL. As more service members and their families gain access to the Internet and its communication capabilities, it will increase access to educational and other personal self-development programs and allow individuals to conduct personal business regardless of location. IMPACT OF DEMOGRAPHIC AND SOCIETAL CHANGES In conjunction with technology, a second powerful influence on overall QOL will be demographic and societal changes that determine the characteristics of Navy and Marine Corps personnel, their families, and their life-style expectations and requirements. The demands of sophisticated technology and decision-making skills logically presuppose a better-educated military. Until there is improvement in the public education system, much of the required duty-related education and training will be acquired after enlistment. Because of the skills and skill levels required to protect its training investment, the Navy, and to a lesser degree, the Marine Corps, are expected to stress retention. The naval forces, even in an overall smaller military, are expected to consist of a greater percentage of career personnel and to be somewhat older than today's forces. In general, higher educational level produces greater QOL expectations, which in turn increases the importance of addressing QOL issues in both duty and personal life domains. Voluntary education programs, already among the most-valued QOL programs, will become more popular as the need to be career competitive increases. An older population suggests that a larger percentage of the force will be married with children, and as the general population ages, increased numbers of service personnel will be involved with elder care responsibilities.28 Both of 25 Efraty, D., and M.J. Sirgy. 1990. "The Effects of Quality of Working Life (QOL) on Employee Behavioral Responses," Social Indicators Research, 22:31-47. 26 Furnham, A. 1991. "Work and Leisure Satisfaction," Subjective Well-Being, F. Strack, M. Argyle, and N. Schwarz, eds., Pergamon Press, New York, pp. 235-259. 27 Harrison, M.I. 1987. Diagnosing Organizations: Methods, Models and Processes, Sage, Newbury Park, Calif. 28 Day, Jennifer C. 1996. Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050, Current Population Reports, U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., pp. 25-1130.
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these projections suggest that demands for QOL career considerations and QOL services for families will increase. Decisions about the services offered and the modes of delivery must take into consideration society's changing definition of family and gender-role expectations. Although the traditional two-parent family will still dominate in military society, other family types are likely to increase as they have in civilian society. Wives will continue to look to their husbands f or increased equity in completing tasks associated with family life (e.g., shopping and caring for children), and men will continue to seek more opportunity to share in what have traditionally been seen as maternal role responsibilities (e.g., involvement in early parenting activities). The number of women seeking entry into the Navy and, to a lesser degree, the Marine Corps is likely to increase as women seek new opportunities for training and education and satisfying employment opportunities and careers. Societal pressures to expand military opportunities for women will continue. Any increase in the percentage of women in the Navy and Marine Corps will require the corresponding development of specific services (e.g., health care) required to maintain an acceptable level of QOL for women. Subjective quality of life is determined less by actual conditions than by perceptions of what is fair or expected in comparison with others who are viewed as peers or equals. The general trend toward greater reliance on housing military families in the civilian community and the outsourcing of medical and other human services provide Navy and Marine Corps personnel with increased opportunities for realistic comparisons with their civilian peers. Similarly, more joint service operations and duty assignments facilitate QOL comparisons with those in other services. Military versus civilian economic comparisons are known to be a significant factor in enlistment decisions and also to affect retention to a somewhat smaller degree.29 Comparisons among military members from different services are likely to have a similar effect. QUALITY-OF-LIFE RESEARCH Just as it is critical for a unit leader to maintain a watch on the health, morale, and well-being of his or her sailors or marines, so also in a broader sense must military organizations be cognizant of the QOL of their members. QOL research provides the basis for an assessment of the fabric of the organization and the information required for important investment decisions that will affect the organization's future. QOL research must help guide decisions about overall allocation of resources—that is, the tradeoffs between alternative QOL programs, 29 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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and tradeoffs between QOL programs and other investments in people, equipment, research, and technology, and even in the organization's ability to carry out operational activities. Currently, we do not know whether a dollar spent on housing programs improves retention more than the same dollar spent on exchanges. We know even less about whether either of these quality-of-life expenditures improves fighting effectiveness more than an extra steaming day per quarter per ship. To support informed decision making, future research needs to improve in three basic areas: providing mechanisms for obtaining better and more timely data; developing linkages between QOL program efficacy and valid measures of performance; and establishing a broader approach to our understanding of the concept of quality of life. Objective measures of standard of living are typically used to represent the verifiable QOL of a particular population. For the Navy and Marine Corps, examples of such measures are military pay and other service-related monetary compensation, the square footage of barracks or shipboard living space, or the average length of time to obtain an appointment to receive non-emergency health care. Historically, correlations between objective measures of QOL and individuals' overall perceptions about their QOL have been low,30 which suggests that a comprehensive assessment of QOL needs to take into consideration some combination of both objective and subjective factors. To date there is no "gold standard" in civilian or military QOL research.31 As Halliday notes 32 in his review of Nussbaum and Sen's book The Quality of Life,33 "a wide-ranging set of variables cannot be reduced to a simple indicator; there are just too many incommensurable values at stake. It is simply intuitive that the rich tapestry of human lives and the way in which people may choose, say, time with family over earned income, makes the reduction of multitudinous components to one scalar quantity both impossible and undesirable" (p. 272) While measurement issues are obviously formidable, QOL research remains an important area of interest both because of the economic issues involved and because of the apparent linkages between QOL and various militarily relevant variables such as recruitment, retention, readiness, and personnel performance. As noted above, the Navy and Marine Corps lack a comprehensive system for tracking QOL expenditures at a detailed level. This prevents policy makers and researchers from knowing how much the Navy and Marine Corps are spending on QOL programs for various groups of sailors and marines. From a policy point 30 Allen, L. 1991. "Benefits of Leisure Services to Community Satisfaction," Benefits of Leisure, B.L. Driver, P.J. Brown, and G.L. Peterson, eds., Venture, State College, Pa. 31 Parmenter, T. 1994. "Quality of Life as a Concept and Measurable Entity," Social Indicators Research, 33:9-46. 32 Halliday, R. 1995. "The Quality of Life," Journal of Value Inquiry , 29:269-278. 33 Nussbaum, M.C., and A.K. Sen. 1993. The Quality of Life, Oxford University Press, New York.
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of view a comprehensive tracking system would allow the Navy and Marine Corps leadership to monitor spending at a more detailed level. From a research point of view it would allow military scientists an opportunity to examine the connection between QOL cost factors and indicators of various possible outcomes. The Army is developing what might be considered a candidate 21st-century comprehensive, integrated, computer-based QOL information system. 34 In July 1996, the Army Chief of Staff directed the development of a quarterly command update that assesses broadly defined objective and subjective components of QOL. This requirement has resulted in an effort to develop an Installation Status Report (ISR), a decision support system similar to the Army's current Unit Status Report (USR). As now envisioned, the fully developed ISR will contain three QOL components: infrastructure data, environmental data, and services data. These data, when combined with various installation, Army-wide, and DOD soldier and family member survey data, will provide an opportunity to create an integrated, computer-based, comprehensive QOL information system. The potential exists for these data to be linked to other military and federal data. If this comprehensive information management system is fully developed and integrated with other related information systems, it will provide a powerful tool for ongoing assessment of the dynamic factors that are thought to influence QOL and its relationship to a variety of militarily relevant outcomes. The system being envisioned will have the potential to provide both macro (Army)- and micro (installation)-level management and decision-making information. A similar system would be useful for the Navy and Marine Corps. The most useful future research on QOL will connect both objective and subjective variables to militarily relevant outcomes such as actual retention, on-the-job performance, and overall duty performance, and ultimately readiness and combat performance. Currently, only a fraction of the QOL research makes the connection between the inputs and these outcomes. Most of this research has focused only on retention. Researchers need to use or to develop metrics that indicate the fighting effectiveness of the Navy and Marine Corps, and then to identify which QOL programs influence these measures of effectiveness. Some of the basic steps along this path were developed in recent Marine Corps QOL studies.35,36 Structural equation models were used to demonstrate causal relationships between QOL and behavioral outcomes, including measures 34 Carney, C. 1997. Personal communication regarding the development of the Army's Installation Status Report, Caliber Associates, Fairfax, Va. 35 Kerce, Elyse W. 1992. Quality of Life: Meaning, Measurement, and Models, TN-92-15, Navy Personnel Research and Development Center, San Diego, Calif. 36 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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of readiness, reenlistment intentions, and performance. The results of this research provided empirical evidence for what military leaders have long believed, that QOL has an important payoff in desired military outcomes. The instruments and methods used in this study provide a starting point for continued monitoring of Marine Corps (and Navy) QOL and provide a mechanism to begin assessing the effects of technological, demographic, and policy changes on QOL. Even when we are able to quantify the relationships between QOL and various militarily relevant variables, leaders will still have to weigh the potential second-order effects associated with these relationships, some of which may not be easily identified. For example, making more on-base housing available to junior enlisted families may have a positive impact on young families that often benefit from easy access to a range of military community services. Senior personnel may be attracted to the possibility of an adequate housing entitlement that allows them an opportunity to establish themselves in the local civilian community. An unforeseen second-order effect, however, might be the loss of the stabilizing maturity and community leadership that these more senior personnel bring to the on-base community. Reducing their density on base could result in a significant lowering of an installation's quality of life. Addressing these kinds of questions will require expanded program evaluation efforts and the establishment of longitudinal research studies that begin to examine a variety of military career issues.37 Relationships among naval forces' members, and among member families, are critical components of overall QOL, and they need to be represented in all QOL assessments. As noted above, military leaders typically refer to these connections as unit cohesion.38 The challenge for the Navy and Marine Corps involves more than just managing ''collections" (compensation, benefits, and services) in a fiscally constrained environment: they must find new ways to build and sustain their members' sense of connection to the institution, its mission, and other members. Finally, research related to QOL must take into consideration the fact that there are often recursive relationships between components of QOL and various militarily related outcomes. In the same way that successful individual and unit performance enhances morale and unit cohesion,39 so also does successful individual and unit performance have direct and indirect impacts on various aspects of personal and family life. Many of the sacrifices inherent in military life take 37 Gade, P. 1991. "Military Service and the Life-course Perspective: A Turning Point for Military Personnel Research," Military Psychology , Vol. 3, pp. 187-200. 38 Manning, F. 1991. "Morale, Cohesion, and Esprit de Corps," Handbook of Military Psychology, R. Gal and A. Mangelsdorff, eds., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., New York. 39 Psotka, J. "Cohesion Research: Do Cohesive Groups Win, or Does Winning Produce Cohesion?" ARI Newsletter, 5(4):16-17, Alexandria, Va.
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on a different meaning in the context of a military promotion or a member's return from a successful combat deployment. These recursive relationships are seldom considered in current QOL research. MEASURES OF QUALITY OF LIFE This review highlights the fact that there is an extensive literature on objective (social indicators and program services) measures of QOL, as well as subjective measures of both overall QOL and the various life domains that reflect the idiosyncratic nature of these domains for various population groups such as military members and their families. As noted by Coolbaugh,40 models and methods are now available for application of military and civilian QOL research to mission outcomes. Considerable investment is needed (as noted in the Army's current effort to develop the ISR) in institutionalizing reliable, valid, and readily available QOL data and management access to these data. For many military human service programs such as family services, this means developing measures of effectiveness that go beyond the current process measures (e.g., counts of program use) and actually assess the effects of the services being provided. These program data do not now exist. Since most military human service programs are comparable across the military, investment in measurement, development, and data collection methodology requires Navy and Marine Corps encouragement and DOD-level leadership. DOD actively studies the factors that influence recruitment. The 1996 Youth Attitude Tracking Survey, which annually conducts a telephone survey of about 10,000 young men and women, reports that the percentage of males, age 16 to 24, who plan "definitely" or "probably" to enlist in the military Services dropped from 26.2 percent to 20.7 percent over the years from 1991 to 1996.41 The percentages of young men who specifically mentioned the Navy were found to be 9.9 percent in 1991 and 7.8 percent in 1996. Comparable percentages for the Marine Corps were 9.7 and 8.4. These declines were attributed to a booming economy that has increased competition from both industry and academia. Young people were found to be more likely to seek advancement through college education rather than military service. They view military service as dangerous and unpleasant, and they are unwilling to make the sacrifices in personal freedom required by military service. More than 30 percent of first-term sailors and marines do not complete the 40 Coolbaugh, K. 1995. Draft Literature Review on Measurement and Evaluation Research on Family Center Programs and Mission Outcomes , Caliber Associates, Fairfax, Va. 41 Hintze, D.W., P. Giambo, J.B. Greenless, T. Hagerty, M.J. Wilson, and J.D. Lehnus. 1996. Youth Attitude Tracking Study 1996: Propensity and Advertising Report, DASW01-96-C-0041, Item 0002BG, Defense Manpower Data Center, Washington, D.C.
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first term of service,42 many for reasons that relate to poor screening rather than QOL issues. For those who complete their first term successfully and whose performance warrants retention consideration, QOL factors are important. Surveys have been able to document links between retention and QOL.43 In a recent study,44 survey data were matched with personnel records to determine whether satisfaction with QOL programs such as family service centers is correlated with actual (not intended) retention decisions. The study showed not only that there was a significant increase in retention, but also that the cost of these programs was far less than the cost of retention by means of reenlistment bonuses or other types of cash compensation. Current QOL research on readiness relies on the individual's self-perception of his or her individual readiness. Unit-based measures of readiness have been severely criticized as lacking reliability, validity, and utility.45 This includes DOD's SORTS data, the Air Force's ULTRA model, and the Army's current USR. Recently, RAND, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the Army Family Research Program conducted studies to develop theoretically and statistically sound measures of individual readiness.46 The previously described Army QOL information system for the 21st century is attempting to incorporate components from many of these QOL readiness models. Similar efforts should be made to establish unit-based readiness and performance measures and corresponding QOL linkages. Based on the information and arguments presented to this point, the Navy and Marine Corps need to do the following: Conduct regular, comprehensive, Service-wide QOL assessments (at least every three years). Expand collection of QOL program data beyond data on current process variables (staffing, funding, access, waiting times, numbers served, and so on) to include data on cost, client satisfaction, and the measurement of objective indicators of program effectiveness. The availability of these data will enhance cost- 42 U.S. General Accounting Office. 1997. Military Attrition. DoD Could Save Millions by Better Screening Enlisted Personnel, GAO/NSIAD-97-39, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 43 Coolbaugh, K. 1995. Draft Literature Review on Measurement and Evaluation Research on Family Center Programs and Mission Outcomes , Caliber Associates, Fairfax, Va. 44 Koopman, M.E., and D.D. Goldhaber. 1997. Return on Quality of Life Investment, CRM-96-147, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, Va. 45 Coolbaugh, K. 1995. Draft Literature Review on Measurement and Evaluation Research on Family Center Programs and Mission Outcomes , Caliber Associates, Fairfax, Va. 46 Coolbaugh, K. 1995. Draft Literature Review on Measurement and Evaluation Research on Family Center Programs and Mission Outcomes , Caliber Associates, Fairfax, Va.
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benefit investment decisions among QOL programs and provide the data-based information required for programmatic decision making at all levels of command. Develop and validate measures of readiness and performance, at both individual and organizational levels, and establish mechanisms to examine the relationships among these military outcomes and QOL factors. Establish a central repository for QOL data and mechanisms that encourage military QOL research both within DOD and in DOD-Service partnerships with researchers in private-sector and academic settings. Investments in quality of life require balance. Over concentration on quality of life issues can adversely affect modernization and readiness if it unnecessarily deprives them of funds. On the other hand, failure to invest sufficiently in quality of life issues will harm the armed forces and increase personnel costs—personal dissatisfaction causes individuals to vote with their feet by leaving the Service. Determining an appropriate balance cannot be accomplished in a vacuum. If the above suggestions are pursued, they will go far toward providing information now needed to inform decisions on quality of life investments. QUALITY-OF-LIFE PRIORITIES FOR THE FUTURE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS Giving priority to the following areas will help ensure an acceptable level of quality of life for Navy and Marine Corps members and their families and, in turn, contribute to retention, readiness, performance of duty, and overall mission accomplishment: 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
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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.47, 48, 49 The availability of improved communication technologies should be exploited to help deployed personnel deal with 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. 47 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. 48 Coolbaugh, K., and A. Rosenthal. 1992. Family Separations in the Army, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va. 49 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.
Representative terms from entire chapter: