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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.
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.
Coolbaugh, K., and A. Rosenthal. 1992. Family Separations in the Army, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, Va.
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.