Army would do so voluntarily. This was achieved primarily through two monetary separation incentives, the special separation bonus (a lump-sum payment) and the variable separation incentive (an annuity). As McCormick (1998) found, the long-term effects of the force reduction are still undetermined, although the Army appears to have been relatively successful in achieving its goals. These procedures illustrate the drive within the Army to make political decisions into rationalized practices.

External Contexts of Work

This section presents a brief discussion of trends in demographics, missions, and technology and their roles in influencing the structure and content of Army occupations. These forces need to be taken into account by occupational analysts in the Army in the same way that similar forces in the civilian sector are considered in the development and use of occupational analysis systems for civilian work.

Demographic Change

Personnel in the Army and the other military services share certain demographic characteristics that are quite unusual when compared with their counterparts in the civilian workforce. This is due largely to laws and policies that restrict military service to persons who meet specific qualifying standards—including requirements related to age, health, moral background (e.g., arrest records and previous use of drugs or alcohol), physical attributes, marital status and dependents, cognitive ability, gender, citizenship status, education, and sexual orientation, among other personal or background characteristics. However, as the data below show, the Army workforce, like its civilian counterpart, is becoming more diverse.

General Trends

Since the end of the draft in the mid-1970s, the Army has experienced several noteworthy shifts in its demographic content. First, the proportion of black soldiers in its enlisted ranks has risen



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement