As the military enters a significant downsizing period, it's important to talk through relevant issues and solutions. Enter your response below, and if it gets the most Up votes, you win a free iPad Mini and we will personally deliver your thoughts to our Advisory Board, which includes retired Generals George Casey and Norton Schwartz, the recent Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force, respectively.<div><br></div><div>Tip: Get all your friends to vote Up your response by the end of the contest on Oct 7, 2013.</div>
Posted 9 y ago
<div>> Retain the top personnel. Spend effort (a team of smart unpaid outsiders, like interns from good schools, who know data analysis, anthropology, industrial engineering) into getting some good data analytics on NCOERs/OERs/deployment experience in order to make a decision on who the low performers will be and who the high performers will be. Pay the high performers to stay and deal with the pains associated with downsizing, and pay the low performers to depart.</div><div><br></div><div>> Get the contractors out of IT/C2 and forget the sunk costs and sunk legacies. CPOF, DTMS, etc. are great ideas troubled with poor understanding and horrible implementation because the input/interface is non-obvious by design. You don't need training to use your iPhone, but even with training it can take a team to figure a CPOF report feature out (this isn't true everywhere obviously)... Our network-centric infrastructure's robustness is dependent upon civilians who work set hours, set days, can be furloughed, and who are invested in bureaucracy; our signal Soldiers down at the battalions lose their rights to fix problems over to higher civilian oversight as a form of reactionary stop-gaps and fears of what those Soldiers could do, because the Army can't afford to pay the contracts necessary to fix the software such that it conforms to the user. Instead, the Soldier must conform to the software's oversight or issue, and we get more new policies and new training. "FRAGO to the FRAGO" and so on in regards to a policy that our E-1s have to be trusted to implement for our own OPSEC... which has a direct impact on our agility. Let units program their own ground-up, low-level databases and queries in a contained cloud to automate and synchronize the administrative stuff and then customize how that query presents to the Soldier! Let units share those products with other units. Open this market to smart Soldiers we have all over the place, not companies that must design the IT/C2 products such that they need eternal maintenance, updates, and field service reps to coax paychecks. 3 Soldiers could make a better, usable DTMS in a year if only they had the space, rights, and we weren't afraid to replace the fragmented network of separated databases that don't communicate. How many databases must my SSN be in...? When Soldiers have IA violations they need to get their certificates again, but the IA training videos are contracted (cost money, cumbersome to change) and not updated to reflect these policy changes upon policy changes - so nothing is learned and time is wasted; it's a punitive solution to a problem that shouldn't exist in any organization that values robustness and agility. Our IT/mission command problems at battalions are pervasive, crippling, and getting sillier every day.</div><div><br></div>
Inspire innovation. We need to find better/different ways of doing things and not accepting a process/program is good enough as is. From big things to little things, we need to all stop and think if what we are doing every moment is really being done the best way.
I agree with SSG Shaw- let folks who *want* to get out, do just that. But I would also take it one step further and say the promotion system needs an overhaul as well. <br><br>To be promoted in the Army you need simply to be a PT stud who takes the easiest college route available and get the tower NCO to "hook you up" at the range. It's going to be controversial to say this, but promotion should be based on two basic criteria- MOS knowledge/proficiency, and overall leadership ability. Of course those could be further broken up, and you could still factor things like combat experience in. <br><br>But honestly, whether someone gets a 250 or a 300 on their APFT really has no bearing on their ability to do their job or to lead troops. Same with a college degree- it should *certainly* put you ahead of your peers, but not be an end-all requirement. Take the Air Force's model of MOS proficiency tests for each skill level and test the individual at the next skill level. Be brutal. Then the Soldiers Chain of Command and NCO Support Channel convenes and gives an overall, HONEST assessment of their leadership ability. Not the NCOER rating, but a real one. There could still be a board of sorts, but rattling off memorized answers is pointless too. They could be answering a quiz about Harry Potter books for all it matters. Additional points can be added for college degrees or 290+ APFT or 40/40 range scores. How many awards someone has? Come on. That would mean the E-4 sitting in NATO or at the Pentagon on a desk job with no combat patch would be more qualified than the E-5P on his third deployment who has been hands-on in the MOS for years and years. The awards system is no better a method for promotion criteria than rattling off memorized book answers.<br><br>On the other hand, and once again I know most people will disagree with me here, I say return the RCP to its original state. If a Soldier likes- I mean truly likes their MOS, likes working in that MOS, likes training Soldiers in that MOS, has a great deal of knowledge to bring to the table and is more concerned with job satisfaction, why would you want to put that person out telling them "you should have reclassed into a job you don't know and have no interest in or passion for to get promoted." That Joe shouldn't have to reclass or be that PT stud with sham college under his belt. I've seen great NCOs in my time but I've also seen NCOs who were exactly that- PT studs with excessively generic degrees getting promoted fast but have no MOS knowledge or ability getting shown up by the E-2 out of AIT and have NO leadership ability at all, even after WLC. This method is effectively putting out the people who have the wealth of knowledge and encouraging people to focus on the Army only rather than the MOS that they trained them for. At this rate it's going to be just like the Army after the last drawdown- an Army full of Specialists and Captains.. because there's such a push to put out the top folks and to weed out all the knowledgeable mid-to-upper-level Joes. And when it's all said and done you'll have all these guys looking at the equipment realizing that they can read the TM just fine but no one really knows the realities of it- the real ins and outs of it.<br><br>I've said it more than once and I know it's true- most people here will flat-out disagree with me. That's fine. That's the beauty of opinions. We're all entitled to our own.<br>
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