The U.S. military will need to improve its software fluency if it wants to be dominant on the battlefields of the future. Ensuring that future leaders in the military develop cyber skills and the ability to interface with technical experts may be increasingly important.
Despite some steps taken by the Department of Defense, sexual assault and harassment prevention within the services and at individual installations could be substantially improved. The services could address the problem more systematically and comprehensively.
The Coast Guard benefits from the heightened respect that colleagues show each other in mixed-gender units, allowing personnel to focus and excel at their tasks at hand. When the Coast Guard zeroes in on evidence-based and appropriate accommodations for women and their physical capacities, as well as with parenting and family life, it will benefit everyone in uniform.
RAND experts publish hundreds of pieces of RAND Blog commentary every year, weighing in on pressing policy questions, breaking down current events, and untangling complex trends. To look back on some of the policy stories that defined the year, we've rounded up the RAND Blog pieces that resonated most with rand.org visitors.
How does the Department of Defense imagine the future of war and make long-term investments to confront the challenges ahead? On issues ranging from potential conflicts with Russia to the future of transportation and logistics, senior leaders have increasingly turned to wargames to imagine potential futures.
History records the names of generals, not of the privates filling out supply forms, cleaning out trucks, or huffing through another training exercise. But those privates keep the U.S. Army running. RAND research provides their unfiltered take on life in the ranks.
Wargames are games that simulate aspects of warfare at varying levels, aimed at analyzing human decisionmaking. To develop the next generation of avid wargamers, the first step is both radical and simple: Let them compete.
Women are underrepresented among the U.S. Air Force's senior leadership. This could be robbing the service of the potential to improve innovation, agility, and performance. The Air Force is working to address diversity in the service, and it continues to work to improve representation of women within its ranks.
Ensuring the strength of U.S. armed forces is critical to U.S. national security and the key source of strength is its people. True investment in personnel is a long-term legacy and an investment worthy of attention and policy debate to ensure the United States continues to recruit and retain the most effective fighting force in the world.
RAND researchers addressed topics such as whether members of U.S. special forces are ready to integrate women into their ranks and what lessons may be learned from other militaries that already have integrated women into combat positions.
A new effort to review the military's personnel system will focus initially on policies to assign, evaluate, and promote service members. To truly address systematic challenges, however, the scope will need to widen to include how the various military services might size, structure, and support key missions.
Despite the fears of some, but in line with the experience of every other institution, both in the US and abroad, that has experienced such a transition, there have been no significant problems, writes Bernard Rostker.
Adequate compensation is critical to recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer force—in peacetime and wartime alike. To assess the effectiveness of U.S. military pay and benefits, the president directs a review of military compensation every four years. Four RAND studies contributed to this review.
In academia and, increasingly, corporate America, sabbaticals are a time-honored way to step aside from the daily grind and intellectually reboot. The U.S. Army should embrace something similar, writes Laura Miller.