Attracting "Cutting-Edge" Skills Through Reserve Component Participation

by Gregory F. Treverton, David M. Oaks, Lynn Scott, Justin L. Adams, Stephen Dalzell


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People with complex, hard-to-train skills, such as information technology specialists, linguists, or scientists, are difficult for the military services to attract and retain, especially because there may not be a constant need or career path for them in the military. This report examines five new ideas for attracting such people into the Reserve Component (RC): (1) a Civilian Skills Database; (2) an expanded Individual Ready Reserve program; (3) a tailored version of the Employer Support to Guard and Reserve program; (4) an RC-focused program modeled on the Army's Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) program; and (5) a Critical University Talent Program. The authors discuss the five programs in detail and suggest ways in which they could be pilot-tested.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Framing the Challenge

  • Chapter Two

    Innovations for Meeting Current and Future Skill Needs

  • Chapter Three

    Cutting-Edge Policy Initiatives

  • Chapter Four

    Testing the Agenda

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

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