Proceedings of a Colloquium on Total Force Management

by Glenn A. Gotz, Robert Goodell Brown


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In 1973, the Department of Defense (DOD) adopted a “total force policy,” which stipulated that all elements of the force structure — including not only active and reserve components, but also civil servants in the DOD, civilian contractors, and retired military personnel — should be considered concurrently in developing military capability in support of national security objectives and that missions should be given to whichever component can achieve them most economically. For various reasons, including lack of guidance, definition, and incentive, the total force policy has not been implemented completely or consistently by the Services. At the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management and Personnel), RAND held a colloquium on Total Force Management, September 27-28, 1989. The colloquium brought together many who conduct, sponsor, or use defense manpower research, and it developed a research agenda that addresses important issues related to management of the total military force. This Note summarizes presentations given by individuals, discussions following the presentations, and workshop sessions.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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