Meeting Occupational and Total Manpower Requirements at Least Cost

A Nonlinear Programming Approach

by David W. Grissmer, Judith C. Fernandez

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The Army trains and utilizes enlisted personnel in a wide variety of military occupational specialties (MOSs), ranging from relatively unskilled to highly skilled, from large specialties to small. Besides developing policies to meet specialty-specific needs, the Army must also develop manpower policies to meet aggregate manpower objectives, including meeting strength goals, observing budget and grade level limits, and maintaining promotion flows and objective force experience profiles. This paper develops a model designed to evaluate alternate approaches to meeting MOS-specific and aggregate manpower requirements. The analytic model, a cost-minimizing nonlinear programming model, allows the manager to discover the least-cost way of providing the desired quality and quantity profiles of enlisted first-term, second-term, and career personnel in the total force and in each MOS, when MOSs vary as to marginal recruiting costs, training costs, retention histories, and requirements for senior personnel.

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