An Integrative Modeling Approach for Managing the Total Defense Labor Force

by Adele Palmer, C. Peter Rydell

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This report documents an exploratory research project that considers the salient relationships between wartime and peacetime manpower roles and between military and civilian manpower utilization — and how these relationships can be integrated in a manpower management model. It also discusses whether such a model would evaluate manning options differently from conventional analysis, i.e., whether it could fundamentally alter Department of Defense (DOD) labor management. The authors outline desirable features for a total force management model, build a rudimentary version of such a model, and exercise it to demonstrate that it can lead to manning policies different from those favored by existing DOD policy. The total force modeling approach they propose has the following features: (1) the management objective is cost-effectiveness; (2) peacetime costs are linked to wartime capability goals by the need to establish and maintain peacetime resource inventories for potential wartime use; (3) different areas of defense endeavor have different combinations of wartime and peacetime capability goals; (4) different categories of manpower are linked by their overlapping capacities to contribute to peacetime performance and wartime capability; (5) a worker's value in defense activities is evaluated in two dimensions; and (6) the costs and capabilities derived from military manning are heavily influenced by limited lateral entry to the military personnel inventories.

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