Developing Cost-Effectiveness Guidelines for Managing Personnel Resources in a Total Force Context

by C. Peter Rydell, Adele Palmer, David J. Osbaldeston


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This report explores the implications of modeling Department of Defense manpower decisions in a "total force" context — i.e., in a context that simultaneously recognizes the roles of the active, reserve, and civilian work forces in achieving both peacetime and potential wartime operating goals. The authors show how the findings from applying the Total Force Management (TFM) model, developed in a previous study, can be used to develop guidelines for manning various types of defense activities. They also extend the TFM model for personnel management programs that use personnel in more than one activity. Illustrative findings indicate that mobilization and retraining programs can reduce costs even further than would be achieved by using cost-effectiveness guidelines for manning each activity separately. Finally, the authors consider whether the TFM recommendations for increased use of active personnel are sensitive to the availability of civilians for wartime work. The findings indicate that the TFM approach (1) can offer considerable insight into how different manning strategies affect the costs of meeting mission and peacetime operating objectives and (2) can be used to develop general cost-effective manning guidelines as a starting point for detailed analysis for specific personnel decisions.

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