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The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) called for sweeping reform in the way the Department of Defense (DoD) manages its human resources in the new national security environment, which calls for more flexibility in quickly accessing the right skills at the right place. In response, DoD published a human capital strategy (HCS) in the summer of 2006 that it hoped would contribute to the transformation of the Total Force by providing a foundation for a coherent personnel management and manpower system. The HCS called for three initiatives: competency-based occupational planning, performance-based management, and enhanced opportunities for personal and professional growth. DoD requested that RAND form a panel of experts to perform an objective and independent review of the HCS and to help refine its implementation. This report presents the panel's review of the HCS, along with its conclusions and a number of recommendations that should be useful in the next iteration of the strategy. The panel recommends that DoD (1) establish an oversight organization, (2) develop a clear and specific statement of objectives and a range of options to meet those objectives, (3) conduct a cost-benefit analysis of options, (4) pilot-test selected options, and (5) regularly revisit the strategy. The HCS itself is reproduced in an appendix.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Key Elements of the Deparment of Defense Human Capital Strategy

  • Chapter Three

    Commentary on the Department of Defense Human Capital Strategy

  • Chapter Four

    Occupational Analysis and Key Elements of the Human Capital Strategy

  • Chapter Five

    Blueprint for the Future: Creating and Implementing a Human Capital Strategy for the Department of Defense

  • Appendix A

    Biographies of Panel Members

  • Appendix B

    Information Sources

  • Appendix C

    DoD Human Capital Strategy

The research in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted by the RAND National Security Research Division.

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