If Congress enacts substantial changes to acquisition processes as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, then it has a responsibility to ensure that the DoD has the opportunity and resources to implement proven change management principles to increase the chances for its success.
Congress and the DoD have a long history of efforts to improve the way weapon systems are acquired. Now, changes to DoD acquisition policies and processes are again being proposed in the House and Senate in an attempt to get needed military capabilities to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines faster and cheaper.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's “Force of the Future” initiative may mean far-reaching changes in how military personnel are recruited, evaluated, assigned, promoted, retained, separated, and compensated. What is needed is a map that shows potential paths to reach the objectives.
The U.S. Department of Defense has 26 policies related to family resilience, but definitions of the term vary across the services. To facilitate a comprehensive view of family resilience programming, a well-articulated, standard definition of family resilience is needed.
A review of major online U.S. military surveys found very low response rates among young enlisted members. The authors explore possible explanations, why such rates might not reflect bias, and what to do before investing to increase participation.
This report identifies the problems and challenges associated with sharing unclassified information within the U.S. Department of Defense and investigates the role of policies and practices associated with such sharing.
Chuck Hagel, the only enlisted soldier and Vietnam War veteran to serve as secretary of defense, has been elected to the RAND Board of Trustees. He served as the 24th U.S. Secretary of Defense from February 2013 to February 2015 and as a U.S. senator, representing his home state of Nebraska, from 1997 to 2009.
Defense Department approaches to risk management could be improved if they focused on complex strategic judgments — questions on which information is imperfect, dozens of variables interact in nonlinear ways, and human choice and agency generate unpredictable patterns.
The U.S. Department of Defense spends more than $250 million per year on efforts to inform, influence, and persuade. How effective (and cost-effective) are they? How well do they support military objectives? How could they be improved?
The U.S. Department of Defense has struggled to assess the progress and effectiveness of its efforts to inform, influence, and persuade audiences in support of key national security objectives. Examples of strong assessment practices across sectors—including defense, marketing, public relations, and academia—can help address these challenges.
The DoD plans to fund a Darpa-Air Force-Navy technology demonstration program aimed at developing critical sixth-generation fighter capabilities. It's a sign that the Pentagon is adopting a cost-effective strategy but it will need to remain vigilant to avoid the pitfalls that have caused previous joint fighter programs to fall short of hoped-for cost savings and to accept unwelcome design compromises.
The Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 made the broadest and most sweeping changes to the Pentagon since its establishment in 1947. With the Department of Homeland Security in a similar state just over a decade after its hurried creation, it's time for DHS to have a Goldwater-Nichols of its own.
Military spouses face challenges related to military life that can make it difficult for them to maintain and develop careers. The My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship is one program designed to help them, but only one in five eligible spouses reported using it.
Today's leaders should follow the example of their predecessors and closely evaluate a few well-defined scenarios, such as a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or a Russian invasion of a NATO member state to determine the most serious gaps in U.S. and allied capabilities.
Russia and China have been investing in military modernization programs to blunt the U.S. military's technological edge, fielding advanced aircraft, submarines, and both longer range and more accurate missiles. The DoD's Third Offset Strategy is a much-needed initiative to identify and invest in innovative ways to sustain and advance America's military dominance for the 21st century.
Existing federal data can identify subcontractors in the defense supply base, their socioeconomic status, and the vulnerability of contractors and subcontractors to environmental risks and changes in their federal prime and subcontract revenue.
The dynamic retention model is used to provide an initial assessment of how compensation policies, including pay freezes, unpaid furloughs, and changes to civil service retirement, affect retention of federal civil service workers.