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1 Other analysts have reached the same conclusion. “During the next 30 years, the Navy will introduce several new platforms. New technologies on the future platform will automate many routine tasks and information processing functions that sailors currently perform.... How will sailors’ jobs change? Of course, we will not know the full extent of automation on manpower requirements until ships’ designs are complete” (Golding, Arkes, and Koopman, 1999, p. 5).

24 Attracting the Best: How the Military Competes for Information Technology Personnel flexibility within the services, the characteristics of current IT management, and the potential for future adaptation of many different types.

In this chapter, we first explain our methodology in conducting the interviews. Then we present findings on the management of IT and IT-related personnel in the Army, examining the process for generating manpower requirements for these career fields, assessing the overall health of units, and identifying incentives for enlistment and reenlistment as well as incentives for soldiers to obtain additional education and training. We then present findings on similar issues for the Air Force specialties and offer observations and conclusions.


Because of project budget and time considerations, our interviews focused on the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. We selected relevant MOSs in the Army. The MOSs chosen were represented by information systems (career management field [CMF] 74, also known as signals) and military intelligence (CMF 96). We also selected comparable Air Force specialty codes (AFSCs), namely, the 3C series (communications-computer systems operations) and AFSC 1N series (operations intelligence).

We view intelligence as IT related for two main reasons. First, signal intelligence seems to fit naturally within the IT classification, given its heavy use of IT systems. The other aspect of intelligence, human intelligence, can also be interpreted as an IT occupation, because it includes not only the gathering of information through interrogation, but also the compilation and access to that information, which are assisted now by IT.

We identified offices within the services and specific individuals responsible for determining the manpower requirements of these specialties and for the management of personnel in these specialties. Typically, these individuals were in the personnel and training commands, as opposed to the operating commands; however, the process used to determine manpower requirements is similar in the different commands. Below we provide more detailed information about the structure of the Army and Air Force specialties and the individuals and offices we contacted.

Army Signals (CMF 74) houses the computer systems security and other computer-related jobs.

Most of the basic and advanced formal training for signals is done at Ft. Gordon, Georgia.

For intelligence (CMF 96), basic and advanced formal training occurs at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. CMFs 74 and 96 include the following specialties:

–  –  –

• 96U unmanned aerial vehicle operator • 96Z military intelligence chief (the capstone occupation for CMF 96).

The Army’s general procedure for ascertaining the training and manpower requirements for a CMF is known as the CMF review. This review occurs quarterly through an inter-command process that brings together high-level military and civilian managerial personnel from the personnel, education, and training commands. The CMF review evaluates recruiting and retention goals and determines course and skill requirements for the CMF. The CMF review is also responsible for monitoring the overall health of the CMF.

We met with personnel from each command that fed into the CMF review process and with personnel responsible for managing individuals in specific MOSs. These were, for the most part, senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and, in some instances, civilians.

For example, we spoke with several civilians involved in developing the training requirements for soldiers in the Signal Corps.

Air Force We studied Air Force specialties that most closely resembled the skill sets in Army signals and intelligence, namely, the AFSC 3C series (communications-computer systems operations) and the AFSC 1N series (operations intelligence). Unlike the Army, which monitors the full spectrum of requirements and manning of its CMFs quarterly, the Air Force handles its personnel issues with a process called the Utilization and Training Workshop (U&TW). The U&TW conducts, among other things, an in-depth analysis of occupational requirements and instructional system requirements for the career field (Robbert et al., unpublished).

While the U&TW appears to address many of the same issues as the CMF review, the U&TW occurs over a cycle of several years rather than several months. We endeavored to understand the components of the U&TW and to meet with offices and individuals involved in this process.

Structured Interviews

For all the interviews, we used a semistructured format that considered several topics:

• formal educational opportunities available to personnel

• informal or on-the-job training opportunities available to personnel

• available noncompensation incentives to encourage personnel to obtain more skills

• extant compensation and management tools that enable the services to recruit, retain, and promote its pool of knowledge workers.

Because the Army and Air Force processes are not identical, the interviews illuminated different kinds of information and data for these two services.

Army Interviews Our discussion with Army CMF managers revealed challenges relating to the retention of skilled, qualified IT personnel, but also suggested that the Army does have a rather thorough IT planning and training process, which is able to successfully develop the required IT 26 Attracting the Best: How the Military Competes for Information Technology Personnel workforce. In addition, our interviewees were able to shed light on the effectiveness, prevalence, and limitations of the existing training and incentive programs. Such information implies that although an array of recruitment, retention, and personnel development strategies are used throughout the Army IT occupations, there is room for improvement in the application of these incentives, improvement that would assist the Army in reaching its future force IT needs and expectations.

IT Manpower in the Future Force: Requirements Generation Process Our interviewees offered observations about the specific steps within the requirement generation process as well as the actions taken to make sure that a given unit is able to meet its future force requirements and train its personnel. This information is useful to understand the sufficiency of future IT manpower because it provides a description of the factors and procedures that go into planning for the IT needs of the transforming Army.

The requirement generation process occurs separately for each major command in each service. In the Army, a biennial process called Total Army Analysis is the basis for the determination of future manpower needs. There are four phases within the procedure. The first, force guidance, uses guidance from several sources, including the National Military Strategy, the Defense Planning Guidance, the Army Plan, as well as resource assumptions and priorities, to develop a theater force structure. Next, in the quantitative analysis phase, the proposed force is run through several computer simulations. Qualitative analysis, the third phase, identifies potential constraints, develops a plan to achieve the desired force structure, and specifies the numbers and types of units. Finally, in the leadership review phase, the proposed force is reviewed and approved by the Secretary of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff (Reece, Holt, and Trotter, 1993).

There is a difference between the requirement generation processes for combat units and those for support units. Combat units are described in terms of a table of organization and equipment, and after input from the field from individual unit commanders, a modified table of organization and equipment is determined. In contrast, support activities are described in a table of distributions and allowances. After this point, however, both types of positions use the same process to determine specific manpower requirements. Using OPTEMPO (the operational tempo required) for mission capability, an appropriate workload is determined, engineered standards are used to calculate the number of man-hours inherent in that workload, and these man-hours are converted to number of people.2 It is then up to the CMF managers and their individual review processes to meet the proposed manpower levels.

Most generally, the CMF review process is used to develop a program or agenda for managing the accession, development, and training of personnel. In this process, the Personnel Command (PERSCOM) is responsible for monitoring and evaluating trends in enlistment, attrition, and retention and for determining whether their targets are being met. It is also PERSCOM’s job to understand why soldiers enter, remain in, or leave service. Problems that are identified are vetted through the CMF process in conjunction with the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). More broadly, the CMF review is intended to take account of the expected mission of the specific career field as well as the manpower authorizaForce Accounting and System Division,” 2003, offers a clear explanation of the requirement determination process, which, while in this case specific to the Training and Doctrine Command, is essentially the same for other commands.

Evidence from Field Interviews on the Management of Enlisted IT Occupations 27 tions required in the near future (e.g., those due to changes in equipment or system upgrades), and to anticipate downstream manning requirements. The CMF review should also ensure that requirements and resources are synchronized such that training resources are available when needed.

Interviewees at Ft. Huachuca explained that the CMF managers were essential to personnel management and to the attainment of manpower and training needs. They oversee specialties in their CMFs, work with trainers to ensure that necessary skills are imparted, and work with recruiters to ensure that they are attracting the personnel needed to meet manpower and aptitude requirements. CMF managers also work with PERSCOM to ensure that personnel policies mesh with the needs of the CMF. The managers, who understand the needs of the CMF, must interact with policymakers and assignment personnel to make sure everyone recognizes the key issues in the CMF. They are also responsible for monitoring data on recruiting, retention, and training and for contacting the Department of the Army to obtain reenlistment or enlistment bonuses when these incentives are necessary to maintain the health of the CMF.

Another process, the Structure Manning Decision Review, is used to determine instructional needs for personnel. The Structure Manning Decision Review is convened annually and attended by the Department of the Army, TRADOC, and the functional proponents that make use of the trained personnel. The review uses a four-year time horizon and must ensure that training resources are built in the program objective memorandum, which serves to connect resource programming with plans and objectives. The Structure Manning Decision Review plans for major hardware changes and for the skill sets required by these changes. Efforts are made to focus the skill requirements of the MOS on its mission rather than tying the MOS and its skill set to particular pieces of equipment, which will certainly change over time.

With respect to the military intelligence (MI) CMF, the review occurs quarterly and involves representatives from Ft. Huachuca (the MI “school house”), PERSCOM, and organizations in Crystal City, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency. Our interviewees indicated that the determination of MI manpower requirements seemed to be driven by TRADOC, which designs the courses to be taken by MI personnel, and overseen by the Office of Chief, Military Intelligence (OCMI). According to interlocutors at Ft. Huachuca, it is the job of OCMI to “keep an eye on the life cycle of the MOS.” Changes in requirements, as determined by TRADOC and OCMI, are communicated to PERSCOM, whose job is to identify soldiers with the appropriate skills and aptitude, i.e., the faces to fill the spaces.

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