Pentagon Shaking Up Personnel Programs

November 20, 2015

On Nov. 18, Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson briefed military and veteran service organizations on the first group of initiatives that are part of the new Force of the Future plan.

The Force of the Future is one of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s top priorities, and looks at changing the way that DoD operates in the area of human resource management.

Some of Carter’s plans include:

  • creating a one year fellowship program in industry specific fields;
  • expanding the DoD sabbatical program; and
  • increasing opportunities for servicemembers to pursue advanced degrees.

In a memo outlining the initiative, Carter said, “In this ever changing environment, one of my top priorities is to ensure that the Force of the Future remains as great as the Force of Today, especially in terms of our most important competitive edge—our people.”

Carson’s goal is to improve the talent management within the department. He wants to recruit and retain more young people into government service by providing them with opportunities and incentives to move between DoD and the private sector, fostering professional growth and development.

Most of the initial programs will not require legislative approval since they are “simply changing the way we do business,” and therefore only require executive action.

The services are under a short timeline for implementation. Carter and Carson would both like to see the program fully implemented by January 2017, before the next administration begins. 

Any initiatives requiring legislative authorization will be included in the Pentagon’s FY17 budget request.