From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
The Department of Defense is pursuing a major reform to the existing personnel system and its policies.
Many of the personnel initiatives that the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Naval Personnel have been implementing and are working toward are already aligned with what the DoD is developing.
Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Brad Carson, spoke on the Weekly Wire Rundown to discuss the DoD’s “personnel overhaul” and what it means for the Navy.
Why is the DoD initiating a personnel system reform?
The question for all of us is whether we have the force we need for the future, and that’s what Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter asked me to look at. How are we going to redesign the personnel system for the 21st Century?
There is a growing consensus among the Navy and the other services that we need to rejuvenate some of these processes if we are going to meet the needs of the younger people who are coming in, to make sure that we keep women in and to make sure we have the adequate diversity across the force. This enables us to keep the best asset our military has, which is the people.
How is this DoD personnel reform linked to the Navy’s recent personnel policy changes?
he Navy is a leader in this; what the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Naval Personnel have talked about are exactly the things we are trying to do across the force. But, sometimes the Navy is hamstrung by legislative proposals that keep the Navy from doing all that it wants to do.
What we’re trying to do is end some of these restrictions.
This initiative is frequently called an “overhaul” is that accurate and what goes into that?
It is an overhaul, because we have a personnel system that is based on the 20th Century—the Industrial Era. New people coming into the force want a more flexible system.
They want a personnel system that recognizes that everyone across the force has unique talents, and they want a job that closely aligns to them. They want the chance to raise a family. They want to stay in certain stations longer than previously allowed. They want the chance to go to graduate school. They want their promotions to be based on merit and not time in grade.
We’re trying to change all those things, and for the military, that brings a revolution in human capital.
What changes can Sailors serving today expect to see during their career?
They will see big changes. They’re going to be able to go to the Reserve component for awhile if they like—perhaps to continue their education, raise their family or purse a civilian career—and then come back into the active component.
They won’t have to wait in line for a promotion. Instead, it will be based on what competencies they acquire.
They’ll have the chance to have a career path that is uniquely tailored to them and doesn’t try to fit them into a one-size-fits-all personnel system.