Leadership: August 31, 2001

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As warfare uses more machines and computers, the troops require more training to use the all the additional gear. It was thought that all this automation would lead to a reduction in manpower. Well, it has. But those troops that remain require even higher levels of training. While you will have fewer troops, they will each have more years of training and be paid more. Raising pay is tricky. The military tends to pay according to rank and seniority. Special pay for rare technical skills is sometimes used, but it is unpopular with the majority who are not getting it. So the most common approach is to promote the geeks to a high enough rank that they stay. This is what is used for doctors (who tend to be overbearing not matter what rank they hold.) A more popular approach is to use the rank of Warrant Officer. This is a bunch of ranks between NCOs (sergeants) and officers. The warrants have the privileges, but not the authority of officers. There are usually four or more grades of warrants, so you can promote warrants and keep them warrants. Other nations create a category of specialists who do not hold military ranks at all, but are considered civilian employees. In the field, these officials wear a uniform without any rank insignia and are often not required to carry weapons. The trend has been going on throughout the 20th century, and it continues. The U.S. Navy currently has 71 percent of it's enlisted personnel in the top six (of nine) enlisted ranks. The Navy is asking for more money so they can increase this percentage to 78 percent. The Russian navy has long sought to automate its ships as much as possible to make up for a shortage of available technicians. The most modern class of Russian nuclear subs have a crew of less than a hundred men, of which 40 percent are officers, 40 percent warrant officers and only 20 percent enlisted men. As armed forces become more immersed in technology, they will have to pay competitive rates to get the technical people to run things.

 


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