Leadership: February 5, 2005

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The U.S. Navy and Air Force are considering some fundamental changes in how they fill the ranks, and use their personnel. The plan is to raise the skill and educational levels for everyone, so that fewer people will be required to run larger quantities of  higher tech equipment. Both services are downsizing, and will keep that up for several years. At the same time, the two services are attracting more high quality recruits than they can accept. This sort of situation leads to a raising of standards, and redefining of jobs. The navy is shrinking the size of ship crews, and adding more automated gear to the ships. The air force is replacing more people with machines and computers, and needs more capable airmen to deal with this. Both the navy and the air force are doing what civilian firms have been doing for over a decade. But since September 11, 2001, theres been a jump in enlistments, and its continuing. More people are trying to stay in uniform, which has led to a unique program where some of these experienced sailors and airmen have been offered the option of either joining the army, or leaving the armed forces. Even the army is making its recruiting numbers, despite (or, in some cases, because of) the risk of getting killed. Theres a war on, but the military would have been undergoing a wrenching revolution with, or without, 911. It's a revolution that is being overshadowed by the war on terror.

 


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