Military Personnel System In Need of an Overhaul

After only 5 weeks on the job, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is worried about both recruiting and retaining the best soldiers for America's military in the coming years. To that end, DefSec Carter has come up with a dramatic change to the US military's personnel system and structure.

Some of his proposed changes:

  • Change the promotion system to put increased weight on skill and merit, and less emphasis on seniority.
  • Create a mid-career "entry point", so older but highly-trained civilians can enter active duty without having to start at the very bottom of the military structure.
  • Change enlistment requirements - especially age - for some military career fields (such as cyberwarfare).
  • Allow soldiers "sabbaticals" - the ability to move in and out of the active duty military more easily, according to their professional, personal, and family needs.
  • Overhaul the military retirement system to give benefits to those that serve less than 20 years.
  • Set up a new recruitment incentive to pay back college loans for that have already graduated from college.

These changes would help to close the gap between the compensation and flexibility offered in private-sector and corporate jobs and offered in military fields, according to Secretary Carter.