Talent Management for a Modern Military

net assess dec

Chris, Melanie, and Zack explore how the U.S. military recruits and retains top performers. In the recently released Marine Corps’ talent management report, Marine Corps Commandant David H. Berger explains that the Corps “must bring into the service the right people with the right skill sets, measure their talents, and then match their skills to the duties they desire and are suited to perform.”

But military leaders realize that the competition for talent is fierce, and they must be willing to challenge long-standing assumptions to succeed. Can they? Will the right package of incentives — combined with the desire of a small but significant number of American men and women to serve in uniform — ensure that the U.S. military will have the right people, in the right place, at the right time? Or do we need to consider moving to a different model, including possibly one based on compulsory service for all able-bodied men and women?

Older and wiser Zack Cooper has a grievance with grad student Zack Cooper, Melanie throws shade on the Biden administration’s economic policies, and Chris faults those playing politics with the lives of millions of innocent men, women, and children in Afghanistan. Shout outs to NASA astronaut-candidate Chris Williams, to Vice President Kamala Harris for wearing wired instead of Bluetooth headphones, and to the Atlantic Council’s Mathew Burrows and Evan Cooper for a new report on U.S. efforts to promote democracy around the world.






Commandant of the Marine Corps Issues Talent Management 2030 Plan, November 3, 2021, https://www.marines.mil/News/Press-Releases/Press-Release-Display/Article/2831808/commandant-of-the-marine-corps-issues-talent-management-2030-plan/.

Gen. David H. Berger, “A Concept for Stand-In Forces,” Proceedings, November 2021, https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2021/november/concept-stand-forces.

Zoe Poindexter, “Amazon’s consumer chief says hiring remains a “challenge” in “very tight” labor market,” CBS News, Nov. 28, 2021, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amazon-hiring-dave-clark-labor-market-face-the-nation/?ftag=CNM-16-10abd6g.

“Support for drafting women to the military has decreased since 2016 years,” Ipsos, Aug. 2, 2021, https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/military-draft-women-support-2021.

Connor O’Brien, “Lawmakers drop proposal to add women to the draft as defense bill headaches mount,” POLITICO, Dec. 6, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/06/ndaa-women-draft-dropped-523829.

Christina Goldbaum, “Facing Economic Collapse, Afghanistan Is Gripped by Starvation,” New York Times, Dec. 4, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/04/world/asia/afghanistan-starvation-crisis.html.

Laurel Miller, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LaurelMillerICG/status/1467557958494175233?s=20

Mathew Burrows and Evan Cooper, “Assumption #4: The United States should prioritize the promotion of democracy around the world over other key US objectives,” Atlantic Council, Nov. 9, 2021, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/content-series/assumption-testing-series/assumption-4-the-united-states-should-prioritize-the-promotion-of-democracy-around-the-world-over-other-key-us-objectives/.

NAEI Student Competition, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/programs/scowcroft-center-for-strategy-and-security/new-american-engagement-initiative/naei-annual-student-competition/.

Scott Bixby and Adam Rawnsley, “Actually, Kamala is Right: Bluetooth is a Risk,” The Daily Beast, Dec. 7, 2021, https://www.thedailybeast.com/well-actually-vice-president-kamala-harris-is-right-bluetooth-is-a-risk.

Callie Patteson, “Pete Buttigieg Slammed for Urging Electric Car Buying to Counter Gas Prices,” New York Post, Nov. 29, 2021, https://nypost.com/2021/11/29/buttigieg-slammed-for-urging-electric-car-buying-to-counter-gas-prices/.

Editorial Board, “Biden is Hiking Lumber Tariffs at the Wrong Time,” Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/02/biden-lumber-tariff-mistake/.

Jen Spindel and Robert Ralston, “Congress Might Require Women to Register for the Draft. Where Do Republicans and Democrats Stand?”, Washington Post, Nov. 15, 2021.

Christopher Preble, “Don’t Make Everyone Register for the Draft. Just End Draft Registration for Everyone,” Washington Post, February 5, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/11/15/congress-might-require-women-register-draft-where-do-republicans-democrats-stand/.

Congressional Executive Commission on China, “Hearing on How China Uses Economic Coercion to Silence Critics and Achieve its Political Aims Globally,” Dec. 7, 2021, https://www.cecc.gov/events/hearings/how-china-uses-economic-coercion-to-silence-critics-and-achieve-its-political-aims.

NASA Astronaut Candidate Christopher L. Williams, NASA, December 2021, https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/christopher-l-williams/biography.

Image: U.S. Marine Corps (Photo by Lance Cpl. Gadiel Zaragoza)