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The nation’s foremost military experts have 39 ideas for modernizing its personnel system

Military Times

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WASHINGTON — A new report from more than two dozen leading military and national security experts calls for sweeping reforms to the Defense Department’s personnel system, changes that, if adopted, could reshape everything from recruiting practices and deployments to career paths and compensation.

Released Monday by the Bipartisan Policy Center here in Washington, the report lays out 39 recommendations for addressing worrisome shortfalls in areas such as cyber security, nuclear technology and foreign language proficiency, and for making military service more attractive to a broader segment of American society. Some suggestions are aimed at Congress, others the Pentagon. Taken together, they seek to enable the U.S. military to maintain its dominance while enhancing the quality of life for individual service members and their families.

“This is about our national security,” former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta told Military Times. He co-chaired the report’s panel of experts. “If we don’t deal with this, with the issues related to how we treat families, we are going to pay a higher price in terms of the erosion of the very thing that is our greatest strength, which is the human element in the military.”

KEYWORDS: 115TH CONGRESS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, TASK FORCE ON DEFENSE PERSONNEL