PROBLEMS OF DRY FORCES
The situation with the recruitment of personnel in the Ground Forces (SV), which in the USA is called the Army, and maintaining their numbers at the level necessary to solve present and future tasks, was explained to the legislators by the head of the Directorate of Personnel Management, Major General Thomas Simands.
As the general stressed, the US Army has been waging continuous wars for almost 12 years. They are more than 4,9 thousand. Soldiers and officers gave their lives for the national interests of America. Today, more than 137 thousand troops are in various regions of the world and about 43 thousand of them are fighting in Afghanistan. He also added that about 1,5 million soldiers and more than 0,5 million participated in this war many times left the United States.
Since the Army is currently being reduced and the number of people willing to serve in the Armed Forces is decreasing, the NE leadership must make considerable efforts to ensure the recruitment of troops from among the most worthy representatives of the American youth and to do everything possible to retain the most experienced servicemen.
Although the size of the Army is decreasing and its budget is being reduced, last year the recruit services were able to almost completely accomplish their tasks. It was possible to recruit 99% of Americans with certificates of maturity and higher education diplomas to the combat units of the Army. The National Guard (NG) was able to complete this task only on 86%. The SV recruit services recruited about 99% of the required specialists in each military specialty. 62,4% recruits scored from 50 to 99% points on qualification tests for various specializations, although the command settings, the average number of points should not exceed 60%. Only 1,2% of contract workers scored less than 30% of the required grade level.
Simands said that this year it will be harder and harder for recruiting servicemen to solve their tasks. This is due to a lack of allocations and a reduction in the number of Americans fit for military service. Today, only one in four American citizens between the ages of 17 and 24 is eligible to serve in the Army. And in the 2015 year, according to army experts, it will be only one of five young people. Currently, one in five of Americans aged 12 to 19 years is overweight, and this trend will only continue to grow in the coming year. In addition, more than 20% of Americans in military age cannot graduate from high school and are difficult to accept into the troops.
In 2014, NE and NG can spend only 531 million dollars on the maintenance of personnel and bonuses to servicemen who wish to remain in the army. 21 million dollars are planned to be spent on new contracts and 47 million to pay bonuses to existing personnel and recruits. Next year, all these payments are planned to be reduced further.
In this regard, the number of recruits who received bonus payments, the number of which in 2009 was 62%, in 2013 fell to 3%. Now, only military personnel of such specialties as radio reconnaissance specialists who have knowledge of certain foreign languages, satellite communications system operators, some specialists of special operations forces and aviation technicians. They will be paid remuneration for the extension of contracts.
The main task of the army recruitment services in the advertising campaign is a more open coverage of all the features of life in the Army, the creation of future recruits of a completely real idea of the service in the HR and what it can give them in the future. All this requires an adequate allocation. According to the general, according to army experts, reducing the advertising budget by 10% by 1% reduces the number of educated recruits. As in other types of the Armed Forces, the Armed Forces need to constantly maintain the allocation of funds allocated for advertising military service in order to fulfill the recruitment tasks.
NUMBERS FOR THE Navy
As Rear Admiral Annie Andrews, head of the Navy Recruitment Command, explained to lawmakers, in the past fiscal year and over the past period of 2014, her service managed to fulfill all plans to equip various units with the best representatives of American youth and specialists in various fields. At the same time, the main priority of her command was to attract qualified medical personnel to the Navy and to the reserve components of this type of aircraft. According to Rear Admiral, in recent years, the Navy has succeeded in recruiting the required number of professional physicians, for example, surgeons and anesthetists. Similar results were achieved in providing medical services for specialists of the reserve components of the military fleet.
From 2009 to 2013, due to the slowdown in economic growth and significant unemployment in the US Navy, the conditions for recruiting sailors remained very favorable. In addition, the current situation helped to keep professionals in the service and renew their contracts. In such circumstances, the Navy was able to somewhat reduce plans for the recruitment of new specialists. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate, which was 2011% at the end of 9, dropped to 7% in December last year. This created certain difficulties in recruiting military personnel in the Navy. According to experts on labor resources of America, in 2015, unemployment rates will drop to 6 – 6,5%, and in 2021, they will be lower than 6%. All this, according to Andrews, will create additional difficulties in staffing the Navy with personnel, especially well-trained technical specialists.
In the evolving conditions recruiting points for the effective solution of their problems will require additional financial resources. Currently, specialists in the recruitment of the Navy have to go around recruiting points located in completely different states. In connection with the limitation of the number of business trips, the management of the recruitment service has become much less likely to visit these locations, especially those in remote states. In addition, in the conditions of limiting allocations, recruiters cannot improve their professional skills and begin to lose already acquired ones. And in the new conditions the Navy will need highly skilled recruiters. As noted by the Rear Admiral, the success of her command is still largely determined by the creation of conditions for the direct exchange of experience between well-trained specialists and their less experienced colleagues.
In 2012, the specialists of the Office of the Minister of Defense, conducting research under the program called "Comprehensive study of the advertising market", examined the living and working conditions of the staff of the Navy recruit service. It was found that 31% of specialists work more than 60 an hour. per week, 47% of them have mental disorders. It was found that recruiters lack time to solve the tasks and 71% of them have difficulties in families, since they spend much of their free time on solving official tasks. As a result, the length of official travel 15% recruiters divorced after the first trip.
The head of the recruitment service for seafarers and naval officers noted that last year there was a tendency to reduce the number of recruits, which, she said, would continue in the near future. She explained this by the fact that graduates of secondary schools and higher educational institutions in conditions of economic growth prefer to find places in the civilian sectors. In addition, from 2012 to 2014, the Ministry of Defense reduced the allocation for service advertising in the army by 34,5%, which severely limits the ability to complete the Navy and extremely complicates the operation of the Navy manning command. But, as the rear admiral assured the legislators, the Navy's replenishment service specialists will do everything possible to provide the navy with the necessary number of personnel, even in the face of a reduction in the military budget.
COMPLETING MARINE CABINET
Major-General Mark Brilakis, head of the recruiting team of the Marine Corps (ILC), told the members of the subcommittee that despite financial difficulties, his subordinates continue to successfully accomplish the tasks they face. He stressed that in modern conditions the American youth entering the service of the ILC should, more than ever, have a high leadership potential and proper moral, intellectual and physical qualities.
Last year, as Mr. Brailakis reported to the legislators, his command on 100,5% met the established standards for recruiting officers, privates, reserve personnel, as well as soldiers and officers who had previously served in the military. In total, almost 38 thousand people were recruited, meeting all established standards of fitness for military service.
According to the general, the marine profession is highly respected among American youth. When recruits are recruited, rather large bonuses are paid and various benefits are provided. That is why the number of applications for admission to the ILC is greater than in other branches of the military. He asked congressmen to contribute to the preservation of this practice in the future.
Currently, the CMP recruitment command numbers about 5,3 thousand military and civilian specialists, including approximately 3,8 thousand recruiters working at 1,5 thousand recruiting stations in the 50 states of the country. The successes achieved by these specialists in recent years are largely due to the fact that the leadership of the ILC allocated all the necessary financial resources to ensure the normal functioning of the recruitment service, to increase the professional skills of recruiters and their morale. Brailakis stressed that the studies conducted in 2012 under the program "Comprehensive study of the advertising market" (KIRR), showed an extremely large workload of specialists on the acquisition of the ILC. More than 70% of them are employed in the service for more than 60 an hour. in Week. And although at the present time they are fully resolving their tasks of recruiting decent soldiers and officers in the ILC, in the future they will face certain difficulties. They are due to a drop in demographic indicators, a reduction in the number of young people with the required educational level, departure from the KMP of servicemen who participated in hostilities, as well as an increase in the negative attitude of young Americans to military service.
The general thanked lawmakers for adopting laws that allow recruiters to the lists of students in secondary schools and universities. “Without this, KMP recruiters would lose one of the most effective and productive means of informing potential fighters about the opportunities provided in military service,” said Brailakis.
Prior to 2014, around 25% of recruits entered into contracts with the ILC, receiving necessary information from advertisements. Reduction in the current year allocations for promotional activities of the ILC will reduce the number of recruits. Currently, Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 have not paid serious attention to traditional forms of advertising, including newspapers and radio programs. They are more focused on advertisements that appear on television channels, at sporting events, on social networks and during local advertising campaigns. In this regard, it is necessary to allocate funds for a detailed study of the new conditions for placing advertisements about the service in the ILC.
In concluding his speech, the general stressed that the main strategic priority of the command he headed was to staff the ILC with well-trained personnel in the quantity necessary to maintain its units at the required level of combat readiness. He assured the parliamentarians that this task, despite the existing and impending difficulties, will be performed on 100%.
PROSPECTS Air Force
The Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and Support, who also heads the human resources directorate, told the congressmen about the state of affairs with the recruitment of Air Force personnel. Brigadier General Gina Grosso. She noted that the recruitment service of the Air Force over the past 14 years has successfully solved the task of creating a completely voluntary Air Force. In 2013, her subordinates managed to recruit 99% specialists with higher education and 98 volunteers who graduated from high schools.
The director said that according to research results of the KIRR program in the conditions of the return of the American economy to the pre-crisis rails, only 8% of specialists with higher education show interest in serving in the military. This greatly complicates the activities of the Directorate headed by her, since in the Air Force it is first necessary to recruit candidates with a high level of technical knowledge.
As Grosso announced, recruiters spend from 12 to 18 months in order to identify, select, prepare and assign recruits to relevant posts. It takes even more time to turn them into true professionals. Significant terms are also needed for the selection and training of civilian specialists for service in the Air Force. She also stated that “if unpredictable circumstances and factors beyond our control require an increase in the required number of recruits, we will not be able to quickly and effectively respond to the newly emerging demands of the command”.
The increasing demand of the Air Force for air traffic control specialists, who must have a good educational level, high stress tolerance and excellent physical health, makes it necessary for personnel selection experts to spend up to 50% of their working time on this task. They must select candidates who are suitable for such activities and meet all stringent qualification requirements for the profession.
In recent years, the requirements for the number of personnel recruited in the Air Force have somewhat decreased due to the reduction of military personnel at air bases (AB) and the closure of some of them. However, this has led to a certain degradation of recruitment service units, since the number of recruiters who perform this task in various regions of America has decreased significantly. Although the Air Force budget is significantly reduced, the personnel selection service for this type of aircraft has to make considerable efforts to preserve the scale of recruiting activities and their effectiveness.
The general also touched on the issue of advertising military service, which lies at the basis of attracting new recruits to the troops. It allows you to compensate for the reduction in the number of young people who do not want to wear shoulder straps, and the narrowing of the areas of recruiters. Each of them is responsible for the region of approximately 4,4 thousand square meters. km and it makes them work hard. The results obtained the year before within the framework of the KIRR program showed that the most effective means of attracting the attention of young people to military service today is television. But due to the fact that advertising costs in 2014 were reduced, television programs and other promotional campaigns for young people had to be cut.
As MOI studies have shown, 75% of young Americans who, by age, can be recruited into the military, are not eligible for military service due to a variety of other restrictions, including overweight, education, health problems, and propensity to use drugs. All these factors, combined with the loss of attractiveness for young people of service in the Armed Forces and winding up promotional activities to the minimum, make it extremely difficult for the Air Force to recruit the necessary numbers of personnel.
As Grosso pointed out, while the Air Force is experiencing the need for well-trained technical specialists, especially in the field of cybernetics, and also due to a decrease in the number of qualified personnel at recruitment points, advertising and marketing research expenses should increase. She pointed out the importance of financial incentives for recruits who wish to enter into contracts with the Pentagon. The general noted that the payment of bonuses when entering military service, according to the RAND Corporation, allowed, while maintaining the total number of recruits recruited by 43%, to increase the number of young people who agreed to serve few popular military posts.
From 2010, the Air Force spends 14,5 million annually on paying admission fees to recruits. Currently, such bonuses are paid for nine military occupational specialties, starting with programmers and ending with linguists who speak rare foreign languages. In addition, the Air Force is allowed to serve foreigners who have a residence permit in the United States and meet all the requirements of suitability for military service. The air force also attracts citizens of other countries who have entry visas, speak national languages and have the necessary cultural level of development.
Grosso, like her colleagues, assured the congressmen that the Directorate headed by her would do everything possible to equip the Air Force with high-quality personnel.
On behalf of the MoD, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Enlistment Policy Virginia Penrod spoke at the hearing. She said that the last 12 years have shown the enormous feasibility of creating fully voluntary armed forces in the US, which have become one of the strongest and most respected armies in the world. Penrod stressed that the support the congressmen and senators provided to the Pentagon largely determined the positive results that American forces had achieved during the conduct of hostilities for almost 12 years.
“While my colleagues from the types of the Armed Forces reviewed the specific features of their recruitment activities, I want to give a generalized assessment of the current situation in the recruitment of troops in our country,” Penrod told the members of the subcommittee. According to her, last year all the recruitment services, with the exception of the National Guard and the CB reserve, fully fulfilled their tasks. In general, in 2013, a little more than 260 thousand recruits were attracted to the troops.
The quality of soldiers and officers employed in the service is constantly growing and exceeds the standards established by the leadership of the Pentagon. Last year, 99,6% regular recruits and 96,6% reserve had a higher and secondary education. Although the norms of the Ministry of Defense of such specialists should be only 90%. In addition, 75% of military personnel of operating units and 67% included in the reserve components scored high average points on qualification tests at the established rate of 60%.
In the first quarter of this year, all types of aircraft, with the exception of the reserve, were recruited by a higher number of qualified specialists than was required by planned standards. The Ministry of Defense monitors the activities of the recruitment services of the Armed Forces on a monthly basis, points out problems that arise during the recruitment of military personnel, and indicates ways to solve them. Although, as stated by the representative of the Pentagon unit responsible for general approaches to staffing the Armed Forces, the recruitment services for recruits of the Armed Forces species are generally quite successful in solving their tasks, this process is still associated with a number of objective difficulties.
The size of the market for future military personnel has a real final size. Today, about 75% of young people cannot be qualified as persons fit for military service. Over the past 10 years, the interest of young citizens of America to the election of a military career has declined significantly. Referring to the results of research conducted two years ago on the already mentioned KIRR program, Penrod noted that today only 14% of Americans are fit for service in the Armed Forces. In 2004, the number of US citizens who considered military service an attractive activity was 63%. Today, that figure has dropped to 40%. Moreover, 10 years ago 85% of young people believed that military service would help them save money for further education. Today, only 66% of the younger generation of the United States believes that this perspective is very real. Virginia Penrod stressed that the improvement of the economic situation and the fall in the level of unemployment open up great prospects for young people to find jobs in civilian firms and continue their education. All this makes a military career less attractive. Penrod noted that the Defense Ministry and the Ministries of the Armed Forces will have to take into account in their activities the economic factor in the formation and implementation of recruitment programs for military personnel and take certain measures.
At present, the Defense Ministry continues to implement the practice of recruiting non-US citizens in the armed forces within the limits established by law. First of all, this applies to highly qualified foreigners who have the necessary medical specialties, as well as to foreigners who speak foreign languages and have an acceptable general cultural level.
As stated by Penrod, the MoD leadership is well aware of all the financial problems of the United States and is taking steps to adjust the staff recruitment programs. In order to solve problems that arise, the Pentagon representative believes, recruitment services should maintain at the required level the number of units engaged in the recruitment of military personnel and constantly contribute to raising the level of their professional training.
In the second half of the 90-ies of the last century, Penrod noted, the allocations allocated to the Armed Services, were significantly reduced. In this regard, the number of recruits and their quality indicators have decreased. Given today's financial realities, the Ministry must ensure the necessary level of funding for recruitment services in order to ensure the maintenance of troops, both in quantity and quality, at a level that allows them to perform their functions effectively in the future.
The main ways to solve this problem are advertising, payment of bonuses for entering and leaving the service, and effective management of units. Any financial constraints in these areas can significantly reduce the number of recruits and significantly increase their preparation time. If spending cuts are too large, it may take years to return to today's stock picking rates.
The most problematic issue is the management of recruits. On the search for future soldiers and officers, on their selection, preparation and appointment in parts, on average, it takes from one to one and a half years. It takes even more time to turn them into professional fighters. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense should effectively use all measures for manning the aircraft.
The cut in the budget of the Ministry of Defense last year only added difficulties to the recruitment services. The recruitment process was seriously complicated by the reduction in the number of recruitment points for military personnel, as well as the reduction and dispatch of Pentagon civilian personnel on unpaid leave. The recruitment points for recruits for 80% are staffed by civilian specialists. Their removal from the line of duty significantly reduced the effectiveness of attracting fresh forces to the troops. Penrod thanked the congressmen for the support they provide to the US Armed Forces, which are in rather difficult conditions.