Managing and structuring a stable military workforce

Managing and structuring a stable military workforce remains a challenge of every military unit including those with the most sophisticated warfare technology. Unlike most other structured organizations, the army requires a constant supply of skilled management personnel among their ranks to lead emerging missions and, in common cases, fill in for battle victims. Inadequacy of this constant supply is the situation that leads to cranking up officers without adequate experiences into management positions especially at the warfront CITATION Cor07 l 1033 (Cordesman & Sullivan, 2007). It is imperative to note the different facets that make up experience: enough pre-job and on-the-job training in a specified field that brings about skill experience and temporal experience attached to the amount of time spent working in a position. There exist skewed statistics of the parameters that can be used to gauge the experience of personnel deployed in missions CITATION Jan09 l 1033 (Laurent, 2009). The most recognized are the cases of an officer having held a similar management position before or raised through the ranks in the specified role.

Institutionally, a unit may not be properly set up to identify genuinely good and skilled soldiers for reward and promotion. Cronyism in the military is as rampant as it is anywhere else where skilled operators are overlooked and generals recommend trusted lieutenants with whom they have a history that bonds their relationship. Heterogeneity of tribe and ethnicity of soldiers provide part of the problem, especially in regions of the world where tribe has a significant attachment to governance and the military as an institution is still very young and without a fortified tradition of operation that includes training and governance CITATION Jan09 l 1033 (Laurent, 2009).

The debate over how best to attract professionals into law enforcement continues to elicit varied responses as far as their effectiveness go. It has been a challenge to lure individuals with a wide-breadth of skills essential for some specific duties. There are constraints of budget and extraneous requirements that restrict the qualification and flow of applicants into the system. Creating affordable ways of recruiting and retaining skilled officers remains a challenge to the entire law enforcement institution, where financial incentives are the most attractive to new recruits CITATION Cor07 l 1033 (Cordesman & Sullivan, 2007). The situation is thus compounded by this lack of skilled personnel that is needed to go into management.

Possible corrective measures have been thought-up and devised, obviously with ranging levels of success and failure. Mentorship programs have been tested and proven to be effective in preparing a workforce for management positions in areas such as business organizations and educational institutions. It can be applied in the military using a two-prong approach of developing the skills of a private soldier and secondly and most importantly, leading the management trainees though the nitty-gritty of understanding the processes that constitute managing operations. The aim here is to refine and develop their understanding of the whole fabric that is warfare CITATION Cor07 l 1033 (Cordesman & Sullivan, 2007). However, it should be noted that this method is not time-bound as different people have different ways of developing competencies under mentorship.

To prop up the low numbers of skilled recruits into the military, policy should target provision of nonfinancial benefits to target groups. These include college graduates, ethnic minorities, women as well as recruits with previous military or law enforcement experience. The benefits may include on-the-job educational programs, elaborate retirement packages, better housing and broad medical and healthcare schemes that override the often cited impediments that hold back potential recruits (these include the possible threat of injury or death, as well as drawbacks of body fitness and family obligations which are often cited by women). The benefits may help retain recruits and help build a better workforce that will in turn provide a fertile ground from which effective managers can be picked CITATION Jan09 l 1033 (Laurent, 2009).

The most trusted method of building capacity is through training, and can be used in law enforcement to prepare officers for management positions. Professional training and development activities can be set up from the highest levels of the defense ministries. Military effort should be centered more on improving the ability of workforce alongside its prime activities of providing security. One such way is increasing the number of cadets with special responsibilities into military training. Military units across political boundaries can also partner to set up academies for training those among their ranks interested in management positions. This brings with it a wealth of different experiences that can be of mutual benefit. Liaison teams can be set up to monitor officers fresh in management to ensure they grasp the hands-on activities of law enforcement procedures. Identification of core and non-core functions is essential in finding and placing personnel in areas that are most suited to their skills. A suitable method commonly used is placing management trainees in non-core functions to first hone their skills before they are tapped up into more demanding roles of the core functions of the various law enforcement units CITATION Cor07 l 1033 (Cordesman & Sullivan, 2007).


Cordesman, A. H., & Sullivan, W. (2007). Salvaging American defense:the challenge of

strategic overstretch. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Laurent, J. S. (2009). Defense Management:Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Defense,

BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 Committee on Appropriations, U. S. House of Representatives. Darby: DIANE Publishing.