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And, despite what the Minot-haters say, it is time for a change.
I’ve heard it’s a nice place from those who have been. The definition of a “good” base is different for everyone and is not solely based on location. For example, the Navy market-like Assignment Incentive Pay system not only works, The Army recently conducted a successful pilot study of a similar program called the Green Pages.
Also, although I don’t have data on active duty military members’ location desires regarding Minot, civilians seem very keen on the place. The Air Force also has a variety of personnel management incentives for its enlisted members.
appears to have sparked a wildfire of calls for personnel management reform which to date have gone unanswered. But last month, we landed a spaceship Second, the Air Force Officer Volunteer Assignment System of the 1990’s instituted a free labor market, it seems without effective use of market shaping incentives.
Discussions abound recommending a market-based military assignment system where Air Force officers (or their sister service counterparts) apply for jobs and commanders hire them instead of the current system that pathologically rejects the officers’ desires and commanders’ inputs. But, maybe a “good” base is one in which the mission is attractive or the commanders are respected or the quality of life is posh or the base services are solid. Market shaping incentives, for example, might be increased pay at some locations or non-financial incentives such as faster career progression or early promotion.
Let’s take China for example (they are not an enemy, but they are definitely a competitor). No — and Russia circa 1990 would argue it’s not a good idea to try. No—China has four times the people of the US and almost twice as many military members. Maybe—but our lead is shrinking rapidly, especially given the intellectual property pursuits of various nefarious actors (i.e.
raiding the cyber cookie jars of US weapons contractors for F-35 plans).Thus, we must leverage and retain what may be our best, if not our only, strategic margin — our talent.Our talent is too important to squander in an industrial-age system that, as Tim Kane said, is more logistics network than labor market.When we as an Air Force start to prioritize our personnelists and personnel systems at a level commensurate with that of our aircraft, we will have the right number of personnelists with the right tools and a system that works.1) Inefficiency.How much does it cost to move (permanent change of station — PCS) one-third of the force every year? If people chose to stay in one place longer than a few years, it could save dollars in the $B range.Servicemember housing allowance (Base allowance for housing — BAH) is already adjusted by locale.Cost of living adjustment (COLA) is also adjusted by locale. The Navy’s Assignment Incentive Pay is locale-adjusted.With a little modernization and a bit of shaping by a centralized requirements team, the existing program could be exactly the system we need.Additionally, a Linked In-style resume system such as the Army’s Green Pages could support a market-based system People do sign up to serve their country. But no one likes seeing their family jerked around and uprooted every few years with little or no say in the process.Counterargument: Military members are not motivated by money! Plus, incentives could be any number of things: good quality of life, good schools, good services, good commanders, good mission, good follow-on assignment, good promotion chances, early retirement, etc.Counterargument: The Air Force doesn’t have the ability to adjust pay by location or purposefully have better services at a particular base.