Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 104

More Qualified 4 2 Qualified but unwilling: 1,000,000 (25%) Willing and qualified: 160,000 (4%) 3 1 More Willing Less Willing Willing but unqualified: 600,000 (15%) Unwilling and unqualified: 2,240,000 (56%) Less Qualified 1 Foster a culture of service 3 Qualify the willing 2 Motivate the qualified 4 Continue to attract the qualified and willing Figure 2. The Approach Applied to the Problem under today’s standards. Currently, only 4.3 percent of young people are both willing and qualified to serve in the military, and that number is declining. To make matters worse, this dynamic situation is trending in the wrong direction for the AVF. Figure 1 illustrates the long-term movement toward both decreased willingness as well as decreased qualification to serve (figure 1, down and left). As DOD’s demand for highly qualified, motivated young talent continues, competition for talent represented in figure 1’s upper right quadrant becomes even more challenging. Long-term solutions must address the trends in both quality and quantity, but any redesign of the AVF must account for the deep tensions between the military and social aspects of the problem. Failure to do so threatens any future approach. Expanding the Talent Pool of Willing and Qualified: Four Lines of Effort A redesigned AVF requires a holistic approach aimed at long-term, systemic issues to ensure an 98 accessible talent pool of qualified and willing young adults to serve in the military. Accomplishing this requires decisive change without violating the fundamental interests of two key AVF stakeholders: the military and society. For example, the military will not sacrifice the principle that uniformed recruits be sufficiently intelligent, physically sound and capable, and morally fit for the demands of military life. Similarly, the approach should not require society to forego preparing young people for college or other high-value opportunities. Figure 2 illustrates a holistic approach that would use four lines of effort to engage each quadrant of the problem diagram introduced in figure 1. This approach would renew the AVF’s long-term viability and account for military and societal factors—for each stakeholder’s core interests. First, at the policy level, the U.S. leadership must begin cultivating a culture of voluntary national service that includes as many young people as possible, regardless of willingness or qualification to serve. November-December 2015  MILITARY REVIEW