Total Volunteer Force

Total Volunteer Force

Lessons from the US Military on Leadership Culture and Talent Management

Author: Tim Kane
ISBN: 978-0-8179-2075-3
Publication Date: 6/1/2017

A blueprint for enhancing the quality, readiness, and efficiency of our armed forces

Tim Kane identifies and examines the underlying causes of personnel dysfunction in the US armed forces and suggests specific, decentralizing reforms to Pentagon policies. His proposals aim to move personnel strategies further along the spectrum of volunteerism, emphasize greater individual agency during all stages of a US military career, and restore command authority to colonels and captains that has been missing since the centralization of the 1960s.

Kane’s plan concentrates on moving current policies away from the coercive structures that have outlived their purpose after the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) was implemented in 1973. The Total Volunteer Force (TVF) he envisions would emphasize greater individual agency during all stages of a US military career and get the right people in the right jobs. It would improve performance evaluations, enhance individual morale and development, and provide essential information for better job-matching. And it would remove costly disincentives from military compensation. Focusing recommendations on reformed (and restored) processes and authorities rather than on expensive new programs, the TVF will extend the core values of volunteerism and professionalism and, like the AVF, will save money.

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Tim Kane

Tim Kane is the JP Conte Fellow in Immigration Studies at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A graduate of the US Air Force Academy, he served as a US Air Force intelligence officer with two tours of overseas duty in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan.

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Chapter 1 Analyzing the Problem
     Red Alert
      Identifying the Real Problem(s)
      Defining Organizational Leadership and Management
      Leader/Talent Survey
      Leader/Talent Results and Conclusion
Chapter 2 Background
      Changing Labor Market Dynamics
      Military Manpower
      Capital Deepening
      Skills Planning in the New Century
      Laws and Regulations
      How DOPMA Hurts Productivity
      Personnel Expenditures
Chapter 3 Total Volunteer Force Reforms
      The Heart of Talent Management
      A Market Revolution?
      BOX 1. Three Fundamentals: Choice, Information, and Price
      Core Principles of the TVF
      Why Not Pilot Projects?
Chapter 4 Reforming Evaluations
      Inflation without Limits
      Performance Evaluations in and out of the Military
      Talent Distribution in Theory versus Reality
      The Need for Peer Evaluations
      Recommendation: Team Rating
Chapter 5 Reforming Promotions and Assignments
      The Roots of Personnel Inefficiency
      Promotions and Timetables
      Aiming High: Case Study in Choosing Commanders in Today’s Air Force
      Restore Command Authority
      Timing and the Talent Marketplace
      The TVF Job-Matching Process
Chapter 6 Reforming Compensation
      Unheeded Compensation Commissions
      Transform Base Pay from Tenure to Role and Responsibility
      Transform the Military Pension
      What’s Wrong with the Defined Benefit
      The Value of Work
      TVF Alternatives
      Additional Background
Appendix 1. Leader/Talent Categories and Elements
      Leadership Categories and Elements
      Management Categories and Elements

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