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An Evaluation of the Proposed Average-Strength Scheme

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Technical Report

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Center for Naval Analyses Alexandria United States

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Early in FYOO, the U.S. Army asked each of the other services to consider joining it in proposing, through the Unified Legislative and Budgeting ULB process, legislation that would change the militarys personnel target from an end-strength goal to a goal based on average strength, calculated across the fiscal year. The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Manpower and Personnel Nl asked the Center for Naval Analyses to evaluate the average-strength scheme to help the U.S. Navy formulate its response to the Army. We provided the Nl staff an earlier draft of this report that raised concerns about the scheme as this final version of the report continues to do. The Navy shared the draft report with the Army, which decided not to continue pursuing the proposal. As we understand it, Army personnel planners were proposing this change primarily as a way to increase end-strength and associated personnel funding. Because average-strength has always been less than end-strength, setting an average-strength target at the level of current end-strength would raise end-strength and would require an increase in personnel funding.

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