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Does the Current 20th Century Navy Personnel Management System Meet 21st Century Sailors' Needs

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Doctoral thesis

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In the 1970s, the U.S. Navys leadership realized it was facing impending personnel shortages. These shortages would result from the end of conscription and a nation-wide demographic projection shortfall of available male high school graduates ages 18-23 in the U.S. labor market. To lessen the effects of these changes several Department of Defense management initiatives were introduced. In the Navy these included competitive wage increases and introducing ship designs requiring fewer people by using more technology targeted to lessen repetitive labor intensive work. A Post-Vietnam general military draw-down in the 1970s lessened recruitment and retention demands, allowing time for new economic policies and models to be developed. In the 1980s, as a military build-up began to accentuate personnel problems of recruiting and retention in an All-Volunteer Force, the validity of the economic models began to come under scrutiny. Actual severe personnel shortages in the Navy were again avoided, this time because the former Soviet Union dissolved, greatly reducing the threat of war and the consequent need for ships and personnel to operate them through the 1990s. Technology changes in the Navy have evolved at an unforeseen pace. For example, a destroyer-size ship of the 1970s contained approximately three-hundred 300 sailors, with about ten percent 10 of its crew in high-tech rates. A similar tasked ship being planned for operation in the 2020 timeframe is designed to operate with a total crew of one-hundred 100 sailors, but it could require up to three quarters of the crew to be high-tech.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations

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