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Thread: The Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default The Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus

    SWJ blog post - The Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus

    I received the following memo by Colonel J. B. Burton (USA), Commanding Officer of Dagger Brigade Combat Team in Iraq, via "Warlord Loop" e-mail. An abbreviated version appeared in the Washington Post - see Tom Rick’s Inbox dated 8 July 2007. COL Burton has been kind enough to permit the SWJ to post it in full. Where a military acronym is used I have inserted an explanation...
    Read the memo at the first link above...

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    SWJ blog post - The Officer Critical Skills Retention Bonus



    Read the memo at the first link above...
    "Where a military acronym is used I have inserted an explanation" <--- I've often told the officers I work with that we "normal" people (and I use the term loosely) need subtitles to scroll just below their head when they talk.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    I think I've read about ninety percent of that here on SWC.

    Is the Warlord Loop a good email list?
    Sam Liles
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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    I think I've read about ninety percent of that here on SWC.

    Is the Warlord Loop a good email list?
    Yes. Reminds me of a running conversation a few of us had about 4 months ago.

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Yes. Reminds me of a running conversation a few of us had about 4 months ago.
    If I remember right one of us actually got this e-mail right after it was sent out. We've discussed this before.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Yup, I just did a backtrack to that thread, and the email had been posted. It was labelled FOUO at the time, so the post in question was deleted.

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2886
    Last edited by jcustis; 07-19-2007 at 12:03 AM. Reason: added link

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    Default Link to previous thread...

    Army Offers Officers Incentives - original e-mail now w/ permission to post from COL Burton...

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Yup, I just did a backtrack to that thread, and the email had been posted. It was labelled FOUO at the time, so the post in question was deleted.

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2886
    Yeah, I remember that now. I was in the field the night that was posted, saw the FOUO marking, and quickly sent out some PMs.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Better adopt some of those recommendations or...

    the only requirements will be opposable thumbs
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    From my armchair, this all makes a ton of sense, and we should be investing a lot more in both retention and recruitment, and a lot less in F-22s, the Future Contract System, etc.

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    Default Theater Rotations

    5. Rotate operational units differently. Most officers and Soldiers would rather rotate to Iraq, then do a second rotation to Afghanistan, then a third tour back to Iraq - this shakes up the scenery, allows us to fight a different enemy in different terrain, and think through different problem sets. It also puts a new set of eyes on the trends and problems for each conflict - might skin the cat a different way!

    For those of you that have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both, does this make sense? I remember the old saw about one of the biggest problems in Vietnam being that we didn't fight the war for nine years, we fought it for one year nine times.

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    There are only 2 BCT's in Afghanistan, so how exactly do you do this?
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

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    Default Missed The First One

    Didn't see this the first time around. A coupla things stand out (to me)

    Grad school -- great idea, BUT the Army sees grad school as an investment. When I went, the AERB payback was 3 years additional service commitment for every 1 year of school, one year of commitment being served during each school year. So, yeah, it's easy to end up with a commitment through the 13th year of service. I don't see the Army changing that process, that's what the GI Bill is for.

    Changing theaters -- For "fairness" in purely "kinetic" (unauthorized term) operations, this concept makes sense. But we're fighting counterinsurgency battles. If we're serious about cultural anthropology, this probably won't work, quite aside from the math problems outlined above. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are very different and require different ROE, among other considerations. The more you go back to the same area, the more you are likely to make progress among the local population.

    MiTTs -- Give them all the incentives we can find. They are the wave of the present AND the future. We need the best and the brightest, and need ways to ensure that we get them.

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    Council Member jonSlack's Avatar
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    Grad school -- great idea, BUT the Army sees grad school as an investment. When I went, the AERB payback was 3 years additional service commitment for every 1 year of school, one year of commitment being served during each school year. So, yeah, it's easy to end up with a commitment through the 13th year of service. I don't see the Army changing that process, that's what the GI Bill is for.
    Most officers are not eligible for the GI Bill. It is my understanding that all officers commissioned through USMA are not eligible and officers that received a ROTC scholarship are not eligible. It is also my understanding that those are the two major sources of new 2LTs every year. While there are a number of officers who commission through ROTC without receiving a scholarship and those who are "college-option" OCS graduates, the majority of the officers in the active Army either graduated from USMA or received an ROTC scholarship.

    MiTTs -- Give them all the incentives we can find. They are the wave of the present AND the future. We need the best and the brightest, and need ways to ensure that we get them.
    Got an email from buddy getting ready to start his MiTT tour in Iraq. He reported that in the last couple months there have been more volunteers for MiTTs because of one major "incentive": MiTTs are still only a 12 month tour as opposed to 15.

    Concerning the CSRB: The Engineer NBQ CPT page reports it will be released sometime in July. Excuse me, branch qualification does not exist in my branch anymore, the new terms are "Junior Captains" and "Senior Captains."

    Me personally, as a junior Captain with an ETS of next May, I am undecided. However, the Navy makes an attractive pitch.
    "In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    What ever happened to professional officer appointments? They still do it in the medical service, but wouldn't it get line officers off desks?
    Sam Liles
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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Free tuition for military families?

    We talk about a holistic look and targeted rewards. We also have identified the growing influence of spouses and children on retention of those leaders with skills marketable on the outside.

    Instead of just mandating the time owed for every year of grad school, how about giving credit up front(I'm not talking about the GI Bill)? How about extending that to families?

    The first is like COL Burton describes - For every two years you servepast the initial 4, you get a year off to attend grad school at a state school.

    The second applies to your family. For every 4 years past the initial 4, one of your kids gets their tuition paid for at a state school.

    My point- make it attractive for the family in a long term way. You make it an incentive for more then just retention, it also becomes an incentive for attracting talent you might otherwise miss out on. It goes back to the public by introducing educated young Americans with a family background of service.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Default Nearly free tuition for military families

    The term around these parts is remission.

    If you are the spouse or child of a faculty member you get 2/3rds off your tuition state run institution undergraduate (only) program. There can be caveats like (must get a (insert level of achievement) grade or higher).

    As long as a person is employed full time by the united states military their spouses/children should get at least remission of fees in addition to normal scholarships/awards.

    I know there is always a money issue, but regardless of incentives to keep people in the military it is the RIGHT thing to do. Unfortunately the money issue is looked at first and not the RIGHT thing to do. With the federal government pulling funding from higher education, states pulling funding from higher education, grants and awards dwindling, and some state schools considering privatizing this is an idea that won't likely make it out of the barn.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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