The last several years have seen significant improvement in the areas of reenlistment and lowering of attrition rates. Those successes are principally the result of increased CNO (and therefore command-level) interest in manpower-related issues coupled with an unprecedented outpouring of benefits on the military by Congress. These unique factors plus an upsurge in patriotism after 9/11, have obscured our need for a major change in the way human resources-related work is performed in our ships, squadrons, submarines, and Seabee battalions.
Despite much understandable hoopla surrounding the littoral combat ship (LCS), the next generation destroyer, (DD(X)), and the new carrier for the 21st century (CVN-21), the fact remains that for the foreseeable future the ships, squadrons, battalions, and submarines that we have in place will continue to carry the operations load. As we wait for the new platforms to populate the fleet, what do we do to make our human resources programs better? A new human resources community is needed, one crafted and organized to carry out the Navy's emerging human capital aspirations.