Since the Cold War ended, we have seen fundamental changes in threats, military tactics, weapons, and technologies. At the same time, funding constraints have increased—as has competition for talented people. Changing demographics have brought changes in the motivations and expectations of the workforce. The current human capital system, commonly known as the Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education system, must be completely modernized to meet these new challenges—and to improve retention.
Although we do now see a few changes, such as attempts to institute career on- and off-ramps, continuum of service, officer retention initiatives, and sabbaticals, we cannot expect a system that was crafted for the needs of the mid-20th century to be successful in today's vastly different environment. Our 60-year-old system has served our nation well, but it cannot meet the demands of the 21st century. Since 1947, our system has continuously been modified, adjusted, and added to. Now we need a total overhaul.