Modern organizations require carefully designed and executed human-resource programs. The Secretary of the Navy understands this, and his recently announced 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative is ostensibly an effort toward that end. Unfortunately, the program is misguided and will prove unproductive—perhaps even counterproductive—at a time when we need to focus on core mission areas.
The intent of 21st Century Sailor and Marine (21CSM) is honorable, but the last thing we need is another program to “fix” our problems, real or perceived. The areas targeted by 21CSM—readiness, safety, physical fitness, inclusion, and a continuum of service—are neither new nor lacking attention. They have been focus areas for years, making this new initiative nothing more than old programs in a new package with a smattering of nanny-state, feel-good ideas for good measure.