Esper: Army Making Major Personnel System Changes to Compete in ‘War for Talent’

Esper: Army Making Major Personnel System Changes to Compete in ‘War for Talent’

Secretary of the Army Mark Esper said last week that the service has undertaken a major effort to overhaul and upgrade its outdated personnel system as it engages in a “war for talent,” National Defense reported.

Esper spoke at the Women in Defense annual conference June 13 and warned that “we must make the best use of all of our talent if we are to stay ahead of our very capable adversaries.”

To get the most out of its personnel and stay ahead of adversaries, Esper said the service recognized the need to modernize how it organizes, trains and equips its force, according to the report.

“The current system — as effective as it has been in the past — simply will not allow us to optimize the potential of our workforce going forward,” Esper said.

He added that the current personnel system’s rigid focus on rank and military specialty means there “is little need or desire to consider an individual’s unique talents or personal preferences… If we are to attract, develop and retain the nation’s best and brightest, we must manage our people in a way that accounts for their skills, their knowledge, their behaviors, and indeed, their preferences,” he said.

Army photo by Spc. Dana Clarke

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