Friday, March 30, 2018

Jumping Ship: Bureaucracy to Private Sector

A recent survey conducted by the Atlantic showed that of the 250 West Point graduates in question, 93 percent of them believed that at least half, if not more, of the best officers leave the military early. Only 7 percent of them agreed that the Army did a good job retaining the best personnel. The results of this survey convey the concern within the military that they are losing their best officers and personnel to the private sector. It also brings up a number of ethical questions, such as should resigned or retired federal employee be able to move to a job with a private military firm with no restrictions on what they are allowed to communicate if it involves matters what they worked on while serving as a federal employee? If so, how long should those restrictions be in place? For example, there is a restriction that places a one year ban on senior military officers, referred to as a "cooling off" period but it is extremely broad and covers the communication of any official matter, whether it was a matter they were involved with or not. On the opposite side of the coin, would regulations go too far and turn into a way for the military to retain good employees by manipulating the rules?
The current personnel system is confusing and outdated which is becoming a significant concern with the continuous increases of soldier resignation to the private sector. It would be worth the time of the US military to invest more resources into first of all, retaining personnel, and second of all, deciding on concrete guidelines regarding what they can and cannot do when, and if, they leave.

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