tv Discussion on Defense Department Personnel Policy CSPAN April 11, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT
i commend everyone involved in the process. >> before we get to questions, i want to take you up on it and talk about north korea. koreans to obtaining a weapon that can strike american territory? i would say there are many, many reasons for that. as you can kind of tell with my response, to talk about the threat doesn't motivate me very much. for aw what they are, long, long time. north korea, depending on how you measure the worry, 1992 with the latest that we were really worried. so i was really young. the issue is what you going to do about it? we talk about the north korean threat, but what do we do about it? that's a me is the biggest
problem. we can't have an adult conversation in the united states, more importantly, between the united states and our allies, japan and south korea, about north korea. we have to have a pretend conversation about they are going to dismantle everything and be able to verify it all, and it's all going to go away. view, that option went away a fairly long time ago with this regime in north korea. as long as that is the precondition for doing sometng come up with a precondition for even having a discussion about it in washington -- we're not going to have the discussion. bipartisan problem, democrats aren't any better on this than republicans are. they want to say north korea has got to get rid of everything, that's the premise. unlesst talk to them they agree on that premise to go into them. it's fantasy. fantasy and the way
that we talked with three-year-old and you tell stories two. you don't want them to understand the real world. that is what we are doing now. by backing what george said in terms of bipartisanship. north korea is a great example of bipartisan failure. everything was bipartisan. if you go back and assess the blame to somebody, you can start with reagan. they were laying the foundation for a nuclear program during ronald reagan's presidency. george h.w. bush essentially got every thing ready, so that by 1992, they were ready. and then, during clinton, it turns out they actually went back for a while. while they went back on plutonium, they were developing uranium. >> we leave this discussion here, you can see it with the rest of the panels on the role of america in the world, on our website, go to c-span.org.
it's a look at the future of defense department personnel policy, brad carson will be the main speaker, former acting head of the pentagon's personnel office. from the center for strategic and international studies, just getting underway. >> brad, as many of you know, undersecretary secretary of the army and chief management officer of the army. and until last friday was a senior individual helping to set the force the future initiative for secretary carter. they're going to engage in a conversation in a speech this morning, and then with time permitting, we will open this up to the audience. i do have one other responsibility, which is to tell you about her safety procedures. as you can see, there's a door behind me and doors behind you. should there be a fire alarm or anything along those lines, todd harrison's are designated security officer, and he will guide you either over the saint matthews to pray for something, or toolbar at the begin to drink for something.
with that, let me turn the floor over to todd. and thanks, brad, for coming. mr. carson: thank you for coming to see sis, i guess this is your first day out of the pentagon now in quite a while. i wanted to start by talking about where things stand today in terms of forcing the future, and more broadly, personnel reform. if you talk about where things stand today and one of the economist was over the past year that you are the most proud of? mr. carson: it's been a historic year. our member when dr. carter came down and asked her to serve as the under secretary of defense and personnel. having served in the army by that stage, only as the searching out -- as the under secretary, i spent a lot of time looking for special issues, talking about them, personal reform and really learning from
the army. said i see a, i lot of things i would like to do, and with your leave i think for the next year, year and a half, he will be one of the most historic years in the history of the department of defense for personal reform of. pleasedinto it, we were to add sexual orientation to the equal military opportunity policy. it had been like wishing sense don't ask don't tell. at that time, compromise had not been reached. two months in we out of the 401(k) plan to the military retirement benefits, something new in the history of the u.s. military, we did that through the joint chiefs, we got congress to support it. going to make a massive impact on what we do. in the third month we announced we opened transgender service, no longer could you be separated for being transgendered. the together a plan to implement what that might mean. in the fourth month we announced
work we had already been doing about force the future, which was the next ordinary effort, we have people from across government putting together reforms to really revitalize the personnel system, both civilian and military side. are, in the case of military, 50 years overdue. in the case of civilians, 125 years overdue. in the fifth month, we went out and did women in combat and all of the rules about that. it's been an ongoing process for us. i do think him as usa today reported not long ago, it has been the most distorted here for personal reform in the history of the department. i'm really grateful to dr. carter for being a visionary on these issues. it was really -- it's often been said in some of the articles about my leaving the department that i was the architect these reforms. i was say i was the carpenter of reforms as carter was the architect. and support to keep those rules distinct. it was his vision we were able
to implement. i think he will go down as an historically or at the department -- and historic leader at the department. mr. harrison: let's dig in for force of the future. we start with the origins of it. one of the frequent criticisms that i hear, manager you averted as well is that force of the future is a bunch of solutions in search of problems. i was like to point out to people that you shouldn't wait until something is broken in order to try and fix it. reformed as noise upstart with a problem, he can start with an opportunity as well. i want to turn to you, let's talk about the most basic question in force of the future. what are the problems and opportunities it is trying to solve? mr. carson: on the military side, which is most of the discussion of the media, i think there is a problem. the problem is not people who serve in the u.s. military, they are extraordinary. i had a chance to serve alongside them myself in active duty.
but we have is bureaucracy that is cannot commence or with the talent people are bringing to the service. the military personnel system finds its root after world war ii going back to the first world war. a system that was once state-of-the-art, corporate america would look to the military, in the last 20 years, the private sector and public sector have radically diverged. they have knowledge -- having knowledge that the key to long competitive advantage is not technology but people. and the people who run the technology. that technology is manifested in constant operation and doctrine. and all the great done the same thing here. thingmber a very powerful when i was in the army, when spoke to a young group of officers. any of them were getting out and going to some of the best schools in the country on the back end of the military service. they're going to harvard business school, wharton, to terrific law schools. i asked what are you getting out?
keep you ind be to the service, after all you are exactly the kind of leaders i would like to see rise up to the highest levels. for some of them, it was my vision was to serve four years, five years, i was never intending to stay for 20 years. it was an astonishing number of them that said the bureaucracy got me down. i married a woman who was a phd, she's a geneticist. pope happy to go before with her, but she had been annexed to your finishing up her work. i wanted to stay in the national capital reason -- region before moving, but the bureaucracy would let us do that. the stories like that go on and on. i met young people, he wrote scarlett -- a rhodes scholar like myself am a was passed over promotion at the oc level, which is not a significant barrier to surmount. a woman in the air force who went to king's college london
for two years and as a result of that, missed other developers opportunities and was passed over for weapons school and at her chance at being a flyer in the air force was ever limited. these are anecdotes about the problem. i would restate your question a little differently. when you ask people this question, which is a think one that we should all ask ourselves , are our best people in the military or civilian staying or leaving? will have anecdotes of people who stated had great careers, we of attitudes of people who have gotten out. the answer is no service can answer the question. we don't know. when we pose that question, some of the serviceman said how to we even go about defining the best? what this talent mean? that's unacceptable, because our mission is existential and really important.
we are now in a place i think where we don't know our people well enough and really what's going on. there a to me is problem, and i say that is the problem. it must be dealt with immediately. mr. harrison: let's dig in a little to the force of the future proposals. you started working the most immediately upon coming into office. with the first set of draft proposals in july. mr. carson: august. mr. harrison: tell us more between when you came into pnr and when the first draft came out, what is the process you used? who was part of that, who gave you feedback and input that resulted in the initial set of proposals? mr. carson: many people in the room have worked at the department of defense and understand how the place works. the secretary had already made he had gone toe high school, and one of his very first act of secretary was to go
back to pennsylvania and talk about public service, about the need for the millennial generation to engage, have a career similar to his own. by the time i have come to be the undersecretary of defense of personal readiness, bottom-up later, the services were already out with working groups kind understand without my name. -- trying to understand what that means. trying to read it like a holy scripture. all of the services were already working on it. wasonnel and readiness already setting up working groups, including all the services to deal with the issue. we fell into that. lucky, i do think force of the future is revolutionary. but like all revolutions, it is an start with one person thinking about we can do this better. it was a situation where i was able to look to 30 years of
writing about personal reform, from the institute, from places like csi s, think tanks and academics. from service members who have written inestimable numbers of reports about how to improve the personnel system. bibliographies of the force of the future report has 1100 entries. we read everything there is about personnel, and for 30 or 40 years, people have been decrying the system is meeting reform it. you will back to the gates commission for one, they said the system was on the had to be looked at. about every other one comes out asking for similar things. benefited from incredible amounts of intellectual work that had been done over decades. for me, was about consolidating those kinds of things. one of the great stories to be told about force of the future, the other changes we made, was
having spent 3.5 years in the , theelaborate bureaucracy army, i had a strong sense of bureaucratic change and how you get something done in the pentagon. we set about doing that. part of it was i went out to places like csi s, i went to the media that we have to do some indifferent. knowledge of the fields. service members about things we have to do better. when you're dealing with complicated issues like personnel, and all kinds of arcane rules buried in regulations, it's important to me to have external validator's decision-making. where they hear people they know and they respect who think a lot about defense issues saying this is the right way to go. as with the first three months doing a lot of that. i was everywhere talking to csi businessesers, saying we need to do this, give me your feedback to make it better. also, if you believe this, be a fellow traveler. we have been able to do that. that was the first thing.
at the same time, we took always working groups and the team worked well over 100 hours a week, taking on a single day off in april when i came in labor day when the deputy secretary called us up saying the team must have labor day off, it's important to me that this happens. we took labor day off. we try to write these kinds of things because we were going to do a reform like this, people often say you should give it more time, it takes years. i remember telling the secretary, who was a man in a hurry, that we gave him in the reforms in 90 days, elaborate, we had written thousands of pages. if we had any more time, we certainly wouldn't have gotten it done. the way you achieve reforms in the army, you have to overwhelm the bureaucracy and allow it to assimilate what you've given it. that's with the last 16 months have been. that's what the first three months were about, a strong
sense of how you get things done at the pentagon, going on to try and do those things and then relying on people who are in this room today who helped in this project, to really be the election will wait. -- the intellectual weight. mr. harrison: if you had to summarize this into three or four big ideas in force of the future, how would you summarize it? mr. carson: to about recognizing that today's system on the military and civilian side is inefficient, inequitable, inflexible. it's about trying to bring greater equity of the system, such as a 401(k) plan is part of our retirement. it's about bringing greater flex ability, longer careers, divergent careers, try to get away from the very steep and narrow path that takes to rise to the top of the military service. allowing people broaden more ores and have different types of training as they ascend, so they can have viable paths to this top of the services.
developing more efficient and thinking through these questions and using both big data, but also making sure that managers are closely following some of the really serious inefficiencies. one example for the last one, doesn't come up often. someone talks about the more controversial aspects of force of the future. in the army, they make about 16 million contact the year, they write 60,000 contracts, the number down a little bit last year because the army is downsizing itself. they had a hard time reaching this contract for the last couple of years. the national guard and reserve had not done it. they've had to dip into the late entry program to do it. for every 2000 contracts they write, they lose some of those people before they even show up the boot camp. there's another 12% to 15% by the time they leave and another 12% to 15% in the first term of service.
of the 16 million contact that you reached, of the 60 million contracts, you end up with 35% to 45% attrition rate. this is, if you are in industry, the level of waste would be grotesque to you. us, not only costly to billions of dollars a year we're losing, it's a lost human potential that is manifest in that fact. it's also unacceptable. when i say we have to be more efficient, it's about saying we have to use big data to protect you is going to join, what skills it takes to succeed, we have to rethink the sole process and senior leaders might myself need to be managing this on a day-to-day basis. we are about the business of providing people and we have this level of waste. we have to do better. that's an example of what the
big-ticket ideas are. be more efficient, be more flexible, be more equitable. ourstill consistent with operational needs. that's a point to make. a lot of people say we are not the private sector. that's true. we are not the private sector. and we are subordinate as people to the unit, to the mission. but these are things that make us more mission capable. it's not about social justice, and it's a better world to do these kind of things, maybe it is, but we are better fighting forces only do these kinds of things. those of the big ideas. some of those ideas run contrary to military tradition and what the people currently serving, especially senior leaders grew up in. both military and civilian, really. when you are proposing these types of reforms, what kind of resistance did you meet within the civilian bureaucracy of the military leadership? mr. carson: much less than people might think. there is a view that the
bureaucracy always gets you down. i was reading not long ago a biography of the tragic for secretary of defense, who wanted his great quotes was the peacetime mission of the armed forces is to defeat the secretary of defense. this is a common view that the bureaucracy will be you down, you can't change it. observers most astute commented that only from the outside can things change. i don't believe that. the resistance when that was from people who said let's think this through, this is really important, we are about the people business after all, you measure twice cut once. there was a school of thought to,h i'm deeply sympathetic which said there is a lot of past dependency here. people who succeeded in the current system, very few say it is optimized for success today. there are people who say it is not optimized for success, but
kind of like the qwerty keyboard, it is what we inherited. destroye for it is to expectations, whole careers of been built around this, systems have accreted to make this work. and while different arrangement than the qwerty keyboard is actually better for you, you don't change it and we still learned because there's a path of that inot personnel as well. every engagement i ever had on the major personnel reforms for people who are very good faith concerns, nearly always shared views that i had the wood to do a better. many times, or inspirations. i think of admiral bill moran. enormously far sighted navy figure. they were already doing all these kinds of things. the brown and jim o'connell of the army, inspirations to me when i served in the army were doing lots of these things. the air force with their technical needs of thought about these issues for a very long time. a lot of high skilled people in
the potential in the training were important. it's not a situation to me when you look forward to the future of women combat or transient or service, lots of things that people on the outside might say they're going to come back at you hard on this issue. it was never that way. it was a situation where all of them say that when he first century demands in personnel systems. they might disagree on what that means in the specifics will argue with you in a good-faith way that you should, but there was never a situation where people said over my dead body. it was never that way. people said i understand with dr. carter wants to do, but is his vision exactly right? the intuition that changes it is correct, we want to be part of this. mr. harrison: you have the initial draft of reforms, you got feedback how there were several versions, i understand that it went through. in november, secretary carter one, of with tranche
force in the future. in january, he came out with tranche two. what is and what is entrenched two?sh in tranche mr. carson: he wanted to categories, things he could do himself in the short term, in the year and a half he was going to be serving under president obama. there were things that i actually advocated for, which were long-term issues that require gestation in congress and the department and the broader community. those are things we could lend rhetorical support to, to show that senior leaders were receptive to them and get the process going. as we were getting approval for all of these, there was a notion that we should start rolling out very quickly the things we can do ourselves. they didn't require congressional action. and that perhaps were not a seismic in nature as they were forming up around.
there were four tranches that were early on identified, and a decision that the should be beforeout in three month month increments to allow people to stand and to allow us to do the implementation of them, give or minister do all the other issues of women in combat, for example, that we were announcing to have a similar track. that's what we did. tranche one dealt with reforms that were important to ash , and he was able to come in and work in certain jobs, and to camp back to harvard in the come back. this level of what he calls permeability. ofreally holds to the walls the pentagon, where people like him commit. the first tranche was about the military and civilian side, internship, scholarships, flex will hiring, expanding the corporate publishing programs, have a specific impact for us. trust two were things we do ourselves as well.
which of the family-friendly reforms. maternity leave, paternity leave, a ginsburg freezing, expanding childcare hours, most notable among them. the ones that still remain are the areas that are going to require a lot of congressional and interagency action. yet the changes to the officer promotion system. you have lateral entry and technical tracks. you of all civilian reforms, where we are really in some ways franchising opm on the civilian worksite. we have to work with omb, opm, the white house, think you're going to see a lot of action. future has been, as they will tell you, a creative inspiration to them. think you're going to see over the next few weeks a lot of movement in the civilian space that is derivative of us. mr. harrison: it seems like one of the core things if you want to make at least the officer system within the military more
flexible, one of the core things to look at for potential reform is the defense officer personnel management act. dopma.- that was signed almost 30 years ago. they really prescribes a lot of the career progression for military officers. what needs to change with dopma? it needs to be opened up in some career fields or branches, if not ever. it can be part of a successful organization. major law firms have a similar thing. upper row does not necessarily bad. you have to couple it with an intense understanding of your people. so the decision you are making about these upper route elements are exactly the right ones. and we don't do that. we don't know enough about our people. we have 30 seconds, a minute when your file is reviewed by promotion board. we don't have that aspect.
in my mind to in many disciplines, upper route has to be more flexible. example, inay, for departmental regulars, you looked after major at 12 years, and lieutenant colonel at 16 years plus or minus one. or minus22 years, plus one. of the key get all essentials completed in that window. if you don't, you will be passed over. is to put yourer career in peril, to be passed over twice is to be removed. please to be about competency. no different than what we ask people to do today. you want to go out and get your mba or your phd or take care of a sick family member or stay with your husband or wife because they are getting their phd at stanford and you need to make sure her career in yours are lined up. you can do that too. you won't miss out, you'll just
get back in. disciplines, your numbers, time in service, these kinds of things, have to be made more flexible. that's the ambition. thatnk the good news is this comes back to something you and i have talked a lot about in different contexts, what is success on these issues? now, yourself, mckenzie, a lot of people who write about our personal work say we have not pma.had full repeal of do that is true, though i see the day when that happens, if not fully repealed, should change dramatically. maybe it's five years from now. when i came into office, no one was even talking about changing it. was the first person of the undersecretary to go on so publicly in these to be looked at and made more flexible. a little bit,up
because as we with the 21st century workforce. the secretary, in his talks before recent testimony before the senate talked about opening up and looking at these officer promotions. for the first time, the secretary of defense has even come close to broaching that issue. and now, for many of the people who are looking at our work, it's almost the standard by which were judged. opma,e going to reform d but a year ago, that issue wasn't on the table. so all of the services now are on board with opening up some branches and career fields, experiencing with it. i think it's true to say many with a combat arms, they take whatever route works for them in a better way than signal or cyber with the professions. we now have a place where there is broad consensus looking at
this community and the pentagon, the very highest levels that dop ma has to be opened up and made more flexible. mr. harrison: it certainly has advanced the debate quite a bit, you are right. hardly anyone was talking about this a year ago. do you think it is true that may be the realization is getting across to people that a one-size-fits-all system just doesn't work anymore? even if the current system works for some career fields and some people, one-size-fits-all doesn't work? that is what we are after we talk about reform in the military system. is not-size-fits-all compatible with the ambitions of the millennial generation or within our best interest as well. it comes back to what we spoke a moment ago about what you trying to do here as the leader of personnel department? moree end, culture matters than whatever policies and wonder promulgated. the military culture.
we can have sabbaticals for young officers, but they are not promoted come over time, when they resume the force, they want to take the sabbaticals. not because people do want to do them, they realize that these are career killers. changing the culture is what matters. early on, the decision was it we want to do the kind of things we're doing, it's about changing people's ideas more than changing the duties. that's what we're trying to do. nothing pleases me more i hear people, including internally, good faith but strong critics of what i tried to do with go back to their units and organizations and say you know what? we have to move to a talent management paradigm. the old human resources and miss rate of compliance approach is an workforce anymore. i want you guys to come back and tell me what this means for us. it's going to do something about it or that changing the ideas. in the end, if you want to have
a revolution in personnel, it's about changing the ideas about personnel. system without carter's talking about this, and our work helping them, that's what we've done. the entire building now is saying we have to think differently. we need to go to the telemanagement world. admin world is workforce anymore where super human checkboxes to make sure we are in compliant -- in compliance. achievementarkable that ash carter deserves all the credit for. and will be resent -- for membered for decades. mr. harrison: we talked about the many things you accomplish, you have been very busy. but now that you are stepping back, looking back over the past year, can you talk a little bit about what have you learned from this experience? if you had it to do over, what could you have done better? mr. carson: i learned a couple
of things. vindicated many of the ideas i had about bureaucratic change. lot and buildlk a external constituencies, you have to overwhelm the system. you have to be a fountain of ideas. you have to have extraordinary energy. you have to demand quick turnarounds and not expecting criminal change without a punch weighted equilibrium and getting things through. i learned also said in the think is important about the organization itself. there is a view that has been written about, and i think it's been said by many commentators that personal readiness -- personnel readiness is a difficult job. it'snot a difficult job, an enormously fun job. the organization is incredible, filled with remarkable people. have beenversies we involved in and up and went about the organization. , an importantr
thing i want to state, was not to go in and change pnr. that's not what ash carter wanted. he said take the great people and be expeditionary. go out and take this incredible organization filled with people and make changes i want to see done that we all think are going to be done. it's athe idea that difficult organization to manage, i've worked in a lot of places, the army, remarkable, admirable people. as a congressman, pnr has and they areople doing extreme merrily important work. i was fortunate enough to work with him. for me, the achievements that we have done, i think they are historic, are about what pnr is about. not so much live done or my team it. the organization is incredible. i think the reputation that we may have inserted people's mind is entirely unjust. -- in certain people's minds is entirely unjust. mr. harrison: what you would recommend to people to follow
you, not just immediately in the undersecretary role, but even into the next of administration, what advice do you have for them based on your experiences and based on where these ideas behind force of the future stand today? mr. carson: the ideas are going to prevail, the entire building is talking about what it takes to have a 21st century personnel system. services are moving out, as they should, issues on their own account. figure going to see over the next few years a breaking open system, and you're going to see that. whether my time there is are membered as that we implement it all these things, or whether it is that with david jones was might hehe mid-1980's, lived to see it done, my bet will be that will be determined
later. the idea stands. they are not my ideas. the force of the future is something i came into, ash carter had announced, and we took it and ran with it, building on the ideas of others. , that's what you say the folks. i'm in sales, they are in product of elements. i'm not here to tell you with these great ideas are. and they are great ideas. we are going to see major changes, even more so than we have in the future. might buy to people who have these kind of jobs is to it, first of all. it's a great opportunity to make a difference. robert mcnamara once said there are two ways to be a leader, a judicial approach, where you sit and wait for the packages to wiselyand you hopefully arbitrate whatever controversies might exist. and in the most aggressive approach where you say want to do this, i want to do that, tell me the problems and how we make this work, talk we offer this if
you don't to get the right approach. you are personally pushing the agenda that you think needs to be done. i think there's a case of the theocracy doesn't work that well, i'm told more also reforms outside of personnel, that's the approach most people don't think. they way to arbitrate. the proposals as this, then they try to figure that out. and make bigere changes. it will be controversial, but it should be. this work is asked for nearly important. if you propose anything, if it's to say hey,me, someone disagrees with me about this. me, ihing you bring to want us to have a terrific argument about it. if were not arguing, and only to see it. it is not controversial, with a lack of controversial, it's been all -- it's banal.
it's my job to make controversial decisions and go forward. that would be my advice. to not be the imperious judge of packages coming to, but to say i have a vision for a better world. it's not mine alone, it's informed by thousands of people that this perch gives you the chance to advocate for. mr. harrison: so leaning forward. i want to open it up for questions now from the audience. wait for the microphone to come around and please tell us your name and where you are from. >> and josh rogan, a columnist with bloomberg view. thank you for your time and your service. i like to ask you to talk about the politics of force of the future. you faced a lot of resistance in congress, the chairman of the armed services committee was dead set against it, james and half even went as far as to a ledge hostile work environment based on some whistleblower, the information was never came out great seemed
maybe it was political he motivated. what went wrong and how did that congressional by an aegis talked about eating so much not succeed as well as it could have? isn't it the case that in the end, secretary carter responded some of hissure and announced reforms were not as ambitious, he backed her nomination to a point, but eventually you had to step aside. do you feel of the building eventually responded to the outside pressures, and lastly, now you have left at the last year of the obama administration, what effect does that have on the program and what will now happen? i think the politics of it are fine. go back to the congressional produces him. no one has ever questioned any of the substantive ideas.
their question to the process and whether we briefed them enough about pre-decisional items, the department felt strongly they are want to bother the undersecretary by briefing ideas. at the think the policies are just fine. i don't see anyone moving to an alternative view. makingis suggesting that childcare 14 hours a day are having better ties industry are bad ideas. no one is saying that at all. there is always, at this level, and i come from rural oklahoma where i've been in a lot of fierce political fights. there's acrimony against the menstruation, certainly. there's acrimony in the department. onyou happen to walk through a day, you become the person who is targeted. in no way to a think the politics are in a bad way. has been terrific supporter. he has come to me every single time, it never asked me to
sizzling differently, never said i disagree with this. about the hearing, it's i have your back on this hearing. , ias in a weird position know some of the has been much reported, the vacancy. was working some strange wizardry, where started off this job undersecretary of the army, i had to resign that to become acting printable deputy. three days before the hearing, the time limit for that expired and i became a senior advisor to the secretary. i could no longer even sign out legal documents. my only chance of being confirmed was to do is eric fanning did, leave the organization entirely and wait for what might or might not happen. ofre was no credible deputy personnel come i was the only political appointee at the high level. sense, given that i was a senior advisor.
on in thef continue process. i told the secretary, who had my back, that i was tired, the work was done. really, we hasten to to finish up trade it's all been completed , but the of limitation for women service of limitation, all of these kinds of things were finished as we were going to hearings. it made a lot of sense for me and for the organization to leave. it wasn't too much politics. either going to be critics of our work? yes. do i have rivals because of things i've done in my life? of course. but it's the work that matters. i don't see anyone criticizing the work we've done. we have one right here. and chief of defense people for the british armed forces.
it's here in justin, we are very similar challenges in the united kingdom. in attracting and retaining our people. thatsaid we will only do if we earn and retain their trust, and we will do that by maintaining a credible and realistic offer. what you have done this talk about defining aspect of the offer, we have many similar change programs to do the same. the one thing you haven't mentioned is cost. and the cost of people. within the british defense budget, we spend 25% of the budget on direct people costs. i'm under huge pressure to make sure that doesn't increase. confidenthave been that force for the future was sustainable in terms of cost within your department of defense budget? mr. carson: i'm very confident. was that a lot of money on people in the army. we spent 50% of the budget on
military manpower alone, as you might expect. but we are spending $600 billion a year, most of the reforms we talked about were a few billion dollars over the course of a few years. but insignificant even the return on investment we get from that. -- given the return on investment we get from that. i think though concerns are very real. something i think we could challenge for the rest of the next president as well. the enormous stress on the armed forces today. the center for naval analysis came out saying only 13% of youth or even eligible to join the military. over the last 15 years, we've devoted a lot of money to developing the recruiting and retention policies since the as a young manen i came to the department of defense. we are privatized housing which is really well done,
unrecognizable to people who were in the military 30 years ago. we had an expansion of tri-care benefits, we had the g.i. bills. at the height of the wars, the billion spending $.75 every year on pay and bonuses to maintain the forest. going forward, think the real challenge is when you realize that so few people can join, and that we don't have the money we did at the height of the wars this question of compensation. i worry about these issues. most of the things we're talking about have announced so far are deeply impactful to the military. he doesn't have a huge bill with them as well. one of the things we talked a lot about, is there is a way to compensate people in a better way than we do today. for example, all the survey show us that young servicemembers don't necessarily value the in-kind benefits, would much prefer cash benefits.
you can see a world where we actually improve the quality of life for our servicemembers and give them a better value proposition and save us the money as well. controversial issues, to be sure. but this is what the future has to hold. , is thatr point raised we have to change the value proposition in some way to get the new generation to join up futurech a force of the is about that. is an ongoing process, because change the metaphor again, is not about coming down from the mountain top with tablets of laws will follow. was to send a bolt of electricity into the swirling bath of amino acids and see what lifeforms emerge from the pool. that's with happening. every day i see the marines, the army, adopt a new initiatives that are completely compatible
with what carter laid out. we have to seize people with a new value proposition, they are doing that. i'm confident. >> and want to follow up on that. it seems that one of the force of the future initiatives came out in tranche one, the creation of this office of personnel. mayeems like that office seem like a small change, it may be a small office. it seems like that would be really central towards implementation of these things, especially about change in the value proposition with the compensation system. can you tell the more about what that will do? mr. carson: it's being implement. the vision off the bat was to recognize that quite a few organizations in the world have the data we have our servicemembers. we track time, health, family situation. if you asked the kind of question what leads people to separate from the army, you can't really answer that question.
we don't have any kind of predictive models where we can come in and say this person is really married, and he just finished up a combat to her -- korea,tour, he was in and he was terrific. when you to do some of special to reach out to him, we reach out to give this person in a package to stay with us. the vision for analytics was to say we have all this remarkable data that we don't mine. separate from it the pentagon, perhaps even on silicon valley, find employees the do this kind of work who are working at facebook and google and have them come in on a year or two terms, my vision was go to town. saturday would have a mission for you. go through all this data and
tell me interesting things that people like me or the secretary should care about. then we can craft policies to solve the challenge they present. that's the situation and what we are trying to do with it. it's been approved and is being implement it. we will see over the next year it all coming to fruition. >> i'm from the pbs news network. you mentioned the issue of transgendered in the military, where things that without? what are the arguments he talked about? what arguments on the top brass resisting this change? mr. carson: i resist the idea of top brass itself is resisting the change. we've had an elaborate working group with service input, we have consensus on most of the issues. there are still a few small matters to be resolved that the doctors themselves have been
very important parts of the process. they don't agree on. around know the science transgender is rapidly evolving. people are trying to get a handle on that. we commissioned a report, we've been waiting on that to come again and give us a better understanding of readiness impact in health care cost. as a natural assimilation process of the building trade to do some been like this, i'm pleased to that i've never had a civil person say to me we shouldn't do this. they understand that the secretary himself as talked about the could do this last summer in his memorandum to the public. this is going to happen. we need to make sure the building understands we are doing, that every single leader is a chance to comment on it and have their thoughts heard. we brief all the see nearly leaders about the findings of what random the working group
did. there's a natural process. through lots of changes rapidly as possible. but this is a major social change. in six months we've gone from no one is even talking about it to overnight, that's going to happen. and they couldn't be separated for it. to now this kind of assimilation if you will. i feel very confident that you will see a policy coming out both in military siege and consistent with the readiness needs. people who care about this issue and transient servicemembers, they are committed. -- transgender servicemembers. there's a lot of science. what does this say, why does this person say some indifferent? their modest disagreement on how to execute this. but it's the 10 year passport or to your passport gender marker change?
they don't suggest any massive pushback. people are in good faith trying to say how would this work, how will the work in basic training? how will it work if i'm being deployed? these are the things you have to work out as they raise them up. those are the kind of things. in the air force, how it might work for basic training as opposed to how it might work in the marine corps. you have to have an example -- do you have a uniform policy or allow service deviations. is the kind of things we have ongoing. it is the conversation that any seminar room at any university would be proud of. people come in well read, try to understand the issues, asking safe questions. when you are getting this massive move, i'm really pleased. for me, it's been an important project personally and professionally. as secretary carter has said, this will make us a better fighting force. [indiscernible]
mr. carson: i would expect. ski with theelle institute for defense analyses. to cyber, an area where we are seeing huge retention issues, there are a lot of moving parts, we have force of the future, the limitation plan for the language that gives the secretary of defense the authority to make decisions in the except of service. what advice do you have for the services and civilian organizations and dod in the meantime while those things -- this timelines are still far out. cyber is the think obvious example of where every service will say we recognize it's very difficult to recruit talent for cyber people, whether they are in the military on the
civilian side. in some ways on the civilian side is a greater challenge than it is in uniform. you to bee will train a cyber expert in the military. civilian side we don't have to train you to be that. it's a very difficult skill to acquire, given the inflexibility of the pay structure and things like that that we have. it's just an anecdote that shows you why these kinds of reforms are needed. if you go somewhere like carnegie mellon, one of the great universities for computer science, they will tell you the big recruiters american view science majors are facebook, google, dropbox, and dod. five employersig of these young writers. look at the pay scale. the top graduate from last year's argument appear science forram was offered a job $180,000.
$178,000ge salary was if they go to work for the nsa, they had more flexible title authorities than we were that the dod. they might be able to pay them $75,000, $80,000. they want to come to dod and be part of our title x structure, we would be struggling to pay them $50,000, $60,000. that's an enormous challenge for us. you and your this world, which shows you how you have to have a systematic approach. in could talk to the people the government that say there are so many authorities don't use. for example, student loans. we have that authority, we don't need to use it because we're not getting the very best people to start with. by the time of gunned down and gotten the people that didn't want to go to google or more often than one way 10 months for , people wantrance
to do those kinds of things. we don't need these other cool bells and whistles to recruit them, people who want to do those kinds of things, the adequate authorities are there. the problem is, the kind of people really need, we don't have the authority to get that person. i think you see across the board great challenges for us. the interesting point that i make is every service said cyber we had enough i clearly is where dopma relief is needed. the world is going to be more like cyber that it is running over mountain somewhere. the cognitive requirements of every mos, every career feel this field. if you are in the infantry, kicking in doors, you're going to be computerized and wired in, that's what the future holds. this cognitive demand is really
going to be intense, more so than ever. i said cyber is the future, not just for cyber but every mos in every branch we have. space stuff similarly. future where these reforms are going to be needed more broadly than cyber. it seems like some of the reforms you talked about a very applicable to certain career fields like hiring a cyber operator may be lateral entry permission, getting rid of , promotion, space operators what about going so far as saying cargo pilot, airlift pilot or uav pilot? could we start just hiring this people in from the private sector, where they are party at the skill and not train them from within?
that's a big change in the military model to do that in these kind of career fields. mr. carson: i think we have to, take the drum community. the chance to make a lot more money in the military, the stress is intense. there's no reason when you see high demand occupations or we don't have enough people in them that we shouldn't think about bringing people laterally. and the good news is the services are. they haven't mentioned the rpa community, but that's ripe for examination. but this notion that we are not forcing anyone. this is not a world where i can show up at age 49 and say i want to get back in and be a kernel. where the a world example of often used is mark zuckerberg showed up and watched when the u.s. military. part of army cyber, what we say to him? he didn't go to college, he dropped out of harvard, because
you don't have a college degree you can be an officer right off the bat. we would you be some constructive credit for running a fortune 50 company, but we e4. make you any for -- an you can be specialist october. i imagine a world where chief of staff says i can find better uses for him. making a lieutenant colonel. the army might say i want the chance to do this. he would not be allowed to do it. it makes the sense to me. it should be a world where we they say i need this guy at army cyber, i would say we define a way to make that happen. that's what force the future is about. mr. harrison: other questions here. >> the future of the force, were you considering contracting out as kind of a third part of this when you look at the active force reserve guard and then
contractors? today play a role in any of this? how did that turn out? mr. carson: it's a total force that we have come active force, civilians, contractors are key part of that. it doesn't directly address much about the contractor workforce. there are some preliminary works that have to go into this. going to be a long-standing project. question that bedevils me often, now appear, is to say -- how many civilians should we have of the department? we have 744,000. is that the right number? is that too many? are they saying that we are overworked and could use more? it's difficult to account for them. is that the right number? too much or too little? it is a philosophy abho