Total Volunteer Force

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Total Volunteer Force by Hoover fellow Tim Kane

Total Volunteer Force by Hoover fellow Tim Kane

A blueprint for enhancing the quality, readiness, and efficiency of our armed forces

Tim Kane identifies and examines the underlying causes of personnel dysfunction in the US armed forces and suggests specific, decentralizing reforms to Pentagon policies. His proposals aim to move personnel strategies further along the spectrum of volunteerism, emphasize greater individual agency during all stages of a US military career, and restore command authority to colonels and captains that has been missing since the centralization of the 1960s.

Kane’s plan concentrates on moving current policies away from the coercive structures that have outlived their purpose after the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) was implemented in 1973. The Total Volunteer Force (TVF) he envisions would emphasize greater individual agency during all stages of a US military career and get the right people in the right jobs. It would improve performance evaluations, enhance individual morale and development, and provide essential information for better job-matching. And it would remove costly disincentives from military compensation. Focusing recommendations on reformed (and restored) processes and authorities rather than on expensive new programs, the TVF will extend the core values of volunteerism and professionalism and, like the AVF, will save money.

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