In a U.S. Naval Institute article published today, testimony given by James Stuart, the nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, revealed some interesting challenges that the services are facing. It's a significant workforce challenge regarding pilots, but it's one we have talked about that is affecting our maritime law enforcement community in our White Paper: Navigating the Changing Seascape of Maritime Public Safety. (And also in our webinar about How Changes in Procurement and Products are Affecting Maritime Public Safety Agencies.
“They want to keep flying,” Stewart, stated.“Having the training dollars is important” to satisfy that desire. Isn't that the same issue in our world? And one of the things that is affecting agencies, organizations and employers all across America is that we are NOT adapting our training to the needs and abilities of our changing workforce.
When asked about the challenges the Navy faces to recruit an additional 7,500 young men and women to man a growing fleet, Gregory Slavonic, a retired rear admiral,said, “there’s no way we should ever lower our standards.” He, Stewart and committee members acknowledged that only about 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 17 and 24 meet the physical, mental and moral standards required by the Defense Department for enlistment. What??? Only 25% can meet those standards? Now you have to consider the fact that not ALL of that 25% even want to be in the military.... and/or law enforcement. So you begin to see the magnitude of the problem. The "Perfect Storm" we talk about in the White Paper.
In this article, the speakers at the hearing discuss ideas and innovative alternatives to help keep that talent, and attract other candidates. So my question to the group is this: What can we do to attract and retain maritime law enforcement/public safety professionals? What would you change to stem the tide?
I look forward to your comments, suggestions and ideas.