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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262232395 | 376 pp. | 6.125 x 9.25 in | April 2004
Paperback | $25.00 Short | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262731720 | 376 pp. | 6.125 x 9.25 in | April 2004

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Filling the Ranks

Transforming the US Military System


The war in Iraq and the problematic military occupation of that country have called into question the adequacy of America's all-volunteer force. Politicians and others have expressed doubts about its equity and capability; some have called for the reinstatement of the draft. Yet over the past twenty years the all-volunteer military has become a technologically advanced force that has contributed to America's overall military advantage. This book analyzes current military pay and personnel policies and identifies changes needed to maintain and improve America's all-volunteer force.

Filling the Ranks argues that to attract qualified and motivated volunteers, the armed forces need to offer better tangible inducements—pay, benefits, and training—to accompany such intangible rewards as pride in serving one's country. Many of the policies related to tangible rewards were established shortly after World War II and are no longer effective. Filling the Ranks presents detailed assessments of US military pay and personnel policies in light of the strategic, demographic, economic, and labor realities of the future. It identifies specific problems that today's military career patterns, training, pay, and benefits pose for officers and enlisted men and women in both active duty and reserve forces, discussing such issues as competition with the private sector for talent, the need to restructure compensation, and provision of family support. It offers recommendations for more flexible, adaptive, and effective policies and a blueprint for achieving them.

About the Author

Cindy Williams is Principal Research Scientist in the Security Studies Program at MIT.


"This book adds value to the profession far beyond the positions that the authors take and the recommendations made for changes in the active and reserve forces....For the decisionmaker and more general professional, it is an essential resource for understanding the history and practice of personnel management in the US military, as well as a practical overview of the current problems confronting the system and potential solutions for them."—Parameters

"Williams and colleagues challenge traditional thinking on military compensation...", Tom Philpott, Appeal-Democrat