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Crisis Equals Opportunity
Crisis equals opportunity

 

Current Jointness Status:

 

To date, the Department of Defense has successfully assumed many of the functions that were previously performed by the various services.

 

For instance, commissaries (Defense Commissary Agency), pay systems (Defense Finance and Accounting Services), logistics (Defense Logistics Agency) and some technology issues that now comes directly under the DOD.

 

We have more “jointness” in the special operations and aviation areas. Some progress has been made though in the “jointness” movement, like common helicopter training, joint airfields, etc., but being in the joint area used to be the “kiss of death”.

 

In the Tidewater Virginia area, a mixture of various services activities now comes under a single “commander.” To attract people to joint duty they have had to make it mandatory for promotions.

 

Remaining Jointness Issues:

 

In working on various issues while in the Washington, D.C. area, it was common knowledge that the services have major control over their functions and often thumb their nose at the DOD, even though they come under the DOD.

 

Within and among the services, there are irrational and rice bowl guarding decisions often based on historical evolution and turf guarding.

 

For the support service personnel – legal, medical, dental, logisticians, chaplains, administrative, finance, contracting, etc., one services is not that much different from another.

 

Even simple things like Air Force and Navy airplanes being able to communicate with each other and the air combat controllers was a problem in the first Iraqi conflict and the different service planes had to operate in their own combat areas.

 

Advantages of Complete Jointness:

 

Just think of the duplicitous staffing and systems that would be eliminated within and among the services.

 

Jointness would be a reality and not a partially forced issue as it is now. Even the present Secretary of the Army admitted to the forced aspect this this week.

 

Support personnel could virtually, with perhaps some “service” specific environment training, serve across the board.

 

The combat fighters would have certain qualifications for certain parts of the organization, like landing on aircraft carriers and other ships, quick deployment forces, etc. The aviators already have a qualification structure.

 

In order to maintain morale, if the aviators qualified to land on aircraft carriers want to wear pink shoes, let them do so.

 

The above discussion only scratches the surface of the issue. In this environment of scarce resources, this discussion and action is timely.

 

Conclusion:

 

One can tell that we have nibbled around the edges of doing this. Why not go all the way since the funding crisis makes everyone more flexible in overcoming historic issues and rice bowl guarding?

 

THE TIME IS RIGHT TO DESIGN OUR NATIONAL DEFENSE STRUCTURE THE WAY IT SHOULD BE, NOT HOW IT HAS HISTORICALLY EVOLOVED, ESPECIALLY IF IT WILL MAKE BETTER USE OF TAX DOLLARS AND OVERALL IMPROVE OUR DEFENSE POSTURE AND CAPABILITIES! LET THE RICE BOWL CLINKING BEGIN!

 

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