Academic Year 2013-14
IMPACT OF SEQUESTRATION AND FURLOUGHS ON RETENTION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
By Jerry Lee Cook (Limited distribution. Requests for distribution should be referred to the author at, email@example.com)
The 2013 sequestration and furloughs dramatically affected morale at the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Command (CERDEC). Many of the employees were previously affected in the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which forced them to move from Fort Monmouth, NJ to Aberdeen proving Ground, MD. Because of the added stress of the sequestration and furloughs, many of the employees have now lost trust in the government as a viable employer. The impacts of sequestration and furloughs included loss of funding for college education, loss of bonuses and pay increases, loss of overtime pay, loss of compensatory pay, and nonpaid furloughs, which potentially affect retirement benefits as well as the accumulation of sick and annual leave.
These impacts adversely affected morale to the point where many Federal employees are leaving CERDEC. Additionally, indications of low morale, such as increased sick leave usage, have occurred. Another cost associated with managing the sequestration and furloughs was that it reduced CERDEC’s ability to perform its mission.
This research study explored the significance of the sequestration and furloughs on employee retention. Proposed recommendations for reducing the attrition rate are explored.
INCORPORATING EFFICIENCIES INTO THE TEST AND EVALUATION OF SOFTWARE-INTENSIVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS.
By John E. Crone (Limited distribution. Requests for distribution should be referred to the author at, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The U.S. Army Chief of Staff, GEN Raymond T. Odierno, recently issued five strategic priorities, one of which is a scalable and ready, modern Army (Odierno, 2013). This includes modernization programs that will be soldier centered in order to improve equipment and system lethality, survivability, mobility, and network functionality to ensure that the American soldier remains the most lethal force on the battlefield. The challenge is to balance the major reduction in funding with the appropriate level of test and evaluation of these capabilities, especially in a software-intensive information technology (IT) program, and still meet strategic priorities. IT systems proliferate across the battlespace. “Whereas in 1970 software accounted for about 20 percent of weapon system functionality, by 2000 it accounted for as much as 80 percent and today can deliver 90 percent or more of a system’s functionality” (Campbell, 2010, p. 3). The question remains: How can we become more efficient with testing of IT programs yet still meet warfighter requirements? Many IT programs fall behind schedule and/or go over budget. As a result, most IT systems fail to meet expectations. Historically, 25 percent of IT programs fail, 50 percent are delivered late or with less functionality than required, and the average business system exceeds budget by almost 100 percent (Campbell, 2010, p. 1).
This report outlines the research to identify efficiencies and potential methods of incorporating them into the testing of IT programs as a way to minimize costs yet still meet warfighter requirements and the strategic priorities of the Army. Senior-level Department of the Army and Office of the Secretary of Defense personnel associated with recently conducted Acquisition Category I major automated information systems were interviewed, and their responses are presented in this report. Recommendations on efficient practices are provided on key aspects of U.S. Army testing and evaluation of IT programs.
MAINTAINING THE U.S. ARMY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING COMMAND PROTOTYPE INTEGRATION FACILITIES
By Thomas W. Haduch
It is well recognized that the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Prototype Integration Facilities (PIFs) provide an unmatched and critical capability, supporting RDECOM’s overarching science and technology (S&T) strategic goal of transitioning technology to the warfighter. Since their inception they have provided a rapid method to field urgently needed products directly to the warfighter and played a vital role in bridging the gap between S&T and the user community. They provide the agility necessary to rapidly upgrade current systems to counter urgent threats and to develop, apply and evaluate leap-ahead technology for future systems.
As fiscal resources become increasingly constrained in this new era of reduced defense budgets and loss of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, one can assume that the collective prototyping and integration capacity within RDECOM may become unsustainable. These PIFs are largely funded through customer reimbursable funding, much of which has been resourced through OCO funding for the last decade. The changing fiscal environment may require a rightsizing of PIF capacity or novel new opportunities to leverage their unique capabilities. Given the right Army and RDECOM management and budget support, all of the PIF managers surveyed strongly felt that their facilities can play a larger role in tightening the linkages between RDECOM’s S&T efforts and the Army’s materiel acquisition community. More…
IDENTIFYING CRITICAL MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES REQUIRED FOR TRANSFORMING THE ARMY INDUSTRIAL BASE
By Stacey Clark Kerwien
With reductions to the Department of Defense (DoD) budget, the Army needs to think strategically about which manufacturing issues have the greatest impact on the health of the industrial base. Typically, these decisions are made based on producing specific critical end items (e.g., ammunition, tactical vehicles, and aircraft) but not on the actual life-cycle costs used to produce these end items (e.g., Implementing qualified manufacturing, and inspection processes, supply chain management, materials availability, etc.).
Due to this decision-making model, very little change has occurred in the industrial base over the last several decades, making it difficult to modernize facilities, produce new designs, and incorporate efficient manufacturing processes. The value and continued success of the Army Industrial Base depends on the cost-savings potential of transformation initiatives and how effectively they are implemented to support acquisition programs. The threefold intent of this paper is, first, to examine 10 critical manufacturing issues to determine which have the greatest impact on the health of the industrial base. Then this paper, in terms of transition initiatives, will present the Technology Transition Framework, developed by the Defense Systems Management College in 2009 for “assessing the readiness of a technology to be adapted from a science and technology (S&T) initiative into an acquisition program.” Finally, it is important to identify the most useful knowledge management techniques to retain the transition lessons learned.
Interviews with Army program managers and DoD manufacturing technology engineers will provide perspectives about the current Army industrial base and manufacturing issues. Interviews with industrial base manufacturers will help shed light on successful transition practices. More…
CYBERSPACE AND THE ARMY SOLDIER AFTER 2020
By Matthew R. Maier (For Official Use Only - Requests for distribution should be referred to the author at, email@example.com)
Beyond 2020, Army soldiers will face new challenges as the Army migrates toward an expeditionary, regionally aligned force with emerging cyberspace threats. Heavy land force engagements are likely to give way to smaller, expeditionary and regional conflicts that require new doctrine, policy, materiel and training for the squad and platoon-level soldier. As wireless devices and networks continue to grow, the battlefront of the future may also require these same soldiers to do battle with unseen adversaries in cyberspace. Will this present new cyberspace operational demands and/or challenges at the squad and lower levels? If so, how should the Army evolve its Doctrine, Organization, Training, materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities, and Policy (DOTmLPF-P)? The focus of this research is to determine if doctrine, policy, materiel, or training exists in the Army for preparing tactical squad-level soldiers for the complex operational environments within which they are expected to operate, and if cyberspace operations are needed at these lower echelons beyond the year 2020.
The research suggests that Army cyberspace doctrine, policy, materiel, and training—while all currently emerging—are individually and in aggregate insufficient today to support soldier level cyberspace operations. Organizations within the Army are still attempting to reach agreement/consensus on the conduct of cyberspace operations. As a result, doctrine, policy, materiel and training related to tactical, expeditionary, and soldier-level cyberspace operations have yet to be addressed. Individual platoon- and squad-level soldiers are not being adequately prepared for the complex operational environments they can expect in 2020, and this paper presents multiple possible recommendations that could improve cyberspace operations in the Army.
CHALLENGES WITH OBTAINING MATERIEL RELEASES FOR COMBAT-PROVEN NON-STANDARD EQUIPMENT CAPABILITIES
By Adam J. Parlow (Limited distribution. Requests for distribution should be referred to the author at, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Over the course of major combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army’s acquisition community used various rapid acquisition processes to acquire and field new equipment as quick reaction capabilities (QRC) to meet the warfighter’s needs. With the departure of U.S. forces from Iraq, the continued drawdown of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and expected reductions of overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding, the Army faces decisions about which Non-Standard Equipment (NS-E) should be disposed of or retained for the future use. The Army has several initiatives for reviewing and recommending the disposition of NS-E, including comprehensive Capability Portfolio Reviews to look at specific categories of equipment fielded to units in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Capabilities Development for Rapid Transition (CDRT) process, the Army’s primary process for reviewing NS-E and nonmateriel solutions. NS-E selected for retention may be sustained for future use or become an acquisition program of record. This research paper reviews and analyzes issues when NS-E procured by the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) is selected for retention, specifically focusing on the materiel release process. The materiel release (MR) process ensures that systems are safe for soldiers when operated within stated parameters, are suitable by being fully tested and meeting operational performance requirements, and are logistically supportable within the intended operational environment. The results of this study may contribute to a better understanding of the challenges in using the current MR processes for NS-E based on the experience from PEO IEW&S and provide observations and recommendations that may be applicable to other Army acquisition programs.
MAINTAINING AND SUSTAINING EMPLOYEE MORALE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
By Lori C. Remeto (Distribution Statement D. Distribution authorized to the Department of Defense and U.S. DoD Contractors only, April 2014. Other requests should be referred to the Director, U.S. Army Material Systems Analysis Activity)
The purpose of this research paper was to investigate whether organizational climate is directly correlated to employee morale. For the purpose of this study, organizational climate consisted of four elements: physical work environment, job satisfaction, management-employee relationship, and the employee’s perception of the organization. A pilot survey was developed and administered to the target population, the Army Materiel System Analysis Activity (AMSAA) located at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), MD. The survey was administered to both male and female employees in technical and nontechnical positions, in pay grades of GS-14/NH-IV and below. The survey participation was strictly voluntary, and 29% of the target population took part.
The research employed a correlation method, which involved collecting data in order to determine whether and to what degree a relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables. The results of the data analysis indicate that there is a strong correlation between organizational climate and employee morale. The respondents rated their overall organizational climate as “average” and their overall morale as “medium.” Both ratings fell in the middle of their rating scales with 44% and 62% of the respondents selecting these as their ratings respectively. In addition, of the four organizational climate elements examined, the element “employee’s perception of their organization” seemed to be the biggest driver for influencing their morale. These questions were based on how well the respondents believe that their organization encourages collaboration, innovation, creative thinking; receives and responds to suggestions for change; provides attractive opportunities for development; and has the right individuals in senior positions. In addition, the results suggested that AMSAA management needs to rebuild trust with the workforce so that the employees truly believe that management cares about its people.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT WITHIN THE PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR COMMAND, CONTROL AND COMMUNICATIONS-TACTICAL
By Michael B. Stanka (Distribution Statement D. Distribution authorized to the Department of Defense and U.S. DoD Contractors only for Administrative or Operational Use (July 2014). Other requests should be referred to PEO C3T, Chief of Staff)
Employee engagement has many different definitions that are currently in use. The common theme to all of these definitions is the concept that employees who are engaged will expend discretionary effort to assist in positive organizational business outcomes. Research has indicated that, both in the private and public sectors, organizations characterized by a high level of employee engagement outperform organizations with lower levels of engagement. While there is significant research focused on the private sector, such as that conducted by the Gallup Organization, only the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has conducted research into the engagement levels of the Federal workforce.
The MSPB, however, has not specifically focused on the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T). This research paper used a modified MSPB Merit Principles 2005 survey to measure the employee engagement within the PEO. The survey, administered via a web application, was offered to all civilians and active duty military within the command.
The results of the survey indicated that 47% of the PEO C3T workforce is considered engaged, 49% of the workforce is somewhat engaged, and only 4% of the employees are not engaged. These percentages are consistent with engagement levels of the Department of Army as reported by the MSPB. The level of engagement among supervisors differed from that of nonsupervisory employees. Insufficient data were collected to determine a statistically relevant characterization of engagement levels in the PEO functional divisions, product management offices, and product director offices.