With troop withdrawls from Iraq and Afghanistan in progress or impending, Pentagon officials are making plans for the future. A part of those plans may be replacing contract support with service members. Speaking before the Defense Writers Group Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said he’s looking to keep troops engaged and energetic back home, a challenge when the pace of operations at home installations is often drastically different than overseas.
One area of opportunity for officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) is some of the many slots that have been taken by civilians and contractors over the past ten years. Odierno specifically noted positions within the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command but he could have just as easily noted nearly any major command or military installation across the globe. With the push for boots on the ground and the need to free up deployable personnel for military operations, civilian and contractor roles have expanded across the military, from training and instruction to public affairs and policy.
Military installations which were formerly staffed by uniformed personnel have been heavily staffed by civilians in the past decade. Troops numbers will be declining but it’s only inevitable that without a demanding deployment cycle more officers and NCOs will be filling positions that have been the domain of contractors or civilians.
The contract instructors at the Command and General Staff College, public affairs personnel working in garrison offices and policy experts across Training and Doctrine Command could be among the positions that transition from suit and tie to military camouflage over the next several years. But just as the transition to civilian and contract personnel didn’t happen overnight it will likely take several years of contract and government employee attrition to bring about significant change to the staff make-up in many organizations.
Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves cybersecurity, social media, and the U.S. military. She thinks service members, civilians and contractors are a winning trio, kind of like Earth, Wind & Fire. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.