We wish to express our thanks and appreciation to the people who assisted us during our project.
The Defense Science Board Task Force on Human Resources Strategy asked the questions that shaped this report. We are grateful to the following individuals on this task force who provided encouragement: Dr. John Foster, Jr., and General Larry D. Welch, USAF (retired), co-chairs for the task force; Chase Untermeyer, chair for the civilian panel; and Dr. Curt Gilroy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).
This study relied primarily on hard-copy data—both published and unpublished—and on the literature to describe Department of Defense political appointee positions and the process. As a result, the report would not have been possible without the assistance of those within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the military departments, and the Defense Manpower Data Center who helped us identify, locate, and interpret data going back 50 years—data that were not originally assembled for our purposes. In particular, Chris Koehle and Cheryl Sneed of the Staffing, Classification, and Executive Resources Division, Personnel and Security Directorate, Washington Headquarters Services, and Joyce N. Fuller, Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy, contributed their vast corporate knowledge and dug into reams of paper files in search of the data we needed. We thank them for their avid support and excellent results. We are also grateful that the Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, had the foresight to publish a useful collection of data on presidential appointees that require Senate confirmation, going back to the creation of the Department of Defense.
Individuals from the Office of Executive Resources, Office of the Secretary of Defense; from the Senate Armed Services Committee; and from the Office of Government Ethics also provided valuable insights on the political appointment process not available through published documents. We thank them for sharing their perspectives.
Finally we are grateful to Bob Roll, our RAND colleague, for his thoughtful review of an early draft.
The data contained herein are highly detailed, and in some cases their interpretation is complex. Any errors or mistakes are our own.