Army Distance Learning: Potential for Reducing Shortages in Army Enlisted Occupations

By Michael G. Shanley; Henry A. Leonard et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Two
THE PROBLEM OF PERSONNEL SHORTAGES
FOR READINESS

Throughout the discussion here and in the remainder of the report, we define a “personnel shortage” as a situation where trained and available assignments (personnel ready to fill a position)1 fall short of authorizations (the number of positions established by the Army for a particular MOS). Such shortages indicate a readiness problem for the Army in that authorizations are the best direct statement of personnel and skills required for readiness. In other words, shortages—the gaps between authorizations and assignments— measure a direct detriment to personnel readiness.

Although in subsequent chapters we discuss the Army's strategies to address personnel shortages and, more important for this research, DL's potential to enhance those strategies, here we take a step back and briefly discuss the scope and sources of personnel shortages.


WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF THE PERSONNEL SHORTAGE
PROBLEM IN THE ARMY?

Shortages in personnel can be divided into four categories useful for the analysis described in this report. First, shortages occur when the Army does not attract enough personnel, indicating a recruiting shortfall or lower-than-needed retention rates for those already recruited. Second, the distribution process produces shortages when some occupations are assigned more personnel than authorized,

____________________
1
Assignments are endstrength less soldiers in the Trainees, Transients, Holdees, and Students (TTHS) accounts.

-7-

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