July 3, 2018
How well does the U.S. military transform? When are the best time and circumstances to change how the joint force does business? In search of some answers, I came across a short but powerful article written a few years ago by two consultants to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, David Chinn and John Dowdy. They conducted a survey in December 2014 of “almost 1,000 leaders and senior employees in more than 30 U.S. Government agencies and found that only 40 percent believed that their transformation programs succeeded.” Even though these results do not seem heartening to those “change agents” among us, their research suggests how to change one’s military even in a period of budgetary pressure, as was recently experienced in Europe and the United States. In fact, as of this writing, the Budgetary Control Act (or so-called sequestration) is still in force, but the Department of Defense budgetary outlook is fairly bright. So, if we needed to do some thinking when money was tight, should these suggestions not be applied as the situation improves? Let’s take a minute to see if this is the case.