Report: Bridging the Civil-Military Divide

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A Global Affairs Media Network D E CE MBE R 2 0 1 8 I S PE CIAL REPORT W ITH TH E M ILITARY LEADERSH IP CIRCLE

BRIDGING THE CIVIL-MILITARY DIVIDE SPECIAL REPORT PRODUCED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP CIRCLE


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Welcome VO L UME 1 2 I SPECIAL REPORT I DECEM BER 2018

Introducing the Military Leadership Circle Written by Kevin Duffy, Guest Editor

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ne of the truly remarkable things about the United States military is the way in which it so strikingly encapsulates two very different yet very central aspects of the American identity: diversity of individuals and shared values of the group. The U.S. armed forces draw recruits from every corner of the country, from every racial and ethnic group, every type of upbringing and political background. And yet, serving military members all take the same oath to defend and uphold the country’s Constitution, all place service above self for the period of time in which they choose to wear the uniform (and often beyond). While veterans share a special bond that unites them across geography and time, anyone who has served in the military likewise can (and will, if you’re buying the beer) tell you countless stories of the unique and diverse characters and perspectives they encountered amongst their comrades in arms. Members of the Military Leadership Circle—whose work constitutes the entirety of this special edition of Diplomatic Courier—share not only their military service, but also a common desire to reach outside of their organizations in order to grow, learn, and share the perspectives they have developed from their military experiences. MLC members are selected based on, among other things, their stated desire to participate in the effort to “bridge the civil-military divide”. Through MLC programming, members engage with and learn from successful leaders in a broad array of fields. In doing so, they develop ideas for how to apply private-sector solutions to security and organizational challenges, and in turn they provide insights on military life and leadership that are often lacking in high-level interactions focused on societal issues that are not explicitly military in nature. As one might guess, that type of self-selection and intense experience further bonds MLC members in their shared value set. But of course, it also ignites the imaginations of some very talented—and very different— people. The articles featured in this special edition reflect, in an impressive way, just how much a diverse group with a shared purpose has to offer. Some of the writing here features straight-forward delivery of ideas for dealing with very practical and contemporary problems: the three-article series on military talent management, with works by Santhosh Shivashankar, Kevin Bemel, and myself, not only neatly guides the reader through a series of recommendations to change personnel policy, but does so in logical order from initial recruitment and entry through active service and post-military life. At the opposite end of the spectrum, another of Bemel’s pieces and a contribution from J.B. Brindle tackle much thornier philosophical topics.

Brindle reflects on “just how much the challenges of the military lifestyle can shift an individual down Maslow’s hierarchy”, connecting a compelling personal narrative with a profound observation about society’s relationship to the military (“the nation writ large no longer fights at all”) before ultimately concluding with an unequivocal call for truly fundamental change. Bemel’s thoughtful piece delves into the impact of military service on individuals’ perceptions of meaning in life (“service members benefit from the strong sense of purpose and mission instilled in them…. But the military mission does not carry over to civilian life”), ultimately concluding with a timeless message in which one hears faint echoes of Victor Frankl. There are also articles in which MLC authors point to the impacts of emerging trends and technologies, drawing attention to issues that may not otherwise have entered readers’ minds. Thomas Higginbotham eloquently advocates for the use of probabilistic modeling and force alterations that improve agility: “the principle that organizational structure affects adaptive capacity is pertinent”, he writes, leading into his compelling conclusion. David Escobar applies a similar approach in advocating for an update of educational systems to better prepare for emerging technological realities: “adaptation will involve overcoming the oddly stubborn reality that there is still a reliance on Industrial Age culture despite the fact that we long ago entered the Information Age”. In keeping with that very theme, Shivashankar discusses an emerging reality that is not widely understood: “it’s likely true that genetic modification will constitute one of the most important developments of the near future for everyone on the planet”. His writing on the topic is elucidating, and his concluding question is likely to stick in many readers’ minds for some time to come (as it has in mine). This collection of essays truly embodies the MLC’s purpose: in good faith, diverse contributors with a common purpose have taken a hard look at a host of topics, and have done their best to advocate for collective understanding to effectively confront our challenges. It’s been an honor to serve as the editor of this project, just as it has been to call each of these authors my friend. There are often no easy solutions for our current or coming predicaments, but authors such as these and initiatives such as the MLC remind us that the work—the thought, the writing, the building of bridges across divides of understanding—is always worth doing. But of course, as Higginbotham noted in his piece on gender disparities, we “must do so without negativity, but rather with humility and grace”. ●

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Contents VO L UME 1 2 I S PECIAL REPORT I DECEM BER 2018

04 I Guest Editor’s Note Introducing the Military Leadership Circle

10 I An Officer’s Perspective Defending Democracy

14 I Improving Military Talent Management Set Up Military Members For Post-Service Employment

By: Kevin Duffy

06 I Changing the Military Improve Prediction and Agility in the Air Force

By: Thomas Higginbotham

By: J.B. Brindle

12 I Improving Military Talent Management Give Operational Leaders a Voice in Selecting Their Teams

By: Rabbi Kevin Bemel

By: J.B. Brindle

By: Santhosh Shivashankar

24 I An Officer’s Perspective The Moral Conundrums of Gene Editing

By: Santhosh Shivashankar

26 I An Officer’s Perspective Update Education for Technological Realities

By: David Escobar

DC Masthead

Publishing house Medauras Global

Guest EDITOR Kevin Duffy

publisher & ceo Ana C. Rold

Editor-at-large Molly McCluskey

Creative Director Christian Gilliham

Book Reviewer Joshua Huminski

director of social media Samantha Thorne

photographers Michelle Guillermin Sebastian Rich

un correspondent Akshan de Alwis

By: Kevin Duffy

By: Thomas Higginbotham

18 I Military Service and After A Hiearchy of Needs

22 I Military Service and After How to Recruit and Retain the Best Talent

16 I The Military and the Gender Gap The Air Force And Equality As Security Imperative

08 I Changing the Military To Market Better, Change the Product

By: Kevin Duffy

20 I Military Service and After Aligning Mission and Meaning By: Rabbi Kevin Bemel

DC EDITORS Michael Kofman Paul Nash Chris Purifoy Winona Roylance

DC CORRESPONDENTS Hannah Bergstrom Jacqueline Christ Meg Evett Jacksón Smith Samantha Thorne

Contributing Artist Amy Purifoy

VIDEO Correspondent Silvana Smith

Editorial Advisors Fumbi Chima Sir Ian Forbes Lisa Gable Anders Hedberg Mary D. Kane Greg Lebedev Anita McBride DC CONTRIBUTORS C. Naseer Ahmad Amb. Charles Crawford Amb. Marc Ginsberg Justin Goldman Caroline Holmund Coby Jones Sarah Jones Daniel Metz Arun S. Nair Uju Okoye Richard Rousseau

PUBLISHING. Diplomatic Courier magazine is produced by Medauras Global LLC, an independent private publishing firm. The magazine is printed six times a year and publishes a blog and online commentary weekly at www.diplomaticourier.com.

Report CONTRIBUTORS Rabbi Kevin Bemel J.B. Brindle Kevin Duffy David Escobar Thomas Higginbotham Santhosh Shivashankar letters to the editor Editors@diplomaticourier.org advertising/sponsorship/sales Info@medauras.com website/apps support ITsupport@medauras.com mailing address 1660 L Street, NW, Suite 501 Washington, DC 20036 download All digital editions

ISSN. The Library of Congress has assigned: ISSN 2161-7260 (Print); ISSN 2161-7287 (Online). ISBN: 978-1-942772-01-9 (Print); 978-1-942772-02 (Online). LEGAL. Copyright ©2006-2018 Diplomatic Courier and Medauras Global. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced without written consent of the publishers. All trademarks that appear in this publication are the property of the respective owners. Any and all companies featured in this publication are contacted by Medauras Global and the Diplomatic Courier to provide advertising and/or services. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information in this publication, however, Medauras Global and the Diplomatic Courier magazine make no warranties, express or implied in regards to the information, and disclaim all liability for any loss, damages, errors, or omissions.

PRINT. Print issues of Diplomatic Courier average 40-60 pages in length. Individual and back issues cost $10.00 per issue (plus S&H). Student rates are available to both part-time and full-time students with proof of school enrollment. New print issues of Diplomatic Courier are published and mailed in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Subscriptions commence with the next issue. EDITORIAL. The articles in Diplomatic Courier both in print and online represent the views of their authors and do not reflect those of the editors and the publishers. While the editors assume responsibility for the selection, the authors are responsible for the facts and interpretations of their articles.

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CONTACT. Email our editorial team at: editors@diplomaticourier.org; Email our technology team at: ITsupport@medauras.com; email our ad sales team at: info@medauras.com.

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private sector companies have led the way in developing effective agility, and the Air Force can learn from their techniques & best practices.

CHANGING I THE MILITARY IMPROVE PREDICTION AND AGILITY IN THE AIR FORCE Written by: Thomas Higginbotham Captain, United States Air Force

n his 2015 book Team of Teams, General Stanley McChrystal described how the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) vastly improved its ability to adapt and respond quickly and precisely in a challenging and dynamic environment. With a similar goal in mind, the United States Air Force has highlighted agility as a strategic imperative, with Chief of Staff David Goldfein reiterating the need for organizational agility at all levels of command. But while its necessity is indisputable, the path to increased agility is less clear for the entire Air Force than it was for JSOC. Thankfully, private sector companies have led the way in developing effective agility, and the Air Force can learn from their techniques and best practices. One area in which private industry excels is in predicting future events. Indeed, there is much to profit from accurately forecasting asset prices or consumer behavior, and the models used to do so can be adopted for military purposes as well. While some may argue that accurately forecasting something like war in a complex world is impossible, the same argument could have been made about the 2008 global financial crisis. However, Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest investment firms, used probabilistic DECEMBER 2018 06

modeling and Bayesian reasoning to predict the crisis, and was one of the first firms to sound alarms of impending collapse. The Air Force must learn from companies like Bridgewater, invest in better probabilistic modeling, and increase its predictive capacity. Such capacity, however, must then be applied in a manner that produces the agility required in a dynamic environment. As General McChrystal advocated, organizational structure must be better designed to “increase responsiveness in a constantly shifting environment.” Private industry has known this truth for decades—especially in the tech industry, where a “first to market” mindset dominates. Facebook, for example, has the motto, “move fast with sound infrastructure” to remind decentralized teams of programmers that they have the freedom to take the risks necessary to be first as long as they have the tools and processes in place to succeed (i.e. “sound infrastructure”). While many structural concepts that work for startups and tech companies do not scale to military bureaucracy, where standardization and order are critical, the principle that organizational structure affects adaptive capacity is pertinent. The Air Force must take a serious look at how to decentralize control and empower officers to make decisions “with sound infrastructure”. Learning from the private sector, then, can help the Air Force to make the types of transformations that General McChrystal oversaw in JSOC. A more adaptable organizational structure combined with improved predictive capacity will afford the Air Force the organizational agility necessary for the dynamic global security environment of the 21st century. ● About the author. Thomas Higginbotham is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, or any government agency.


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CHANGING F THE MILITARY TO MARKET BETTER, CHANGE THE PRODUCT Written by: J.B. Brindle Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

or several years—if not decades—both military leaders and Congressmen (among others) have publicly expressed concerns about the widening gap between the military and the American public. Rates of enlistment and participation in the force at war over the last seventeen years remain limited to a tiny percentage of the country’s overall population, they point out, and all manner of veterans’ struggles are frequently attributed (at least in part) to broader society’s inability to understand the military experience and its lasting implications. The Department of Defense and its various components, in fact, have often attempted to address this issue by directing efforts along the lines of the several “P’s” of marketing strategies. Working on some of these “P’s”—aspects of marketing like promotion, placement, and packaging—can indeed help. But ultimately, this particular issue is fundamentally about the military as a “product”. That is, the military product has changed, and so the American people are not “buying it” as they once did. A look at the state of several of the marketing “P’s”, and recent efforts to address them, illustrates just how much the focus needs to be on the “product”. DECEMBER 2018 08

the military product has changed, and so the American people are not “buying it” as they once did. PROMOTION. The country has been at war for 17 years. During this time, Coca-Cola has run six different major ad campaigns, while the overarching military message has essentially remained the same— essentially, “by, with, and through our partners in country x, we are winning”. The names of the enemy have changed, and Secretaries of Defense have occasionally changed some official wording, but that core message has remained largely unaltered. Even such watershed events as the bin Laden raid (during Coke’s “Open Happiness” era, seven years ago) have come and gone with little coordinated or concerted alteration in how the military promotes itself. Perhaps a new message is in order. PLACEMENT. For the past two years, the Army has hosted “Meet Your Army” events in major media markets. This is an attempt to send Army leaders to cities with little or no Army presence, and “excite and


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inspire” the citizens who respect the military but ultimately know little about it. Quantitative data for “excitement” and “inspiration” are not available, but Army bands playing John Phillip Sousa marches are clearly not getting the job done, as the Army still struggles to make its enlistment quota. Is there a better placement for the military’s message? PACKAGING. Recently, Army leadership began testing the use of an alternative uniform, modeled on the one GI’s wore during the Second World War. (The Air Force has also toyed with retro uniforms in recent years). This tactic is similar to the nostalgia appeal soda companies, and other brands, periodically go for when they roll out retro cans or labels. The pride that the Greatest Generation felt, and that is cited in modern day press releases, however, may have had more to do with the fact that they had just defeated the Nazis than the color of their mismatched dress uniforms. It will take more than a change of clothes to bridge the civilian-military divide. PRODUCT. As Samuel Huntington put it, a military in a democratic society needs to reflect the people it serves. In the wake of the difficult Vietnam era, the

United States radically changed the way military enlistment works. The draft, or compulsory military service, was effectively ended, and the military ranks began to resemble more of a warrior caste than a force reflecting the composition of the population. The military ceased to “fight until it’s over, over there”; in fact, the nation writ large no longer fights at all. There are indeed benefits to having an all-volunteer force, but there are also costs. Ultimately, only a return to conscription will solve the “military-civilian divide”. Reverting back to the original “product”—a force constituted in some proportion of

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conscripts—will close the societal gap, bringing the nation a sense of nostalgia, deepening the connection between force and populace in a way no packaging ever could, and putting increased pressure on the government to avoid prolonged conflict overseas. ● About the author. JB Brindle is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, U.S. Army, or any government agency.


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AN T OFFICER’S PERSPECTIVE DEFENDING DEMOCRACY Written by: Kevin Duffy Commander, United States Coast Guard

he health of democratic governance—its ability to survive and expand—will be the most significant issue impacting the state of global affairs in 2018 and beyond. Indeed, the very question of the future of democracy is so vital as to be implicated in the consideration of almost every other issue that will alter or pose a threat to global order in the years to come. This idea that democracy—for the purposes of this article, loosely defined as open political institutions controlled by citizenry—will be the key to ensuring positive (or at least, less negative) outcomes across a broad spectrum of challenges is not new. From Alexis de Tocqueville’s assessment of democracy in the young America to Francis Fukuyama’s assertions about the implications of western democratic stability a century and a half later, there has been a longstanding appreciation for the centrality of open, consistent, citizen-controlled governance and its positive effects on affairs of all kinds. Put more directly in the context of contemporary affairs, democracy’s impact on every single facet of our collective global future is the logical result of the way in which DECEMBER 2018 10

polls show that members of the millennial generation increasingly lack faith in democracy, populism and nationalism are on the rise globally, and more authoritative models of governance are providing tangible alternatives. democratic governance impacts and is impacted by such matters as technological development, cyber policy, military affairs, security, health, environmental sustainability, trade, economics, globalization, and so on. Moreover, today, the prevalence of democracy as a topic included in the discussion of so many other issues stems not merely from its undeniable importance, but also from several converging trends that are increasingly raising questions about its future. Consider: polls show that members of the millennial generation increasingly lack faith in democracy, populism and nationalism are on the rise globally, more authoritarian models of governance (most notably embodied


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by China) are providing tangible alternatives, decidedly undemocratic regimes in Russia and Syria are claiming one of the most prominent anti-terrorist victories in recent years with their success against the Islamic State, and faith in the United States government (seen by many as the strongest democracy in the world) has been declining worldwide. If democratic governance and values, with their strong connection to a liberal economic order and American leadership, are in decline, one of course must ask what comes next: will the United States hold on to its role as democracy’s stalwart and regain global trust as such? Will another country (or group of countries) emerge to take the mantle of democracy’s standard-bearer? Will another model or set of values eclipse democracy? There are of course countless other important issues that will greatly influence the world in the years to come—but nearly all of them will do so through their impact on, or as an extension of, democracy’s fate. Cyber security, for instance, will be critical to the future of global affairs, from the realm of finance to that of national defense. Ultimately, though, the responsible use of cyber tools

will depend upon good governance and democratic values, and the most consequential impacts of cyber threats will be measured in how they change the balance of power between democratic regimes and their opponents. The same dynamics apply to almost any other issue that one can name. If democracy does not survive, any challenge faced by any nation or group of nations on Earth is far more likely to debilitate, to be manipulated or exploited, to spin out of the control of less robustlyaccountable forms of governance.

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In the end, ensuring the health and spread of democracy is the most important challenge the world faces, as it will dictate how all other issues are dealt with and measured. ● About the author. Kevin Duffy is a Commander in the United States Coast Guard and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard, or any government agency.


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IMPROVING MILITARY TALENT MANAGEMENT GIVE OPERATIONAL LEADERS A VOICE IN SELECTING THEIR TEAMS Written by: Santhosh Shivashankar Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

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ith the military’s introduction of the Blended Retirement System (BRS) in 2018, the Department of Defense aligned itself more closely with private industry in regard to pension plans. Given the private sector’s decades-long head start in that one aspect of organizational management, it may be worth asking if there are other long-overdue, private-sector inspired changes that should accompany the introduction of the BRS. In consideration of that very question, I have asked Naval leadership what they see for the future. Specifically, will the military 20 years from now still have a similar detailing and billeting structure? The initial input I received tended to be that the BRS will have little impact on current military structures. I believe nothing could be further from the truth. BRS can fundamentally change how commanders think about personnel by providing much greater managerial flexibility—but only if the military branches have the foresight to change their current structures and implement appropriate processes. Many in the military, for instance, have longed for a personnel system in which they have more DECEMBER 2018 12

Many in the military, have longed for a personnel system in which they have more authority to select the teams that work for them. authority to select the teams that work for them. The traditional mindset of the military has been that each command has designated billets with certain requirements, and anyone who fits those requirements is equally appropriate for the job. Personnel assignment processes are overwhelmingly centralized. This is in stark contrast to civilian organizations. At every forward-leaning corporation, C-suites are pushing human resource departments to recruit people who are the right fit—to look beyond just the resume. This often means that wise companies allow the direct supervisor to be involved in the screening process for potential hires. As I look back on my military career, in contrast, I have never been able to interview permanent military personnel before they are assigned to my department. Some would say that a good leader in the military


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should be able to take anyone and turn them into an all-star, but this sidesteps a critical issue. Leadership also entails being able to put together the right team for a given task. As military leaders, we don’t get the opportunity to develop this skillset. I believe that is about to (or at least should) change. As the BRS will lessen the perceived obligation to keep people until retirement, I see all billeting following the model that the military reserves currently use. In my previous dealings with reservists, I viewed all applications, spoke with previous supervisors, and spoke to the members themselves. This allowed me to pick personnel I was comfortable with. It also gave me the ability to manage the budget for reservist’s salaries. Making decisions such as whether to pick three junior enlisted personnel or one more senior person for roughly the same cost required me to determine the right size and expertise level of my team. It also allowed for personnel supply-and-demand cycles to work quicker than the normal up-or-out promotion cycle. If there were no reservists available, I made do with less. But, when there were multiple people available, I picked only the

most qualified and the rest waited for another opportunity—without draining the command’s budget. The reservist model, in other words, may not only be more appropriate for a post-BRS military, but it will also develop critical new leadership skills in supervisors. As we go forward in re-shaping the military, I can’t say which specific business or company we should model. I do know that others have gone before us and reshaped their organizations to match the current economic and social environment. Open lines of communication—talking with, researching, and understanding private sector managers—will allow us to glean their lessons learned to make sure that the military is more efficient and effective in the future. ● About the author. Santhosh Shivashankar is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, United States Navy, or any government agency.

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[military] Personnel assignment processes are overwhelmingly centralized. This is in stark contrast to civilian organizations. At every forward-leaning corporation, C-suites are pushing human resource departments to recruit people who are the right fit—to look beyond just the resume.


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IMPROVING MILITARY TALENT MANAGEMENT SET UP MILITARY MEMBERS FOR POSTSERVICE EMPLOYMENT Written by: Rabbi Kevin Bemel Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

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urrently, 200,000 service members leave active duty each year. They enter an environment in which half a million veterans are unemployed, and an unknown number are underemployed. Veterans tend to possess skills and qualities that would make them valuable contributors in the private sector: work ethic, leadership experience, and the ability to work within a team to meet an objective, for instance. Yet, despite each branch of the military having a transition assistance program, studies show that among the 10 factors that hamper service members’ transition to the private sector, the inability to translate military skills and experience into the civilian business world figures prominently. Put simply, many veterans lack the tools and skills to market themselves appropriately. In addition to this, on the corporate side, most hiring managers have little if any military experience. They are unable to understand and interpret a service member’s qualifications. As a result, they cannot adequately match veterans to available positions. DECEMBER 2018 14

Currently, the State of Texas requires all job advertisements to include MOSs and similar designators that match the qualifications for an opening. Online skills translators are available to military members, but they vary in quality. More importantly, without a thorough knowledge of private sector options and lexicon, a veteran will find limited utility in even the best skills translator. Strikingly, the inability of veterans and employers to understand each other is a significant factor in 44% of enlisted people leaving their first post-military job during the first 12 months. Those familiar with the military’s highly-structured personnel system might find this lack of adequate skills-translation odd. Every enlisted service member has a Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) code or rate. Officers have similar designations. In addition, personnel have many other designators such as Army Additional Skills Identifiers and Navy Enlisted Billet Classification codes that further specify their skills


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and experience. Combined with a service member’s years in service and rate or rank, these designators actually offer a high degree of specificity as to an individual’s qualifications and experience. Indeed, some have recognized the value of using alreadyestablished military designators to inform civilian hiring. Currently, the State of Texas requires all job advertisements to include MOSs and similar designators that match the qualifications for an opening. While the program is somewhat rudimentary, it points the way to solving the communication gap. There is also an economy of scale that can be exploited in the civilian hiring process for veterans. Whereas a veteran is looking for one job, the typical private sector employer has many positions to fill. Among those who are especially interested in hiring service members, a consortium could be formed to create a more robust system that would translate the qualifications they need for various openings into specific military designators and subdesignators. Military advisors, either on a volunteer basis or as seconded by their respective services, could assist the consortium in fine-tuning

its matching process. Thus, if a company needed to hire a GIS Support Analyst, it could market this position to those who served as an Army 12Y/35G, a Marine Corps 0261, a Navy AG, or an Air Force 3E5X1, all of whom would have at least some of the experience needed. Once such a system was designed, a company could train one or more of its human resources people in its use. In this way, a culturally-ingrained, replicable understanding of military specialties—so vital to

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appropriately hiring veterans— could be established, thereby increasing veteran employment in appropriate civilian roles for years to come. ● About the author. Rabbi Kevin Bemel is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, or any government agency.


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THE MILITARY T AND THE GENDER GAP THE AIR FORCE AND EQUALITY AS SECURITY IMPERATIVE Written by: Thomas Higginbotham Captain, United States Air Force

he United States Air Force graduated its first ten female pilots from undergraduate pilot training on September 2, 1977. More than 40 years later, only 5.8% of Air Force pilots are female. Furthermore, only 6% of the Air Force’s general officers and 9% of wing commanders are a member of any U.S. minority group. Problems with diversity and inclusiveness are not specific to the military, however: still only 5.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Across the globe, whether in the military or private sector, gender disparity remains one of the most critical issues being faced today. This is not merely a statistical issue; on a global scale, countries that provide women with equal rights are more stable, more secure, and more peaceful. They are also more economically prosperous, have a higher literacy rate, and witness less ethnic, racial, or tribal discrimination. Gender equality is, as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice outlines in “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom”, one of the most critical metrics for successful democratic transition and the key to movements for freedom abroad. In promoting DECEMBER 2018 16

This is not merely a statistical issue; on a global scale, countries that provide women with equal rights are more stable, more secure, and more peaceful. gender equality, we are supporting a more stable, peaceful, and prosperous world. But for the United States, this is a cause that must also be championed at home. In 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, ending racial segregation in the military— the rest of American society soon followed suit. Indeed, the American military has often been the leader for social progress, not only in this country but also throughout the world. That work continues today: under the leadership of Deborah Lee James and General Mark Welsh, and now Secretary Heather Wilson and General David Goldfein, the United States Air Force has taken huge strides to improve diversity and inclusiveness. The organization has launched thirteen new initiatives aimed at eliminating systemic barriers to diversity, from recruitment to training to promotion.


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These initiatives are promising steps toward eliminating gender disparity in the ranks, and more can be done. One of the diversity initiatives the Air Force has undertaken is to mandate unconscious bias training for selection board members who make critical placement and promotion decisions. But unconscious biases do not just affect selection for jobs or promotions; they affect how we treat one another, how we perceive and prioritize information, how we mentor and provide feedback, how we make critical decisions, and how we mitigate risks in our daily tasks. They affect our lives persistently and yet subtly. Within each action and decision, we have the potential to let our biases inform our judgement. We all have the responsibility to be aware of our own fallibility and take ownership of its consequences. To this end, unconscious bias awareness training should not be limited to promotion boards, but rather integrated on a much broader basis.

Whether gender equality is one of the causes we champion or not, we all need to recognize our own vulnerability to unconscious biases. We must do so without negativity, but rather with humility and grace. As we become more aware of our own biases, we can surround ourselves with people who can help us see where we may be blind. Inaction is not an option: the status quo is constantly reinforced by our unconscious biases. And that status quo, we all now know, is a significant barrier not just to equality, but to development and security on a global scale. � About the author. Thomas Higginbotham is a Captain in the United States Air Force and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, United States Air Force, or any government agency.

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Whether gender equality is one of the causes we champion or not, we all need to recognize our own vulnerability to unconscious biases. We must do so without negativity, but rather with humility and grace.


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MILITARY O SERVICE AND AFTER A HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Written by: J. B. Brindle Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

ver the past few months, I have had two meaningful experiences that, considered together, highlight much about how individuals in uniform are affected by the military experience. In late April, I attended the Milken Institute Global Conference—an incomparable gathering of innovators, leaders, and decision-makers coming together to discuss the most pressing issues of our times. A couple of months later, I drove my family across the country for what will most likely be our last military change of station after nearly twenty years of service. Although those two experiences have little in common, they both left me thinking about Maslow, needs, transcendence, and the civil-military divide. By Maslow, I am referring to the psychologist Dr. Abraham Maslow, who first devised his famous hierarchy of needs theory in the 1940s. The foundation of his hierarchical pyramid consists of physiological needs – air, food, water, sleep, clothing, and shelter. Without these most basic of needs being met, a person cannot move forward to higher levels of accomplishment or achievement. Such higher levels include safety, belonging, esteem, self-actualization, and, ultimately, transcendence. DECEMBER 2018 18

military officers may apply our skills and attention to higher-order needs, build relationships, find mentorship, and grow professionally and personally. My two experiences—the conference and the move—drove home just how much the challenges of the military lifestyle can shift an individual down Maslow’s hierarchy. To attend the Milken Global Conference as a member of the Military Leadership Circle (a group of active-duty service members who come as invited guests) was to see the thriving that can take place when individuals and groups are actively pursuing collective solutions for higher-level needs. The conference’s attendees generally feel safe, healthy, and personally, emotionally, and financially secure. They are at the top of their respective fields, and comfortable interacting with others in the same stratosphere. Admirably, they come to the event to better themselves and the world at large. To leave that conference and enter the frenzy of a typical change of post, then, was jarring. My family


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drove three days across the United States to our new duty station, not yet having an assigned house at our destination. We slept on floors and in hotels for weeks, living out of suitcases until quarters were made available and our household goods were delivered. That’s not a rare experience for those in uniform: military families know all too well about the dangers of deployments, fighting for proper healthcare at military hospitals, constantly searching for new schools and churches where they feel like they belong, and living in areas where military compensation puts them at an economic disadvantage. As Maslow would have predicted, such challenges hinder the growth and skew the worldview of many service members. Basic needs are often the priority, with higher-order ones lying outside the realm of attention. Moreover, these facts of military life are also, ironically, what “scare” many individuals into staying in the safety of what they know and never reaching for their true potential (although many of us would never admit to being scared—we’re too proud for that). My answer for what to do, personally, with this juxtaposition? Make the most of both experiences,

and apply the lessons and opportunities of the conference for the betterment of my current environment. At Milken’s Global Conference, the dialogue rises above a mere “thank you for your service”. The very inclusion of the Military Leadership Circle by the Milken Institute is a testament to the fact that there are those who recognizea potential in service members beyond the military—a potential that (because of where we may be on Maslow’s hierarchy at any given moment) we cannot always see in ourselves. At the conference and afterwards within the networks that we’ve built, military officers may apply our skills and attention to higher-order needs, build relationships, find mentorship, and grow professionally and personally. And that growth can be invaluable for addressing issues when we find ourselves facing those basic needs at the base of the pyramid once again. ● About the author. J. B. Brindle is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, U.S. Army, or any government agency.

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military families know all too well about the dangers of deployments, fighting for proper healthcare at military hospitals, constantly searching for new schools and churches where they feel like they belong, and living in areas where military compensation puts them at an economic disadvantage.


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MILITARY P SERVICE AND AFTER ALIGNING MISSION AND MEANING Written by: Rabbi Kevin Bemel Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

eople may debate the pitfalls of the personal becoming the political—of self-interest and identity spilling over into law and policy. But there is no denying that some issues transcend the privatepublic divide. One such issue is the need for an alignment of investments and mission. Whether for governments, the private sector, or individuals; whether applied to transnational challenges, global prosperity, individual fulfillment, expenditure of resources, or even the sacrifice of lives in war, effort and investment supporting a valid end state is generally central to our sense of justice and morality. Sacrifice in pursuit of objectives that do not support a righteous mission—anything from poor individual expenditures of money to the loss of human life for a questionable cause—strikes us as wasteful, as wrong, as unjust. To take an example, nongovernmental organizations often provide aid to developing countries, intending to alleviate poverty and overcome other challenges. Time and again, though, these efforts provide, at best, only temporary relief. The root causes remain unaddressed or, in the worst DECEMBER 2018 20

many veterans embark on a long journey without knowing what they want to accomplish. The result for too many is a struggle to meet the necessities of life, and years of wasted potential. cases, are strengthened by NGO support. Though such activity is most often well-intentioned, a lack of clarity, or want of a candid assessment, or programmatic inertia prevent an organization from meeting its mission or justifying the resources expended. The resulting disappointment seems all the worse for the fact that so much goodwill, time, funding, and supplies have been wasted when a good cause notionally stood to benefit. The military realm is full of endeavors that demand analysis of this same kind. Obviously, such a consequential undertaking as war must be informed by an alignment of mission and means. While the wisdom of setting unconditional surrender as the Allies’ objective in World War II may be debated, for instance, there is no doubt that


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it provided clarity of mission. Commanders knew the value and purposes of expending resources. Many are familiar with a prominent contemporary example of the problems that can occur when an individual’s extant resources lack a coherent purpose: that of military veterans reentering society. Service members benefit from the strong sense of purpose and mission instilled in them from the first day they enter the military. When they leave active duty, many retain their purpose. Marines, notably, identify as such for life. But the military mission itself does not carry over to civilian life. And so, many veterans embark on a long journey without knowing what they want to accomplish. The result for too many is a struggle to meet the necessities of life, and years of wasted potential. At the extreme end, in the foreign and historical context, such rootlessness on the part of combat veterans has become extremely destructive when individuals seek meaning in life through association with criminal and terrorist groups. Indeed, the success that such illicit organizations have often had in recruiting members has lain, in part, in their ability to provide a purpose

for people leading purposeless lives. That their mission causes destruction and death can be perversely justified by individual members’ experiences of finding purpose and identity. In the heart of every person, company, organization, and government, there beats the need for meaning. As traditional sources of meaning and guidance fade into the past, though, many find themselves morally bankrupt. Without that seemingly philosophical foundation, the practical matter of successfully applying skills and resources to a purpose becomes all the more difficult. And even when that sense of meaning is there, the rigor of professionalism and effective practice are equally required to ensure that the efforts we make are actually worthwhile. Now, as ever, aligning our missions and activities with our values lies at the center of our efficacy. ● About the author. Rabbi Kevin Bemel is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, or any government agency.

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In the heart of every person, company, organization, and government, there beats the need for meaning. As traditional sources of meaning and guidance fade into the past, though, many find themselves morally bankrupt.


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IMPROVING MILITARY TALENT MANAGEMENT HOW TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN THE BEST TALENT Written by: Kevin Duffy Commander, United States Coast Guard

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ilitary personnel recruitment and retention have long been important and broadlydiscussed issues across all five branches of the United States armed forces. Recently, these topics have taken on new urgency, given the need for uniformed personnel who are capable of understanding and managing rapid technological development and operations in the cyber domain. How can the military attract and keep the best and most qualified technical experts? What aspects of the military’s rigid, hierarchical personnel system are absolutely necessary, and which can and should be adjusted or eliminated in order to both appeal to recruits and employees and operate at the highest level of effectiveness? For answers, military leaders should unquestionably turn to the corporate sector, where innovative employment practices abound. The armed services benefit greatly from the discipline, accountability, and even traditions that come with many aspects of their human resource systems. Ranks provide a clear delineation of authority that is necessary in dangerous, quick-decision DECEMBER 2018 22

The armed services benefit greatly from the discipline, accountability, and even traditions that come with many aspects of their human resource systems. environments. Common accession sources (boot camp, officer candidate school) ensure consistency and shared identity. Occupational coding (“operational specialties” or “rates”) allows for clarity of roles and ensures development of specific expertise. That said, many current policies simply hinder the military in the competition for talent. Promotion processes are unnecessarily rigid: for officers, the number of years spent at a given rank is still the most important factor for promotion. Geographic instability is taxing on military families: career progression relies upon a willingness to move every 2-3 years. Extraneous requirements bar talented people from entry: broadly speaking, someone with a physical disability would be ineligible for uniformed service in a cyber security role


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that would not be hindered by said disability. Change is needed, and several corporate-based solutions should be explored. Some simple, common practices from the business world would obviously be helpful for the military: allow strong performers to stay in their positions without forcing them to promote; expand opportunities to stay in a geographic area; allow flexibility to leave the organization to pursue novel opportunities, and come back in at the same rank; remove restrictions on service for the physically disabled. In addition, the military branches could explore integrated work-life practices that are typical across the corporate world, such as telecommuting, work from home, flexible hours, bring your own device, and so forth. More ambitiously, in order to provide more job satisfaction and truly capitalize on the talents of their people, the armed services could explore the idea of business incubators that provide individuals with resources for innovative projects, as well as “corporate accelerator”-like programs that vault the best ideas forward, potentially providing top-level

support to break down barriers (e.g. defense acquisition processes) and bring the best ideas to implementation faster. Ultimately, the military will have to adapt in order to find, attract, and keep the best people within its ranks. Luckily, the corporate world provides many examples of how to do just that. ● About the author. Kevin Duffy is a Commander in the United States Coast Guard and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard, or any government agency.

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allow strong performers to stay in their positions without forcing them to promote; expand opportunities to stay in a geographic area; allow flexibility to leave the organization to pursue novel opportunities, and come back in at the same rank; remove restrictions on service for the physically disabled.


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AN A OFFICER’S PERSPECTIVE THE MORAL CONUNDRUMS OF GENE EDITING Written by: Santhosh Shivashankar Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy

s with many novel, cuttingedge developments over the course of history, the technology and capability of gene editing is both promising and fraught with potential moral pitfalls. Whatever the ethical and philosophical challenges presented by the possibility of altering humanity’s very basic biological codes, however, it’s likely true that genetic modification will constitute one of the most important developments of the near future for everyone on the planet. Many have heard of breakthroughs in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) with regards to gene editing. It’s been recently noted that, while processes previously existed to manipulate genes, they were cumbersome and costly to carry out. Because each manipulation required a specifically produced protein, only well-resourced corporations and federally-backed academic institutions could produce large scale edits. CRISPR lowered the threshold for entry into the gene editing race for both cost and requisite knowledge. Hank Greely, Director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at DECEMBER 2018 24

No matter how accessible the scientific methods become, of course, human genome editing is extraordinarily complex with regards to moral implications. Stanford Law School, has stated that “two people with B.S. degrees in Biology, a garage, and a thousand dollars” could fundamentally alter all of the mosquitos in California. While Greely was participating in a discussion on research to eliminate the Zika virus, it is equally true that the same editing capability could be used to enhance or spread that virus. A state actor, lone wolf, or terrorist group could use gene editing technology to fundamentally change the course of human history, without ever editing the human genome. No matter how accessible the scientific methods become, of course, human genome editing is extraordinarily complex with regards to moral implications. While in the United States, public airing of ethical concerns has placed a hedge on some research, scientists in China have experimented on nonviable human embryos. More than that,


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papers produced in the past year have shown meaningful gene editing with viable human embryos that were allowed to grow up to 14 days. 2018 is likely the year that we will see in vitro fertilization (IVF) of a CRISPR- altered embryo. So, why will such editing prove a flashpoint in the near future? There are numerous other issues, such as cybersecurity, the rise of crypto currencies, education, and health care, that will all be important in coming years as well. Indeed, such issues will likely grab more headlines. But the technology and trends suggest that we are not far away from the moment in which some biology majors in a garage create something that is not naturally occurring. And if that’s the case, what will stop state actors from using this technology for nefarious purposes? This will be, inevitably, a cause for conflict. Indeed, although most of the novel and vexing issues of our present and future will deal with how humans interact with each other, gene editing is the only area in which the question will become “what is humanity”? Perhaps more importantly, it raises the related question: “what do we want humanity to be”? Are we ready

to confront an issue in which state conflict converges with the very definition and future of our entire species? ● About the author. Santhosh Shivashankar is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, United States Navy, or any government agency.

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Hank Greely, Director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School, has stated that “two people with B.S. degrees in Biology, a garage, and a thousand dollars” could fundamentally alter all of the mosquitos in California.


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AN OFFICER’S PERSPECTIVE UPDATE EDUCATION FOR TECHNOLOGICAL REALITIES Written by: David Escobar Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

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ducating and developing a 21st century workforce is the most important challenge facing those who wish to influence global affairs now and in the near future. It is also a daunting challenge that will require leaders to adapt cultural norms to keep up with and master the technological developments of our era. Such adaptation will involve overcoming the oddly stubborn reality that there is still a reliance on Industrial Age culture despite the fact that we long ago entered the Information Age. An instructive case in this regard is the phenomenon of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Both the private and public sectors are increasingly seeking out new applications for AI. The Department of Defense (DOD), for instance, just formed the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) on June 27th, 2018 to permeate DOD with this powerful tool. Finding the right balance of AI augmentation and process replacement, however, will require a shift in military education and culture. It will be no small shift, just as those that took place in centuries past were not: the transformations of the Industrial Age from the 18th to 19th centuries and the Information Age from the 19th to the 20th brought painful adjustment. But just as those DECEMBER 2018 26

It is telling that, as of yet, we do not have a version of Asimov’s four laws of robotics for our current revolutionary technologies. changes defined their times, the shift from a 20th century modern world to the 21st century post-modern one will be dominated by AI. Two examples of industries still in flux—transport and assistant services—provide valuable insights into just how this shift may fully happen. Just over 100 years ago, Ford Motor Company rolled out their first Model T, then fielded their first cargo truck in 1917. The cultural norms and supply chains shaped around horse and steam power resisted the implications of the internal combustion engine’s introduciton to transport, slowing but not stopping changes that were inevitable. A similar paradigm shift is taking place today, equally as productive for those who adapt to it and as vexing for those who do not. Tesla will produce their Model 3 this year; it will likely be the Model T of our time, undeniably shifting the transport market in profound ways, if not supplanting current mobility models


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entirely. Able to drive themselves, (augmented at first but then ultimately altogether driverless), such models of automobile (and others of the same ilk) will lead the way in how AI- assisted transport will reforge supply chains, transform fuel systems and markets, and alter labor services in connected industries. Even if it takes a decade or two before humans are completely removed from the wheel, it is nevertheless true that we are now training and directing young people into jobs (drivers, supporting mechanics and logisticians) that will not lead to sustainable long-term careers. Assuming a 30-40-year career for someone entering the workforce, we are now looking at not just the last generation of truck drivers and transport companies, but at individuals already placed into those jobs and companies who will not have applications for their skills by the time they reach their prime earning years. Indeed, the transport industry and its participating unions are forging new lobbying groups to buffer against these developments. Some companies– such as Ford, ironically—will and have already followed Telsa (in other words, whether Tesla survives or not, the shift in the industry will occur). Other

transport companies will inevitbaly inherit the rewards of Tesla’s risk. The United States must shift its educational models to embrace smart transport design, management, and accompaying regulaiton. Personal services, too, are seeing a major and seemingly unstoppable shift. AI assistants like Siri may first have seemed like gimmicky products. Yet assistant services have rapidly proven their utility and appeal in the new age. Indeed, this usefulness has been found not just on the user end. Machine learning, which shapes AI, requires massive inputs to find patterns in metadata, and assistant services provide machine learning algorithms a steady input stream. This feeds a user-metadata loop that increases viability on both ends. In recent holiday seasons, products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have reached market operationalization. Many people have given these devices to family and friends, particularly as life aids for the elderly. (Late night comedy shows even remarked upon this trend with a parody Echo Silver edition.) As the sample size ‘n’ grows, AI systems’ decision making and search answering ability grows to the point of anticipating a request based on previous inputs and patterns. While it maybe many decades before AI gets to the point of creativity or full service industry replacement, it is sure that, within a decade, AI assistants will at least saturate markets and culture to handle data optimization, much in the same way the smart phone did. These two simple examples depict the extreme shifts that must be taken into account in educational and training models. We must more quickly integrate into our schools and training programs not only an appreciation for how to use AI, but also an understanding of how learning algorithms work. We must not only adapt our infrastructure for selfdriving vehicles and AI-leveraged office spaces, but anticipate the displaced workforces of teamsters and reception staff that will come with them. It is telling that, as of yet, we do not have a version of Asimov’s four laws of robotics for our current revolutionary technologies. This is, perhaps, an outgrowth of a lack in foresight, planning, and education suited to the current age. Humans can still create data, shape data,

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The United States must shift its educational models to embrace smart transport design, management, and accompaying regulation. and discern AI outputs. Although AI will assist in these tasks, there will always be a need for people to determine initial moral frameworks and associated policies. Although a decade ago, some think tanks thought that such frameworks would not be necessary, the astounding amount of progress in machine learning that has since taken place should occasion some reconsideration. Not only do we now need laws, policies, and strategies tailored to current realities, we also need educational systems and programs capable of preparing individuals to craft, implement, and adjust such facets of culture and politics as necessary. We are already facing the serious implications of this issue: moral quandaries abound in terms of AI integration into lethal systems, so much so that some private sector companies have removed themselves from defense projects. Controversial unmanned drones have come to dominate military reconnaissance, yet still require some remote human operators and analysts. In this striking present-day example, one sees just how the military would benefit from developing robust operator and analyst education for AI strategy, ethics, and design (much like civilian counterparts who work with them would also benefit). Big tech companies are unable to hire the talent they need because the present education system is not teaching what’s needed. We should not wait and react to the coming decade’s change. We must adapt to AI now, because it is the most important thing we can do to be effective in the coming age. ● About the author. David Escobar is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and a member of the Military Leadership Circle. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the positions of the Department of Defense, United States Army, or any government agency.


THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION | WORK | ORGANIZATION

JANUARY 17-18, 2019 | ZURICH, SWITZERLAND WWW.GLOBALTALENTSUMMIT.ORG