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DOD Hindering Recruitment of Tech-Savvy Workers, Warfighters: Report

October 27, 2023

Molly Weisner

Federal Times

This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)

By Molly Weisner, Federal Times / October 26, 2023

Overlapping strategies and entrenched practices may be hindering the U.S. Department of Defense in its bid to recruit a technologically savvy workforce on the battlefield and in the Pentagon, according to military and civilian leaders.

There is no unified, department-wide approach to building digital career pathways for civilian and uniformed personnel, the leaders said in interviews conducted by Mitre, a nonprofit research group, and the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, a policy organization associated with Georgetown University.

Across the DoD, digital talent career fields and experience identifiers lack common criteria and are inconsistently applied, creating missed opportunities, the researchers concluded in a Oct. 25 report. Recruitment is also at risk of being undermined by attrition, which is driven by gaps in mentorship, limited trust of junior talent to innovate, risk-averse leaders, and old technology that stymies even simple digital projects, the report said.

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