A new era is dawning in great power competition, with the Navy preparing to fight a large-scale war at sea. But to win a great sea battle, the Navy’s leaders first must win the homefront battle for the best recruits.
“We are clearly in a war for talent,” Vice Adm. Robert Burke, the Navy’s top personnel official, told Congress earlier this year. “Current forecasts based on leading economic indicators suggest difficult times ahead.”
A dynamic economy not only deters some teenagers from enlisting in the Navy but it attracts sailors away from the fleet and into the civilian workforce. Although Burke said the Navy’s enlistment efforts are shipshape for now, his service is taking steps to expand the potential pool of recruits.