December 27, 2005

A COUPLE OF INTERESTING ITEMS on military personnel matters, from StrategyPage. First overwork is a problem in retaining NCOs:

The U.S. Department of Defense has found that the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan is causing many troops to leave the service, but not for the reasons you would think. The biggest complaints involve the heavy work load, and the time spent away from families, and time to relax and recuperate. Danger and physical risk is not a major factor. As a practical matter, the losses from the heavy work load are not a major problem, because the reenlistment rate has gone up since the war began. But numbers are not everything, because it’s the experienced NCOs and officers getting out that do the damage.

Second, sexual harassment isn’t much of an issue:

Ever since American women were first recruited for regular military service 90 years ago, there were fears that sexual harassment would be a disruptive influence. Because the military is a very disciplined organization, this has proved not to be the case. There is sexual harassment, but much less than in civilian jobs. A recent Department of Defense survey of 76,000 members of the military reserves found that 53 percent of men and 33 percent of women believed there was less sexual harassment than in civilian jobs. In addition, 44 percent of the women saw no difference in the degree of sexual harassment at military and civilian workplaces. . . .

Because the troops are no longer allowed access to booze or prostitutes in the war zone, and about fifteen percent of the troops are female, there is a lot of sexual activity among the troops. This is largely against the regulations. But enforcing a ban on consensual sex is seen as counter-productive, and the hanky-panky is tolerated. For the moment.

That seems wise.