Monday March 30, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter gave a speech presenting some ideas for increased flexibility in terms of recruitment, retention, and acquisition of specialized personnel for the military. One of the ideas he suggested was the restructuring of the military’s current promotion system in order to place more emphasis on performance and less on time in service. Another option would be to offer mid-career enlistment opportunities for recruits with specialist skills.

The military needs recruits with specialized skills, especially in areas like cyber security and digital technologies, but this demographic is often hard to recruit, and retain due to a general intolerance for heavy-handed bureaucracies, and plentiful career opportunities in the private sector. By making promotions merit and performance-based, and by maintaining a greater level of flexibility, the military may stand a chance of drawing new talent away from the private sector and into military service.