Replacing Service Members with Civilians in Support Jobs Could Cut DoD Costs, Report Says
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) outlines steps the Defense Department could take to eventually save the federal government $3.1 to $5.7 billion per year.
Savings of that magnitude could be achieved by transferring 80,000 full-time positions providing support functions currently held by military personnel with civilian employees, and reducing the number of military personnel accordingly.
The CBO notes that staffing support jobs at DOD with civilians rather than service members would cost, on average, about 30 percent less per worker, due to higher pay and benefits for service members.
The report notes that “DoD weighs risks to military missions or readiness, workforce management needs, and costs,” when considering whether positons should be filled with military or civilian personnel.
Part of the calculus is also whether a job function is inherently governmental or commercial, a demarcation addressed with different approaches across the service branches.
The report examines past efforts by DOD to assess its workforce mix and experience of reallocating civilian, military, and contractor personnel, and states that determining the optimal balance is a difficult question informed by many factors.
For example, while certain functions may be able to be performed by civilians, the safety risk of deploying those individuals in a combat zone may be too great, leading a service branch to continue staffing those positions with military personnel.
The full report, “Replacing Military Personnel in Support Positions with Civilian Employees,” can be accessed here.
Posted in General News