President Bush has requested $401.7 billion in his fiscal 2005 budget for the Department of Defense, a seven percent increase over 2004, to continue evolving defense capabilities and transforming management practices.
A DoD budget document argues that the same benefit as a permanent military personnel increase could be achieved by transferring 50,000 military positions to contractors or to DoD civilians and the budget includes continued support for current and planned initiatives such as the National Security Personnel System set to manage 300,000 DoD civilian employees.
Such military to civilian conversions already underway include 10,000 for fiscal 2004, and the 2005 budget request includes $572 million to convert another 10,070 positions.
About $100 million per year for 2005 – 2009 in funding for research, development, testing and evaluation will go toward overhauling management processes and IT support for them through DoD’s Business Management Modernization Program.
Also on the personnel front, DoD will try to diminish the distinction between active and reserve components in order to increase management flexibilities and reduce accounting constraints, while permitting a range of participation from full-timers to those only available during crisis.