Last Updated Jul 15, 2009 6:54 AM EDT
The goal of course is not only to have the right numbers but have the best soldiers possible with the necessary skills. This has led to the Low Density Recruiting program (LDR). This ARNG initiative is to do exactly that and Celestar Corporation recently was awarded a $1.2 million contract to manage this program. The LDR is a program that matches up skills, location and capabilities. The U.S. military refers to low density systems as those that are key enablers but are available only in small numbers. This can refer to personnel as well. There may be a requirement for only a few people to operate a certain system but they must be seeded through out the units that make up the ARNG. These units also are located all over the U.S. in the different States. The LDR will recruit and keep the right person to maximize the capability of the units.
The investment in the program while it seems small by Pentagon standards may increase the combat readiness and capability of units a great deal. The strength of the U.S. military is in its technical systems and the personnel who run it. This provides force multipliers and enablers but the right person needs to be in the right job. In a smaller force although right now the U.S. Army and Marines are growing these people become even more important. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down and the budgetary pressure increases on the Defense Department one hopes that these kind of programs don't fall by the way side where cutting a few dollars may have an effect beyond the proportion of the budget.