High Value Talent: Identifying, Developing, and Retaining Naval Special Warfare's Best Leaders
Allman, III, Walter H.
Fussell, Jonathan M.
Timmons, Marty D.
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Despite U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF) having the most combat experienced units in its history, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) faces a significant mid-grade officer retention problem. This thesis draws on interviews with CEOs and other senior leaders from over 40 private sector companies. Its overall aim is to help improve NSWs ability to retain the very best officersthose leaders who have the talent and expertise to keep NSW/USSOF one-step ahead of future threats. Three key findings are developing and retaining talent is hard work for any organization, and requires substantial effort by senior leaders, organizations use both financial and creative non-financial tools to retain their best people, and a robust human resources department is critical to preventing retention issues from turning into trends. The thesis offers a number of ways to mitigate current and likely future retention challenges for NSW, USSOF, and the military more broadly.
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