Optimizing United States Marine Corps enlisted assignments
Tivnan, Brian F.
Dell, Robert F.
Bhargava, Hemant K.
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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has 156,000 active duty enlisted Marines and annually orders over 90,000 of them to permanently change station. The Commandant of the Marine Corps requires assignments of the "Right Marine, to the right place with the right skills and quality of life." USMC manpower planning uses staffing goals (billet requirements) to capture the Commandant's requirements, but, surprisingly, does not monitor how many Marines fill appropriate staffing goal billets. This thesis finds that although the staffing goals are completely achievable, only 45% of active duty Marines fill a staffing goal billet and 47% of staffing goal billets are under-staffed. The USMC has used the Enlisted Assignment Model (EAM) since the 1970s to help enlisted monitors determine assignments. EAM has several shortcomings. Among these, enlisted monitors reject most of EAM suggested assignments and EAM offers no measure of effectiveness to gauge the quality of its assignments. This thesis presents a network model, EAM-GLOBAL to optimize the by-name assignment of Marines to staffing goal billets. EAM-GLOBAL attempts to assign the "right Marines to the right places" while simultaneously balancing staffing shortages, allowing grade and military occupational specialty substitutions, and minimizing the costs of permanent change of station transfers within the continental United States.
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