Meeting the Missions of the 1990s With a Downsized Force: Human Resource Management Lessons From the Deployment of PATRIOT Missile Units to Korea


Since the end of the Cold War, nontraditional military missions have increased substantially, whereas armies, like many other work organizations, are being downsized. In many instances, survivors of downsizing are being called on to do more with less. One example was the unscheduled 1994 deployment of a PATRIOT missile battalion to Korea. This article presents data drawn from surveys of soldiers in the first PATRIOT battalion sent to South Korea and of soldiers in the battalion that replaced them. Although both PATRIOT battalions were quite similar in many respects, the soldiers in the first battalion sent to Korea had been told that they would not be deployed again for 2 years, had less warning of their deployment, and had seen more deployments than the second battalion sent to Korea. In both battalions, the best predictor of morale for younger solders (E4 and below) was family adjustment to Army life; the best predictor of morale for older soldiers (E5 and above) was leadership support for soldiers. However, the data revealed that both junior and senior enlisted soldiers in the first battalion had significantly lower morale and family adjustment ratings than the soldiers sent to replace them. Findings reinforce the importance of communication with the survivors of organizational downsizing and consideration of the needs of their families as their jobs undergo restructuring. They also suggest that, with increased operational tempo, soldiers' needs may vary by rank; family adjustment issues may be exacerbated forjunior troops, whereas other family issues become more salient for senior enlisted troops.


Sociology and Anthropology

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Military Psychology