25 Oct Letter Regarding the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report in Budget and Appropriations, National Security and Defense
Dear Senator McCain, Senator Reed, Representative Thornberry, and Representative Smith,
As you continue your work on the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference
report, we are reaching out to you to highlight the importance of military personnel reform. We were
pleased to see that both the Senate and House versions of the FY2018 NDAA include strong language
directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to modernize several long-standing defense personnel
The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force on Defense Personnel, co-chaired by Gen. Jim Jones, Sec. Leon
Panetta, Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), and Blue Star Families’ CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet, was founded to
address the strategic and personnel challenges currently facing the Department of Defense. The Task
Force on Defense Personnel hopes to raise awareness of these challenges and make concrete
recommendations for meaningful reforms to the next Administration and Congress.
As you know, the men and women who volunteer to serve are the foundation of our military advantage.
To preserve that advantage, the DoD must reform its personnel management policies to better align
military careers with the capabilities needed to defend against 21st century threats and the talents and
skills of 21st century Americans. Several provisions in the Senate and House-passed bills are exactly the
sort of reforms needed to better serve our troops and their families.