Human Resources Planning in the Armed Forces: Analytical Essay

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In order to successfully solve the tasks and achieve the goals set out in the concept (doctrine) of the Armed Forces, the proper management of human resources is crucial. In this sense, human resources management is an activity that is a combination of flexible and logically justified application of specific methods and tools from different spheres of the socio-economic specter-economy, law, psychology, military affairs, and others. As a result, the effectiveness of human resource planning as a tool for solving top-level administrative tasks depends on knowledge and skillful application of management and planning methods. Important for the effectiveness (in the positive terms) of human resources planning is the need for the bodies of these services, or part of them, to have actively traversed the whole (or most) hierarchical structure of the military system. This requirement is imposed due to the existence of dynamic diversity in the structure, goals, objectives and methods of achieving them, in a system of the type of armed forces. As a result of the above, it can be concluded that the planning and management of human resources is a complex process containing highly professional and moral responsibilities, which necessitates its detailed analysis and systematization of the optimal tools for its realization.

Human Resources Planning in the Armed Forces. Planning basics

The objective need for planning and forecasting in the field of the Armed Forces is conditioned by a number of factors: the complex social nature of the processes taking place in the Armed Forces as a closed system; dynamic socio-economic relations in the country; complex and constantly changing political relations; technical progress, etc. In a broad sense, planning in the field of aircraft in literary sources is considered both as a process and as an activity, function and activities through which the optimal use of resources is achieved to achieve collective or national security. In the NATO system, the term 'defense planning' is used in the context under consideration. This means a set of planned activities and their resource provision for guaranteeing the sovereignty, territorial integrity, principles of democracy, protection of life, population and its property. The analysis of the literature shows that the object of planning is the system of human resources as a whole, as part of the structure of the organization and everything related to the prediction of their future state. The ultimate goal of human resource planning is to build an optimal model of the system in an organization that is as consistent as possible with the requirements for its overall activity. There are different types of human resource planning in the Armed Forces:

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  • By nature - strategic, operation,al and tactical;
  • According to time - current (up to 1 year), short-term (1 to 5 years), medium-term (5-10 years) and long-term (over 10 years);
  • Depending on the type of unit - planning of individual units (regiment, brigade, etc.).

The guidance for the service of the Armed Forces Staffs deals with two types of planning - defense planning and operational planning.

  • Defense planning - includes activities to identify human resources needs, the quantity and quality of troops, appropriate capabilities, national security, and country defense.
  • Operational planning - is the process of realizing, developing and validating resource use plans for crisis management and armed conflict.

The human resources planning function in the Armed Forces includes three main types of activities - labor design, ore analysis and human resource needs planning.

  • Designing work - specifying what its nature and content are, what are the requirements for contractors, what are the working conditions, what should motivate the servicemen and bring them satisfaction, and more. The design of labor is reflected in laws, regulations, instructions and other normative documents. It should include the definition of tasks, methods, workplace, working hours, requirements for the organization and requirements for the contractor. All these activities are carried out by HR units.
  • Labor analysis - involves collecting information for each position (place, tasks, duties, responsibilities, conditions, requirements) in order to adjust or refine its important parameters. The product of the job analysis is a job description, which consists of two parts - a job description and requirements for the contractor.
  1. job description - includes name, location within the organization, content of tasks, responsibilities for people and equipment, interaction with other positions, etc.
  2. requirements for the contractor - includes type and level of education, qualification, special training in a specific field, work experience, health status, behavioral skills, etc.
  • Human Resource Planning - the third management activity that underlies the entire human resource management activity and its linkage to other activities of the Armed Forces. Considering the tasks it solves, human resources planning is an important, distinct management function

Human resources planning

The human resources planning function in the Armed Forces is a unifying management function. It guarantees the security, stability of the quantitative and qualitative composition of the armed forces. The subject matter of human resources in defense has three important aspects - the planning of the number and structure of human resources (analysis and forecasting), the planning of a way to secure them (the development of strategies, plans, etc.) and the control over the implementation of human resources. plans and projects. The main ultimate goal of human resources planning is to maintain a balance between the needs of the Armed Forces for human resources and the capabilities to be provided for the effectiveness of the Armed Forces and the ability to accomplish their assigned tasks. Human resources planning is related to the design of military work because of the fact that this management activity determines how military work is performed, what its results will be, projects for all work activities and requirements for contractors. The link with the staffing function (recruitment activities) with human resources planning is extremely tight. There have been some cases where staffing has become meaningless due to the lack of clarity on what people should be admitted to, what the sources are, when to do it, and what the balance is between the needs and the ability to recruit people for the armed forces.

Other activities affecting human resource planning are the evaluation and remuneration of military service. They regulate relations and provide for the 'retention' of high-quality and valuable squabble resources for the needs of the army. Objective criteria based assessment and appropriate selection of moral and material incentives are a significant factor in stabilizing the armed forces. Therefore, these parameters should be known when planning human resources, which will lead to proper planning in the future.

Phases and stages of planning of human resources in the armed forces

The content and the end result of human resources planning in the armed forces are determined by defense and security policy, by a holistic strategy in the field of building and developing the country's armed forces. In this context, it is a process of successive stages. They are:

  • First stage - needs of analysis and forecasting;
  • Second stage - formation of human resources strategy and policy;
  • Third stage - development of plans and programs for implementation of human resources policy;
  • Fourth stage - implementation, control, and evaluation of plans and programs.

Analysis and planning of human resources

Human resources analysis and planning is the phase in which the status, number, and qualitative composition of the human resources needed by the armed forces should be specified. This phase contains four stages:

  • Analysis of the state and trends of human resources development. It includes an analysis of personal resources and an analysis of the external environment. This analysis assesses the adequacy of the actual state of human resources in the armed forces with respect to the desired perspectives. As a result, an organizational and structural analysis of staffing is made and a decision is made on what needs to be done.
  • Human resources needs forecasting. It includes an estimate of the size, structure, and requirements of the resources required. In doing so, the top-down, bottom-up and combined approaches are predictive. The most successful is considered to be the third one, which deals with the MO, the types of aircraft and their structures, and as a result of the discussion a general forecast is made. The forecasting methods can be expert estimates, linear analysis, statistical analysis and more.
  • Source analysis and forecasting of human resources provisioning capabilities. There are two main sources of analysis - internal and external. The internal sources are the Armed Forces themselves (officers, sergeants, soldiers, etc.) who are developing, upgrading their skills and more. External sources are applicants to military schools, recruits, and candidates for staffing.
  • Comparison of human resource needs and capacity to provide them. Under this condition, the options are a three-balance between needs and sources; shortage of human resources and availability of surplus military personnel.

Human Resource Strategy and Policy Formulation

At this stage, activities are carried out by top-ranking political leaders, the Ministry of Defense, Deputy Ministers and others. The HR strategy covers the following areas:

  • Development of the military strategic environment;
  • Availability of doctrines, concepts and plans for the armed forces;
  • Requirements for functional, structural and organizational attitude to the armed forces;
  • Specificity of military work;
  • Improvement of the necessary personal qualities;
  • Guidelines for the development of weapons and military equipment;
  • Legal framework for the transition of the service and the type of relationships, etc.

The development of the structure is a lengthy process of analyzing what has happened, defining the development of the Armed Forces, and establishing the human resources requirements for the needs of those forces. In developing the human resource planning strategy, the following should be evaluated and analyzed:

  • What kind of armed forces we want and what kind of people we need;
  • What are the main areas of development and quality requirements of human resources;
  • Assessment of human resources in the current state of the armed forces;
  • What are the directions for organizational development and provision of human resources in peacetime and war.

Developing plans and programs for the implementation of human resources policy

The main plans and programs for the implementation of the human resources policy are:

  • Human resources needs plan-quantitative and qualitative characteristics of military personnel for a certain period. It should be drawn up in specialties (BOC), military ranks and it should show the current state, the desired state and what the needs are;
  • Selection plan - selection activities, such as actions to optimize the procedure;
  • Training plan for personnel - servicemen, workers and employees to be trained, organization of courses in accordance with the development model, calculation of the necessary financial resources and others.
  • Personnel evaluation plan - setting deadlines and appraisal activities, activities to establish the appraisal system, link between salary and appraisal, etc.

Implementation, control and evaluation of plans and programs

Responsibilities and deadlines for implementation, forms and procedures for monitoring their implementation, as well as criteria for their evaluation should be specified in the development of each individual plan or program.


The Armed Forces system is a system of a particular type, solving socially and morally responsible tasks. Optimal functioning depends first and foremost on the quality of its core component - human resources. It is historically proven and scientifically sound. Moreover, a key moment that determines the accomplishment of the tasks of the armed forces is the process of securing the personnel and the personnel planning of human resources.

From the analysis done in this assignment, it can be concluded that the planning of human resources is a complex and dynamic management process. Therefore, a complex of requirements is imposed on the bodies implementing it:

  • To have a high level knowledge of human resource planning theory, which should formulate guidelines, frame planning activities;
  • Have knowledge of concepts, plans and activities at all levels of the Armed Forces system, obtained by the subsequent active passage of future personnel bodies through the hierarchical structure of the system;
  • To deal with national and international normative documents, which is a prerequisite for the legal conduct of the personnel policy.

Last but not least, as a moral obligation for professionals working with the fate of people, when objectively justified, there is a need for staffing authorities to take a differentiated approach and actively participate in updating generally the rules governing human resources management.


  1. Ariss, A. (2014). Global Talent Management, Challenges, Strengths and Opportunities. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.
  2. LeMoyne, J. (2003). How the Army Runs. [ebook] p.Chapter 13: Military Human Resource Management. Available at:
  3. Sofat, P. (2016). Human resource management in the armed forces. Monograph No. 54: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
  4. Taylor, S. and Woodhams, C. (2016). Human resource management. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
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