The private sector has been employing the concept of “validation” in making employment decisions for well over 25 years; the process is most evident in highly unionized organizations. In a “nutshell” validation means this: when assessing an applicant’s qualifications, for a specific position, having or not having a specific qualification must directly correlate to his or her probability of success in the position. For example, someone applying for an administrative assistant position can not be tested to determine if he or she can solve third order integral equations, since having or not having that specific skill set does not directly correlate to success as an administrative assistant.
The military as a whole has always had arduous physical standards. Enlisted and Officer personnel are required to perform at a level that is probably inconsistent with the job requirements. However, what generally goes undisclosed is rigor’s “real” target, and that is your mind.
Rigorous training standards develop a mindset that allows the trainee to prevail when chips are down. They develop an unwillingness to lay down accept defeat or become pliable. That approach along with continued emphasis on technology, and the intellectual capital to support it has enabled the United States of American to grow the best qualified, best prepared and most effective military enterprise in history.
Regrettably, invalidated requirements have too been tools for sex and age discrimination and the Pentagon now says things must change. Big Army, Big Navy, Air Force and all Special Operations Commands must begin to validate selection criteria, and that will undoubtedly lead to a lowering of standards across the board.
You can read more about this in The Washington Times
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