Pentagon Trying to Find Engineers (and why they can’t)

June 28, 2008 at 1:34 pm Leave a comment

This article goes into a lot of the ins and outs of the current attitudes toward involvement with the military on a civilian basis.  I’d say in fact that it’s a lot simpler.


Current ads (that are recurrent) about how serving in the military will prepare you for civilian jobs other than law enforcement are basically false.  Navy fighters, for instance, have a lot of proprietary systems that are also generally outdated.  Actually, I think modernly it’s “always outdated”.


The reasons behind this are kind of interesting.  First of all, a transition between kinds of aircraft (even when it was from propellor-driven to jet, with the drastically-different requirements) isn’t the smooth and instantaneous sort of thing you intuitively expect, somehow.  First of all on that, basically nothing in the military happens particularly smoothly.  The transition can’t be because you can’t have an airplane arrive without a support platform consisting of personnel, the requirements for their support and of course the parts for the aircraft.  Well, most of them.  Some of them? whatever.  Having the mechanics that are trained to work on them is essential because any engine in this kind of usage is high-maintenance.  That’s how you get peak performance.


At the other end, when the plane is transitioning out, it’s again not instantaneous.  This is merely a side note.


The changes in models of aircraft are generally not compatible, a notion I’ve always found interesting.  So you have some parts for a 417 that definitely won’t fit on a 417-A (for example) and might even make it do fun things like explode in mid-air.  Seems like it was mostly been changes in guidance and control that I’m thinking of.


So you really, really try not to change the aircraft too much.  It looks bad if you explode in mid-air with no one firing at you (fortunately, it’s usually not quite that flashy).  You try to maintain stability, because that means that you have a stable element in strategical planning.  You have men trained to work on just these planes.  And in order to work on commercial aircraft they have to go back to school.


Now then.  We started talking about engineers.  What it looked like up until like last year was the way to go was outside the military because that’s where the money was.  However, military-oriented income does have the tendency to be somewhat stable.  There’s a real possibility that this whole story is going to have a quick turn-around.  Particularly consider the fact that there are actual military academies.  Heck, if I’d any sense I would have gone through one; I was invited, after all.


You’re going to be finding more people consider being an officer, and more people eyeing the “defense industry” applications in the near future, just as it’s going to be possible to find more IT personnel.  This is a recession, and we have no savior in sight.


So in contrast to the title of the article:  they will be (able to find engineers) and soon.


P.S.  Note that there are parts of this which are only speculative at this point.  Note too that the statements about acquisibility of personnel during recessions is supported by historical data.

Entry filed under: computers/tech, current news, writing and thought. Tags: , , , , .

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