Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers
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Civilian and military skills database : CIOR can support NATO to identify needed personnel

An important contribution to NATO could be a development of a web based database in order to identify needed personnel to complete NATO‟s missions. Such a tool could help NATO to fill organisation gaps. This is one of the findings from the Defence- and Security Committee (DEFSEC) discussions at CIOR‟s Summer Congress.

NATO as an organisation itself would not be able to call Reservists for duty, but could fill its organisational gaps with “NATO Civilians”. If positions e.g. at HQ ISAF are not filled by the troop contributing nations (TCNs), ISAS has to fill these gaps, usually trying to recruit civilians with military background. An up-to-date and online available database would support these needs. In addition, NATO member nations could also use this tool, to search for their reservists. On top this tool could support Governmental organisations (GOs) and Non- governmental organisations (NGOs) (e.g. UN), to identify needed personnel for unfriendly environments.

Database on an international level

One solution would be , at an international level, to adopt and elevate the only one military database that has been proven in some extent usable: the of the Norwegian Reserve Officers Association database. It would be a relative easy and short process to reach an agreement upon royalties with the Norwegians, give the database a new proper CIOR/NATO-look, and finally marketing the database among suitable competence groups and end-user organizations. This makes the Norwegian database an attractive alternative because of an easier implementation process. However, it‟s technology level is not the latest so there will be maintenance and development costs connected to this alternative as well.

LinkedIN with adjustments ?

One other solution to consider, is the use of viable systems used by civilian actors which already exists online, e.g. LinkedIn. The LinkedIn company seems effective in their system management and could be expected in the future to keep their position in the technical frontline in this field. The system could with some adjustments fit in a military context. LinkedIn also provides other possibilities than the potent search engine, for example applications for networking, group management, references and credentials etcetera. Furthermore it enables direct contact between end-users and candidates, and it„s already a popular, highly regarded and credible channel for recruitment, reducing marketing costs to a minimum.
It can also be a system where value is added for the personnel who want to make themselves available for deployment. First of all the possibility for personnel in these groups which probably already are a LinkedIn users, to concentrate their efforts on one (or several) less data bases, which would make them more prone to keep their data updated.

Evaluations of the best system

Implementation issues, legal issues, personal integrity issues to national security issues will arise when the system to be used should be decided. An issue that arise is also such a system will enable a private actor control over accumulated information about military personnel and capabilities. This could be a problem since the information could be regarded as strategic military information. But if this secrecy aspect, among the others aspects, could be looked into and solved. At the end it all comes down to the question whether it is easier to build a strong brand for the database of the Norwegian Reserve Officers Association or to implement a cooperation, coherent with quality standards connected to a military context, with a civilian partner like LinkedIn.

© 2012 Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers