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  • Student needs Statistics, pls help

    Hello everyone

    I am a 24 year old economist student from Switzerland. At the time, military service is mandatory in Switzerland. In 2013 the Swiss people will vote about keeping mandatory military service or not. The alternative to our current army would be a voluntary-militia system, like the NG is.
    Because I am very interested in this field I am writing my bachelor thesis about it. My goal is to find out if such a model could attract a sufficent number of soldiers in Switzerland. And also the level of education these soldiers would have. Because often people tend to say (at least here in Switzerland) that such a model would only attract very few and bad qualified staff.
    In oder to get some data about the quantity and quality of NG (and also the Army Reserve) soldiers I already googled a lot and I found some interesting and useful sources. But still I find it hard to get some very good data about this.
    So if anyone would provide me with some helpful links I would be really thankful.

    Many thanks and greetings

    Mezmo

  • #2
    Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

    Mezmo,

    What data are you looking for specifically? Age, economic background, educational attainment, entry test scores? The US military has a population distribution that is statistically different from the general populace primarily because mental, moral and physical requirements are in place to sift through the applicant pool and reduce overall government liability. We use financial and educational incentives along with other various opportunities to attract applicants from all walks of life. The argument that a volunteer model would attract only a few and poorly qualified people is a nonsequitor. The "carrots" offered for enlistment is what attracts "better" people. Our standards, honestly, are not particularly high...but we use potential to create a better labor/warrior force.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

      Originally posted by Mezmo View Post
      Hello everyone

      I am a 24 year old economist student from Switzerland. At the time, military service is mandatory in Switzerland. In 2013 the Swiss people will vote about keeping mandatory military service or not. The alternative to our current army would be a voluntary-militia system, like the NG is.
      Because I am very interested in this field I am writing my bachelor thesis about it. My goal is to find out if such a model could attract a sufficent number of soldiers in Switzerland. And also the level of education these soldiers would have. Because often people tend to say (at least here in Switzerland) that such a model would only attract very few and bad qualified staff.
      In oder to get some data about the quantity and quality of NG (and also the Army Reserve) soldiers I already googled a lot and I found some interesting and useful sources. But still I find it hard to get some very good data about this.
      So if anyone would provide me with some helpful links I would be really thankful.

      Many thanks and greetings

      Mezmo
      And it is not only the Army and Air Force National Guard; it is the whole US Military.

      Research.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscri..._United_States

      Young men still need to enter the selective service.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

        I guess most important would be data about the educational background. And I have not yet found too much about it, so this would be very helpful.

        I know about the incentives the NG provides and it is also my oppinion that the system works very well. Thats why I am going to take a look at the NG in my work, as well as other similar systems like the british reserve. Although they seem to have some problems in finding enough personnel.
        So basically what I am trying to show with comparison of existing voluntary militia systems is that it works. And it seems that the NG has enough volunteers even given the high possibility of going to a war. This also makes it hard to compare with Switzerland.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

          I'm not entirely sure of the goal of your work, perhaps you could publish your thesis statement.

          Is your goal to determine mathematically and demographically whether a National Guard model of reserve component service could work in Switzerland? Or is to argue that such a system is a good thing, and that Switzerland should establish it for a number of socially-beneficial reasons?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

            The goal of my work is to analyse if there are enough people that would join such a militia and what their qualifications are. I try to do this first on a theoretical level where i take a look at existing militias like the NG. And then I conduct a survey in some schools ( of course just a small one, since the paper will only be about 35 pages) to find out if they would join.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

              Originally posted by Mezmo View Post
              The goal of my work is to analyse if there are enough people that would join such a militia and what their qualifications are. I try to do this first on a theoretical level where i take a look at existing militias like the NG. And then I conduct a survey in some schools ( of course just a small one, since the paper will only be about 35 pages) to find out if they would join.
              The American Army National Guard's end-strength is 358,200, and the Air National Guard is 106,700. If we add the Army and Air Reserve (which are strictly federal components, and have no formal relevance to our states), they are 205,000 and 71,400 respectively, for a total Army and Air reserve component end-strength of 536,505. The US population is 315M. This means that the percentage of our population serving in the drilling reserve components (as opposed to the retired reserve, and the non-drilling individual reserve) is 0.17%.

              Switzerland's population is 7.6M, so applying the same percentage of service gives us an end-strength of 13,000. The big question that we haven't answered (or even asked, for that matter) is whether 13k personnel is enough to execute Switzerland's national military strategy. Switzerland is not the US, your defense needs are very different. You have no hostile neighbors, no formal global commitments (beyond the occasional UN mission). Perhaps your nation can have a small active component and a proportionately much larger reserve component. If this were 1942, and you had legitimate fears of a German (or Allied) invasion, then your defense needs would be different.

              You may have thought that this paper would be an exercise in demographics, but it's turned into something much more complicated. The question behind the question is, "what is our national military strategy, as nested in our over-arching national defense strategy?" Until you tell me what you want to do with those Soldiers, I can't even begin to tell you if you have enough.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                First off, I think you would need to define what a military reserve would be. The reserve military can vary quite a bit depending on the country and even here in the US. What's its purpose? How fast/quickly would it need mobilize? How much funding/equipment? These are just a few questions that come to mind and play into the quality of persons you find in these units.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                  Thanks for all your replies so far.

                  In 2010 our government released a paper in which it states that we need aprox. 22`000 soldiers for defense purpose. Since this seems to be a bit small we ( professor and I) are calculating that we could need about 40`000 soldiers. Given our birthrate we would need between 2000 and 4000 volunteers every year, depending on the average length of service.

                  But my question here was not really if we will find enough. I am aware that no one in this forum knows about the defense strategy of my country and the number of soldiers we need (I guess not even we really know). The question was more if you have some data of your NG or Reserve because that is the system that we are voting on.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                    One thing that would be interesting to address, as well, is the influence of incentives. If a military force is going to be voluntary, some kind of incentive is integral to motivating citizens to sacrifice personal freedoms for the good of their country. In America, monetary incentives are the most popular, but national pride and honor/duty have their own merit, too. It would be interesting to investigate what motivates Swiss citizens in this regard.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                      Originally posted by Mezmo View Post
                      Thanks for all your replies so far.

                      In 2010 our government released a paper in which it states that we need aprox. 22`000 soldiers for defense purpose. Since this seems to be a bit small we ( professor and I) are calculating that we could need about 40`000 soldiers. Given our birthrate we would need between 2000 and 4000 volunteers every year, depending on the average length of service.

                      But my question here was not really if we will find enough. I am aware that no one in this forum knows about the defense strategy of my country and the number of soldiers we need (I guess not even we really know). The question was more if you have some data of your NG or Reserve because that is the system that we are voting on.


                      Can you set up your own experiment with perimeters geared towards your specific needs? For example, a poll or questionnaire?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                        yes indeed, this is also a interesting topic. Most of the people involved in the topic also talk about some monetary incentives. But also about giving your soldiers a card which allows them to use public transportation for free for example. Or a lifelong rent after serving several years.

                        To make clear what I am looking for I give you some questions that I would like to answer:
                        How many years of education has the average NG soldier?
                        How long does he serve?
                        Is he currently employed?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                          Originally posted by RyCass View Post
                          [/B]

                          Can you set up your own experiment with perimeters geared towards your specific needs? For example, a poll or questionnaire?
                          Yes, so far I am planning to go to some different schools with a questionnaire.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                            Originally posted by RyCass View Post
                            One thing that would be interesting to address, as well, is the influence of incentives. If a military force is going to be voluntary, some kind of incentive is integral to motivating citizens to sacrifice personal freedoms for the good of their country. In America, monetary incentives are the most popular, but national pride and honor/duty have their own merit, too. It would be interesting to investigate what motivates Swiss citizens in this regard.
                            The most effective incentives are the intangibles -- personal pride, patriotism, unit cohesion, and the like. The financial incentives must come after the intangibles in order to have the best effect, and must support those intangibles. I'm thinking that the national character of the Swiss, with loyalty to their local cantons, could support a National Guard-style drilling reserve.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Student needs Statistics, pls help

                              The Marine Corps have been the best seller on intangibles. The Army/NG has been a different animal due to its size.

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