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While the purpose of the Department of Defense (DoD) is accepted broadly to be “to provide ready and sustainable military forces to protect the nation’s vital interests,” the meaning of that statement is largely reliant upon the definition of the word “ready.” Yet it is unclear what ready means. Ready for what? How ready? By when?
The meaning of “readiness” as used in the military today is widely acknowledged to be vague and inconsistent. A data framework that uses stochastic scenario libraries would allow the military to characterize its probability of being ready for foreseeable missions across all its organizational levels while allowing for mathematically sound aggregation of the readiness of its units.
This comprehensive approach would benefit from a stochastic representation of readiness that allows lower-level readiness reports to be “rolled-up” into higher-level reports across unit types and military branches. Such an approach allows planners, commanders, and decision-makers to speak the same language to communicate, “How ready are units for what?”