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Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis (OEMA)

Since 1983, the mission of the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis (OEMA) has been to provide a sound basis for policy and planning for the Army of the future During the post-Vietnam transition from conscription to an all volunteer force, Army G1 LTG Maxwell Thurman realized that the Army needed innovative policies to remain competitive in the American talent market.

In view of the world's dynamic threat and economic environments, Thurman believed that only a dedicated analytical body could achieve this, and so he championed the establishment of OEMA. This HQDA asset was nested within West Point's Department of Social Sciences to provide it with an intellectual environment for active-duty Army analysts to grow in knowledge and contribute to policy formulation. Faculty assignments at West Point attract talented officers, men and women who are current in the latest economic theory and scholarship. They continuously hone their expertise via teaching and professional development within a vibrant community of practice. Their faculty credentials engender collaboration with peers at the nation's top universities. Perhaps most importantly, however, the intellectual freedom provided by an academic setting promotes out-of-the-box thinking, allowing OEMA to focus on long-term solutions to strategic challenges rather than succumbing to the day-to-day bureaucratic pressures it would likely face if at the Pentagon.

OEMA's analytical efficacy stems from its creation of the largest repository of online personnel data in the Department of Defense. Continuously updated, this resource allows for the rapid analysis of developments across all segments of the Army's workforce. With the right talent, operating environment, and a world-class programming and data processing infrastructure in place, OEMA has provided economic and manpower analysis for senior leaders throughout the government for nearly three decades. 

Colonel David S. Lyle is the Director of the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis and a Professor of Economics at West Point.  Colonel Lyle earned a B.S. in economics from West Point in 1994. He was commissioned into the US Army Corps of Engineers, and served in both construction and combat units. He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003, and has served in the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis and on the West Point faculty ever since.  An applied labor economist by training, Colonel Lyle’s primary research interests are in the areas of human capital, talent management, social interactions, military manpower, compensation, Veteran employment, and the impact of military service on households.  He has publications in various economic and policy journals.

The Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis has recently published several studies that establish a framework for an office corps strategy focused upon talent. For examples of OEMA's work in Talent Management click HERE.

To view the OEMA staff and faculty click HERE.