Agnes Schaefer, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs

Agnes Schaefer

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve

Agnes Gereben Schaefer earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida International University. She earned her Ph.D. from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She was a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at Princeton University. 

Schaefer spent 17 years with the RAND Corporation, engaged in federally funded research and development for the Department of Defense. She was the Associate Director of RAND’s International Security and Defense Policy Center. 

She served as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. She was nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, was confirmed by the Senate, and received her commission in December 2022. 

In the News…

A hearing of the House Armed Services Committee focused on the growing perceptions Americans have that the military is being politicized. Military Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Jim Banks asked what the Army is doing to address such perceptions. The Army Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Agnes Schaefer could not provide steps taken by the service. 

“We are demonstrating that we are being apolitical. Our policies are really centered around our servicemembers,” she said. “I’m not sure why there’s an underlying perception that we are political. I don’t know what that is, and I think we need to dig into that more.”

The assistant secretary added. “If people have that perception then we need to address it. The data that we have seen indicates that it’s not one of the top concerns.” 

Representative Banks cited a poll that showed politics was a barrier in recruitment, saying 73 percent of veterans believe the military has grown too political in matters of race, gender, and sexuality. 


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