Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1974
The Army's civil works responsibility, administered by the Corps of Engineers, involves many activities that promote the development, use, and conservation of the nation's water and related resources. These activities include the planning, design, and construction of reservoirs, levees, channel improvements, and shore protection works. Reservoir and waterway projects not only improve navigable waterways and provide flood protection, but they also furnish water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational use and in many cases generate hydroelectric power.
In fiscal year 1974 Congress appropriated $1.77 billion for the Army's civil works program, as compared to last year's $1.95 billion. The largest decrease was in general construction, which was funded at $873 million, $330 million less than in fiscal year 1973. Decreases were also noted in general investigations and in flood control and coastal emergency operations. Increases were made in other areas of the civil works program, and one new appropriation, special recreation use fees, was added. Funds were provided for 19 new construction starts, continuation of 209 construction projects, reimbursement of 2 projects of local interests, 2 special projects, 3 continuing land acquisition projects, and 1 continuing major rehabilitation project. Funds were also authorized for 16 new planning starts, 73 continuing planning projects, and 1 special study. The most heavily funded projects were Lower Granite Lock and Dam, Washington; Lost Creek Lake, Oregon; Libby Dam-Lake Koocanusa, Montana; Harry S. Truman Dam and Reservoir, Missouri; and Smithland Locks and Dam, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.
Passage of Public Law 93-251 expanded the role of the federal government, including the Corps of Engineers, in the development of water resources. Also, the President on 5 September 1973 approved new guidelines for planning federally funded water resources development projects. These guidelines, entitled "Principles and Standards for Planning Water and Related Land Resources," were developed by the Water Resources Council and based on the work of an interdepartmental task force in which the Army played a key role.
During the past fiscal year the Corps of Engineers operated and maintained 263 locks, 178 dams, and 8 gate control structures
on some 25,000 miles of navigable waterways. A weekly average of about 20,000 watercraft passed through these locks and dams. The cost of this service, including the dredging operations required to keep the waterways open, was approximately $463 million for the year. The corps started a three-year, $1 million Inland Navigation System Analysis (INSA) program to increase the efficiency of the existing navigation system and to assure that the design and scheduling of improvements will meet future demands. A key segment of the new program is the accurate projection of tonnages to be moved by inland waterway transportation.
The acquisition of data on 55,000 dams, as authorized under the Dam Safety Act, continued. Data for nonfederal dams is being obtained for thirty-eight states and territories by local authorities and for the remainder by private engineering firms under Corps of Engineers supervision. Data for federal dams and for dams licensed by the Federal Power Commission were compiled by the federal agency having jurisdiction. The responses received indicated that existing dam safety programs varied greatly in scope; that there was an awareness of the need for supervision of dam design, construction, operation, and maintenance; and that a number of states and federal agencies have established new programs or strengthened existing ones.
The five pilot waste-water management studies noted in last year's historical summary were completed, as was a study on the Codorus Creek Basin in Pennsylvania. These studies provide several alternatives that states might use to meet standards established by the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Moreover, in cooperation with state authorities, a waste-water management plan for the Colorado River and certain of its tributaries was completed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Corps of Engineer Urban Studies Program, an outgrowth of the waste-water management studies, was begun in 1972. It was expanded this past year with the start of twelve new studies and now includes twenty-eight. Two additional studies are scheduled for fiscal year 1975. Authority for each urban study, which normally takes three to four years to complete, was provided by a special resolution of the House and Senate Public Works Committees.
Construction by the Corps of Engineers of traditional flood control works, such as dams, levees, and diversions, amounted to $750 million during the past year. Other ways to guard against flooding, as provided for by the Water Resources Development Act of 1974, were also pursued. These included permanent evacuation,
relocation, and flood proofing; substitution of open-space flowage area for channelization; and preservation of natural storage. Although minor in relation to traditional works, these methods are expected to play an increasingly important role.
Funding for the Flood Plain Management Services program, which was authorized in 1960, was increased from a ceiling of $11 million annually to $15 million. The output of information and related technical planning has nearly doubled in the last four years, and 3,000 localities have been furnished flood plain information since the program began. The program emphasizes adjustments that communities can make on their own, including the adoption of flood plain regulations.
Traditionally, the Corps of Engineers has stressed the need for including recreational activities in planning and developing water resources projects in cooperation with state and local governments. While nonfederal public agencies have not often participated in recreation development under the provisions of Public Law 89-72 through fiscal year 1973, many of them expressed an interest this past year and several contracts were signed. A new administration policy on expending Code 710 funds for development of recreation facilities at completed projects became effective during fiscal year 1974. The new policy requires that nonfederal sponsors must agree to pay not less than 50 percent of the development costs and must assume responsibility for operation and maintenance of the recreation area upon completion.
Over the last several years it has become apparent that corps planning and development must expand the spectrum of family related outdoor recreation facilities, if the recreational needs of the urban public and the desires of potential nonfederal cost-sharing partners are to be met. For this reason, the corps started a research study on urban recreation needs. This three-year study will evaluate all types of urban recreation facilities, for example, parks, open spaces, and cultural facilities and their relation to improving urban environment.
Waste-water treatment by application on the land was considered for fourteen recreational areas. This method provides tertiary treatment and nutrient removal for waterborne, vault, and trailer dump station wastes. Facilities at Arkabutla Lake, Mississippi, and Libby Lake, Montana, were operational this past year. Four more facilities are scheduled to become operational next year.
The intent of Congress to enhance the nation's fish and wildlife resources was emphasized by the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974. Section 77 of this act amended the re-
quirements for local participation and provided for 75 percent federal and 25 percent nonfederal sharing of costs at projects not substantially complete on the date of enactment. It is expected that this incentive will encourage greater state participation in the program.
Environmental Protection and Preservation
Army responsibility for environmental protection and preservation involves both military and civil works programs. As a result of the 20 May 1974 reorganization of the Army staff, the Chief of Engineers exercises primary staff responsibility for directing and coordinating environmental matters affecting these programs, a responsibility formerly shared with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics.
In the field, the larger commands have staff elements dedicated to the full-time management of their environmental programs and in many cases have established environmental committees to assist. At smaller commands responsibility for environmental matters is assigned to an existing staff office. At installations the facility engineer usually carries out environmental responsibilities, except at large military posts where personnel are assigned full time to perform this task. At many posts committees have been established to check on environmental programs.
All of the approximately 1,100 Army installations in the United States, its territories, and possessions were required to comply with federal, state, and local pollution control standards. Programs were started in recent years to meet this obligation, especially in the areas of air and water pollution control, solid waste management, and handling of hazardous and toxic materials.
Since the beginning of the air pollution control program in 1968, 149 installations have been identified as not conforming to established air emission standards. In order to correct the deficiencies, 432 projects have to be completed. Of these, 116 involved converting power and heating plants to less polluting types of fuel at sixty-five installations. Ninety conversion projects (78 percent) were completed before the onset of the energy crisis, and the remainder were reassessed. It was concluded that seven large heating plants would continue to burn coal and that collector or scrubber systems would be installed in lieu of conversion. At the end of the fiscal year, remedial construction was incomplete at about fifty of the 149 deficient installations. Because of the complex nature of the emissions and difficulties in procuring specialized equipment, approximately seventeen installations are not expected to be in full
compliance with established air pollution control standards until fiscal year 1976.
In water pollution control, progress was made in eliminating pollution caused by domestic and common industrial wastes, but control of pollutants produced in the manufacture of explosives and munitions was difficult because of the absence of proved treatment technology. A variety of chemical and mechanical treatments were tested, and in some instances prototypes were placed in operation. For example, the largest reverse osmosis unit ever built for industrial use was installed at Rock Island Arsenal. Treatment by the disposal of waste water on land was considered as an alternative to chemical and mechanical techniques, especially in those jurisdictions where stringent water pollution control standards were imposed. The first such system was installed at Hunter Liggett Military Reservation, and another was under design for Fort Meade. By the end of fiscal year 1974, approximately 120 of the 186 Army installations with water pollution problems were still not in compliance with established control standards.
In handling solid wastes at its installations, the Army looked for ways to reduce waste generation and lessen disposal requirements. Particular attention was given to reducing the packaging of wastes, recovering salable wastes for recycling, and disposing of residue wastes by contract or landfill. Approximately 90 percent of the Army's solid wastes were disposed of by landfill methods, at an annual cost of about $20 million.
For hazardous and toxic materials, federal regulations have imposed more stringent controls on the use of pesticides and cancer producing chemicals and substances and on the prevention and cleanup of oil spills. A major task for the Army involved the safe disposal of large quantities of excess, nonregistered pesticides: In addition, extensive safety measures were taken in the disposal of chemical munitions, surplus drugs, and explosive wastes resulting from the manufacture of munitions.
Pollution caused by Army equipment was also a major concern. To control air pollutants emitted by Army vehicles of military design, the Army has started to convert to no-lead or low-lead gasoline, has developed a hybrid or stratified charge engine, and has evaluated lightweight diesel and turbine engines. For new, commercial vehicles procured since 1970, no major difficulties were encountered in complying with air emission standards, since a compliance certification by the manufacturer was required before purchase. The problem of noise is also a concern, and a program is under way to determine the internal and external noise levels of
certain military vehicles (2 1/2 tons and smaller). To control oily bilge water and sanitary wastes, the Army is installing oil-water separators on approximately 1,000 watercraft and adding sewage holding tanks on 260 vessels.
Modern techniques were employed in the management of the 125 million acres under Army control. Forested areas produced millions of board feet of sawtimber and pulpwood which were sold and the funds, approximately $5 million annually, used for reforestation and forest management. In addition, extensive fish and wildlife programs were pursued for the protection and propagation of species and for sustaining sport fishing and hunting. On many large Army installations cooperative programs with other federal agencies helped to protect such endangered species as the red cockaded woodpecker and the Gila tap minnow.
Under the federal program to preserve historic properties, the Army has begun to survey and nominate military property as historic sites and structures. As of the end of calendar year 1973, thirty-four sites, including the U.S. Military Academy, the fortress at Fort Monroe, and certain quarters at Fort Myer were listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is estimated that about a hundred historic sites or structures under Army jurisdiction will be included in the register.
Several measures are being taken to improve the environment of military installations and adjacent civilian communities. For example, in the master planning of installations the Army is concerned with architecture and location of individual structures. In typical activities to enhance community environment, the active Army, the National Guard, and the Reserve are cleaning rivers and streams of debris, collecting junk automobiles, constructing nature trails and parks, and participating in recycling drives. The Army's interest in community environment was also reflected by its support of the Keep America Beautiful and Johnny Horizon programs.
Environmental protection subjects were included in the curricula of most Army schools, and during 1973 approximately 1,600 hours of instruction, involving over 20,000 officers, cadets, and noncommissioned officers, were given. Equipment operators and mechanics were instructed on the control of equipment and vehicle emissions, and special programs were arranged at installations to promote environmental awareness. Examples of these programs were Conservation Day at Fort Eustis, Operation Helping Hand at Fort Hood, and Ecology Month at Fort Huachuca. Armed forces radio and television, special posters, installation newspapers, and the like were also employed to educate the Army on environmental matters.
In civil works, progress continued on the five-year research and development project to assess the environmental effects of dredging operations, develop satisfactory dredging and disposal alternatives, and study the use of dredged material as a manageable resource. At the instigation of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Public Works, which were concerned over a General Accounting Office report that was critical of Army dredging operations, the Army awarded a contract to the Arthur D. Little Company to conduct a thorough study of Army dredging policies and practices. Pending completion of the study, a moratorium was placed on the modification and acquisition of Army dredges.
The environmental inventories for Vermont, Washington, North Carolina, and South Carolina, which were noted in last year's historical summary, were completed and published. Also, through contract with the Institute of Ecology, the Corps of Engineers compiled an environmental expertise resources directory to facilitate communication between engineers and ecologists. The directory lists individuals and organizations with the skills and interest to advise the corps, identifies their field of expertise and geographical region, and indicates their availability for consultation.
Environmental considerations are integrated into the planning of new civil works proposals and remain a central concern throughout the life of an approved project. Social and economic effects are also carefully weighed. About one out of every three major studies and projects started since the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act has been changed to accommodate environmental considerations. In addition, over 40 percent of the projects completed since the act went into effect have been modified for environmental reasons.
Army Energy Program
The Army began a formal fuel conservation program on 5 July 1973 by establishing fuel conservation goals for Army field commands and agencies. In comparison with fiscal year 1973 consumption rates, these goals amounted to a ten percent reduction in gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuels and a six percent reduction in petroleum heating fuels. On 8 November 1973, in view of the critical shortage of fuels, the Army Chief of Staff directed an additional ten percent reduction in the use of gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuels by the Army worldwide, including the Army Reserve and the National Guard. The Army also aimed to reduce heating in administration buildings and residential quarters by 15 percent. In January 1974, the Army revised its fuel conservation goals that called for a 15 percent reduction in the use of fuels for mobile
operations, residential heating, and industrial manufacturing and a 25 percent reduction for administrative space.
Although the Army energy conservation program emphasized the conservation of petroleum fuels, reduction in the consumption of electrical energy, natural gas, propane, coal, and purchased steam was also a major concern. A reduction of 7 percent was initially called for, but was later increased to 15 percent by the Secretary of Defense in January 1974.
During the past year the Army met the goals established under the energy conservation program, which are indicated in percentages in the table below.
ARMY ENERGY REDUCTION GOALS FISCAL YEAR 1974
|Installation Operations (Fifty States)||Quarter|
|Natural gas and propane||12.1||19.8||14.0||13.9|
|Fuel oil (heating)||9.4||23.0||20.9||23.2|
|Purchaser) steam||4.7||(21.7) a||4.4||38.1|
|Mobile Operations (Worldwide)|
a Percent increase over fiscal year 1973.
Focal point for energy matters at Headquarters, Department of the Army, is the Army Energy Office, which was established in November 1973 within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. The Special Assistant for Petroleum, a petroleum staff officer, and a clerk formed the nucleus of the new office, augmented by three temporary persons (two officers and one civilian). In May 1974 the authorized strength of the Army Energy Office was increased to eight permanent positions (five officers and three civilians). The mission of the Army Energy Office is to exercise Army staff supervision over energy matters by developing plans and policies for the allocation, supply, and use of energy reserves within the Department of the Army.
The Defense Energy Information System (DEIS) is an important management tool in developing a comprehensive energy program. Started on the basis of recommendations made by the Defense Energy Task Group in November 1973, the system provides reliable energy information and helps to identify potential energy problems. Two reports are already under way. DEIS-1 is a two-part report covering bulk petroleum fuel stockage, consumption, costs of fuels consumed, receipts, and sales. DEIS-2 is a monthly report of utility energy reflecting the consumption of purchased electricity, coal,
natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and steam and the stockage of coal and liquefied petroleum gas.
As in previous years, a major portion of the Army's disaster relief mission involved flood emergency operations by the Corps of Engineers as authorized by Public Law 84-99. This act was expanded in March 1974 to assure the availability of clean drinking water in localities where regular water sources are threatened with contamination.
In mid-December 1973, abnormally high rainfall in the Mississippi River basin raised the water to the highest winter level since 1919. For three and a half months, all four corps districts in the Lower Mississippi Valley Division and the Kansas City District combated the high waters and repaired damaged flood control works. The cost of repair was $19.5 million.
On 3 April 1974, a series of severe storms and more than a hundred tornadoes swept across the Ohio Valley and several southern states causing numerous deaths and injuries. Extensive damage occurred in Louisville and Cincinnati and in widespread areas of Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. At the request of the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration, corps districts in the stricken areas dispatched field teams to assess the situation and assist in the cleanup. Seventy-five contracts costing $3.8 million were let to clear the debris.
When a high concentration of asbestos fibers was discovered in the drinking water supply of Duluth, Minnesota, and nearby communities on the north shore of Lake Superior, the Environmental Protection Agency enlisted the support of the Army and other federal agencies to help resolve the attendant health hazard. The Corps of Engineers helped by designing, constructing, and operating a pilot water treatment plant and by dispatching an Erdlator water purification field unit to Duluth to test the water. The corps, under its survey program, will continue to investigate alternative water supplies and looks for solutions to Duluth's critical health problem.
As noted in last year's historical summary, the corps embarked on Operation Foresight, a program of emergency preventative measures to provide Great Lakes shore communities temporary protection against strong winds and high waters. To date, construction projects completed under the program have prevented an estimated $53 million in damages.
At the time of the troop withdrawals from Vietnam, many people believed that there would be a substantial drop in military cases being litigated in the federal courts. Although the number of cases processed during the past year by the Litigation Division, Office. of the Judge Advocate General, has in fact decreased, the drop has been slight and the variety and complexity have increased. In sum, the Army's legal burden was considerably enlarged in 1974. This past year was also filled with legal decisions and new cases of great significance to the military.
On 19 June 1974, the Supreme Court upheld the court-martial conviction of former Army captain Howard B. Levy and further held that Articles 133 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) were constitutional. This landmark decision will likely have a pronounced effect on future litigation because the court recognized factors differentiating the military from civilian society and the validity of several older Supreme Court opinions which tended to have a limiting effect on civilian judicial review of military actions.'
The language in the Levy decision and several other recent decisions lent support to the Army's position that the sole means of collaterally attacking a court-martial conviction was through the filing of a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and that it was necessary to exhaust all military remedies before a court-martial conviction could be challenged in federal court.
Three important cases arose out of off-post possession, sale, and transfer of marijuana and dangerous drugs. In each instance, pending courts-martial were enjoined by U.S. District courts on the grounds that they lacked jurisdiction because the offenses were not "service-connected" as required by O'Callahan v. Parker. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in Sedivy v. Richardson, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Dooley v. Ploger, reversed the cases because the plaintiffs failed to exhaust their military remedies. The third case, Councilman v. Schlesinger, et al., involved a captain at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, who was charged under the UCMJ with possession, sale, and transfer of marijuana. The transfer and sale occurred off-post, and the buyer was a military police investigator. The captain sought an injunction to stop his court-martial, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma granted
The Supreme Court's decision did not end the Levy litigation. The case was returned to the court of appeals for resolution of certain issues raised by Levy concerning his sentence. Resolution of those issues, however, will have no effect on the Court's ruling on the constitutionality of Articles 133 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military justice.
it. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals sustained the injunction, holding that the offenses were not "service-connected." The Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments and review this position, but before oral arguments were held, requested briefs on the issues of the jurisdiction of the district court, the necessity for exhaustion of military remedies, and the propriety of a federal district court enjoining a pending court-martial proceeding. In view of the language in the Levy decision, there is a possibility that Councilman will be a landmark decision in limiting the scope of review in collateral attacks on court-martial proceedings.
On 11 February 1974 former lieutenant William Calley filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. At the time Calley also asked for bail pending a determination of the petition and for a temporary restraining order to prevent the Army from moving him to Fort Leavenworth. Judge J. Robert Elliott of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia granted the temporary restraining order and, at the hearing on 27 February 1974, released Calley on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. The government's motion to revoke bail was denied. However, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed this decision on 13 June 1974 and ordered Calley returned to military control. The court of appeals in making its decision recognized that bail should be granted to a habeas corpus petitioner only in unusual circumstances. Subsequently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied motions for rehearing, and the Supreme Court also denied an application for a stay of the lower court's order. On 24 and 25 .June 1974, oral arguments were held before judge Elliott on the merits of Calley's petition, and the case was still pending at the close of fiscal year 1974.
Meanwhile, the well-publicized granting of bail to Calley had a proliferating effect. Across the country a series of habeas corpus petitions were filed by soldiers seeking release from pretrial confinement in post stockades. A U.S. district judge in Colorado quickly denied relief in the Kimball case, and a U.S. district judge in Maryland similarly denied relief to Pfc. Robert K. Preston, the soldier who, on 17 February 1974, appropriated a helicopter at Fort Meade and landed it on the White House lawn. In this case the petition was denied for failure to exhaust remedies within the Army. Subsequently, Preston did exhaust his remedies, and the U.S. district judge denied a motion for rehearing. This denial was appealed and argument was heard before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on 22 July 1974.
A series of suits were filed by officers who had been separated
through a reduction in force. The affected officers had more than four and a half years, but less than five years, of actual service at the time of their separation and sought readjustment pay under a statute which requires five years of active duty for such payments A "rounding" provision in a subsection of the law provides that every period of service in excess of six months will be counted as a full year in calculating the amount of readjustment pay. This provision, the plaintiffs argued, should also be applied in calculating the service necessary for the entitlement to such pay. After various United States courts split in their interpretation of this statute, the Supreme Court held, in Cass v. United States, that an officer must have five full years of service to be entitled to readjustment pay. Because of the number of officers involved, an adverse decision would have cost the government in excess of $10 million.
In fiscal year 1974 it became clear that attorneys were becoming more expert in filing suits against the Army and federal courts more willing to intervene. These trends were best illustrated by the case of The Committee for G.I. Rights, et al., v. Schlesinger, et al., a class action in behalf of all soldiers in Europe that challenged the Drug Abuse Prevention Program of U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR). During the extensive pleadings and hearings, judge Gerhard Gesell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia took the unprecedented action of ordering a review and revision of the USAREUR circular concerning the program and having it filed with the court before he finally decided the issues. In January 1974 he held that the health and welfare inspections which constituted a principal source of identifying drug abusers were unconstitutional, except for the limited purpose of getting drug abusers into rehabilitation programs. He prohibited the use of evidence resulting from such inspections for courts-martial or for administrative discharge proceedings awarding other than an honorable discharge. On 8 February 1974, the court of appeals stayed the execution of judge Gesell's order and the government filed an appellate brief.
On 19 February 1974, another major suit was filed by American Civil Liberties Union attorneys in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia concerning U.S. Army intelligence activities in Germany and Berlin, Berlin Democratic Club, et al., v. Schlesinger, et al. This suit purported to be a class action brought on behalf of all U.S. citizens overseas who wished to engage in lawful, constitutionally protected political, religious, and social activities. The plaintiffs alleged that the Army subjected them to illegally conducted electronic surveillance; intercepted, opened, and photographed their mail; infiltrated their organizations and meetings;
and prepared and maintained blacklists and intelligence files on them. They claimed various constitutional and statutory violations and asked for declaratory and injunctive relief, destruction of offending records, and monetary damages from the Army officials sued in their individual capacity. The government's 120-page motion to dismiss, or in lieu thereof for summary judgment, was filed on 7 June 1974.
The Army was still litigating the merits of the suit brought by Dr. Benjamin Spock and others seeking the right to carry their political campaign onto Fort Dix and to distribute literature without the prior approval of the post commander. The case was argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Twenty new cases were filed during the past year under the Equal Opportunity Act of 1972. The majority of these involved complaints of race and sex discrimination in federal employment. Significantly, several of these suits were brought as class actions involving marked complaints of discrimination at various installations and activities.
In the area of environmental law, there were several attempts to impose state or local pollution control requirements on federal installations in a manner other than that specified in the Clear Air Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Kentucky v. Rucklahaus et al., on 5 June 1974, was the first such case to be decided on by a U.S. court of appeals. This case upheld the Army's position that federal facilities need not comply with procedural requirements (such as the obtaining of permits) of state and local governments in respect to air and water pollution.
In litigation arising out of the Army's procurement activities, the flood of bid protests abated somewhat, chiefly because contractors had little success in such actions, but open files on contract cases continued to average around 260. One type of suit that became particularly frequent in the past year involved contractors seeking to show the U.S. Court of Claims that the Renegotiation Board erred in assessing them as having excessive profits.
Two Army contract case decisions during fiscal year 1974 were of particular significance. On 19 June 1974 the Court of Claims rendered decisions in Roscoe-Ajax Construction Co., Inc. v. U.S. which established an important new principle in the handling of disputes arising out of government contracts. After the 1972 U.S. Supreme Court decision in S&E Contractors, Inc. v. U.S., there was considerable question as to whether the government could appeal an adverse Board of Contract Appeals (BCA) decision. In these two cases the contractor appealed portions of a BCA decision and
sought to prevent the government from contesting portions of BCA decisions that favored it. The Court of Claims held that BCA decisions sometimes resolved a number of distinct appeals and that at other times the issues involved were inextricably bound together. Where the plaintiff's claim and the government's counterclaim so legally and factually intertwined that they formed a unit, they should be decided together.
The Federal Torts Claim Act was amended on 16 March 1974 by Public Law 93-253 to provide for the payment of meritorious claims arising from assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, and abuse of process when committed by a federal law enforcement officer. It is expected that the act will be liberally construed.
Collections under the Federal Medical Care Recovery Act met with resistance from several insurance companies citing a clause which specifically excluded the United States as a beneficiary of the policy's benefits. Several state insurance commissioners ruled that the policies violated public policy and disallowed them, and other commissioners required the companies to charge cheaper premiums to servicemen.
Medical malpractice cases became a more prominent subject of litigation, and a number of suits were filed against both the United States and the doctor in his individual capacity. The cases covered the spectrum of medical malpractice. Their complexity caused the Army to rely heavily on the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology to evaluate the medical records involved and for its opinion as to whether requisite standards of care were violated.
Promotion of Rifle Practice
The National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) was established by congressional action in 1903 and conducts its mission under the authority of Title 10, USC, paragraphs 4307-4313. Marksmanship training programs, as well as certain competitive marksmanship programs, are carried out by the Office of the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. Appropriated funds for NBPRP programs amounted to $167,000 in fiscal year 1974.
With equipment and materials provided by the Army, the Director of Civilian Marksmanship furnished .22-caliber ammunition and appropriate targets and lent .22-caliber rifles to 2,700 junior rifle clubs with approximately 90,000 members from twelve through nineteen years old. Additionally, 5,300 undergraduates of ninety-five college clubs participated in this program. Some 400 medals were awarded to junior members who fired qualifying scores over approved courses of fire.
As in each year since 1968, the NBPRP authorized the National Rifle Association (NRA) to include four National Trophy matches in the program of the 1973 National Rifle and Pistol Championship matches at Camp -Perry, Ohio, during August 1973. Sixty-nine teams, including twenty-five civilian teams, and 1,092 persons competed for trophies and medals in the 1973 National Trophy Service Rifle and Service Pistol events.
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Last updated 27 August 2004