Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1977


Reserve Forces

The Army National Guard of the United States and the Army Reserve have 52 percent of the Army's armor and infantry battalions, more than 58 percent of its field artillery units, 45 percent of its aviation units, and 65 percent of its tactical support units. Manning, equipping, and training the reserves to perform wartime missions is one of the major challenges facing the Army today.

Force Structure

The reserve components have not undergone a major realignment since 1968, but numerous unit inactivations, activations, and reorganizations are carried out each year to meet changing requirements set forth in the Total Army Analysis, locate units where community support is strong, and improve management. Because reserve component units take up to three or four times longer to recover from organizational change than active Army units, the Army is seeking to limit the number of annual changes in the guard and reserve to affect no more than two percent of units.

The consolidation of Army National Guard tristate divisions into single state or bistate units moved forward during fiscal year 1977. On 1 March 1977 all units of the 38th Infantry Division were consolidated within Indiana and Michigan; a brigade from Ohio was replaced by the 73d Infantry Brigade. The 47th Infantry Division, with units in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, remained as the only tristate division in the guard.

The Army National Guard made serveral realignments to prepare units for round-out missions. The 256th Infantry Brigade, a Louisiana unit, was mechanized. It and the 41st, Infantry Brigade-(Oregon) and Georgia's 48th Infantry Brigade served as the third round-out brigades for the 5th, 7th, and 24th Infantry Divisions, respectively.

The 69th Infantry Brigade was mechanized; the 278th Armored Cavalry was organized in Tennessee with two squadrons relocated from Ohio and Idaho; the 2d Battalion, 130th Field Artillery converted from 105-mm. towed to 8-inch self-propelled howitzers; and the 2d Battalion (Honest John) of the Oklahoma National Guard's 158th Field Artillery was replaced by the 2d Battalion (TOW), 180th Infantry, which is also located in Oklahoma. The new battalion, known as TLAT (TOW, light, antitank), is the first unit of its kind in any of the Army's components. It consists of a headquarters and headquarters detachment and five TOW companies, each equipped with twelve jeep-mounted missile launchers.


As of 30 September 1977, the Army National Guard contained 3,297 units. The organizations in the structure were:

5 infantry divisions    3 armored brigades (sep)
1 mechanized infantry division    4 armored cavalry regiments
2 armored divisions    1 infantry group (arctic recon)
8 infantry brigades (sep)    2 Special Forces groups
2 infantry brigades (r-o)    126 separate battalions
6 mechanized infantry brigades (sep)    723 other company- and detachment sized units
2 mechanized infantry brigades (r-o)    

The Army Reserve made substantial progress during the past year in aligning its structure to meet Total Army Analysis requirements. Approximately seven percent of the Army Reserve force structure was affected by reorganizations, activations, or inactivations. Fewer changes were planned for the coming year, and the strain on unit readiness resulting from organizational changes should diminish.

At the close of the fiscal year the Army Reserve contained 3,200 units of company or detachment size. Major organizations in the force structure were

19 USA reserve commands    2 transportation brigades
12 divisions training)    3 military police brigades
2 brigades training)    2 engineer brigades
2 maneuver area commands    1 corps support command
2 engineer commands    2 support brigades
1 military police command    2 medical brigades
1 theater army area command    4 hospital centers
3 civil affairs commands    5 hospitals (1,000-bed)
9 maneuver training commands    100 hospitals miscellaneous)
2 infantry brigades    1 IX Corps (augmentation)
1 mechanized infantry brigade    78 separate battalions


Army National Guard assigned strength fell to 355,721 in July 1977, a fourteen-year low. By the close of the fiscal year assigned strength had climbed to 363,777, still 12,364 less than the number one year earlier. Paid drill strength also declined from 366,841 on 30 September 1976 to 354,706 on 30 September 1977. Inactive National Guard strength at the close of the fiscal year was 1,629 as compared to 1,560 one year earlier.

A similar situation prevailed in the Army Reserve, where paid drill strength dropped from 191,919 on 30 September 1976 to 189,420 on 30 September 1977. Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) strength also declined to 149,427 on 30 September 1977, a loss of 68,194 during the year. Unless the trend is reversed, the IRR will be in excess of one third of a million persons short of mobilization requirements by 1982, a situation made even more acute because the peacetime selective service system is expected to take four months after mobilization to get organized and begin inductions and another three months are required to provide trained replacements for overseas duty.

The strength of the Standby Reserve, which is composed primarily of individuals in the sixth and final year of their military obligation, fell to 152,784 as of 30 September 1977 as compared to 184,478 on 30 Sep-


tember 1976. Retired Reserve strength increased from 376,037 to 386,368 during the same period.

During fiscal year 1977 the IRR voluntary mobilization preassignment program attracted some 12,800 applicants, approximately the same number as for the previous year. But losses due to expiration of terms of service exceeded gains, and the number preassigned dropped from 8,567 at the beginning of the year to about 7,000 at year's end. Plans are under way for testing an alternative preassignment program for all IRR members during fiscal year 1978.

The revitalization of the mobilization designation program, under way since early 1976, moved forward as problem areas were identified, responsibilities for correcting shortcomings established, and steps taken to put the program on a firmer footing. Those steps included consolidating policy into a single regulation, allocating positions to additional organizations, and, for a limited number of positions, the period between notification of recall to active duty and reporting for duty was reduced from thirty days to seven days.

Funds authorized to expand the Army Reserve recruiting force were insufficient to support fully Forces Command's plan to expand the force from 638 to 2,022, phase one of which was described in last year's report. The budgeted strength has been set at 1,992 (174 officers, 1,388 enlisted persons, and 430 civilians).

A program started on 1 October 1976 to process National Guard and Army Reserve recruits without prior service through Armed Forces Entrance and Examination Stations (AFEES). During the past year 54 percent of Army Reserve enlistments in that category were processed by AFEES, and 100 percent processing will begin some time in fiscal year 1978. The AFEES provided mental examinations for 3,779 Army National Guard recruits and physical examinations for 18,125 during the past year. The National Guard Bureau has encouraged the states to make greater use of the AFEES. The Army National Guard plans to place sixty-six guidance counselors in the stations during fiscal year 1978 and move to full processing in fiscal year 1979.

State officer candidate schools continued to be the primary source for newly commissioned officers in the Army National Guard, but emphasis was shifting to the accession of recent ROTC graduates. The Ohio National Guard's experimental tuition assistance program for members taking ROTC at Ohio University had an enrollment of fifty-six for the 1977-78 school year, an encouraging number that may influence other states to adopt similar programs.

The Army took a number of actions during the past year to improve recruitment, retention, and readiness of reserve component medical forces, many of which were in response to recommendations made in a Medical Department study in 1976. Those actions included providing malpractice


protection for medical personnel, establishing a more liberal assignment policy for medical officers, providing funds for attendance at professional short courses, waiving mandatory military education requirements for promoting certain Army Medical Department officers, and establishing a program that allows qualified medical and dental students who have completed their first year of professional schooling to be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Medical Service Corps pending eligibility for appointment in the Medical Corps or Dental Corps.

On 1 July 1977, the Army Reserve began a program to retain in troop program units selected commissioned and warrant officers who have twenty or more years of service. Because of the heavy initial workload, only colonels and lieutenant colonels will be considered in the program's first year. Retained officers will be considered every two years for further retention. Excluded are general officers, officers subject to mandatory removal dates fixed by statute, and officers below the grade of lieutenant colonel who have twice failed to be selected for mandatory promotion.

Since November 1975 a working group within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (one active Army, one National Guard, and one Army Reserve officer) has been developing officer objective force computer models for the reserve components, including the Individual Ready Reserve, to complement existing enlisted objective forces models. The three-member group completed its work on 30 September 1977, and responsibility for the models was transferred to the Reserve Components Personnel and Administration Center. The new models provide a description of officer objective forces by grade and years of service, including information on accession capabilities, retention rates, and promotion opportunities. Comparing the actual force to the objective force will help identify potential problems in appointment, promotion, and loss management. The objective force will also aid in long-range planning, programming, and budgeting.

Both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve began to use the Officer Personnel Management System (OPMS) in fiscal year 1977. Because some states lack sufficient manpower to administer the program, the National Guard Bureau has postponed the date for completing OPMS to 31 December 1978. As of 1 October 1977 OPMS was in full use in twenty-five percent of the states, half operational in fifty percent, and up to twenty-five percent operational in the remaining states. The Army Reserve completed Phase I of OPMS, involving some 10,000 officers in Army Readiness Region VI, on 30 September 1977. In fiscal year 1978 another 26,000 officers will be brought under the system in Army Readiness Regions I, III, VII and VIII. During fiscal year 1978 and 1980, the remaining 38,000 officers will be included.

Preparations for testing the Enlisted Personnel Management System (EPMS) in the Army Reserve were completed. The test, to be conducted in fiscal year 1978, will involve 5,000 Individual Ready Reservists.


Slow progress has been made in developing a Standard Installation/ Division Personnel System for the Reserve Components (SIDPERS-RC). Originally intended to replace the Reserve Personnel Information Reporting System and the Individual Ready, Standby, and Retired Reserve Personnel Systems, the SIDPERS-RC was expanded in October 1976 to cover the Army National Guard as well. At the close of the reporting period user requirements were being identified so that a detailed functional system requirement could be developed.

Army National Guard technician requirements increased from 32,210 in fiscal year 1976 to 32,369 in fiscal year 1977. Authorized technician strength for the year was 28,200, or 85.3 percent of requirements. On 30 September 1977, 27,598 technicians were assigned. Army Reserve technician strength was 8,622 at the close of the fiscal year, less than the number authorized, and considerably less than established requirements for 10,100 technicians.

Equipment and Maintenance

During the past year the logistical readiness of Army National Guard and Army Reserve troop program units continued to improve as the amount of equipment on hand increased by about ten percent. But guard and reserve units still lacked much of the major equipment required to perform wartime missions, and some items needed for training were also in short supply.

The Army National Guard received about $700 million worth of equipment in fiscal year 1977. The issues included tanks, M880 vehicles to replace M37's, UH-1H helicopters to replace the older UH-1B's, and tactical FM radios and multichannel communications equipment. A serious shortfall exists in 155-mm. and 8-inch self-propelled artillery, mortar carriers, and medium recovery vehicles.

The Army Reserve has on hand about eighty percent of the major equipment items required in war. There are shortages in such items as area communications equipment, self-propelled howitzers, automatic data processing equipment, and heavy engineer construction equipment. Available assets are being reallocated to high priority units. The organization of new artillery and signal units has been delayed because sufficient equipment for training is not available.


Army Reserve training centers, organizational maintenance shops, equipment concentration sites, and annual and week-end training areas are examples of facilities needed to support the Army Reserve's training requirements and mobilization mission and provided for in the Army Reserve military construction program. During fiscal year 1977 construction contracts for forty-seven projects costing $53.1 million were


awarded, and construction was completed on projects costing $52.9 million. Design continued on other projects valued at approximately $140 million.

During the past year the Corps of Engineers reduced Army Reserve facilities design and construction costs and obtained approval to use the same construction standards for both Army Reserve and Army National Guard facilities. Standard designs for annual training facilities were completed, and a design manual for Army Reserve centers was being prepared.

New obligational authority for the Army National Guard military construction program came to $61.0 million, or $1.7 million less than in fiscal year 1976. An additional $11.9 million in carry-over funds brought the amount available for the program to $72.9 million, of which $66.1 million was obligated. During the year contracts for 117 major construction projects were awarded, including 44 armories. The backlog at the close of the fiscal year was $586 million, $26 million less than one year earlier. Some sixty percent of the backlog is to replace, improve, or supplement armories. Of the National Guard's 2,771 armories, 603 are inadequate structures that waste training time, lower morale, do not allow proper equipment maintenance, and cause recruiting and retention problems and an overall decline in unit readiness. The remainder of the backlog is for administrative and logistical facilities, state-operated training sites, and two semiactive Army posts used for Army National Guard and Army Reserve training.

Training and Readiness

Inadequate strength has replaced lack of equipment as the most critical factor in the inability of the reserve components to meet readiness objectives. In August 1976 the Secretary of the Army directed the Army staff to develop ways to increase drill pay strength, improve the quality - of training, and raise the readiness status of reserve component units. The result was a comprehensive set of proposals that comprise the Reserve Component Readiness Improvement Package. The improvement package contained three principal segments: fiscal year 1978 budgeted initiatives; programmed initiatives for fiscal year 1979; and legislative proposals to increase the attractiveness of service in the reserve components.

The Army staff requested $111.8 million for fiscal year 1978, of which $50.7 million survived the budget cycle, including $24.1 million for the Army Reserve recruiting structure, $6.3 million for improving Army Reserve training, $6.2 million for the National Guard recruiting structure, and $3.9 million for Army Reserve recruiting advertising. In addition, Congress authorized $5 million to test the effectiveness of a reenlistment bonus in retaining trained personnel in the guard and reserve.


On 27 July 1977 the Vice Chief of Staff chaired a meeting of selected general officers to generate ideas to improve strength and readiness in the National Guard and the Army Reserve. A total of thirty-eight actions were developed. Major actions in recruiting give the Army Recruiting Command responsibility for Army Reserve recruiting and provide for varied enlistment options, national support programs, career counselor spaces, and professional development teams. Actions in individual training include split training options, short basic training with completion in units, programs to salvage trainees, self-paced instruction, accelerated distribution of training materials, and improved USAR-TRADOC school coordination. Other actions provide pay for those awaiting basic training, increase commissary and post exchange privileges, and improve ROTC assignments. On 29 August 1977, the Vice Chief of Staff approved three proposals of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel: reviewing grooming standards and education programs and equalizing male and female enlistment standards. All, improvements are expected to be in effect by the end of fiscal year 1978.

Collaboration of guard, reserve, and active Army units in the affiliation program has improved-training and-readiness of the reserve components. The current - program- includes- four round-out brigades, eleven round-out battalions, four augmentation brigades, four augmentation battalions, and forty-four other "deployment capability improvement" battalions, including engineer, signal, field artillery, and special forces units, designated for early mobilization in case of war. The program will be expanded in fiscal year 1978 to include approximately seventy reserve component companies and detachment-size combat support and combat service support units.

A board of active and reserve component engineer officers convened in December 1976 to study deficiencies in reserve component engineer units. Actions taken as a result included adjustments in the force structure to reflect the state of the art in equipment and doctrine for small, highly specialized engineer units; more realistic unit training (an example was the 412th Engineer Command's participation in the U.S. Army, Europe, exercise WINTEX in March 1977); and reserve component assistance to installation facilities engineers in operations and maintenance. And the gaining command program aligns reserve component units during peacetime with their wartime command and control headquarters and provides more specific training and mission guidance to unit commanders.

Participating in LOGEX-77, a Joint Chiefs of Staff' command post exercise held at Fort Pickett, Virginia, from 11 through 24 June 1977, were seventeen active Army, fourteen Army National Guard, and twenty-eight Army Reserve units. The scenario based on a short (sixty-day) conventional war, involved an independent corps of three and one-third divisions, plus Navy and Air Force elements. Objectives were to


train participants in command and staff relationships for combat support and combat service support, stressing interdependence among the services; to emphasize the interrelationships between combat support and combat service support organizations, activities, and functions; and to stress current doctrine and introduce new concepts for combat support and combat service support.

MOBEX 76, which is described in Chapter III, revealed the lack of a clearly defined exemption policy for members of the selected reserve during mobilization. Historically, many members of mobilized units have been exempted based upon criteria existing at the time a mobilization was announced. A new policy, approved by the Department of Defense on 1 July 1977, will bar such exemptions in the future.

Innovations during the year in individual training included shortening the periods of basic training, developing programs to reduce trainee dropouts, using more self-paced instruction, improving the distribution of training materials, and improving contacts between Army Reserve and active Army schools.

In other training activities, 40,728 members of the Army National Guard participated in school training programs during fiscal year 1977. Another 54,079 were enrolled in Army correspondence courses. Army National Guard aviators flew 337,611 hours, 103.13 percent of the 327,324 hours programmed, in individual training, unit training, and support missions. Major training programs covered instrument qualification, aerial gunnery, terrain flying qualification, and day and night unit tactical training.

Support to Civil Authorities

In its role as the organized militia of the states, the Army National Guard responded to the call of civil authorities on 217 occasions during fiscal year 1977. More than 19,737 guardsmen from forty-four states participated.

National Guardsmen were placed on state active duty nine times to assist local authorities in controlling civil disorders. Incidents in eight different states involved 5,965 troops. They were committed on seven occasions. Incidents included four public employee strikes, one demonstration, one prison disorder, and three potential civil disturbances. Units assigned to civil disturbance control operations conducted up to twenty hours of refresher training in control operations.

Some 13,772 guardsmen assisted civil authorities during 208 emergencies in forty states. Natural disasters accounted for 88 call-ups: 29 forest fires, 22 floods, 7 tornados, 27 blizzards, a volcanic eruption, a hurricane, and drought conditions. The 120 other emergencies included 43 searches and rescues, 33 water hauls, 11 medical evacuations, 11 support missions, and 7 security missions. Traffic control, chemical spills,


power outages, a train derailment, and delivery of emergency fuel accounted for the remainder.

The Army Reserve's 273d Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) was at the forefront in evacuating victims after an explosion in the harbor at Houston, Texas, and became the first Army Reserve unit authorized by the Department of Defense to participate in the Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic program. Other air medical units were expected to enter this program; it may become an important peacetime mission for the Army Reserve.



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Last updated 27 August 2004