Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1978
Readiness to meet any threat to the nation's security is the primary mission of the U.S. Army in peacetime. The single most important factor in readiness, often overlooked or taken for granted in discussions of sophisticated equipment and weapons systems, is people. Ultimately the readiness of the entire force depends on the individual soldier. But the soldiers in the active Army must be backed up by the reserve components and the civilian work force, for all three elements are essential. In fiscal year 1978 the Army had over 1,700,000 personnel-men and women, military and civilian, active and reserve-serving in the United States and its territories and in eighty-nine foreign countries. Manpower costs totaled $20 billion, or 62 percent of the Army's budget.
In the continuing debate over the volunteer concept, this year criticism often centered on the high cost of manpower. The General Accounting Office, for example, estimated that converting the draft system to the all-volunteer force had already cost American taxpayers more than $18 billion. Defense and Army spokesmen protested that this estimate was unfair, since it included $14 billion for higher pay and allowances for junior enlisted personnel and junior officers, which were necessary to raise their very low standard of living and not related to the adoption of the volunteer force. Furthermore, they pointed out that Congress had acknowledged the principle of pay comparability between the military services and the private sector before the draft ended.
According to Department of Defense officials, a return to the draft would save about $500 million a year through substantial cuts in recruiting resources, advertising, and enlistment bonuses. Larger savings could be achieved "only if the military services reduced pay for junior enlisted personnel to the minimum wage, thereby shifting the economic burden of defense from the taxpayers back to those who would be drafted. In his annual report to Congress, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown stated, "While $500 million is a large sum, it clearly is not a major portion of the cost of manpower. We do not believe that the American people would favor a return to the draft to achieve a dollar saving that represents less than one half of one percent of the total Defense budget."
As the budget was formulated for fiscal year 1978, the authorized end strength of the active Army was revised several times from a high of 790,000 in the Army Program Objective Memorandum to a congressionally approved strength of 787,000. When it appeared that Congress would establish a ceiling of 771,700 for fiscal year 1979, the Army further reduced the year-end strength to 774,200 to be more in line with next year.
Actual military strength decreased from 781,763 on 30 September 1977 to a low of 762,701 in May 1978. By the end of the fiscal year it had increased to 771,138, or 98.0 percent of the figure authorized by Congress and 99.6 percent of the adjusted Army goal.
On 30 September 1978 the breakdown of active Army strength was as follows:
|Authorized by Congress||Revised by
Although the Army failed to reach its authorized end strength, it met established levels of unit manning. The Army also managed its strength better than before and was able to minimize over- and undermanning extremes.
In order to maintain an effective enlisted force, the Army must attract and retain sufficient numbers of highly qualified and committed volunteers who are ready, willing, and able to meet any challenge. Unfortunately, attrition rates for young men during their first term of military service have increased markedly during fiscal years 1974-76. One-fourth of those who enlisted during fiscal year 1971 left the Army without completing three years of service; fiscal year 1974 male recruits had an attrition rate of 40 percent.
Part of the high attrition rates can be attributed to special programs adopted during the volunteer era to identify and discharge undisciplined and unproductive soldiers as early as possible, since early separations cost less and are less disruptive. The Army, however; shared the general concern over recent attrition trends and took a number of actions to reduce first term
attrition. These included: improving management techniques, such as matching a soldier's assignment more closely to his training, aptitude, and interests; improving leadership and training; supporting efforts to raise the quality of life for soldiers in general and particularly for junior enlisted personnel; and, most important of all, selecting more recruits who were high school graduates and in the upper mental categories. As a result, attrition rates began declining during fiscal year 1977 and continued declining during fiscal year 1978.
Last year the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel conducted a study to determine reliable methods of predicting attrition and identifying individuals likely to complete their initial tour of duty. The most significant finding was that the higher the educational level of a recruit, the more likely he was to fulfill his enlistment obligation. The first term attrition rate for high school graduates was about half that of nongraduates. Within the same educational level, losses increased in proportion to decreases in mental aptitude, as measured by the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The study also showed that age and sex were significant factors. Recruits under eighteen or over twenty-two years of age tended to leave the Army at a higher rate than those in the eighteen to twenty-two age group. Female attrition during the first thirty-six months of service averaged 10 to 15 percent higher than male attrition for the same educational level and mental group.
This study enabled the Army to develop a more cost-effective recruiting program for fiscal year 1978. Since a high school diploma was the single most reliable predictor of attrition, the Army denied enlistment to certain groups of non-high school graduates, including women, individuals in mental category IV, male seventeen-year olds in mental group IIIB, and men twenty-three years and older or in mental category IIIB who had not completed the eleventh grade. (Mental categories I-IIIA represent the upper half of those tested; individuals in mental group V, the lowest category, are not eligible for military service.) Furthermore, because attrition was the lowest among male high school graduates in the upper mental categories, recruiters concentrated their efforts on enlisting as many of these young men as possible.
Success in retaining larger numbers of soldiers permitted the active Army to set its fiscal year 1978 combined recruiting objective for the enlisted force at 137,000, which was 45,200 less than last year's goal and the lowest annual requirement since the beginning of the volunteer era. Nevertheless, only 134,428 men
and women enlisted, and the 98.1 percent recruiting rate was the lowest in the last five years. Most of the shortage was in the category of young men with no prior military service, as shown in the table below.
Fiscal Year 1978 Recruiting Statistics
|NPS males (percent of HSDG)||109,300|| 106,512
|NPS females (percent of HSDG)||17,600|| 17,517
|NPS total (percent of HSDG)||126,900|| 124,029
PS-prior service; NPS-nonprior service; HSDG-high school diploma graduates.
Factors contributing to the low recruiting rate included a substantial decrease in national unemployment, which further reduced the propensity of young men to enlist, and the Army's insistence on recruiting a large percentage of high school graduates. Of the males with no prior service recruited this year, 70 percent had high school diplomas, compared to only 56.2 percent in fiscal year 1977, but the number of nonprior service males with diplomas was the lowest since the draft ended. Since 96 percent of female recruits had diplomas, high school graduates represented 73.7 percent of total nonprior service accessions for the year, a new record for the all-volunteer Army.
Last year the proportion of recruits in mental group I-IIIA dropped to 45.7 percent from a high of 57.6 percent achieved in fiscal year 1975. This year 43.3 percent of the men and 100 percent of the women without prior service were in these upper mental categories, for a combined total of 51.3 percent. Another 38.2 percent were in mental group IIIB and only 10.5 percent were in mental group IV, the lowest acceptable category. Blacks made up 33.7 percent of total enlisted accessions for fiscal year 1978, compared to 29.0 percent for the previous year.
For the first time the Army had difficulty recruiting women. The Office of the Secretary of Defense set the goal for the Army of 80,000 enlisted women by the end of fiscal year 1983. This required the active Army to enlist 17,600 women this year, an increase of 18 percent over last year's goal.
In order to use these larger numbers of women more effectively, the Army decided to enlist them in the skills in which they were most needed. This policy in turn required limits on the number of women enlisted in certain traditional female specialties that had attracted many volunteers in the past. Recruiting
results for women were thus consistently below target from January to June 1978, even though resources were diverted from the male to the female recruiting effort. The Secretary of the Army therefore lowered the minimum Armed Forces Women's Selection Test score required for enlistment from 59 to 50. This action had an immediate effect. The Army was able to achieve 99.5 percent of its female recruiting objective for the year and to enlist 2,553 more women than last year.
The Army's recruiting budget was $210.2 million in fiscal year 1978, compared to $193 million in fiscal year 1977. It included $36.3 million in advertising. The cost per accession averaged $1,560 compared to $1,068 per accession in fiscal year 1977.
To encourage high school graduates in the upper mental categories to enlist for four years in critical, hard-to-fill specialties, such as the combat arms and certain highly technical skills, the Army again offered bonuses of up to $2,500. At the end of the fiscal year enlistment bonuses were available in twenty-seven military occupational specialties. The Army also offered reenlistment bonuses in 113 specialties as incentives for qualified soldiers to remain in skills considered unattractive or easily transferred to the civilian job market.
This year the active Army surpassed its reenlistment objectives both for first term and career personnel. There was continued improvement in the quality of reenlistees. The number of individuals requiring waivers decreased once again. The proportion of soldiers reenlisting with high school diplomas or general education development program certificates increased 2.3 percent over the previous year, 28.5 percent over fiscal year 1972. The following table provides a breakdown of this year's reenlistment statistics.
Fiscal Year 1978 Reenlistment Statistics
|Objectives||Achievement||Percent Achieved||Percent of
High School Graduates
Changes in the 1977 reenlistment program which were discussed in last year's historical summary contributed to this year's impressive reenlistment results. To further increase reenlist-
ments two more changes were made in January 1978. First, the Army reinstated on a test basis an option that had been very popular before it was discontinued in 1975. It guaranteed first term reenlistees another station of their choice within the continental United States, provided a vacancy existed in the appropriate specialty and grade. The Army also established a new program which allowed soldiers in specialties with too many people to extend for formal school retraining in certain skills with personnel shortages. Upon successful completion of the training, a soldier could reenlist in his new specialty and draw a selective reenlistment bonus.
Despite the success of the Army's reenlistment program, there still were critical shortages in some specialties. Efforts to identify problem areas and determine appropriate solutions were under way at the end of the year.
In March 1978 the Army finished converting all enlisted career management fields and military occupational specialties under the Enlisted Personnel Management System. Before the conversion there were 36 enlisted career fields with 451 specialties; now there are 30 fields and 345 specialties. The last group of career management fields (CMF) implemented this year included CMF 19 (Armor), which had been part of CMF 11 (Maneuver Combat Arms). Under the present system, CMF 11 covers only infantry, while armor has its own career field.
An important element of the system is the skill qualification test (SQT), which evaluates a soldier's ability to perform the critical tasks required by his specialty at his current and the next higher grade. The test began last year for three career management fields containing 89,023 soldiers, or, about 13 percent of the enlisted force.
During the year skill qualification tests were instituted for five more fields, bringing 23,368 more soldiers under the program. Although problems have plagued the program since its inception, most were typical growing pains and did not dissuade the Army of its value in training and personnel management. It is a great improvement over the written MOS evaluation test.
MOS testing had been terminated in January 1977 to release resources for development of skill qualification tests. But budget and manpower cutbacks hampered TRADOC's ability to produce SQT's. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel revised the SQT schedule and established new priorities in August 1978. Tests for specialties with the largest numbers of soldiers would be developed first, and SQT's for an entire career management field would be instituted at the same time to avoid actual or
perceived inequities. Most important, no soldier's opportunity for promotion was to be jeopardized as the result of the transition to skill qualification testing.
This year for the first time the Army used results of skill qualification tests to determine eligibility for reenlistment and promotion. Starting in January 1978, SQT scores of 60 percent or higher or at least in the 11th percentile were required for reenlistment. After 31 May 1978 soldiers had to achieve scores of 80 percent or be in the top half of their MOS to qualify for promotion to grades E-5 and E-6.
The Army revised the procedure for computing promotion points to reflect SQT scores as well as other changes in promotion criteria. The total possible points remained 1,000, but points in various categories were redistributed. A maximum of 150 points each could be awarded for SQT results and for the enlisted evaluation report weighted average. There were some major changes in the education category. Instead of 100 points for civilian education and 125 points for military training, the new system allowed a maximum of 200 points using any combination of civilian and military schooling. Since current policy requires all E-5's competing for promotion to E-6 to have a high school diploma, points were no longer given for high school attendance. E-4's, however, still received 15 points for each year of high school completed. College credit increased from one-half point to one point per hour. In the military education category, the number of points for correspondence courses was reduced to be more in line with points for resident training.
Changes were also made in the Army's qualitative management program. The purpose of the program is to raise the quality and professionalism of the enlisted force by denying reenlistment to unsatisfactory performers and improving career progression and promotion opportunity for individuals who are better qualified. In the past, regularly scheduled centralized promotion boards screened all personnel in grades E-6 through E-8 and E-5's with eleven or more years of service, and command sergeants major selection boards reviewed all personnel in grade E-9 (sergeants major and command sergeants major). This year the Army exempted soldiers who had completed twenty-eight years of active federal service and command sergeants major, regardless of time in service, from the qualitative screening process. An ineffective command sergeant major, however, could be removed from the command sergeants major program and included in the normal qualitative screening procedure as a sergeant major.
On the other hand, there are special provisions for retaining a small number of outstanding command sergeants major beyond the usual thirty years of service. During their twenty-eighth year of active federal service all command sergeants major are considered for retention to thirty-five years of service or age fifty-five, whichever occurs first. In the past the Army selected five command sergeants major for retention each year. Under a new policy approved in February 1978 by the Chief of Staff, a minimum of five command sergeants major will be selected annually, but more than five may be selected when the total number of command sergeants major on active duty beyond thirty years of service is less than twenty-five.
The enlisted grade structure remained relatively stable in fiscal year 1978. At the end of the year 64 percent of the enlisted force was in the top six grades, compared to 62 percent at the end of fiscal year 1977. The Army, however, was planning to increase strength in grades E-4 through E-8 by about 15,000 over the next five years, while concurrently decreasing strength in the lower enlisted grades. As a result, the proportion of career soldiers was expected to increase from the current 45 percent to 49 percent, or almost half of the enlisted force. These plans were approved by the Secretary of Defense on 22 September 1978. The following table compares the Army's budgeted and actual enlisted end strength by grade for fiscal years 1977 and 1978.
Enlisted Grade Structure
|Grade||30 September 1977||30 September 1978|
Critics of the volunteer concept have often implied that today's average soldier is too uneducated to deal successfully with the sophisticated weapons of modern warfare. In response to such statements Army leaders have pointed out that the educational level of the enlisted force has been improving consistently since the end of the draft. At the end of fiscal year 1978-the fifth full year of the all-volunteer force-74 percent of active Army enlisted personnel had at least a high school diploma or
the equivalent. Another 9.5 percent had some college education, and 2.3 percent were college graduates. Only 14.2 percent of the enlisted force had not completed high school, compared to 16.4 percent in fiscal year 1977, 22.1 percent in fiscal year 1975, and 28.7 percent in fiscal year 1973.
The officer strength of the active Army, which reached a post-World War II peak of 172,367 in 1969, has been declining steadily during the 1970's. At the beginning of fiscal year 1978 there were 97,255 officers in the active Army. In April 1978 officer strength dropped to 95,672, the lowest level since 1950, and then rose again to 97,301 by 30 September 1978. The following table gives a breakdown of active Army officer strength by grade.
Officer Grade Structure 30 September 1978
Despite the Army's repeated requests to stabilize officer strength at about the 98,000 level, the Secretary of Defense directed a further reduction to 95,495 by the end of fiscal year 1979. As of 30 September 1978, however, Congress had not yet established the budgeted end strength for the next fiscal year.
This year officer accessions totaled 10,316, an increase of 477 or 4.85 percent from fiscal year 1977. As shown below, 4,537 or 44 percent of officers entered the Army through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), which continued to be the largest single source of new Army officers.
|United States Military Academy||975|
|Reserve Officers' Training Corps||4,537|
|Officer Candidate School||651|
|Voluntary active duty||208|
|Judge Advocate General's Corps, chaplains, and Medical Service Corps||359|
|Nurses and medical specialists||867|
* Includes administrative gains such as recall from retired list and interservice transfers.
During the 1977/78 school year, 59,677 students (45,381 men and 14,296 women) were enrolled in Army ROTC, a gain of 5,006 over the previous year. About 22 percent of ROTC cadets were black, 5 percent were members of other minorities, and 24 percent were women. While total enrollment has increased, the desired levels of enrollment, especially for third year military science students, have not been attained. This means that the significant officer shortfall in the reserve components will increase. The Army supports greater use of scholarships as a cost-effective means of increasing enrollment substantially and attracting high quality individuals. The number of ROTC units decreased from 291 in 1973/74 to 280 at the beginning of the 1977/78 academic year and 275 by the end of the year. As a result of an intensive management plan to improve units with low enrollments, the Army consolidated small ROTC units in the same area into consortiums and established ROTC extension centers, which trained students from another institution together with students of the host unit.
A total of 6,500 students, the maximum authorized by law, received Army ROTC scholarships for the 1977/78 school year. There were 2,699 four-year scholarships, 2,513 three-year scholarships, 1,032 two-year scholarships, and 256 one-year scholarships. The Army was unsuccessful in its request for 5,500 additional scholarships. Only 11 percent of Army ROTC cadets had scholarships, compared to 76 percent for the Navy and 38 percent for the Air Force.
This year 1,783 students participated in the Army's Health Professions Scholarship Program. There were 537 graduates (362 in medicine, 126 in dentistry, 32 in veterinary medicine, and 17 in optometry), and 390 new participants (352 in medicine, 26 in veterinary medicine, and 12 in optometry). The number of scholarship applicants was 853, compared to 1,482 in fiscal year 1977. As a result of the decreasing value of benefits offered, the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program has become less competitive with other federal subsidy
programs, such as the National Health Services Corps Scholarship Program sponsored by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The Army has proposed legislation to correct these deficiencies and increase participation.
The third freshman class consisting of 108 students entered the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine at Bethesda, Maryland. As of 30 September 1978 a total of 206 students were attending the university. Of these, 77 were designated as Army participants: 40 in the class of 1982, 25 in the class of 1981, and 12 in the class of 1980, which will be the first graduating class.
The Army Medical Department (AMEDD) acquired 2,542 new officers this year, a substantial increase over last year's 2,134 accessions. The following table breaks down officer procurement for fiscal year 1978 by source.
Army Medical Department Officer Accessions by Source for Fiscal Year 1978
|Medical Corps (MC)||451||43||326||64||884|
|Dental Corps (DC)||123||23||87||1||234|
|Veterinary Corps (VC)||26||6||5||0||37|
|Medical Service Corps (MSC)||18||292||140||62||512|
|Army Nurse Corps (ANC)||0||32||635||96||763|
|Army Medical Specialist Corps (AMSC)||0||3||31||47||81|
The officer strength of the Army Medical Department increased from 14,973 to 15,266 during the year, surpassing the authorized end strength of 15,002. The authorized strength, however, was based primarily on estimates of the number of officers expected to be on active duty, and did not reflect the recognized requirements for AMEDD officers, which were much higher. Only the Dental and Veterinary Corps did not meet their authorized end strengths this year. None of the AMEDD branches reached recognized requirements due to overall manpower allocations made in response to budgetary limitations. The largest shortages were in the Medical Corps and the Army Nurse Corps, as shown in the table below.
Army Medical Department Commissioned Officer Strength 30 September 1978
|Recognized Requirement||Authorized Strength||Actual
|Percent of Shortage|
|Recognized Requirement||Authorized Strength||Actual
|Shortage from Recognized Requirement||Percent of Shortage|
At the beginning of fiscal year 1978 the actual strength of the Army Nurse Corps was 3,559. By the end of the year it had risen to 3,872. Of these 1,003 were Regular Army officers, 1,304 were career reservists, and 1,565 were obligated or first term officers. The number of men increased from 25 to 26 percent of total corps strength during the year. A concerted recruiting effort brought 763 new nurses into the active Army, compared to 435 active duty accessions in fiscal year 1977. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing graduated its final class in June 1978, but more ROTC graduates entered the Army Nurse Corps this year and enrollment of nursing students in ROTC showed a marked increase. Financial assistance for nursing students continued to be available through ROTC programs at many universities.
The number of Dental Corps officers on active duty declined from 1,876 to 1,794, and fell 4 percent short of the authorized year-end strength. A major source of future dental officers was eliminated this year when the Health Professions Scholarship Program was discontinued for new dental students. The scholarship termination had an immediate negative effect on the recruitment of dentists. With an objective of 325 dental officers, the active Army was able to recruit only 234 dentists, 60 fewer than last year. Selected Dental Corps officers scheduled for release once again were encouraged to remain on active duty. Since the most critical shortage was in oral surgery, the Chief of the Dental Corps sent a special letter of information to every school and hospital in the United States where an oral surgery residency was conducted to attract volunteers.
Veterinary Corps officer strength continued declining, dropping to 378 by the end of September 1978. There were 405 on 30 September 1977 and 434 on 30 June 1976. Erosion of benefits remained a major deterrent to recruitment, and only forty-three veterinarians entered the active Army this year.
The Medical Service Corps, which has the greatest diversity of skills within the Army Medical Department, was able to recruit enough officers during 1978 for all specialties except nuclear medical science, sanitary engineering, and optometry. The
strength of the corps remained virtually unchanged, starting at 4,620 and ending at 4,629.
Officer accessions were also sufficient to meet the needs of the Army Medical Specialist Corps, which had 452 officers at the beginning of the fiscal year and ended with 453. This corps consists of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and dietitians. Because of the shortage of orthopedic surgeons, the Surgeon General assigned twenty additional spaces for physical therapists to serve as health care extenders in evaluating musculoskeletal disorders.
Last year the Army phased out its military physician's assistant training program, and this year twenty-one civilian-trained physician's assistants entered active duty. Since recruits from civilian sources alone apparently will not meet anticipated requirements for physician's assistants, starting in fiscal year 1979 the Army will either reopen its own training program or use Air Force training facilities. Individuals entering the program next year will graduate in fiscal year 1981. A special conference was held in December 1977 to review problems associated with physician's assistants in the Army.
After declining steadily for several years, the number of Medical Corps officers in the active Army increased during fiscal year 1978 from 4,056 to 4,140 and exceeded the authorized end strength of 4,009 by 3.3 percent. Active duty accessions for the year totaled 980, with the majority coming from the Health Professions Scholarship Program. Greater emphasis on recruiting fully qualified volunteer physicians brought 326 doctors into the Medical Corps this year, more than twice the fiscal year 1977 total of 147. Intensified recruiting, better management of Medical Corps officers, and special efforts to retain more doctors in the Army continued to receive top priority.
Significant accomplishments included a new Professional Services Directorate in the Office of the Surgeon General, with a general officer serving as Director and Chief, Medical Corps Affairs; publication of a quarterly bulletin for Medical Corps personnel summarizing the major actions of the Office of the Surgeon General, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Congress; development of three separate career tracks for Medical Corps officers, executive, clinical, and research and development; and establishment of the Surgeon General's Physician Recognition Award for outstanding service by Medical Corps officers, which offered a 21-day sabbatical at an accredited civilian or military institution of the physician's choice.
The actual strength of the Medical Corps at the end of fiscal
year 1978 was still 29.5 percent below the recognized requirement for active duty physicians. The doctor shortage has been a serious problem throughout the volunteer era since the end of the draft eliminated the major source of Army physicians. The all-volunteer Army would have great difficulty in meeting mobilization requirements and providing adequate medical support in time of war. Another consequence is reduced readiness to support disaster relief and contingencies short of mobilization. The doctor shortage has caused delays in health care, temporary interruptions of certain specialty services, and frequent referral of patients other than active duty soldiers to the cost-sharing Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). Unfortunately, greater reliance on CHAMPUS has reduced morale and increased the total cost of health care.
The Army has taken a number of interim steps to relieve these problems. It has contracted for specialty health services, purchased supplemental health care, hired more civilian physicians, and expanded use of health care extenders, physician's assistants, and other paramedics. Such measures, however, are expensive and inefficient. Furthermore, they cannot be substituted to meet readiness requirements. Stronger incentives for physicians to select military service as a career are needed for a permanent solution. Most important are a Health Professions Scholarship Program that is more competitive with other federal programs, stabilized compensation reasonably comparable to income in the private sector, and greater opportunity for professional growth and development.
During fiscal year 1978 the number of officer promotions declined for the first time in four years. Excluding Medical and Dental Corps personnel, 470 officers were promoted to colonel, 1,337 to lieutenant colonel, 2,350 to major, 2,925 to captain, 319 to chief warrant officer, W-4, and 1,021 to chief warrant officer, W-3. Starting in February 1978 the time-in-service requirement for promotion to captain increased from forty-eight to fifty-four months. The change is being phased in over an eighteen-month period. Time-in-grade and time-in service criteria for promotion to other grades remained the same.
The Army's Officer Personnel Management System (OPMS), which replaced the traditional generalist philosophy of officer development, requires each commissioned officer to develop expertise in a primary and alternate specialty during his career. Last year for the first time OPMS specialties were considered in promotion selection to colonel. This year the Army directed the board
that selected officers for promotion to the grade of lieutenant colonel to consider the candidates' primary and alternate specialties. The board received a list of OPMS specialties in which a shortage of lieutenant colonels was expected during the next twelve months with instructions to search diligently for the officers best qualified for promotion in these specialties. But no promotion quotas were set for specialties with projected shortages.
Last year the Secretary of the Army established relook boards to reconsider promoting officers who were not selected for temporary promotion to lieutenant, colonel, CW-4, or CW-3 in 1971 and 1972 by boards without reserve officers. These new boards with the appropriate number of reserve officers met between 13 September 1977 and 20 March 1978. As a result of their recommendations 812 officers still on active duty may be eligible for retroactive promotion and 123 former officers may apply to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records for some manner of relief.
In 1974 the Department of Defense proposed the most comprehensive legislation since 1947 to update the laws governing the appointment, promotion, separation, and retirement of commissioned officers. The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act has been submitted to Congress three times. This year Army leaders, again participating in congressional hearings, urged its passage. On 14 February 1978 the House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 351 to 7, but the Senate still had not taken any action by the end of the fiscal year. Meanwhile, the Army staff was helping the Office of the Secretary of Defense prepare the proposal for resubmission to the 96th Congress.
Manpower and Personnel Management
Since the Army is the largest federal agency, managing its personnel is an immense and challenging task. As a result of an extensive resource management study undertaken last year, this year the Vice Chief of Staff approved a realignment of Army staff responsibilities. Effective 1 October 1978 various manpower management functions will be transferred from the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, the Inspector General, and the Comptroller of the Army and consolidated under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. In July 1978, the Chief x of Staff directed a complete review of military personnel management in the active Army to correct deficiencies and provide a systematic, integrated approach.
Borrowed military manpower, which refers to soldiers who
perform recurring or constant work other than their assigned work, remained a major issue. The Army revised its manpower management policy to permit commanders to use military personnel to offset civilian attrition. However, the prohibition remained against replacing civilians lost through reduction-in-force. Recognizing the mounting competition for shrinking resources, the Army changed the reporting procedures for borrowed military manpower to include more detailed data on its use and to show more precisely how much of the work was related to the soldier's specialty or his unit's assigned mission.
The new reporting system disclosed which functional areas were using borrowed military manpower, its impact on readiness, and how it could be corrected. During fiscal year 1978 the Army used the full-time equivalent of about 14,200 soldiers as borrowed military manpower, a number large enough to fill about seven combat brigades. Of these 76 percent were performing jobs related to their specialty or mission, while 24 percent were not.
Efforts continued to reduce the military grade imbalances reflected in personnel authorization documents and the Army's budgeted grade structure. The ad hoc group organized in May 1977 to study this problem determined that among the factors contributing to the grade imbalance were inadequate wading standards and incorrect application of existing standards by major Army commands, which approved about 98 percent of all personnel authorizations. The group recommended imposing mandatory grade ceilings on major commands, but a general officer steering group did not approve this proposal. Further study showed that the Army needed more comprehensive grading standards and manpower accountability procedures.
In April 1978 the Army revised the procedure for changing personnel and equipment authorizations. In the past field commands could request changes at any time. Under the new system, proposed changes may be submitted to the Army staff only between January and March and between July and September of each year, although exceptions can be made in particularly urgent cases. This arrangement not only enables field commands to request changes in a more systematic manner, but also allows the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, which reviews the requests, and the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, which operates the computerized authorization documents systems, to handle them more efficiently.
Reducing personnel turbulence has been a matter of high priority in recent years as a means of increasing operational
readiness, improving the quality of military life by creating a more stable environment, and lowering the costs of moving soldiers and their dependents from station to station. Since 1975 the Army has taken a number of steps in this direction. As a result the time between moves has increased, the number of moves has declined, while the total costs of moves has begun to level off despite inflationary increases in the cost per move. The following table shows the progress.
Permanent Changes of Station Moves and Costs
|FY 74||FY 75||FY 76||FY 77||FY 78|
|Average months between moves||21.4||-||24.7||26.4||29.3|
The figures given above for fiscal year 1977 include 19,500 moves and $38 million to eliminate involuntary overseas tour extensions. The Army's overseas commitments accounted for 48 percent of all permanent changes of station and 73 percent of moving costs in fiscal year 1978.
Congress continued to show great interest in personnel turbulence and the associated moving costs. In December 1977 the Department of Defense issued a directive announcing new assignment policies specifically designed to alleviate the problem. There would be no permanent changes of station within the continental United States solely due to the passage of a stipulated period of time. Assignment procedures would permit tour completion, encourage voluntary tour extension, and consider cost. First term personnel who enlisted for three years would be given only one assignment after initial training unless required to serve a short tour, in which case two assignments would be permitted. General officer assignments would be for a minimum of two years. Insofar as possible, assignments in the United States would be for three years or more. This provision, however, would not apply to individuals ordered overseas, and a two-year minimum would apply for officers selected to attend a senior service college. The Army began carrying out the new policies in February 1978. The Defense directive also guaranteed homebase or advanced assignment for personnel in grades E-5 through O-5 stationed in unaccompanied tour areas, but this policy had already been in effect in the Army since January 1976.
While the Army supported efforts to reduce personnel turbulence, decrease moving costs, and provide greater tour stability, it also initiated action to shorten tour lengths in Europe to
twenty-four months for soldiers with no dependents who enlisted for four or more years. These soldiers have been serving a minimum of thirty-six months overseas and many spent up to forty-two months in Europe. Such long overseas tours for young bachelors have caused morale and discipline problems. Reducing the tour length should alleviate these problems, would return the soldiers early enough to permit an eighteen-month tour in the United States before the expiration of their enlistment, and could improve the reenlistment rate for this group. A request for $7.3 million for 5,400 additional moves to accomplish the tour reduction was included in the Army's fiscal year 1979 budget, which had not been approved by Congress as of 30 September 1978.
In other actions related to tour lengths, the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel considered ways of reducing tours for three-year enlistees. The U.S. Army, Europe, and the Army Research Institute worked on a study on optimum tour length, the need for shorter tours, and the savings which would result. Meanwhile members of Congress were discussing the merits of a two-year enlistment option for the combat arms.
Pay, Leave, and Travel
The President's Commission on Military Compensation, appointed by President Carter in June 1977, published its report on 10 April 1978. The commission concluded that the present system of basic pay and tax-free allowances for quarters and subsistence is preferable to a fully taxable salary for military personnel. But the report stated that this system and policies concerning pay raises, bonuses, and incentive pay should be modified. The Secretary of Defense, for example, should have discretionary authority to make differential reallocations of annual pay raises. Finding that service members stationed in high cost-of-living areas and junior enlisted personnel in general bore undue financial burdens, the pay panel proposed a variable basic allowance for quarters to reflect geographic differences in housing costs and certain entitlements for junior enlisted personnel normally granted only to higher grades, such as allowances for travel and transportation of household goods. The commission also noted widespread dissatisfaction with military health care, especially for dependents, and recommended a thorough study of how it might be improved.
Perhaps the most significant proposal was a radically changed military retirement system. The commission suggested a new noncontributory retirement plan based on an old-age annuity, a
deferred compensation trust fund, and severance pay for personnel involuntarily separated with five or more years of service. Military and civil service retirement plans would be coordinated, dual compensation would be eliminated, and retired military pay would be adjusted when social security benefits began. Individuals on their second enlistment, beyond their initial term of obligated service, or in their fifth year of military service, would be permitted to retire under the old rules, but all others would come under the new system. The President has directed the Secretary of Defense to review the commission's recommendations and to propose appropriate legislation in time for the opening session of the 96th Congress in January 1979.
Before the commission submitted its report, the Department of Defense had already taken action to reduce some of the financial burdens of junior enlisted personnel. The fiscal year 1979 budget included a request for funds to extend overseas travel and transportation entitlements, currently limited to grades E-5 and above and to E-4's with more than two years of service, to junior enlisted personnel. The Army's share of the requested funds was $47.4 million ($41.3 million in permanent change of station funds and $6.1 million in overseas station allowances). The new program would allow married junior enlisted personnel assigned to overseas duty stations to ship their household goods and automobiles at government expense and authorize travel, temporary lodgings, and cost of living allowances. Soldiers who did not wish to take their families and household goods overseas would be authorized to relocate them within the United States. Single or unaccompanied junior enlisted personnel would also benefit. They would be permitted to ship their automobiles and up to 500 pounds of baggage, more than double the present 225-pound limit.
During the congressional appropriation hearings Army leaders emphasized that junior enlisted travel (JET) funds should be recognized as part of the cost of fulfilling the Army's overseas mission. They pointed out that the present system saves the taxpayer's money only at the expense of the lowest paid enlisted personnel. In today's Army approximately one-third of the soldiers in grades E-1 through E-4 are married, compared to about one-fourth ten years ago. Thus increasing numbers of soldiers face either severe financial hardship or enforced family separations for extended periods, both of which have had an adverse effect on marital stability among young service families.
At present about 68 percent of married junior enlisted personnel maintain their dependents in Europe at their own
expense. The Army estimates that the new program would increase the number of families in Europe by 4,000 and the number of dependents by 5,000. In order to qualify for the benefits, however, junior enlisted personnel would have to agree to serve longer tours overseas. The JET program is a key element of the Army's commitment to provide a reasonable quality of life for all soldiers. This commitment, in turn, should attract and retain high quality soldiers willing and able to commit themselves fully to the Army.
The House Appropriations Committee supported junior enlisted travel benefits, but imposed a 1,500-pound limitation on household goods. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted against the proposal on the grounds that it would increase the number of dependents overseas and place more individuals under the financial strain already experienced by Americans living abroad as a result of the shrinking value of the dollar. The JET program was brought up on the floor of the Senate as an amendment to the fiscal year 1979 Defense Appropriations Authorization Bill and was sent to a joint conference committee for resolution.
In another effort to improve morale and efficiency, an interservice committee chaired by the Army recommended a funded environmental and morale leave program for all military personnel serving a minimum of twenty-four months at certain isolated locations. The Chief of Staff approved the proposal in June 1978 and directed the judge Advocate General to draft the necessary legislation. The Army also drafted and sent to the other services for comment proposed legislation to permit the use of appropriated funds for emergency leave travel for members of the armed forces and their dependents. Emergency leave travel is currently authorized only on aircraft owned or controlled by the Military Airlift Command, and military personnel stationed in remote areas where such service is infrequent or nonexistent must travel at their own expense or remain at their duty station.
Another problem facing many members of the armed forces is payment of advance rent, which in certain areas requires extraordinarily large outlays of cash. Soldiers often have to pay as much as $4,000 in advance rent or security deposits. Although a housing allowance is available to defray excess housing costs outside the United States, it is paid at the end of each month without provision for advance payment. The Army proposed legislation to authorize advance payment of overseas housing allowances in areas where military personnel are required to pay
unusually large sums for advance rent. At the end of fiscal year 1978 this proposal was awaiting congressional action.
In July 1976 Congress authorized the President to reallocate up to 25 percent of basic military pay increases to allowances for quarters or subsistence, which are tax exempt. Last year President Carter reallocated 12 percent of the 1 October 1977 pay raise to the basic allowance for quarters. This year, however, the President decided not to reallocate any of the 5.5 percent increase in basic pay effective 1 October 1978 to the tax-free quarters or subsistence allowance.
Congress again extended tax relief for students enrolled in the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program. Current students and those entering the program before 31 December 1978 will not pay income taxes on their scholarship stipends. Tax exemption for future scholarship recipients was still under study at the end of the year.
Although new incentive pay legislation for medical personnel was introduced in both houses, Congress has not yet taken action on either bill. Nor did Congress extend any current medical incentive pay programs beyond 30 September 1978.
Under the provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1976, state income tax withholding from active duty pay of military personnel began in July 1977. By the end of fiscal year 1977 the Finance and Accounting Center was withholding state income taxes from the pay of soldiers who were legal residents of twenty-three states and the District of Columbia. This year the center began withholding taxes for legal residents of California, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, and Oregon, but California residents had state income tax withheld only if they were stationed in California.
Leadership and Motivation
Commitment to military service depends not only on such tangible benefits as pay and allowances, but also on a number of intangible factors. One is effective leadership. And one of the essential elements of good leadership is trust.
In August 1978 the Chief of Staff approved the report of a review group which last year identified 197 policies in Army regulations tending to undermine trust in officers. After copies were distributed to all major Army commands and staff agencies, policy proponents began appropriate action. The objective was to create a leadership climate stressing trust and integrity rather than excessive controls and overmanagement. Detrimental policies and many unnecessary administrative requirements
would be eliminated. The review made many aware of the seriousness of the officer trust issue.
During the fiscal year substantial progress was made in an Army-wide organizational effectiveness (OE) program. While most of the program was conducted in battalions and brigades, OE techniques were employed with increasing regularity at installation, division, and higher levels. By the end of the year 363 officers had completed sixteen weeks of intensive training at the Organizational Effectiveness Training Center at Fort Ord, California, and were assigned to units throughout the Army as organizational effectiveness staff officers. OE instruction was introduced into the Army service school system, and an experimental training program was developed to determine how the noncommissioned officer might promote organizational effectiveness. The Army plans to send ninety noncommissioned officers for OE training at Fort Ord during fiscal year 1979. Other plans call for institutionalizing OE in the active Army, extending the program to the reserve components, and providing civilian OE staffs to commands with high ratios of civilian personnel.
Although organizational effectiveness is relatively new to the Army, it uses leadership and management principles that have yielded impressive results in industry. OE is a valuable commander's tool. If properly used, it results in better communications and teamwork, more efficient management of time and other resources, and greater commitment of all personnel to accomplishing their unit's mission. Army leaders are convinced OE will improve individual productivity, unit performance, and total Army readiness.
In October 1977 the Department of Defense issued a directive on organizations seeking to represent members of the armed forces in negotiation or collective bargaining about military service. Army Regulation 600-80, which implemented the Defense directive, was published in January 1978. It prohibited commanders and supervisors from engaging in negotiation or collective bargaining and soldiers from participating in strikes, slowdowns, work stoppages, picketing or other actions that would hamper the performance of military duties. Activities such as demonstrations, marches, and speechmaking for the purpose of recruiting members for unions were prohibited on military installations. Finally, AR 600-80 provided that no member of the Army may become or remain an active member of any organization that presents a clear danger to discipline, loyalty, or obedience to lawful orders.
The Senate passed a bill prohibiting unionization of the
armed forces in September 1977. Hearings on military unions continued in the House of Representatives during fiscal year 1978. In September the House passed a revised version of the Senate bill, which amended the provisions concerning union membership for civilian technicians of the reserve components. By the end of the fiscal year no decision had been made on which version would be sent to the President for signature.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
The Army continued its efforts to prevent and control the abuse of alcohol and other drugs by soldiers, retired personnel, military dependents, and civilian employees. During fiscal year 1978 a total of 22,647 persons entered rehabilitation under the Army-wide Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program: 10,449 for alcohol abuse, 7,659 for abuse of other drugs, and 4,539 for abuse of both alcohol and other drugs. Since a major goal of the program is to return soldiers to their units as productive members, the Army revised the reenlistment criteria for participants. Six months after successfully completing the active phase of rehabilitation, soldiers who voluntarily enrolled in the program were eligible for reenlistment without a waiver if they\ met all other reenlistment requirements. Previously a rehabilitated soldier had to wait at least fourteen months and get a waiver from his commander to reenlist.
The Chief of Staff approved the establishment of a drug/ alcohol technical activity consisting of six officers and six enlisted personnel. It will aid field commands regarding the technical aspects of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program. This activity should be operational by 1 January 1979.
The Director of Human Resources Development in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (ODCSPER) was planning to establish and chair an alcohol/drug review board, which was to include representatives from the offices of the Surgeon General and the Inspector General, ODCSPER's Law Enforcement Division, other Army staff agencies, and members of such organizations as the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Last year the emphasis was on preventing alcohol abuse. This year the Army stressed law enforcement efforts to detect the possession, use, and sale of hard drugs to stop their flow to Army personnel, particularly in Europe.
After a year of intensive investigation, in May 1978 the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control of the House of Representatives concluded that drug abuse in the military services was severe enough to impair the national defense. In July
1978 the Deputy Secretary of Defense testified before this committee. He admitted that drug abuse was a serious problem but insisted that it was not as widespread as the congressmen believed; he stated there was no evidence that it had impaired combat readiness. The deputy secretary outlined a twelve-point program for improving drug abuse prevention. One called for establishing an international drug enforcement task force in Berlin, where illegal traffic in hard drugs, especially heroin, has been rising at an alarming rate.
The other measures were: a comprehensive survey of the drug problem; adopting new statistical techniques to assess the extent anal distribution of drug abuse; improving procedures for reporting drug abuse data; accelerated testing of portable urinalysis equipment; mandatory seminars on drug, abuse for service members and their families; greater emphasis on drug abuse prevention among military dependents; establishing a task force to review legal enforcement of drug abuse control; a review of investigation and prosecution by civil authorities following arrests for drug offenses on military installations; researching the relationship between drug abuse and military performance; and a thorough evaluation of drug prevention efforts. The final and perhaps most important measure was increasing the number and quality of personnel responsible for matters relating to drug abuse, starting with the appointment of a Special Assistant for Drug Abuse to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
The Army has a major role in carrying out this twelve-point Defense program. By the end of fiscal year 1978 Army personnel had prepared drafts of special educational packages on drug abuse, tested portable urinalysis kits, and participated in a fact finding tour of military installations in the Pacific. The Army also began studies on the effects of drug abuse on military performance and combat readiness and the relationship between leadership and drug abuse. In August 1978 key members of Army law enforcement organizations met in Leesburg, Virginia, to evaluate current drug enforcement programs and recommend changes. Some of these recommendations were submitted to the Defense task force on drug enforcement. Others can be accomplished within the Department of the Army, provided the Secretary of Defense authorizes additional resources.
Discipline, Law Enforcement, and Military Justice
Since the beginning of the volunteer era there has been a substantial and steady improvement in Army discipline. As shown in Table 1, this trend continued in 1978. Crimes of
TABLE 1 - INDISCIPLINE INDEX
(Rate per 1,000)
|Calendar Year||Quarter||Absence Without
|Desertion||Crimes of Violence||Crimes Against Property||Marihuana
Use and Possession
|Other Drug Offenses||Courts- Martial||Non-Judicial Punishment||Separation
Less than Honorable
violence (murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault), crimes against property (larceny, burglary, housebreaking, and auto theft), possession and use of marihuana, and other drug offenses were all below last year's levels. Absence without leave, courts martial, nonjudicial punishment, and less than honorable separations also continued to decline. Although the desertion rate increased slightly, it remained well below the rates for fiscal year 1976 and the preceding years. Also, the number of prisoners in Army confinement facilities reached an all-time low. For example, the facility at Fort Dix, New Jersey, which was designed to hold up to 416 inmates, had only eleven prisoners in January 1978.
Both the number of persons tried and the number of persons convicted by all types of courts-martial decreased this year, by 7.1 and 5.3 percent respectively from the year before. The breakdown of court-martial statistics for fiscal year 1978 was as follows:
* In 629 of these cases, the approved sentence included a bad-conduct discharge.
The special discharge review program for reconsidering less than honorable discharges issued to service members during the Vietnam era ended on 4 October 1977. Although it was estimated that about 210,000 former soldiers were eligible for the program, only 37,605 had applied by the termination date. Review boards heard 24,345 of these cases and upgraded the discharges of 13,228 former Army personnel.
Public Law 95-126, enacted on 8 October 1977, ordered a review of the discharges upgraded under the special discharge review program and President Ford's clemency program to determine eligibility for veterans benefits. Since the deadline for completing the review was 7 October 1978, it created a large backlog in the regular cases of the Army discharge review board. The law also waived the fifteen-year limitation for applying for an upgraded discharge. Many new applications were submitted, further aggravating the case backlog.
From 1 December 1976 through 30 November 1977 there were 67,856 cases in which U.S. military or civilian personnel stationed overseas or their dependents were charged, with criminal offenses subject to the jurisdiction of foreign courts. A total
of 47,006 offenses were charged against soldiers. Of these 14,263 involved violations of both U.S. and foreign law, with the host country having primary jurisdictional rights. Foreign countries waived that right in 13,906 cases, or 97.5 percent. As of 30 November 1977 ninety-three soldiers were in foreign confinement, compared to ninety-nine soldiers a year earlier.
In January 1978 the Army held its first worldwide corrections conference at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Participants discussed past trends, current problems, and future efforts of the Army corrections program. They made the following recommendations: keeping the program centered at the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth and the retraining brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas; returning .more disciplinary barracks inmates to duty through the retraining brigade; easing reenlistment restrictions on retraining brigade graduates; expanding the vocational training program at the disciplinary barracks to achieve financial self-sufficiency; and consolidating corrections management under Headquarters, Department of the Army, with direct general officer support and involvement.
The conference members argued strongly that the Army work toward a unified Defense corrections system and encourage joint service participation whenever possible. Decentralization would be inefficient and costly. Further, the Army should reorganize its seventeen confinement facilities in the continental U.S. as detention facilities, similar to those in the Air Force. Installation commanders should be encouraged to find alternative uses for the unused portions of each facility, but the Army should retain control for mobilization needs. Finally, corrections conferences should be held each year.
In June 1978 President Carter directed the Office of Management and Budget to review all federal law enforcement missions, programs, tasks, and priorities as part of the President's reorganization project. By the end of September three issues of concern to the Army had been identified: a recommendation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to reexamine the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which prohibited the use of federal troops except in such circumstances as were expressly authorized by the Constitution or an act of Congress; a proposal from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms concerning investigation of firearm thefts from military installations; and an FBI decision that the bureau will conduct investigations for the purpose of apprehending, deserters only in those cases where aggravating circumstances exist in addition to desertion or a national security matter is involved.
Congress had already reduced the Army's fiscal year 1978 budget for apprehending and processing deserters due to recommendations by the General Accounting Office to stop apprehension and to discharge in absentia following a stipulated period. Army leaders argued such discharges could adversely affect troop morale. Furthermore, favorable discipline trends could be reversed if deterrent programs were removed.
In July 1978 the Army, the other military departments, and the Defense Investigative Service proposed a coordinated plan to upgrade military deserter apprehension. It provided for the involvement of local and state law enforcement officials, a practice which had been effective in the past, and recommended an increase in the reimbursement authorized for local and state agencies. The plan advised against active involvement of the Defense Investigative Service on the grounds that it would be too costly. It also advised against further cutting the military services fiscal or manpower resources committed to deserter apprehension.
The Army's military police investigator program was further expanded in fiscal year 1978. In August a new regulation went into effect incorporating the realignment of investigative responsibilities approved last year and many improvements derived from a comprehensive review of the program. Military police investigators and supervisors continued attending training courses offered by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Prototype testing of the offense reporting system, a subfunction of the automated military police management information system, had been scheduled for this year but was postponed until fiscal year 1979. The system has been redesigned to identify crime problems within units, trace repeat offenders from unit to unit, and summarize actions against offenders.
Better management of law enforcement resources was emphasized again this year. The Army began carrying out the plan to elevate organizational professionalism in law enforcement, which had been developed in fiscal year 1977. Some accomplishments were eliminating a number of law enforcement policy voids, revising training courses, restructuring training resources, and approving the placement of all installation law enforcement assets and activities under a single manager. By reducing the personnel operating confinement facilities, changing the status of certain police unit positions from military to civilian, and discontinuing soldier participation in armed forces police detachments, the Army increased the resources committed to physical security on military installations in Europe.
At the direction of the Chief of Staff, on 15 May the Army began a one-year test of the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, a new military defense counsel organization. The reasons for establishing such a service were similar to those which ten years ago prompted the Army to establish an independent organization for military trial judges. Studies showed that many soldiers felt military defense counsels had divided loyalties because they were assigned to the command of the court-martial convening authority. Although cases of so-called command influence were rare, the perception of conflicts of interest persisted.
The primary mission of the defense service is to provide specified defense services at the installation level. These include representing soldiers in general and special courts-martial, before administrative discharge boards, and during investigations under Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Advice and consultation are furnished in nonjudicial punishment, custodial interrogations, lineups, summary courts-martial, and other actions requiring defense counsel. In general, the service will improve the professionalism and efficiency of defense counsel.
In its test phase, the Trial Defense Service consists of forty-eight officers headed by a senior colonel. They are assigned to the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, a field operating agency of the judge Advocate General. The sixteen installations serviced by Trial Defense Service attorneys are divided into three regions, each under a regional defense counsel. The Assistant Judge Advocate General for Civil Law has overall program supervision. Test results to the end of the fiscal year were favorable, and no significant problems were encountered. The program will be evaluated by participants, commanders, staff judge advocates, and others charged with administering military justice. At the conclusion of the test, a final report with recommendations will be submitted to the Chief of Staff.
The fundamental purpose of the Army's Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) is to provide genuine equal opportunity to all soldiers regardless of race, sex, or national origin. Equal opportunity improves morale, discipline, and effectiveness, whereas discrimination detracts from individual performance and unit readiness. The annual assessment report for calendar year 1977 required by the AAP showed progress toward identifying and eliminating institutional discrimination in the Army.
Among the important achievements were rising minority and female enrollment in officer commissioning programs such as
ROTC, Officer Candidate School, and the U.S. Military Academy; increasing minority and female strength in the Army Medical Department; and favorable career schooling selection rates for minorities and women among both officers and senior noncommissioned officers. There was a substantial increase in the number of black commissioned and warrant officers in the active Army, with particularly impressive gains for black company grade officers. When these young officers are promoted, there will be significant increases in the number of black field grade officers. The following table shows the rise in black officers by grade between December 1974 and December 1977.
Percentage of Black Officers by Grade
|Dec 1974||Dec 1975||Dec 1976||Dec 1977|
The assessment report cautioned the Army to avoid complacency. As in the rest of American society, discrimination and racial tension have not been totally eliminated. It identified three problem areas requiring special attention. One was the high rate of punitive actions against black soldiers, including the disproportionate number of bad conduct and dishonorable discharges and the large percentage of black prisoners in Army confinement. The Chief of Staff was concerned about these disturbing trends and called for prompt investigation of the underlying causes.
Another problem was the low number of minority and female officers in the reserve components. By recruiting more ROTC graduates and officers leaving the active Army, the reserve components were anticipating minority and women officer strength gains by 1981.
The report pointed out racial imbalances in enlisted career management fields. Blacks were underrepresented in certain fields and overrepresented in others. Although critics of the
all-volunteer Army claimed that blacks bore more than their share of the load in the combat arms, the assessment report indicated they were proportionately represented in infantry, armor, and combat engineers, and only slightly overrepresented in field and air defense artillery.
One field whose minority content did not represent the total enlisted force was CMF 95 (law enforcement). As of 30 June 1978 the enlisted personnel in MOS 95B (military police) was 13.2 percent black and 1.7 percent Hispanic; the percentages of blacks and Hispanics in the enlisted ranks were 28.9 and 3.8 percent, respectively. The Army intensified recruiting efforts to improve the attractiveness of the law enforcement field, specifically the military police specialty, to potential minority enlistees. It also changed the minimum male height entry standard from sixty-nine to sixty-four inches, thus creating a broader base for minority recruitment, particularly among Hispanics and Asian/ Pacific Islanders. Such efforts support the Army's commitment to affirmative action and effective law enforcement.
The Affirmative Action Plan, first published in 1972 and revised in 1975, was updated again this year. Since the plan's success is dependent on the support of commanders and functional managers at all levels, the revised plan increased their participation. To link staff and field efforts, more responsibility was given to major commands. The 1975 AAP had concentrated on racial minorities; the new plan concentrated on ethnic minorities and women. It required more detailed data on ethnic minorities by enforcing the Department of Commerce standard classifications of white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and native American. Finally, the new AAP changed report periods from calendar to fiscal years and eliminated quarterly reports.
Another important component of the Army's equal opportunity program is education and training. In accord with an Army regulation published last year, equal opportunity training has been broadened to foster harmony among soldiers and to be more adaptable to local situations.
In 1971 the Defense Race Relations Institute was established to train armed forces personnel as instructors in race relations. Its mission was later expanded to include training of personnel performing duties related to human or race relations and equal opportunity. This year a joint-service committee revised its curriculum to broaden the scope of the course and improve the skills of the graduates. The new sixteen-week course was tested during the summer of 1978 and will be offered on a regular basis starting in November 1978. Students will be trained in organiza-
tional effectiveness and racial, sexual, and institutional discrimination. Plans have been made for refresher training for former graduates operating in the field.
Women in the Army
In a special ceremony at the Pentagon on 28 April 1978, the Secretary of the Army abolished the positions of Director and Deputy Director, Women's Army Corps, and disestablished the office of the director. At the same time Secretary Alexander announced that Brig. Gen. Mary E. Clarke had been reassigned as the new commander of the Military Police School/Training Center and Fort McClellan, Alabama. Thus the last director of the Women's Army Corps became the first female commanding general in the history of the U.S. Army. Later in the year her name appeared on a list of twenty-seven officers nominated for promotion to major general, and General Clarke became the first woman nominated for a second star.
These events were part of the continuing integration of women into the mainstream of the Army. As full and equal partners on the Army team, women no longer needed a separate staff agency devoted exclusively to their affairs. Legislation was also submitted to Congress to abolish the Women's Army Corps.
The number of women in the Army has increased dramatically during the volunteer era. When the draft expired on 30 June 1973, there were 20,700 women in the active Army. By the end of fiscal year 1978, the number had risen to more than 56,000. In addition, there were 13,570 women in the Army National Guard and 22,379 women in the Army Reserve. In fiscal year 1978 the number of enlisted women in the active Army rose from 46,094 to 50,292, and the number of women officers rose from 5,696 to 6,292. At the end of the fiscal year, 7.5 percent of the enlisted personnel and 7.4 percent of the commissioned officers were women.
Women officer accessions for the year totaled 1,313. Of these 845 received their commission through ROTC and 53 through Officer Candidate School. The 14,296 women enrolled in ROTC programs during the 1977/78 school year were 24 percent of the total enrollment, a remarkable achievement considering women were first enrolled in ROTC only five years earlier.
As of 30 September 1978 the U.S. Military Academy at West Point had 257 women cadets, or about 6 percent of the student body. The difference in male and female attrition rates was considerably smaller for the class of 1981 than for the class of
1980, while women in the class of 1982 had a lower attrition rate than men.
Women have not been applying for warrant officer positions in the numbers expected, although the program has expanded slightly since 1973 when the active Army had only nineteen female warrant officers. By the end of fiscal year 1978 there were sixty-eight women among the active Army's 13,287 warrant officers. As the number of women in the Army grows, the number of women warrant officers should grow accordingly.
During fiscal year 1978 the active Army recruited 17,517 women. For the first time the Army had trouble recruiting women and fell eighty-three short of the annual female objective. Two factors contributing to the shortfall were an OSD decision to increase female strength in the Army by 18 percent over last year's objective and an Army decision to enlist women in skills where they were most needed, rather than the more popular traditional skills. However, the quality of women recruits remained very high; 96 percent had high school diplomas and 100 percent were in the upper mental categories (Groups I-IIIA).
This year all enlisted women received the new basic initial entry training approved in 1977, but men and women trained together only at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Plans were made to train men and women together at Fort McClellan, Alabama, Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, starting in October 1978.
In recent years the role of Army women has greatly expanded. On 20 December 1977 the Secretary of the Army approved a new combat exclusion policy which opened more opportunities for female soldiers than ever before. It allowed women to serve in any officer or enlisted specialty, at any organizational level, and in any unit except infantry, armor, cannon field artillery, combat engineers, and low altitude air defense artillery units of battalion or smaller size. By the end of the fiscal year 222 out of 232 commissioned officer specialties, 57 out of 59 warrant officer specialties, and 323 out of 345 enlisted specialties were open to women. Women were serving in such fields as missile maintenance, communications-electronics operations, and ammunition, and were assigned to combat support and combat service support units in combat divisions, air defense Hawk and Nike-Hercules battalions, field artillery Lance battalions, and brigade-level headquarters. For the first time women served on honor guard duty at White House ceremonies. As the Chief of Staff stated in a message to the field in March 1978:
"Today, women are successfully performing a wide variety of duties, many of which were considered solely in the male domain just a few years ago."
Traditional women's skills are in the medical and administrative career management fields; less traditional are automatic data processing, supply and service, recruitment and retention, public affairs, audiovisual, food service, law enforcement, and military intelligence; nontraditional are the specialties in the remaining twenty-one enlisted career management fields. At the end of this fiscal year, 43 percent of enlisted women in the active Army were in traditional women's skills, 24 percent were in less traditional fields, and 34 percent were in nontraditional specialties. In the reserve components, 87 percent of enlisted women in the Army National Guard and 76 percent of those in the Army Reserve were assigned to administrative and medical fields.
Some specialties are more attractive to women than others, and the Army's ability to recruit women into nontraditional fields varies accordingly. Additional recruiting resources are essential for the Army to acquire the women needed in certain fields.
Furthermore, women tend to migrate from nontraditional to traditional specialties. An analysis completed by the Military Personnel Center in August 1978 showed that women transferred to traditional specialties at a rate of 59 percent, into less traditional specialties at a rate of 25 percent, and into nontraditional specialties at a rate of 14 percent. A similar study last year showed that women had a 30 percent higher tendency to transfer from their specialties than men. Hence the Army could not be certain enough women would be attracted to nontraditional occupations, nor enough would reenlist in those occupations to meet career force requirements.
Plans called for 80,000 enlisted women in the active Army and 50,000 women in the reserve components by the end of fiscal year 1983. New policies would have to be created to ensure that these women were employed fairly and effectively. The Army thus conducted a series of tests, data-collecting projects, studies, and evaluations on which to base decisions ensuring equitable and effective employment for women consistent with the Army's needs.
An Army Research Institute project known as MAX WAC analyzed the effects of varying the proportion of women soldiers from 0 to 35 percent of forty companies in five types of combat support and combat service support units (medical, maintenance, military police, signal, and transportation) during 72-
hour field exercises. Completed in October 1977, the study showed that for up to 35 percent of total strength, the number of women had no significant effect on the capability of a unit to perform its mission for short periods of time.
The Army Research Institute evaluated the performance of women soldiers during the REFORGER 77 exercise. A total of 229 enlisted women participated, up to 10 percent of the strength in certain maintenance, supply and transportation, signal, medical, and military police units. The REF-WAC 77 study was completed in March 1978. It found that women were highly proficient in both traditional and nontraditional women specialties, but were not trained as well in tactical skills as their male peers. It should be noted that none of these women had received the new common basic training. Although the women were not as well prepared as men for field duty, they adapted quickly and well. There were no significant differences in individual performance between men and women or in group performance between all-male and integrated units. Leadership and management problems were widespread and appeared to underlie most difficulties. There was considerable bias against women, especially among male noncommissioned officers. Reasons given most frequently were physical strength, the risk of exposing women to combat, and added problems in hygiene, sanitation, and billeting. The study concluded that women soldiers did not impair unit effectiveness during the exercise and that enlisted women could and did perform adequately for extended periods (up to one month) under field conditions.
The Comptroller of the Army conducted a comparative cost analysis of enlisted force structures with 50, 80, 100, and 150 thousand women. It indicated under the assumptions governing the analysis that higher proportions of women did not cause significantly higher or lower personnel costs. There were some indications, however, that cost might become a factor for force mixes containing a greater female content and/or requiring a longer period of time to mature than analyzed.
Another important study collected data comparing lost or nonproductive time for men and women soldiers. Based on an eight-hour day, men lost 3.3 hours and women 9.5 hours per month in the categories of absence without leave, confinement, drug and alcohol abuse, dependent responsibilities, medical problems, and pregnancy. When pregnancy was not considered women lost 6.5 hours per month, almost twice the time lost by men.
In December 1977 the Military Personnel Center completed
a study of the effect on Army personnel management of increased women accessions and end strengths of 60, 80, and 100 thousand. Data was insufficient to determine the optimum female force, but the study concluded that the impact would be most severe if the Army were required to enlist women quickly. A comprehensive review of programs and policies for women in the reserve components was conducted by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. It indicated that much work remained to be done before women strength objectives could be determined.
The Human Engineering Laboratory studied the impact of increasing numbers of women soldiers on Army equipment design. It demonstrated the need for further research. A historical review by the Center of Military History showed that through the ages and throughout the world women have performed remarkably well in combat and as military leaders.
Another major project, Evaluation of Women in the Army (EWITA), was conducted at the U.S. Army Administration Center at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. The final report was released in May 1978. It was quite controversial because some recommendations ran contrary to Army policy. The original purpose of the EWITA study was to determine how many women by specialty and grade could be assigned to an Army unit without reducing the unit's ability to accomplish its primary ground combat mission. The study group was unable to develop a methodology for setting limits to female participation in units.
On the basis of revised objectives, EWITA stated that certain officer and enlisted specialties should be closed to women while others should be opened. The first category included fourteen enlisted specialties recently opened to women which EWITA charged required physically demanding tasks beyond the average woman. The study recommended that the Army establish specific physical strength requirements for each specialty and develop standardized tests of the strength potential of enlistees.
The EWITA study found that officers and warrant officers in the field regarded pregnancy as the greatest impediment to full integration of women in the Army. During fiscal year 1977 15 percent of enlisted women on active duty became pregnant. Of these, 25 percent chose to leave the Army, 36 percent had abortions, and 39 percent carried to full term with an average time loss of twenty-one weeks. Many problems were associated with pregnancy, including reduced unit readiness, deployability, and morale. EWITA concluded that the Army's current pregnancy policy was not cost effective and suggested two alterna-
tives: involuntary separation or absence without pay. The study also called for reevaluating policies pertaining to sole parents and intraservice marriages, redefining unacceptable fraternization, improving coed housing overseas, and placing greater emphasis on human relations in leadership training.
In June 1978 the Secretary of the Army established an EWITA II team to reexamine unit and specialty openings and closings to women based on the 20 December 1977 combat exclusion policy. Meanwhile the Army kept working on physical strength requirements and tests for military skills and specialties. A seminar held in January 1978 to examine the leadership problems and challenges caused by increased numbers of women in the Army identified many of the same areas of concern as the EWITA study. Other evaluations completed this year did likewise. The most pressing issues were pregnancy and sole parenthood.
In June 1978 field commanders were asked to provide feedback on their experiences with women soldiers. They were requested to address pregnancy, sole parenthood, the assignment of intraservice married couples, fraternization, physical capabilities of women, training, leadership, housing, uniforms and equipment, and proper employment. Once again pregnancy and sole parenthood emerged as major areas of concern. They were reported to have negative effects on deployability, morale, operational readiness, field training, time on the job, military specialties, and harmonious relations among unit members. Many soldiers felt that pregnant women and sole parents received preferential treatment and did not perform a fair share of various duties. The Army has been aware of this situation for some time and has taken a number of actions to alleviate it.
Starting in November 1977 commanders were required to advise pregnant soldiers of their option to remain in the service or be discharged and to explain their entitlements and responsibilities. The primary purpose of this counseling was to allow the pregnant woman to make an intelligent decision without pressuring her to be discharged.
While pregnancy is restricted to women, sole parenthood is not. Although a higher percentage of women soldiers are sole parents, there are more male than female sole parents in the Army. In fiscal year 1978 about 2 percent of the active force and 4 percent of reserve component personnel were sole parents. Effective 1 May 1978, dependent care counseling was required for all personnel, male and female, with three years or less service, who were sole parents or married to another service
member and had dependents. Commanders directed these soldiers to arrange for the care of their dependents so they could perform their military duties without interference and remain eligible for worldwide assignment. The Army advised commanders to stress that no special consideration would be given in duty assignments or stations solely on the basis of responsibility for dependents.
The Army changed the regulations pertaining to pregnant officers in May 1978. Regular Army officers must complete at least three years of active military service before they can submit resignations for reasons of pregnancy. All pregnant officers will be counseled by their commanders, whether they plan to remain in the service or resign their commission. The officer who wishes to remain on active duty will have to outline a plan for the physical and financial care of the child and make arrangements for child care during duty hours. Although commanders generally considered the new counseling policies effective, pregnancy and sole parenthood were still major problems, and further studies were under way at the end of the fiscal year.
Nevertheless, Army leaders concluded that women provide meaningful contributions to the all-volunteer Army. As the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel stated: "It is important to note that the great majority of the women serving in the Army today are doing so with skill, intelligence, energy, excellent discipline, and genuine commitment."
The civilian work force is an integral part of the total Army. In peacetime civilian personnel perform many support functions, ranging from essential daily tasks to advanced scientific research, thus enabling soldiers to concentrate on the development of military skills. Civilians also provide continuity of operations which would be particularly important in the event of mobilization.
The Army's civilian personnel strength remained virtually unchanged during fiscal year 1978. There were 405,000 employees; 334,000 were U.S. citizens and 71,000 were foreign nationals employed overseas. The Secretary of Defense directed the use of attrition rather than reduction-in-force procedures to meet local manpower reductions. This policy created skill imbalances in the civilian work force and a minor increase in borrowed military manpower for support tasks.
The Department of Defense Appropriations Authorization Act for fiscal year 1978 required a 6 percent reduction in De-
fense employees at grades GS-13 and above by the end of fiscal year 1980. The Secretary of Defense directed the Army to reduce personnel strength at these grade levels by 2 percent this year. Although the Army succeeded, high grade reductions will present severe problems in the years to come. The Army is employing large numbers of civilian physicians to compensate for the shortage caused by the end of the draft. It is sending several high-grade civilian employees to Saudi Arabia to supervise military construction projects financed by the Saudi Arabian government. Other Army activities thus have to absorb disproportionate shares of the reductions, a trend which threatens to impair operations. The Army requested the Secretary of Defense to exempt civilian employees in Saudi Arabia and civilian physicians from the reduction or to eliminate it entirely. It was turned down on both counts.
During fiscal year 1978 the proportion of minorities and women in the civilian work force increased to 18.4 and 34.7 percent, respectively. In grades GS-12 and above, however, there were increases of 7.7 percent for women and 4.7 percent for minorities; the overall increase was only 0.2 percent. Recruiting women and minorities for career intern programs remained a high priority. This year 40.1 percent of interns entering career programs outside engineering and science were women, surpassing the 33 percent goal. But only 10.8 percent were members of minorities, compared to an objective of 17 percent. Of those entering engineering and science career programs, 11.5 percent were members of minorities, exceeding the 10 percent goal, and 8.6 percent were women. Thus the Army failed to reach some affirmative action goals and surpassed others. The overall achievements were encouraging.
The Secretary of the Army's Mobility, Opportunity, and Development Program promises to improve upward mobility for civilian employees. The program began testing in Mach 1978. It features practical, flexible techniques for selecting and training individuals of high potential who might be overlooked with conventional recruiting methods. Rather than selecting trainees on the basis of standardized tests, the program considers self ratings, education and training, work experience, civic activities, and other areas of self-development. Entry grades reflect the level of development, ranging from GS-4 to GS-12. Trainees are exposed to a wide variety of work. The program should prepare its graduates for more responsible, higher paying jobs. It should also improve the career opportunities of talented women, members of minorities, and handicapped persons.
This year the Army hired 7,163 Vietnam-era veterans and 1,949 disabled veterans, representing 8.6 and 2.3 percent, respectively, of total civilian accessions. Of newly hired employees, 3,086, or 3.7 percent, were handicapped. Many architectural barriers to the handicapped were removed from Army facilities. The Army's 1978 summer employment program gave jobs to 12,821 youths, including 6,983 from economically disadvantaged families. In addition, the Army provided unpaid work experience and training opportunities for about 2,500 individuals under federal grant programs.
Union representation in the Army's civilian work force declined for the second consecutive year. The number of employees covered by exclusive recognition decreased from 228,584 in 719 bargaining units to 223,012 in 686 bargaining units. The decline in the personnel covered was probably a consequence of various reorganizations and reductions that occurred in late fiscal year 1977 and early fiscal year 1978. The decrease in units reflects union efforts to consolidate.
The Army's first nationwide collective bargaining agreement, between the National Maritime Engineers Beneficial Association and the Corps of Engineers, was negotiated and approved this year. The agreement covered 188 licensed marine engineers employed by the corps. In order to familiarize commanders and other top level management officials with the federal labor relations program, the Army developed a course for executives. Forty-two military and civilian personnel, including six general officers, attended the pilot course in September 1978.
To improve the management of its civilian work force, the Army authorized the establishment of a new agency comparable to the Military Personnel Center established in 1973. Effective 1 October 1978, the U.S. Army Civilian Personnel Center will consolidate the functions, personnel, and equipment of the Civilian Personnel Field Operations Agency and Civilian Career Management Field Agency. As a field operating agency under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, it will provide one-stop service to commands and installations on all operational civilian personnel functions centralized at Headquarters, Department of the Army. It will also evaluate civilian personnel management in the field.
The standard civilian personnel management information system was designed to support local civilian personnel offices in their day-to-day operations while feeding selected information to a central data bank in Washington, D.C. This new system standardized automated installation reporting systems, sending
uniform reports to the central data file. It eliminated redundant reporting and produced more reliable information. By the end of the fiscal year the system was in operation at eighty-one installations in the continental United States and eight installations overseas. Plans for expanding the system included broadening the data base supporting civilian career management and equal employment opportunity programs.
The Army encourages its personnel to submit money-saving suggestions. An outstanding result this year was a laboratory simulation method for fatigue-testing large gun barrels developed by a team of twelve civilian scientists at Watervliet Arsenal in New York. This technique eliminated most of the costly test firing conducted on proving grounds. According to the Army Audit Agency, first-year savings were over $30 million. The U.S. Navy and the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany have adopted the new method. In a special ceremony on 20 July 1978 the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army presented the Watervliet team with a group award of $25,000, the largest authorized by law, and each member received a letter of congratulation signed by President Carter.
On 28 October 1977 the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff presented awards for exceptional service and outstanding achievement to ten civilian employees. This annual ceremony recognizes individuals exemplifying the highest standards of professionalism. It is an important part of the Army's incentive awards program. Local ceremonies honoring civilian personnel took place throughout the Army, and many installations held special civilian recognition days: For example, in April the first Commander's Award for Civilian Service was presented at a civilian day ceremony at Fort Riley, Kansas.
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Last updated 7 September 2004