Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1978
The Army did not neglect its responsibility to fulfill the spiritual, mental, and physical needs of the individual. Support services covered religion, health, education, housing, recreation, clothing, and burial arrangements. In Europe, for example, 1978 was the Year of the Soldier. Steps were taken to raise the quality of life for American military personnel and their families stationed there. To help American troops in Europe cope with the declining value of the dollar, the President's budget request for fiscal year 1979 sought $18.7 million to improve postal service, physical fitness facilities, community and recreation centers, libraries, essential mess kitchen equipment, bachelor housing furnishings, education centers, and chaplain activities.
The Army chaplain's mission is to serve the religious and moral needs of the military community. Traditionally this has involved religious services, sacraments and rites, religious education, and pastoral care. In recent years greater emphasis has been given to pastoral care, including preventive and rehabilitative counseling. Chaplains have been urged to provide leadership to guide the members of the military community toward fuller character development.
An example of the enlarged scope of chaplain activities was the five-day child abuse and battered wives seminar sponsored by the Office of the Chief of Chaplains in March 1978. The seminar was held to give Army chaplains a forum for exchanging information, formulating preventive measures, and improving pastoral care in these situations.
During the fiscal year clinical pastoral training centers were established at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Hood, Texas. They were sponsored by the Chaplain Center and School, FORSCOM, and TRADOC. The centers were accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., and they offered 48-week courses for intense training. Courses began in August with four students enrolled at each installation.
Since 1954 the Army has selected a Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the Roman Catholic faith when the Chief of Chaplains was Protestant, and vice versa. Another custom developed to select two Protestant Chiefs of Chaplains in succession, followed
by a Roman Catholic Chief of Chaplains. The Army ended both practices when the judge Advocate General advised that they might be contrary to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as Defense and Army equal opportunity policies. He stated that the advantages of rotation might be considered along with other relevant factors, but rotation must not be a fixed criterion for selection. Accordingly, in 1978 when the Army selected a new Deputy Chief of Chaplains, all eligible chaplains were considered, and the outcome was a Chief and Deputy Chief who were both Protestants.
This year the Government Printing Office published the final three volumes of the five-volume series on the history of United States Army chaplains. This five-year project chronicled the first 200 years. The five volumes were From Its European Antecedents to 1791; Struggling for Recognition, 1791-1865; Up From Handymen, 1865-1920; The Best and Worst of Times, 1920-1945; and Confidence in Battle, Inspiration in Peace, 1945-1975.
Housing and Homeowners Assistance
Family housing construction was limited to projects authorized and awarded in prior fiscal years. No contracts for new housing units were awarded. However, contracts for two authorized and funded projects totaling 400 units should be awarded in fiscal year 1979. The Army has asked $588 million in new funds: $37.2 million for 855 new units, $17.8 million for improvements, $1 million for energy conservation measures, and $2.8 million for minor construction and planning.
As executive agent for all military services, the Army paid $2.9 million under the Homeowners Assistance Program to 537 applicants due to base closures and realignments. In addition, mortgage assumption on thirty of the ninety-six properties acquired under the program totaled $341,133.
As of the end of this fiscal year, food service facilities supporting the Army Food Service Program worldwide were as follows:
|Garrison bread bakeries||0||1||1|
|Central pastry kitchens||1||0||1|
During the year the dining facilities served 231,274,156 meals valued at $239,743,116. The bakeries produced 445,900 pounds of bread, and the pastry kitchens made 1,151,200 servings.
Research on improving food delivery in the field continued
during the year at both TRADOC and the Natick Research and Development Command (NARADCOM). Phase I of the research was completed last year. It demonstrated flaws in the combat feeding system, and the practicality of consolidating field feeding at the battalion level. Several short-term improvements in field feeding equipment went into development, and prototypes were constructed. A tent feeding system (XM 75) tested and recommended by NARADCOM was not approved, so the mobile field kitchen trailer will remain the standard equipment. Phase I of the testing did not produce enough information to make a decision on consolidating field feeding at the battalion level, but phases II and III conducted during September 1978 should provide the required information.
A program to modernize permanent dining facilities began in 1974. The facilities will have more attractive decors, self-service areas with separate short-order and regular meal serving lines, modern food preparation equipment, and adequate restroom and locker facilities. Funds are provided by the Army's military construction program (MCA). This year's MCA budget contained funds for modernizing one dining facility at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. A total of 461 dining facilities have, been selected for modernization.
Aided by the knowledge gained from a pilot kitchen program conducted during the summer of 1977, the Army began full-scale testing of a central food preparation system in February of this year. Data was collected through September, and a final evaluation is due in December.
The Army Comptroller has placed the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency (TSA) in charge of operation and maintenance funds for procuring portable food service equipment and other items for modernizing dining facilities. TSA received and obligated $5.8 million during the year for such equipment.
This year TSA supervised four food management assistance teams which offered guidance to 6,755 Army food service technicians at 85 installations and 521 dining facilities. The teams paid particular attention to reserve component units, visiting 15 reserve component installations and 607 dining facilities. They also helped operate new and modernized facilities.
The Philip A. Connelly awards are given annually for excellence in Army food service. The 1978 program was divided into three categories: dining facilities for more than 200 people; smaller dining facilities; and food service for units in the field. Awards went to the small dining facility at the 159th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky;
the large dining facility at Headquarters, U.S. Army Reception Station, U.S. Army Field Artillery Training Center, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and the field kitchen for the 1st Battalion, 37th Armor, 1st Armored Division, Ratterbach, Germany, which also won last year.
Commissary and Subsistence Supplies
The Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Personnel Support Center, and Army support units of all major commands worked jointly during the year on policy and procedural changes for stocking and rotating subsistence war reserve items. The Office of the Chief of Engineers, the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency, and a civilian architect completed standard designs and equipment schedules for eight types of commissaries. The designs included equipment arrangement. They should save time and money in commissary construction projects by eliminating repetitive design work.
The Army's commissary system of 141 main stores and 30 annexes had sales of $1.1 billion. To improve check-out service, improved versions of the Automated System for Army Commissaries were installed in Europe and the southeastern United States. The rest of the installations are scheduled for the coming fiscal year.
To encourage managers to improve their operations, a new award was given to the best commissary. The commissary at Fort Carson, Colorado, was selected as the first winner.
Clothing and Personal Equipment
Function and style are the major factors that influence developments in military dress. On the functional side, clothing must be developed for male and female, garrison and field, general and special use. Where style is concerned, trends in fashion and improvements in materials work for change. These were some of the considerations behind clothing actions in fiscal year 1978.
The men's version of the gray-green service shirt was approved in July 1978. It will be available in post exchanges in the summer of 1979 and through supply and issue in 1980. Produced in short- and long-sleeve versions, this shirt will replace the tan shirt worn with the Army green and Army summer tan uniforms. The long-sleeve version will always be worn with a tie; a tie will be worn with the short-sleeve version when it is worn with the green coat. When the shirt is used as an outer garment, insignia will be limited to a name tag, shoulder marks for offi-
cers, and pin-on metal chevrons for enlisted personnel. Chaplains will wear branch insignia above the left pocket.
The women's service shirt will use the same fabric. A new woman's ensemble containing a blouse, skirt, slacks, jacket, and long- and short-sleeved shirts will soon be tested. The ensemble uses an all-year fabric, and it will replace the summer and, winter weight Army green uniform, the Army green pantsuit, the white short sleeve shirt, and the summer cotton cord and mint green uniforms. The new women's Army green uniform and service shirts are expected to become available early in fiscal year 1982.
A new distinctive grade insignia was approved for the Sergeant Major of the Army. It differs from the standard sergeant major insignia in that it has two stars placed horizontally within the insignia field.
A study began on whether members of the reserve components should be issued their clothing in kind or receive a clothing allowance.
Laundry and Dry Cleaning
This year more than $2 million was spent modernizing the fifty-four laundry and dry cleaning facilities operated by the Army. Labor-saving machinery was purchased. As the year opened Congress imposed a government-wide moratorium on commercial service contracts for laundry equipment. Negotiations were suspended while Congress examined cost effectiveness. At the same time, costs were compared at Forts Richardson and Wainwright in Alaska, where laundry facilities had become government-owned but contractor-operated. Private contractors managed the facilities with their own personnel, using buildings and equipment furnished by the posts.
To improve management functions in all government military laundry and dry cleaning facilities, managers, superintendents, and military service officers of laundry and dry cleaning operations attended the annual two-week course given by the nationally accredited International Fabricare Institute.
The Institute of Heraldry menthe needs relating to symbolic items and furnished heraldic services in response to requests from other armed services, federal agencies, and the American Red Cross. This year the institute produced designs for 450 heraldic items, 3,750 drawings and paintings, and 114 sculptured models, molds, and casts. It developed 100 new items, completed 4,077 support actions related to research, de-
velopment, and engineering, inspected 200, 294 items, and continued researching alternative materials and manufacturing processes.
Morale, Recreation, and Welfare
The Adjutant General Center reorganized its morale and recreation functions. Levels of supervision were reduced, and more assets were placed at the operational or user level. The Recreation Services Directorate was replaced by the Morale Support Activities Directorate, and seven programs were combined into three management groups: physical activities, library activities, and community and skill development. The center stressed cross-training of staff members, integrated programming, and constructing multipurpose facilities for use by the entire military community.
The Army added triathlon and archery to the sports program. Army men's and women's teams competed in fourteen interservice sporting events, winning eight and finishing second twice, third twice, and fourth twice. Army members participated in seventeen national competitions and were on three U.S. world teams, cycling, fencing, and parachuting. Cheryl Stearns, an SP-5 and the only female on the Golden Knights, the Army's parachute exhibition team, won honors as the U.S. national champion and world champion in women's parachute competition. Soldiers served on seven armed forces teams that competed in events sponsored by the Conseil International du Sport Militaire. U.S. teams placed first in basketball, boxing, and shooting, second in modern pentathlon and track and field, and third in wrestling; the U.S. did not place in the judo competition.
Community and skill development covered a wide range of endeavors in the visual, applied, manual, and industrial arts, and were geared to the entire military community. The Army worked closely with civilian organizations in promoting these activities. For example, the Army cooperated with the American Legion and the American Chess Foundation to hold the nineteenth annual armed forces chess tournament, and with the National Federation of Music Clubs and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers to sponsor the annual parade of American music. The Army worked with a number of theatrical groups planning the first American Theater Month, which was held in May 1978. This project gave recognition, encouragement, and support to individuals involved in all aspects of theatrical production. The Army worked with other federal agencies to promote morale support activities: it worked
with the Civil Service Commission on combined federal campaign benefits, and with the Department of Labor on using CETA employees at Army installations.
The management of Army clubs underwent changes which originated in the 1977 study on the subject noted in last year's summary. The western regional office of the Adjutant General Center's Club Management Directorate was abolished, and the eastern regional office in Washington, D.C., was expanded to a United States regional office responsible for on-site technical training and management assistance for clubs in the fifty states, the canal zone, and Puerto Rico. Personnel were added to the European regional office; the Korean regional office was retained; and a board of advisers, was created for the Army club system with representatives for each major Army command and the Sergeant Major of the Army.
The Club Management Directorate provided on-site technical training and management assistance to 282 installations. In the spring a task force of club management specialists from the directorate helped Army clubs in Europe with financial problems. The declining value of the dollar had severely increased operating costs.
There were 222 graduates from the club management course, 61 from the executive club management course, and 52 from the armed forces culinary course.
Total revenue for Army clubs was $282 million. Total sales were $238.1 million, and net income was 4.8 percent of sales, or $11.3 million. There were 334 club branches in operation at the close of the year; 291, or 87 percent, were profitable.
Encouraged by rising profits, the Army embarked on a program to upgrade club facilities. It involves selecting clubs and planning their improvements. Twenty-four clubs were renovated at a cost of $4,818,000, and six new clubs were built at a cost of $7,212,000. The Army club loan program, which provides interest-free funds for construction and renovation, had twenty-three loans outstanding at the end of the fiscal year with a face value of $16,573,299. Additional loans totaling $7,345,000 were approved.
At the beginning of the fiscal year the Army reorganized its bands to absorb a cutback of 190 manpower spaces imposed by Congress. This left 2,596 officers and enlisted personnel authorized for the program. Rather than eliminating bands, the Army reduced each band slightly, thus continuing the role each band has played in sustaining troop morale, recruiting, and community support.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service began carrying less expensive lines of merchandise to complement top quality, brand name items. Customers had been complaining about high prices. These "budget specials," initially on children's clothing, proved very popular, and have been expanded to other products.
The Army published a new regulation effective 1 October 1978 that formally incorporated the Child Support Services (CSS) program and the Army Child Advocacy Program (ACAP) into the Army Community Service (ACS) program. Army regulation 608-1 provides a standard CSS program throughout the Army and sets requirements for staff, facilities and equipment, services, command and staff supervision, and child/staff ratios. As integral parts of the ACS program, the CSS and the ACAP should receive more attention at the installation level.
The Department of the Army and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare began a three-year demonstration/ evaluation project at Fort Lewis, Washington, to improve the quality of military child care centers. ACAP's reporting procedures were improved, and work was done toward establishing an ACAP central registry for collecting and disseminating information on child abuse.
Analysis began of ACAP's legal and jurisdictional problems. Child care was designated a morale, welfare, and recreation activity, and the child care subcommittee of the Department of Defense Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Coordinating Committee was established. The subcommittee held its first semiannual meeting in August 1978. It serves as a forum for exchanging information and is expected to work toward standardizing military child care services. In November 1977 the Army Emergency Relief Board of Managers further expanded eligibility criteria by making members of the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve (on continuous active duty for a period in excess of 30 days) and their dependents eligible for assistance.
Since it began in 1955, the retirement services program has been left mostly to the discretion of commanders in the field. Early in fiscal year 1978 the Army made the program mandatory. Activities that would receive increased emphasis as a result of this decision were preretirement orientation, preparation of survivor benefit plans, retiree open houses, retirement councils, and retiree volunteer services.
By the close of the fiscal year progress had been made in developing staffing guides and job descriptions for retirement services officers, devising a course of instruction for training
retirement services counselors, and meeting the needs of oversea retirees. The Retired Army Bulletin was changed from a Department of the Army pamphlet to a periodical, making it more responsive to its readers. On 30 September 1979 President Carter signed legislation improving retirees' survivor benefit options. As of that date, there were 470,000 retired personnel and survivors.
With strong support from the Department of Defense, in February 1978 the U.S. Postal Service established additional military mail gateways at O'Hare (Chicago) and Dulles (Washington, D.C.) International Airports. Prior to this, all mail between the United States, Europe, and Latin America went through New York, creating backlogs which consistently delayed mail delivery to soldiers overseas. On 1 September 1978 mail gateways were added in Florida at Miami and Jacksonville to serve military posts in Latin America. Effective 1 July 1978 the U.S. Postal Service agreed to handle all military letters as air mail. Negotiations continued for a new postal agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Defense.
The soldier of today must be proficient in techniques and technology unknown to soldiers who served in World War II and Korea. The quality recruits are the high school diploma graduates; the successful soldiers are those who take full advantage of the blend of military training, military education, and formal civilian educational opportunities to develop to their fullest potential not only as soldiers but as citizens and human beings.
The purpose of Army education is to increase readiness by improving individual professionalism and skill proficiency, to attract and retain highly qualified and well-motivated soldiers, and to help individuals fulfill their aspirations by providing them with opportunities to continue their education while serving on active duty.
The Army's continuing education program extends into numerous federal, state, local, and private agencies, associations, and educational institutions. Over 600 colleges and universities work with the Army. Many are under contract to provide programs and instruction on Army installations. The Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare are working with the Army on basic educational programs for prospective recruits who do not meet its educational standards.
Participation in Army Continuing Education Programs
|FY 76||FY 77||FY 78|
College (associate in arts & undergraduate)
College (graduate level)
* VO-TEC became skill development in 1978. It includes MOS improvement courses.
Congress has advised the Army to stress the basic skills of reading, speaking, writing, and arithmetic. Poor readers tend to have higher discharge rates, more difficulties in training, less satisfactory job performances, and less potential for career advancement. In July 1978 the Army began the Basic Skill Education Program to provide all soldiers with the educational skills they need to perform their military duties effectively or to develop professionally.
Fiscal year 1978 expenditures for basic education and high school completion programs were $9.3 million. In response to a congressional mandate, educational courses taught solely to provide soldiers .the opportunity to meet state requirements for high school graduates were conducted during off-duty hours.
The Basic Skills Education Program was designed to meet the needs of both the commander and the soldier at no cost to the soldier, to allow participation of high school graduates as well as non-high school graduates, and to provide standardized testing. It has three phases. The first is conducted on base during initial training and covers reading and arithmetic to the fifth grade level. It provides English language instruction for soldiers whose primary language is other than English, principally Spanish. This year the Army determined that six percent of its enlisted personnel were functionally illiterate, and one-third needed some remedial basic education. The second phase of the program is conducted at permanent duty stations, and has the goal of raising language and computational skills to a ninth grade level. The third phase, also conducted at permanent duty sta-
tions, is scheduled to begin during fiscal year 1980, and will provide instruction beyond that offered in the second phase.
The Servicemen's Opportunity College Associate Degree Program was recently begun to encourage career soldiers to continue their professional development through academic studies. The first program was announced in September 1977 for the combat arms. During this year programs have been adopted for food service and mechanical maintenance. The Army is developing similar programs for about twenty-five career management fields. Seventy-three educational institutions support the associate degree program.
The Army Apprenticeship Program was begun in July 1975 when national apprenticeship standards for the Army were registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training in the Department of Labor. Patterned on apprenticeship programs in private industry, the program permits active duty soldiers in apprentice specialties to document their progress in perfecting a skill. Soldiers are awarded a journeyman's certificate when they satisfactorily complete the program for their specialty. Seventy-three apprentice programs have been adopted since 1975, involving more than 100 specialties. By September of this year 10,000 soldiers were enrolled.
In January management of the Army's nonresident language program was incorporated into the Adjutant General Continuing Education System. Nonresident language programs were those taught outside the Defense Language Institute's Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California, the English Language Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and the Department of State's Foreign Service Institute.
The Army language programs involved were refresher courses for Army linguists, the command language programs at Fort Bragg and Fort Devens, English as a second language, and head-start language programs for Army personnel on their way to foreign nations. These included Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Turkish, and Portuguese. Programs were being developed for Japanese and Korean.
The post-Vietnam veterans educational assistance program authorized by Public Law 94-502 became effective on 1 January 1977. About 20.5 percent (26,275) of eligible soldiers who entered service during calendar year 1977 enrolled, and 34.2 percent (42,462) of those who entered in calendar year 1978. Approximately 100 veterans were drawing benefits under this legislation.
Health and Medical Affairs
Many health and medical problems were due to inflation and difficulty in retaining qualified personnel. Although total Army expenditures for medical services rose from $1.3 billion last year to $1.4 billion in fiscal year 1978, the bulk of the increase was due to military and civilian pay raises and the rising costs of providing health services to Army beneficiaries and soaring construction costs for new medical facilities. The distribution was as follows (millions of dollars):
|Operations and maintenance||661.4|
|Research and development||67.6|
The shortage of physicians in the Army health care system was reflected by a 6.5 percent drop in clinic visits and a 12.0 decrease in births: many retirees and dependents turned to civilian doctors for medical care. The average length of stay for all patients slipped from 7.2 to 7.0 days. Bed occupancy fell slightly despite an accounting change that tallied births as admissions and bassinets as equivalent to beds; if bassinets are not counted, bed occupancy fell 6.8 percent.
Although the requirement for active duty physicians was set at over 5,875, that many doctors could not be used efficiently during peacetime since training divisions did not require a full medical complement. The peacetime need, therefore, was set at 5,273, which would provide an efficient peacetime use, readiness to support disaster relief and contingencies short of mobilization, and an orderly transition to mobilization.
However, the authorized base strength of the Medical Corps for fiscal year 1978 was 4,009, and the actual strength was 4,063. A goal of 5,182 physicians by fiscal year 1984 was based upon the number of doctors expected to be on active duty, rather than the number required; the Army was unable to attract and retain them in sufficient numbers to reach the optimum figure. The 1984 objective represents an austere yet adequate active duty strength.
The results of the physician shortage were a decline in readiness, delays in health services, interrupted specialty services, greater dependence on higher cost contract and supplemental
services, increased use of private physicians under the cost sharing Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services, an adverse effect on morale, and an increase in the cost of health care.
Contracting specialty services, purchasing supplemental care, and hiring civil service physicians temporarily relieved the situation, but such measures were costly and inefficient. Better solutions would be personnel management and legislation making military medical service competitive with the civilian sector, improving the Health Professions Scholarship Program, and continuing the Army's most potent career incentive, an attractive and practical graduate medical education program.
It was especially difficult to attract and retain adequate personnel in medical specialties. For over 32,000 Army officers and enlisted aviation personnel, there were only about ninety flight surgeons, and some activities had none at all. Army divers lacked the medical support they required. Programs were under way to remedy some of these deficiencies by training enlisted personnel and securing local civilian medical support. Some flight surgeons collocated with Army diving units were given appropriate courses by the Air Force and the Navy.
Medical strength reductions made it necessary to convert health facilities at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort McPherson, and Fort Benjamin Harrison into clinics, with commensurate reductions in personnel and services.
Shortages in the number of dentists and nurses particularly affected retired personnel and military dependents. The main problem was a familiar one - few dentists desired to remain past their initial tour when practice in the civilian world was so much more lucrative.
The Army took steps to give dental commanders at installations control of dental resources and to bring dental commanders closer to the commanders of the units or organizations they supported. Such moves have improved retention and productivity in the past.
During April there was a meeting at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to improve communications with the reserve components and to help them recruit and retain personnel and sustain mobilization readiness. The conference improved the coordination of reserve component training requirements with the Health Services Command, increased training support from the Academy of Health Services, and revised recruiting procedures.
During the fiscal year the Department of Agriculture assumed responsibility for inspecting several meat items at packing
plants. Further transfer on a commodity-by-commodity basis will go on until the fall of 1979 when the Agriculture Department will perform all in-plant inspections. Improved veterinary drugs and equipment and studies on combat support in a theater of operation produced several revisions in the tables of organization and equipment of veterinary units and in plans for their location in the theater.
The Army sought $40.7 million to underwrite the medical care support equipment program for the fiscal year. The bulk of the request ($13.7 million) was for expanding old facilities or building new ones, and for modernizing or replacing materiel. New health facilities which were equipped included one hospital, five additions, four health clinics, five dental clinics, and one regional dental activity.
In recent years the Army has become concerned about medical reserve stocks prepositioned or destined for long-term storage in centralized facilities throughout the world. Because of limited storage sites, centralization raised the possibility that depots might not be able to assemble and ship medical materiel while engaged in other mobilization tasks. A joint effort by the Office of the Surgeon General and the Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command was in progress at Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, to develop preservation, packing, and environmental protection measures to permit relatively maintenance free long-term storage of medical equipment. Since medical support to Europe had first priority, a pilot project was completed and several sets of equipment for combat support hospitals were shipped there. Decentralized storage and prepositioned medical assemblages at unit mobilization or initial assembly sites throughout the nation and abroad would allow the Medical Department to support mobilization with more confidence.
In the medical unit self-contained transportable (MUST) program, initial issue of all necessary components was made to seventeen active Army combat support hospitals and one evacuation hospital. A full set was being assembled for a second evacuation hospital. MUST equipment for eight National Guard and seven Army Reserve combat support hospitals and three National Guard and five Army Reserve evacuation hospitals was provided for training. The Army had materiel on hand or set for acquisition to meet its inventory objective of sixty-six MUST assemblages.
Safety measures to protect Army personnel included eliminating X-rays from periodic medical examinations unless
clinically indicated. The Army continued emphasizing compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The Army Medical Department was developing automatic data processing equipment to improve response to patient needs. The Army, the Air Force, and the Navy participated in the Defense-sponsored triservice medical information system (TRIMIS). The TRIMIS program office developed and won approval to provide interim automated support for pharmacy, radiology, clinical laboratory, and patient appointments. The system was expected to be ready for testing in fiscal year 1979 at Brooke Army Medical Center. Selected automatic data systems for large medical treatment facilities were tested at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, and equipment was improved at Headquarters, Health Services Command, and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
To assist Army medical officer procurement the Army refined the automated officer procurement data system, which contained seventy key elements of information on applicants for commissions. The data kept track of applications, provided statistics for Defense and congressional inquiries, and improved the procurement effort. The installation of a minicomputer with remote terminals to provide immediate retrieval of data and make the system more effective has been delayed.
The variable incentive pay (VIP) data base was completely redesigned. VIP was authorized by Congress in 1974 to encourage physicians to remain in service. The data base can now be used to answer eligibility, budgeting, and retention queries and help prepare the annual budget, which was about $20 million. Effective 1 October 1978 the centralized medical training fund will be under the Medical Department Personnel Support Agency. Automatic data processing of the training fund was expected to reduce costs, keep track of expenditures, and publish and store travel orders.
The Army handled 1,217 remains of active duty personnel and their dependents in the continental United States during fiscal year 1978. There were 957 remains processed in six Army operated mortuaries for the period. Mortuary work load of all eligible categories of deceased persons totaled 2,174 for the period.
Casualty and Memorial Affairs
The remains of five World War II soldiers and airmen were recovered and identified: three from Assam, India, and two from Holland. The Army Central Identification Laboratory in
Hawaii identified the remains of thirty-five Army, Navy, and Air Force personnel and one civilian recovered from Southeast Asia and other areas. The laboratory hosted a six-man delegation from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam during 12-14 July 1978. The State Department sponsored visit permitted the laboratory to demonstrate record keeping procedures, information retrieval, and sophisticated techniques for identifying deceased service persons.
In August of last year the Defense Department announced the resumption of unsolicited status reviews of service members reported as prisoners of war (PW) or missing in action (MIA) in Southeast Asia. The Army began individual reviews under the Missing Persons Act. The situation changed as follows:
|1 Oct 77||10||141||55||206|
|30 Sep 78||5||52||25||82|
* Missing (non-hostile).
During this period fifty-four returned prisoners of war were scheduled for medical reevaluations. The authority for returnees to receive care in military medical facilities expired on 30 September 1978.
The National League of Families of Americans Missing in Southeast Asia has urged its members to use comprehensive Freedom of Information Act requests to delay status reviews that might result in presumptive findings of death. The Defense PW/MIA Task Force determined that status reviews would not proceed until all agencies (primarily Department of the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Casualty Resolution Center, State Department, and Central Intelligence Agency) had replied to individual league requests and the time allowed for appealing denials had expired. The Army received forty-seven league requests during the period.
During the year staff and technical visits were made to major overseas commands, ports of entry, Army mortuaries, and U.S. installations to provide more effective liaison and technical assistance. Last year the U.S. Army Nuernburg Mortuary processed 114 remains. In May this year this mortuary was closed and its operations were taken over by the U.S. Army Mortuary at Frankfurt.
The Casualty Services Division of the Adjutant General Center processed 1,125 active duty deaths, 4,913 retiree deaths, and 1,302 seriously ill cases in overseas commands. It also processed 708,625 records of emergency data. During the year
mailgrams were authorized in addition to telegrams. They are used to send confirmations of death and status reports to next of kin.
There were twenty-four major construction projects in the Army's master plan for the Arlington National Cemetery. Twenty were completed by the end of the year. The 1979 budget request approved by Congress allocated $330,000 for the final design of the Memorial Amphitheatre rehabilitation project and phase II of the cemetery roads repair project. Phase I has been completed. One master plan project is constructing a columbarium in Arlington for the inurnment of cremated remains. The columbarium will provide 10,000 niches, each of which will accommodate two urns. The master plan provides that, as the need develops, additional units of 10,000 niches each will be constructed, to a maximum of 50,000 niches. Construction of the first 5,000 niches was begun in July 1978.
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Last updated 7 September 2004