Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1979


Manning the Army

In the first five years of the all-volunteer force, the active Army had consistently been at or near authorized strength, although there were serious manpower shortages in the reserve components. Fiscal year 1979 was the first year during the volunteer era in which active Army units experienced a significant manpower shortage.

Because of continuing recruiting problems, the military strength of the active Army decreased by more than 12,500 and was 15,400 short of the end strength authorized by Congress. It dropped from 771,138 on 30 September 1978 to a low of 749,313 in May 1979, then rose to 758,356 by 30 September 1979. As a result, the Army force structure was manned (on the average) at 98.2 percent of authorizations, representing an average undermanning for the year of 13,733. Although some units based in the United States and scheduled for late deployment were at less than 80 percent strength for several months, forward deployed and early deploying units were manned at or above 100 percent throughout the year.

On 30 September 1979 the breakdown of active Army strength was as follows:


Authorized Strength

Actual Strength




Enlisted Personnel



United States Military Academy Cadets






Due to the decreasing size of the active Army, greater reliance has been placed on the reserve forces. Reserve strength, however, has declined drastically since the expiration of the draft, with the most critical shortages in the combat arms and in medical personnel. As a result, the Army’s ability to meet mobilization requirements has been severely hampered. Furthermore, recent mobilization exercises showed that the existing Selective Service System, which has been on standby status since 1975, would be unable to process sufficient numbers of inductees quickly enough to meet military manpower requirements in the event of a national emergency. Therefore, the Department of Defense budget


for fiscal year 1980 includes a request for funds to improve the capabilities of the system and bring it to a higher degree of readiness.

In addition to a revitalized Selective Service System, the Army supported peacetime registration of eighteen-year-old men and women. A variety of draft-related legislation, ranging from a virtual dismantling of the Selective Service System to compulsory public service, military or civilian, for all young people, was introduced in Congress. In September 1979 the House of Representatives rejected a proposal for peacetime registration by a margin of 252 to 163. The debate over the draft and the future of the volunteer Army, however, continued.

Enlisted Personnel

Fiscal year 1979 proved to be the most difficult recruiting year for the active Army since the beginning of the all-volunteer force. Although more men and women enlisted this year than in fiscal year 1978 (142,156 compared to 134,428), total accessions fell about 17,000 or 10.7 percent short of the recruiting objective. Furthermore, only 64.1 percent of the recruits with no prior service had high school diplomas, whereas the goal had been to recruit 70 percent high school graduates. Last year, by comparison, the active Army fell only 1.9 percent short of its recruiting goal; 73.7 percent of enlisted accessions without prior service were high school graduates. This year’s disappointing recruiting results were attributed to a variety of factors including the higher recruiting goal and competition from an improved civilian job market.

In fiscal year 1978, for the first time, the Army experienced difficulty in recruiting women, but was able to reach 99.5 percent of its female recruiting goal by lowering the minimum selection test score required for enlistment from 59 to 50, the same as for male recruits. In spite of this change and diversion of recruiting resources from males to females, recruitment of women became even more difficult in fiscal year 1979, particularly in the so-called nontraditional female skills, and the number of female recruits with no prior service fell 8.5 percent short of the objective. In April, women with high school diplomas who scored between 49 and 31 on the selection test were permitted to enlist. While this change produced an initial surge, largely into the supply specialty, once that training program was filled, female enlistments tapered. Starting 1 October 1979, enlistment eligibility criteria for women will be the same as for men. Thus, female non-high school graduates will be eligible for enlistment


if they score 31 or higher on the Armed Forces Women’s Selection Test. Female high school graduates scoring between 16 and 30 will also be eligible, but the 10 percent limit on enlistments from this group will apply to women as well as men. Standardized criteria will provide men and women equal opportunity to enlist and should increase the number of women both in the active Army and in the reserve components.

In another effort to expand the recruiting market and stimulate the flow of accessions, the Army once again opened enlistments to seventeen-year-old males who did not graduate from high school. They were not allowed to enlist during fiscal year 1978 because, as a group, their attrition rate proved to be higher than that of high school graduates and older nongraduates. Starting in July 1979, they could enlist provided they scored high enough on a new test called the Military Applicant Profile, which was designed to indicate adaptability and motivation for military service.

In January 1979 the Army made two major changes to improve recruiting for specialties in armor, which had particularly serious shortages. First, the requirement for a drivers license was removed and the eyesight criterion was modified. Second, the enlistment bonus was raised from $2,500 to $3,000, the maximum amount authorized by law. Later in the year, the Army also began paying enlistment bonuses at the maximum level in infantry and some military intelligence skills. This was the first time since the enlistment bonus program was authorized by Congress in 1972 that the Army offered a bonus higher than $2,500. The Army also proposed legislation that would authorize enlistment bonuses of up to $5,000 and provide greater flexibility in the use of the bonus to address recruiting goals other than overcoming shortfalls. During fiscal year 1979, enlistment bonuses ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 were offered in twenty-four military occupational specialties in addition to eight specialties with the maximum $3,000 bonus. Total enlistment bonus payments for the year exceeded $34.6 million.

The Army’s recruiting budget for fiscal year 1979 was $237.8 million, including $42.6 million for advertising. The theme of this year’s advertising program was the personal challenge of being a good soldier. Aimed primarily at high school seniors and recent graduates, the ads portrayed military service as a natural progression following high school. They stressed the intangible rewards as well as the tangible benefits of Army life and inter-


twined patriotic appeals. Every effort was made to portray the Army accurately and realistically, promising no more than the Army could deliver.

At the request of Congress, the Army, in January, began to test a two-year enlistment option for basic combat skills. To be eligible for the two-year enlistment, the applicant must have no prior military service, be a high school graduate, score 50 or higher on the enlistment examination, enlist in a combat or combat related military occupational specialty, enlist for an assignment location determined by the Army (with the majority of enlistees being sent to Europe), and serve four years in the Ready Reserve after release from two years of active duty. An enhanced Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP) is offered as an incentive to soldiers who enter the Army under this option. Under the basic VEAP, the government contributes $2 to the soldier’s educational fund for every dollar the individual contributes and a soldier must contribute between $50 and $75 per month for twelve consecutive months. Under the two-year enlistment option, the Army places another $2,000 into the fund, as an added incentive, thus allowing each soldier to accumulate up to $7,400 for educational expenses. In June, the government’s incentive contribution to the soldiers’ educational fund was increased to $4,000 in certain specified geographic recruiting areas, enabling soldiers to accumulate up to $9,400 during their two years of active duty. The purpose of the increase was to determine the comparative attractiveness of educational benefits at various monetary levels. (Individuals have ten years from the time of separation from active duty to use the fund.)

This option of a shorter enlistment term coupled with enhanced educational benefits was designed to attract college-bound high school graduates, the kind of young people who had enlisted to take advantage of the G.I. Bill before it was discontinued on 31 December 1976. The program has two primary purposes: to enlist more high school graduates and individuals who score over 49 on the entrance test and to fill combat arms slots, especially for Europe. It will also facilitate an evaluation of the effect of shorter tours in Europe on unit readiness, discipline, and morale. Finally, it will increase the flow of trained personnel into the critically undermanned Individual Ready Reserve at an earlier date and for a longer period than can be expected from three- and four-year enlistees. During calendar year 1979, the two-year enlistment option was available to approximately 12,500 appli-


cants. Late in 1979 the decision was made to continue the test, with modifications, until December 1980. After the results are evaluated, the Army will make recommendations to Congress to continue, discontinue, or modify the option.

In addition to measures specifically designed to attract more volunteers, such as changing enlistment criteria, offering higher enlistment bonuses, and testing the two-year enlistment option, the Army took a number of other actions to enhance the recruiting effort. On the basis of recommendations made by the Army Audit Agency, which conducted a thorough examination of recruiting operations from May to December 1978, management techniques were improved in the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). The Army also devoted additional resources to the recruiting effort. In January, for example, 250 high-quality noncommissioned officers in grade E-6 were selected for nonvoluntary, three-year assignments as Army recruiters. At the same time, the Army encouraged other soldiers (primarily E-6’s, but also E-5’s and E-7’s) to volunteer for reclassification into recruitment. Soldiers in the rank of E-6 are ideally suited for recruiting duty because of their military experience, professionalism, and maturity.

During fiscal year 1979, the Army conducted a full-scale recruiting malpractice investigation. After a new, sophisticated computer analysis (provided to all the services by the Military Enlistment Processing Command) detected possible coaching of applicants by recruiters on certain portions of the enlistment qualification test, the Army’s Recruiting Command began investigating those recruiters who seemed to have many applicants with irregular test scores. Later, the investigation was expanded to cover other recruiting irregularities, and more than sixty USAREC personnel were detailed to the investigation team headed by a brigadier general. By the end of the fiscal year, the team had visited thirty-one installations in the United States as well as units in Germany and Korea, and investigations were underway in thirty-two of the fifty-seven District Recruiting Commands, with the remainder scheduled for visits during the first quarter of fiscal year 1980. About 38 percent of the 6,650 soldiers interviewed provided information relating to recruiter malpractice.

Investigators found that the most prevalent violation was furnishing word lists and other elements of the qualification test to applicants. Other violations that were uncovered included falsification of educational levels; fraudulent use of blank high school diplomas; concealment of police records and disqualifying


medical information; possession of blank social security cards; fabrication of W-2 forms; concealment of dependents; illegal retesting; possible fraud associated with bonus options; failure to exercise leadership or proper supervisory controls, supervisory involvement or condonement; involvement of Job Corps and Armed Forces Entrance Examining Station personnel; and improper transfer of enlistment credits among recruiters and districts.

By 30 September 1979, five officers and 187 noncommissioned officers had been relieved from duty as a result of the investigation, including eighty-two persons who held supervisory positions. Some of these were relieved for failure in leadership rather than recruiting malpractice. Nine of the relieved NCO’s had court-martial charges preferred. Nineteen cases were referred to the Criminal Investigation Command and three cases involving tester irregularities were referred to the Military Enlistment Processing Command. Two sergeants facing courts-martial in Charlotte, North Carolina, in turn, filed charges against a brigadier general and two colonels for allegedly condoning, encouraging, and trying to cover up recruiting violations.

There was widespread concern that heavy pressure on recruiters to meet quotas was responsible for illegal enlistment of an undetermined but large number of unqualified recruits for the all-volunteer force. The Army expects to complete the investigation by 30 November 1979. After analyzing the reasons for the widespread recruiting malpractice, the Army intends to take specific actions to prevent, or at least reduce, fraudulent enlistments in the future.

Although fiscal year 1979 was a difficult year for recruitment, it was a successful year for the Army’s reenlistment program. As shown in the table below, 80,732 soldiers reenlisted, an increase of 6,909 since the previous year and the largest number of reenlistments since the beginning of the all-volunteer force. Furthermore, the first-term reenlistment rate of over 39 percent was the highest recorded during the volunteer era. The Army was particularly successful in reenlisting first-term personnel, achieving 115.7 percent of the objective, while reaching 98.2 percent of the goal for career soldiers (those with more than three years of service).

Since no new major retention initiatives were implemented this year, the success of the reenlistment program was attributed to the combined effects of several previous policy changes as well as increased command emphasis and involvement throughout






Percent Achieved

Percent of High School Graduates1

Percent on Waivers

Percent of Eligibles Reenlisting2

First Term

















































1 Includes GED
2 Adjusted Reenlistment Rates

the Army. About 130 to 140 soldiers have been reenlisting each month under the Bonus Extension and Retaining Program initiated in January 1978. The CONUS-to-CONUS reenlistment option, tested from 1 January 1978 to 1 May 1979, proved to be so effective that it has been approved for implementation in fiscal year 1980. This year, four terminals of RETAIN, the automated reenlistment and assignment reservation system, were installed on a test basis in Europe. Since RETAIN significantly increased reenlistments in the supported units, expansion to twenty-seven sites is planned for next year.

Another effective reenlistment incentive is the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) program. Approved by Congress in 1974, it authorizes the Army to make payments up to $12,000 for reenlistments of three or more years by soldiers between their twenty-first month and tenth year of active service. During fiscal year 1979, reenlistment bonuses were offered in 126 specialties and payments totaled about $82 million. Lump-sum SRB payments were reinstated on 3 April 1979 because surveys indicated that smaller, lump-sum bonuses provided as much of an incentive to reenlist as larger bonuses paid in installments over the full reenlistment term.

Since it is likely that recruiting will become even more difficult in the future, retention of good soldiers will be particularly important in the years ahead. The Army is in the process of gradually increasing the career content of the enlisted force from about 44 percent at the end of fiscal year 1977 to 49 percent by fiscal year 1984. Greater numbers of skilled, experienced soldiers will improve professionalism as well as reduce recruiting requirements. The following table breaks down the enlisted strength of the active Army by grade as of 30 September 1979.

























The expansion of the Skill Qualification Testing (SQT) program for enlisted personnel continued during fiscal year 1979, although budgetary constraints have slowed program implementation. The Training and Doctrine Command continued to develop tests for specialties in career fields not yet under the SQT program.

There were no major changes in enlisted promotion criteria during fiscal year 1979, but starting 1 October 1979 soldiers with SQT scores of 60 or higher will be eligible for promotion to grades E-5 and E-6. Currently, these soldiers must score at least 80 in order to qualify for promotion without a waiver. Under the new policy, scores between 60 and 79 will earn 1.5 promotion points for each extra SQT point, while scores between 80 and 100 will earn 3 promotion points for each SQT point. Thus, the higher the soldier’s SQT score, the more promotion points he or she can earn. Changes will also be made in the number of promotion points given for specific decorations and awards and for training under the noncommissioned officer education system.

The educational level of enlisted personnel has improved substantially during the volunteer era. As of 30 September 1979, about 86 percent of the enlisted men and women in the active Army had high school diplomas or the equivalent, compared to only 71.3 percent on 30 June 1973, the date on which the draft expired. In spite of this increase in formal education, the reading level of the average soldier has declined and the Army has been forced to rewrite many of its manuals using simpler, less sophisticated language. About 6 percent of new enlistees understand written English at or below the fifth grade level and, therefore, are considered to be functionally illiterate. Such statistics become somewhat less alarming when compared to the reading level of the general public. A recent study sponsored by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare established that 21 percent


of Americans over the age of seventeen suffer the same lack of reading skills.

In October 1978 the Army began a special education program for basic trainees with reading difficulties. This program improves their communication and arithmetic skills before they enter occupational specialty training and makes them assets rather than liabilities to their units. Later, with additional tailored courses, the Army expects to bring these soldiers to at least the ninth grade level by the end of their first term of service.

This year, congressional attention was again focused on the high rate of first-term attrition in the Army and the other services. The General Accounting Office reported that during fiscal years 1974-77, 420,024 persons were discharged before completing their first term of enlistment and these early separations cost the government $5.2 billion with $2.7 billion—or more than half—in present and future veterans benefits. The Army expects to reduce first-term attrition to about 30 percent for soldiers enlisting in fiscal years 1978, 1979, and 1980, compared to a high of 40 percent for enlistees from fiscal year 1974, the first year of the all-volunteer force. The early discharge programs that separate soldiers unable or unwilling to adjust to the demands of military life will be retained because such administrative separations are in the best interest of both the Army and the individual concerned.

Besides reemphasizing the vital role of good leadership at all levels in reducing attrition and continuing efforts to recruit personnel with high potential for successfully completing their enlistments, the Army this year also developed criteria for transferring certain soldiers to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) in lieu of discharge. The primary reason for the new policy was the critical need to increase the size of the IRR. Effective 1 October 1979, soldiers who are separated after successfully completing basic training or at least eight weeks of one station unit training will be transferred to the IRR to complete their six-year obligation. The new policy applies to Regular Army soldiers, Army reservists, and national guardsmen separated for such reasons as parenthood, dependency, hardship, pregnancy, or having the status of sole surviving son, daughter, or other family member. Additionally, soldiers separated under the Trainee Discharge program, the Expeditious Discharge program, or because of unsuitability due to apathy may also be transferred to the IRR. Soldiers in these categories, however, who are identified by their commanders as having no potential for useful service under full mobilization will be discharged.


Officer Personnel

The officer strength of the active Army increased slightly during fiscal year 1979 from 97,301 to 97,381. The following table breaks down the officer end strength by grade.


Commissioned Officers


General Officers




Lieutenant Colonel






First Lieutenant


Second Lieutenant





Warrant Officers












Grand Total



Although the Secretary of Defense directed that officer strength be reduced to 94,000 by the end of fiscal year 1980, the Army was unable to cut officer position requirements down to that level and requested an increase in the end strength for next year to a minimum of 98,340.

As shown in the following table, active Army officer accessions for fiscal year 1979 totaled 9,662, with 4,525 or 46.8 percent coming from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).


United States Military Academy


Reserve Officers’ Training Corps


Officer Candidate School


Voluntary Active Duty


Direct Appointment


Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Corps


Nurses and Medical Specialists


Warrant Officers






1Includes administrative gains such as recall from retired list and interservice transfer.

The opening Army ROTC enrollment for school year 1978-79


was 61,185, an increase of 1,508 since the previous year. About 25 percent of the cadets were women, 21 percent were black, and 6 percent were members of other minorities. The number of ROTC units remained unchanged at 275. The Army’s intensive management plan for unproductive units continued to have a positive effect. ROTC units with fewer than seventeen students enrolled in the third-year program decreased from twenty-four during the 1977-78 school year to eleven during 1978-79, with only one potential candidate for disestablishment. Of the 6,500 Army ROTC scholarships awarded this year, 2,294 were for four years, 2,830 for three years, 1,153 for two years, and 223 for one year.

Although ROTC enrollment has grown steadily over the past five years, the rate of growth has been declining. The Army had to revise its plans to increase ROTC production because the manpower and financial resources needed to reach this goal were not provided. Since last year’s request for 5,500 additional Army ROTC scholarships was unsuccessful, this year the Army requested 2,000 new scholarships. If approved, they should provide the incentive necessary to raise ROTC production from its present level of about 6,500 officers to a projected level of about 8,600 by fiscal year 1985.

The Army continued its efforts to assign more ROTC graduates to the reserve components. Of the 6,340 officers commissioned through ROTC this year, 4,040 entered active duty, 1,663 went to Army National Guard and Army Reserve units, and 637 were granted educational delays for graduate study. In another action to assist the reserve components, cadets who had completed all ROTC requirements but had not finished the academic requirements for the baccalaureate degree could be commissioned, provided they had been accepted for assignment to the Army National Guard or a unit of the Army Reserve.

In an effort to increase both ROTC enrollment and the strength of the Selected Reserve, the Army implemented a new program in June 1979, which permits eligible enlisted personnel assigned to a troop program unit of the Army National Guard or Army Reserve to enter the advanced course of the ROTC program and eligible ROTC advance course cadets to enlist and serve in USAR and ARNGUS units. Participants in this new Army ROTC/Selected Reserve Simultaneous Membership program will drill with their units as officer trainees, hold the rank of cadet, receive ROTC training, and earn guard or reserve pay at a grade of at least E-5 plus a monthly ROTC stipend of $100 for up to twenty months. After completing the ROTC program,


they will be commissioned in the Army Reserve and assigned to either a USAR or ARNGUS unit pending graduation from college. Upon graduation, these officers will be considered for Regular Army appointment or called to active duty for a three-year period.

The commissioned officer strength of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) increased from 15,266 to 15,726 during fiscal year 1979 and surpassed the authorized end strength of 15,223. Nevertheless, it still fell far short of the recognized requirements for AMEDD officers, with the largest shortages in the Medical Corps and the Army Nurse Corps, as shown in the following table.



Recognized   Requirement

Authorized Strength

Actual Strength

Shortage from Recognized Requirement

Percent of Shortage

Medical Corps






Dental Corps






Veterinary Corps






Medical Service Corps






Army Nurse Corps






Army Medical Specialist Corps












The following table breaks down AMEDD officer accessions for fiscal year 1979 by corps and source:




Direct Appointment



Medical Corps






Dental Corps






Veterninary Corps






Medical Service Corps






Army Nurse Corps






Army Medical Specialist Corps






Warrant Officers












For the second year in a row the Medical Corps succeeded in recruiting more than 300 volunteer physicians, with 124 of these entering graduate medical training and the rest joining as fully qualified doctors. This trend is expected to continue in the future. New incentives to encourage Medical Corps recruitment included the waiver of retirement eligibility criteria for new applicants, extension of active service beyond age sixty in selected cases, and the possibility of retention to age sixty-four for officers in the Army Reserve.


Despite the closing of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing in June 1978, the Army Nurse Corps acquired 490 graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs during fiscal year 1979. Also, the number of nursing students enrolled in ROTC continued to increase. After graduation, they will provide the nucleus of Army nurses for the future who will be highly qualified both from a military and a professional nursing viewpoint.

Volunteer applications for the Veterinary Corps doubled this year, and those for the Dental Corps increased by 52 percent. These increases were attributed to aggressive recruiting as well as greater participation by corps members and AMEDD personnel counselors at professional conventions and in communications with and visits to dental and veterinary schools.

Once again, the Medical Service Corps (MSC) acquired the majority of its new officers through the ROTC program. Plans have been made to expand MSC advertising in order to improve recruitment for hard-to-fill specialties such as nuclear science, clinical psychology, sanitary engineering, and optometry. The Army Medical Specialist Corps met all of its accession objectives this year, including the additional qualified physical therapists authorized last year for service as health care extenders.

In addition to recruiting civilian-trained physicians’ assistants, the Army reopened the military physicians’ assistant training program, discontinued in 1977, by sending thirty-eight enlisted personnel to the Air Force school at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Another 120 students were selected for attendance at the physicians’ assistant school in the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. This program will eventually result in accessions of 120 AMEDD warrant officers a year. The Army plans to continue recruitment of civilian-trained volunteers along with the military training programs.

At the end of the fiscal year, 329 students, including 124 designated as Army participants were attending the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences at Bethesda, Maryland. The university will graduate its first class of medical students in June 1980. Fourteen of these are scheduled to enter Army graduate medical training.

A high-quality graduate medical education program that offers the opportunity for professional growth and development is among the strongest incentives for physicians to select military service as a career. The Army’s first-year graduate medical education program filled 403 out of 410 internship spaces this year; the remaining seven positions were filled at the second year level of training. Over 80 percent of the applicants for internship


received either their first or second choice in specialty and location, thus making the program more attractive to prospective applicants in the future.

A major source of new officers for the Army Medical Department is the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). During fiscal year 1979, a total of 1,682 students participated in the Army’s part of the program. There were 534 HPSP graduates (388 in medicine, 113 in dentistry, 15 in veterinary medicine, and 18 in optometry). This year the Army again stressed the need for legislation to increase HPSP benefits and make the program more competitive with other federal subsidy programs.

In an effort to improve retention as well as recruitment and help reduce the critical shortage of physicians and other AMEDD officers, the Army also continued to support legislative proposals to provide stabilized compensation and incentive pay for health professionals. Although members of the 96th Congress introduced six different bills relevant to special pay for military medical personnel, no final action had been taken on any bill by the end of fiscal year 1979.

The 95th Congress adjourned without enacting an amendment proposed by the Army to the so-called “Manchu Act.” This act limits Army and Air Force officers assigned to the executive part of their respective departments to a four-year tour of duty and prohibits their reassignments to general and special staffs or secretariats in less than two years. The proposal, which would limit this restriction to general officers, has been resubmitted to the 96th Congress.

The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) is the culmination of a number of efforts by the Department of Defense and Congress over the past fifteen years to update legislation pertaining to commissioned officers. It attempts to remove some inefficiencies, correct certain inequities in officer treatment, provide new tools for controlling the force during expansion and contraction, and establish more uniform promotion, separation, and retirement laws for each service. The DOPMA proposal achieves a satisfactory balance between the management interests of the Department of Defense and the personal rights of the individual officer.

Although the House of Representatives passed DOPMA in both the 94th and 95th Congresses, the Senate did not complete action on the bill either time. In the spring of 1979, Senator Nunn of Georgia reintroduced the DOPMA proposal. In August the bill was reported out of the Manpower and Personnel Sub-


committee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and it was anticipated that DOPMA would be voted out of the full committee by mid-October 1979. The Army, as well as the other military services, has urged Congress to give high priority to passage of this important legislation.

Continuing review this year of the Army’s Officer Personnel Management System (OPMS) resulted in a number of revisions to the OPMS specialty structure. When fully implemented during fiscal year 1980, these changes should strengthen the system and improve the professional development of Army officers. Five existing OPMS specialties will be deleted, one new specialty will be added, and ten specialties will be redesignated, expanded, or realigned. Major changes include a complete realignment of the specialties relating to personnel management and new career development patterns for aviators.

In August 1979 the U.S. Army Military Personnel Center announced plans to reorganize its Officer Personnel Management Directorate. After the reorganization, which will be phased in over a nineteen-month period, the directorate will have three vertically-structured divisions to manage the careers of lieutenants through lieutenant colonels (one for the combat arms, one for combat support arms, and one for combat service support) instead of separate divisions for each of the field grades. The present divisions for warrant officers and colonels will remain the same. By providing a single point of contact for each officer throughout his career from grade 0-1 to 0-5, the new organization should make the Army’s officer management system more personalized, efficient, and effective.

On 15 September 1979 the Army began the transition to a new Officer Evaluation Reporting System (OERS), which will replace the system in use since 1973. The development of the new OERS took over five years and included an Army-wide field test conducted in 110 active Army, National Guard, and reserve organizations as well as a review of the performance evaluation systems of the other military services, government, industry, academia, and the armed forces of many allied nations. Several thousand officers from the field participated in the developmental process and, to a large extent, determined the makeup of the new system.

The new OERS incorporates several innovative features. It calls for active participation by the rated officer in the evaluation process, encourages continual two-way communication between the rated officer and the rater throughout the rating period, allows greater flexibility in the number of officials in the rating


chain, and increases the responsibilities of the senior rater from a purely administrative review to include an independent, critical assessment of the rated officer’s potential. A new support form, which accompanies the officer evaluation report through the rating chain, provides additional information to all rating officials from the rated officer’s point of view by giving each officer the opportunity to describe not only his duties and objectives but also his major accomplishments and significant contributions. The emphasis on better communication between senior and subordinate officers, objective setting, and problem solving should encourage professional development and increase organizational effectiveness by focusing performance more directly on mission.

Another innovation is the senior rater profile, used to track and maintain a record of the rating history of each senior rater. It places the assessment of each officer’s potential in proper perspective by providing a comparison of a specific rating and the senior rater’s normal rating tendencies. This information will be made available to boards and managers for use in making personnel management decisions. Another purpose of the profile is to stress the importance of the senior rater’s responsibility to provide credible rating information, since it affects not only the course of each rated officer’s career but also the quality of the officer corps and the selection of the Army’s future leadership and, therefore, has great impact on how the Army accomplishes its mission.

To familiarize the officer corps with the new OERS, teams from the Military Personnel Center conducted briefings at major units and installations throughout the Army. Every officer received a pamphlet which explained the new system in brief and provided instructions for both rating officials and rated officers. Service journals published articles highlighting the salient features of the system. The Training and Doctrine Command developed instructional packages, which will train individuals affected by the OERS as well as those responsible for administering it. Also, Army Regulation 623-105, Officer Evaluation Reporting System, was completely revised to reflect all of the changes. After a transition period during which officers will receive a final closeout report under the current system, the new OERS will become effective in the active Army on 1 November 1979 and in the reserve components on 1 March 1980.

In order to increase promotion equity, the Chief of Staff in February 1979 established new policies for the temporary promotion of Army officers to the field grades. These policies are reflected in a five-year promotion plan that specifies both pri-


mary and secondary zones of consideration for promotion to each field grade during fiscal years 1980-84. The zones are defined by basic year groups, which are groupings of officers who began their commissioned service during the same fiscal year. Primary zone cutoffs are determined by the date of rank of the most junior officer in the year group who has never failed to be selected for promotion from the primary zone when first considered and who has never been selected from the secondary zones for early promotion to any grade. Secondary zones are composed of the two year groups junior to the group being considered in the primary zone for the first time, thus giving every officer two opportunities for early promotion to each field grade. The five-year plan was designed to provide each year group a total promotion opportunity of 80 percent to major, 70 percent to lieutenant colonel, and 50 percent to colonel. Secondary zone selection rates will be a maximum of 5 percent to major, 10 percent to lieutenant colonel, and 15 percent to colonel.

In a related action, the Army regulation on promotion of officers on active duty was revised effective 1 June 1979. It consolidated several interim changes as well as a number of promotion policies and procedures previously not covered by regulations. The new AR 624-100 explained in greater detail certain terms, practices, and procedures connected with promotions, revised the quality criteria for selection for promotion from a secondary zone of consideration, and changed the approval and review authority for promotion to first lieutenant and chief warrant officer, W-2.

During a review of mobilization requirements, the Army determined that it had an excess of reserve colonels in an active status. This excess was detrimental to the advancement of other officers because reserve promotions to colonel were supposed to be based on vacancies. Furthermore, the cost of maintaining the overstrength was estimated at more than $3 million. On 18 September 1979, the Secretary of the Army convened a removal board at the Reserve Components Personnel and Administration Center in St. Louis, Missouri. At that time, the Army had approximately 2,200 reserve colonels who were eligible for retirement and were not assigned to a unit. The Secretary directed the board to recommend 565 of these officers for removal, which was about half of the total excess. The guidance to the board clearly stated that it was not a qualitative retention board, since all 2,200 colonels were superb officers, fully qualified for service. Its task, therefore, was to determine which officers possessed the greatest potential to serve during future mobilization and rec-


ommend for retirement those with less potential. The board was scheduled to adjourn on 19 October 1979.

Women in the Army

The Women’s Army Corps was disestablished effective 20 October 1978, pursuant to Section 820 of Public Law 95-485, as announced in Department of the Army General Order No. 20, dated 21 November 1978. The disestablishment of a separate corps for women reflects the integration of female soldiers into the mainstream of the Army and recognizes the role of women as full partners in national defense with equal opportunity for career development and advancement with their male counterparts. On 21 March 1979 the flag of the Women’s Army Corps was officially retired after a final review at Fort McClellan, Alabama, and was put on permanent display in the WAC museum.

During fiscal year 1979, the number of women in the Army continued to increase. By the end of the year, there were over 61,000 women in the active Army, about 23,000 in the Army Reserve, and more than 14,000 in the Army National Guard. Female soldiers were stationed in forty-five of the fifty states and in seventeen foreign countries. About 8 percent of the active Army, 4 percent of the Army National Guard, and 12 percent of the Army Reserve were women, and further substantial increases in female strength were projected for both the active force and the reserve components. As Secretary of the Army Clifford L. Alexander stated: “The lesson of our experience thus far is clear. Women have the desire and the capability to serve well. They represent a resource that we cannot afford to neglect.”

The number of women officers in the active Army rose from 6,292 to about 6,800 during fiscal year 1979. Female officer accessions for the year totaled 1,570, compared to 1,518 for fiscal year 1978. In recent years there has been a dramatic growth in female participation in various precommissioning programs. Increasing numbers of women have been attending officer candidate schools, with 103 receiving their commissions through OCS this year, an increase of 49 since last year. Female ROTC enrollment has skyrocketed from 212 during the 1972-73 school year to 15,365 during 1978-79, when one out of every four Army ROTC cadets was a woman. Some 817 females were commissioned through ROTC in fiscal year 1979. This year, for the first time, a woman was assigned as a full professor of military science for a major university ROTC program, and a woman was named the outstanding Army ROTC graduate for 1978.

With the admission of the class of 1983, the United States


Military Academy at West Point now has women in all four classes for the first time in its history. As of 30 September 1979, there were 333 female cadets, who comprised 7.8 percent of the 4,287 member cadet corps. There were also twenty women officers on the academy faculty and staff, and plans call for an increase in 1980. Women in the later classes have lower attrition rates and greater physical aptitudes than those in the earlier classes. Each cadet company has incorporated females into its ranks and women have been fully integrated into every facet of cadet life. The first women will graduate from West Point in May 1980.

Currently, 221 out of 285 commissioned and warrant officer specialties are open to women. At the end of the fiscal year, 56 percent of female officers in the active Army were in the professional branches, with the greatest majority in the Army Nurse Corps. Among the remaining 44 percent, concentrations were found in military intelligence, signal, ordnance, quartermaster, and adjutant general specialties. There were two female general officers: Maj. Gen. Mary E. Clarke, the last director of the Women’s Army Corps and the present commander of the Military Police School/Training Center and Fort McClellan, and Brig. Gen. Hazel W Johnson, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, who this year became the first black woman to reach the rank of general.

As the year ends, a plan is being prepared that will distribute women throughout the basic branch specialties in a sensible and fair manner, taking into consideration the current combat exclusion policy. The objective is to achieve a representative female officer force that satisfies operational requirements, individual career development needs, and the Army’s affirmative action plan.

Although the number of enlisted women on active duty rose from 50,292 to 54,818 during fiscal year 1979, the Army had difficulty in recruiting women and fell 8.5 percent short of the accession goal for the year. However, the standardization of enlistment criteria for men and women, effective I October 1979, should facilitate female recruiting in the future. At the present time, 324 of the Army’s 348 enlisted specialties are open to women, but many women still prefer to serve in the traditional female skills and appear reluctant to enter some of the other career fields. This attitude is reflected in the problems encountered in enlisting sufficient numbers of women for mechanical and technical specialties as well as higher attrition rates for female soldiers in such nontraditional skill areas. Nevertheless, the Army intends to continue recruiting women for a wide range of specialties. In general, enlisted women as well as female officers are


performing more than satisfactorily in the skills for which they were trained, as demonstrated by early promotion, selection for command and schooling opportunities, and efficiency evaluations.

The integration of male and female recruits in basic training was completed in fiscal year 1979. Last year, integrated basic training was offered only at Fort Jackson. In accordance with previous plans, basic training for men began at Fort McClellan and for women at Forts Dix and Leonard Wood in October 1978. After additional study, the Training and Doctrine Command implemented female basic training at Fort Bliss in November and Fort Sill in February, and decided that in the future enlisted women would be sent routinely to all TRADOC training centers, except Fort Knox, for basic training. The Army has adopted standardized and integrated basic training to ensure that women are provided the same fundamental battlefield skills as men.

For several years, the Army has been concerned about the physical ability of women, and some men, to perform certain military tasks. The Training and Doctrine Command has been studying the physical requirements associated with each military occupational specialty in order to develop gender-free physical standards that will determine who can perform effectively in each specialty, regardless of sex. Two physical classification tests are under development: a physical fitness test battery, which involves a test of muscle strength to include upper and lower body and cardio-respiratory endurance, and an X-factor test, which relates an individual’s weight lifting capability with the physical requirements of a particular skill.

In November 1978 Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Stations began using the weight factor test to advise enlistees—both male and female—on their chances of success in their chosen MOS. No individual, however, was denied entry into a specialty on the basis of this test alone. Arrangements have been made to compare the performance in Advanced Individual Training of soldiers with the appropriate X-factor level for their MOS against those with a lower level in an effort to determine the correlation between physical strength and performance of duty.

An interesting experiment at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, has indicated that women have the ability to load and fire 105-mm. and 155-mm. howitzers. The six-week test, conducted by the Army’s Human Engineering Laboratory, involved thirteen enlisted women who normally hold administrative jobs. The all-female teams achieved the prescribed rate of fire of both howitzers with no problem and, in several instances, exceeded


it. Male observers described their performance as professional and outstanding. Since the test was limited in nature and did not include all tasks required of a regular artillery crewman, it did not prove that women could perform all artillery-related functions, but it did open the door for additional studies along these lines. Eleven of the thirteen women who participated in the experiment felt that they could handle the job, but only five said they would want to trade their present jobs to become artillery crewmen.

One of the major issues associated with women in the Army is pregnancy. Although pregnancy is officially regarded as a temporary medical disability, field commanders are concerned over the high rate of pregnancy among enlisted women, prolonged absence from duty as a result of pregnancy, and nondeployability of pregnant soldiers. During fiscal year 1978, 2,068 pregnant soldiers chose to leave the Army, 2,626 had abortions, and 3,138 delivered and remained on active duty. This year, 2,791 chose to leave the service, 571 had abortions, and 3,387 delivered at full term. The substantial decrease in the number of abortions can be attributed, in part, to congressional restraints imposed on performance of voluntary abortions using federal funds or facilities.

The fiscal year 1979 Defense Appropriations Act prohibited the use of appropriated funds to perform abortions, except when the life of the mother would be endangered or severe and long-lasting physical health damage would result if the fetus were carried to term, when the mother was a victim of rape or incest, or when it was necessary to terminate an ectopic, or abnormal pregnancy. In January, the Army announced that hereafter only those soldiers who met the criteria established by the act may obtain abortions free of charge at Army medical facilities. Soldiers not qualifying for abortions at government expense who are stationed in overseas areas without access to acceptable civilian health care facilities may obtain abortions on a prepaid fee basis at the nearest military medical facility. Furthermore, government transportation is authorized for this purpose. Soldiers who need abortion counseling and are stationed where such services are not available locally are also entitled to government transportation.

The Army also changed its policy on maternity leave this year. In the past, pregnant soldiers were normally authorized up to four weeks of prenatal leave. Under the new policy, effective in August 1979, they will continue to perform duty until such time


as it is no longer considered feasible by the attending physician. The postpartum leave policy remains the same: usually not more than six weeks of authorized leave after the mother’s release from the hospital with extensions available for medical reasons.

On 21 September 1979 the Secretary of the Army approved a new policy concerning evacuation of pregnant soldiers when, and if, general noncombatant evacuation from an overseas area is ordered. All personnel who have reached their eighteenth week of pregnancy will be evacuated. Other pregnant soldiers may be evacuated upon determination by a lieutenant colonel in the chain of command, in consultation with medical authority, that evacuation is in the best interest of the Army and the individual. In making the determination, authorities will consider the women’s ability to perform in her specialty and the capabilities of supporting medical units.

This year a group of women received belated official recognition for their service as telephone operators with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I. They were civilian employees of the Signal Corps because at that time women could enlist in the Army only as nurses. Organized in response to a request from General John J. Pershing, the Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators had the important mission of operating the telephone exchanges of the AEF in Paris, France, at AEF Headquarters in Chaumont, France, at First Army Headquarters, and at seventy-five other cities and towns in France as well as in London, Southampton, and Winchester, England. Some of them also served in Germany during the occupation at the end of World War I. A total of 223 women went overseas in six operating units, starting in March 1918. Of particular note was the support given by a detachment of six female operators at Ligny, which was critical to the First Army’s communications during the St. Mihiel offensive. One of the women, Chief Operator Grace D. Banker, received the Distinguished Service Medal.

On 15 May 1979 the Department of Defense Civilian/Military Service Review Board determined that the service of the World War I Signal Corps Female Telephone Operators should be considered active military service. On 2 July 1979 the Secretary of the Army delegated the responsibility for determining whether individual members of this group qualified for honorable discharges and veterans benefits to the Reserve Components Personnel and Administration Center in St. Louis, Missouri. By the end of the fiscal year, the Individual Service Review Board es-


tablished at the center had reviewed forty-two applications from surviving members of the group or their next of kin. The board approved thirty-five of these applications.

In a special ceremony held at Newport, Rhode Island, Secretary of the Army Alexander presented an honorable discharge certificate to Mrs. Estelle Pheeney, age 86. Mrs. Pheeney thanked the secretary on behalf of all of the women and said it was worth waiting sixty years for this honor. The other thirty-four former telephone operators received their discharge documents from Army commanders in ceremonies near their home towns across the country.

Military Manpower and Personnel Management

In the area of military personnel management, a plan approved earlier by the Army Chief of Staff was set in motion during fiscal year 1979 with the objective of broadening the scope of personnel management by incorporating the human dimensions of leadership, motivation, and commitment. Major features of the plan included: upgrading the Army’s capability to perform research in support of personnel management; developing doctrine; training broad concept personnel managers; integrating research, doctrine, and training; providing a battalion administrative officer for each TOE battalion; and examining the structure of departmental level personnel management systems.

By contract, Booz-Allen and Hamilton, Inc., undertook the examination of the system’s structure. The firm’s proposals were placed before a general officer action planning conference, which gave strong support to several of the contractor’s recommendations, among them: that there be further exploration of the Army’s personnel management information systems with the goal of making them coherent and compatible; that the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel be provided with a directorate responsible for planning, systems design, and research; and that efforts be continued to identify personnel management functions and responsibilities that should be moved from the Army staff to field operating agencies or major commands. With conference results incorporated, the contractor’s final draft report was being staffed within Headquarters, Department of the Army, at the close of the fiscal year.

The focus of efforts during the year to improve military personnel management was on the goal of ensuring that the Army has enough trained soldiers who are motivated and organized to achieve success on the battlefield, and, in particular,


on the goal of improving a battalion commander’s ability to raise the readiness of the soldiers under his command. To achieve this particular goal, the Training and Doctrine Command developed a six-week training course for battalion S-1’s and a pilot program for testing the augmentation of an S-1 with a battalion administrative officer. The S-1 training, scheduled to begin in October 1979 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, will stress the preparation of a new estimate of the human situation, which, in addition to parts of the personnel estimate currently in use, covers the areas of quality of life, ability, organizational climate, commitment, and cohesiveness. In sum, it is a systematic, comprehensive, and coordinated approach to analyzing the human dimension of a battalion. To provide time for an S-1 to complete the estimate, it may be necessary to augment the S-1 with a battalion administrative officer, who would assume most of the administrative duties of the S-1. The pilot program, to be conducted from March 1980 through March 1981, will assist in determining whether the provision of a battalion administrative officer is worthwhile.

As a result of the realignment of Army staff responsibilities developed during fiscal years 1977 and 1978, military manpower management functions were consolidated under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel on 1 October 1978. Subsequently, a task force established by the Director of Manpower, Plans, and Budget, within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, developed short-term improvements and identified longrange improvements needed to increase the effectiveness of the Army manpower management system. Upon the disbandment of the task force in June 1979, its on-going projects became a part of the coordinating mission of the Utilization and Standards Division within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.

Since October 1973, the Army has employed a system called ELIM-COMPLIP (Enlisted Loss Inventory Model-Computation of Manpower Programs Using Linear Programing) to reflect the current enlisted manpower status of the active Army and to project enlisted manpower variables seven years into the future. The results are used in budgeting, planning the use of the training base, and setting recruitment objectives. A new version of the system was developed during fiscal year 1979 with refinements that will improve enlisted loss projections and enlisted force management. At the end of the year, the new version was undergoing validation and calibration testing. Adopted for of-


ficial use early in the year was a version of ELIM-COMPLIP employed to project the female portion of the enlisted force to assist the management of its growth.

Development of another system called FORECAST began this year. A modular, multi-level, fully integrated ADP system for the support of active Army personnel management, FORECAST will include the management of both officer and enlisted personnel not only in peacetime but also under mobilization conditions. It will integrate functions currently being performed separately by a number of models and systems, and by so doing, will provide improved accuracy and consistency to Army personnel management.

A number of changes in policy governing borrowed military manpower—soldiers who perform recurring or constant work other than that to which assigned—were developed during fiscal year 1979. A principal change was the temporary suspension of existing regulatory prohibitions against the use of borrowed military manpower to replace civilians lost through reductions-in-force. There also was a redefinition of borrowed military manpower. The current definition in Army Regulation 570-4 had drawn considerable criticism from the Government Accounting Office, the Office of the Inspector General, and field commands. The redefinition sets very tight limits on what constitutes borrowed military manpower. Both the policy changes and the redefinition will appear in a forthcoming revision of AR 570-4.

When 55 percent or more of the spaces authorized for any given military occupation specialty are located outside the continental United States, that MOS is space imbalanced. This causes CONUS assignments to be less than twenty-four months between overseas assignments, which, in turn, results in high levels of dissatisfaction among soldiers over the frequency of overseas assignments and family separations. In fiscal year 1979, there were forty-four space imbalanced MOS’s affecting about 40,000 soldiers. To alleviate this problem, the Chief of Staff, in July 1979, approved a proposed incentives program offering a soldier, with a space imbalanced MOS who extends his overseas tour for twelve or more months, a choice of one of four options: incentive pay of $50.00 a month during the extension, thirty days nonchargeable leave, fifteen days nonchargeable leave with travel to and from CONUS, or travel to and from CONUS for the soldier and dependents for the purpose of ordinary leave. A complete market analysis of the proposed incentives, including a worldwide sample survey of soldiers with space imbalanced MOS’s, produced favorable results. Sufficient tour extensions


would be obtained, the analysis indicated, to cause all space imbalanced MOS’s to act as if they were in balance, and, as a result, soldiers with space imbalanced MOS’s would be permitted at least twenty-four months in CONUS between overseas tours. Projected for the program was an annual cost of $3.5 million with an annual offsetting PCS (Permanent Change of Station) cost-avoidance of $7.1 million, resulting in annual savings of $3.6 million. By year’s end, enabling legislation for the program had been drafted and forwarded to the Navy and Air Force for coordination.

In the continuing effort to reduce personnel turbulence as a means of increasing operational readiness and lowering the costs of moving soldiers and their dependents from station to station, the Army’s principal actions during fiscal year 1979 represented a reversal of past steps taken with respect to overseas tour length. Specifically, the Army carried out an earlier decision to reduce the tour length in Europe for first term four-year enlisted bachelors and, similarly, established an enlistment option for first-term three-year enlistees that would guarantee them shorter tour lengths in Europe.

In the case of the four-year enlistees, it had been a common development that after initial entry training and a normal 36-month overseas tour, they had less than six months remaining to complete their terms of service. Since, for reasons of economy and proper employment, persons with less than six months left in the Army were not rotated to CONUS, these individuals, unless they reenlisted or extended their enlistments, were required to spend approximately forty-two months in overseas areas. To alleviate this problem in Europe, the Army, beginning in January 1979, reduced the tours of four-year enlistees assigned to that area to twenty-four months. The tours of individuals then serving in Europe were prorated in a program completed in September 1979.

For some time, senior Army commanders in Europe had requested a reduction in tour length for the three-year enlistees, urging that an eighteen-month tour replace the existing tour of approximately thirty months. They argued that morale reasons alone justified a reduction, and pointed out that a large percentage of disciplinary problems involved personnel who had served in Europe for more than eighteen months. In a study of the matter undertaken last year, the Army Research Institute agreed with the position taken by the commanders in Europe. During fiscal year 1979, a tour length task force under the direction of Brig. Gen. John D. Granger completed a study to


determine if an eighteen-month tour for first-term three-year enlistees was warranted and feasible, and concluded that the program was required and that the Army could support it. Subsequently, the Army established the enlistment option for selected MOS’s which became effective on 1 October 1979. Meanwhile, the Army carried forward studies of the impact of eighteen-month overseas tours for all three-year enlistees in recognition of the fact that monetary savings of PCS funds cannot be the sole basis for determining the lengths of overseas tours.

A military personnel management problem of substantial dimension involves those service members, male and female, who are sole parents. Single parents on active duty number approximately 18,200, which is about 2.4 percent of the Army’s strength; about 13,000 are enlisted personnel and nearly 1,400 are officers. Under a new policy effective 1 January 1979, all sole parents and military couples with children as well, must be counseled by their commanders regarding their responsibilities and entitlements. They are also required to submit a formal dependent care plan outlining the arrangements they have made for the care of their children under a variety of circumstances. For example, they must affirm that they have planned for the care of their children in case of alert, field exercises, and temporary duty assignments. They must explain who will assume responsibility for the children if they are assigned overseas or unaccompanied tours, if they are deployed on short notice, or if dependents must be evacuated from an overseas area. If they have not provided an acceptable plan within six months of counseling, they will be barred from reenlistment. Meanwhile, remaining in effect is the policy permitting the involuntary separation of soldiers who, because of parental responsibilities, are repeatedly absent from duty, cannot perform prescribed duties, or are not available for worldwide assignment.

Civilian Personnel

In the first major revision of the Civil Service Act since its passage in 1883, President Carter, on 13 October 1978, signed into law the Civil Service Reform Act. This act is designed to improve government efficiency by raising the productivity of the federal work force and to balance management authority with employee protections. Most of the provisions, along with the President’s Reorganization Plans No. 1 and No. 2, went into effect in January 1979. As provided by the reorganization plans, the U.S. Civil Service Commission was replaced by the Office of Personnel Management, which will supply leadership in man-


aging the federal work force, and the Merit Systems Protection Board, which will resolve employee complaints and appeals. The reorganization plans also established the Federal Labor Relations Authority to administer the federal labor relations program and investigate unfair labor practices within the government. Authority to enforce provisions of the Civil Rights Act affecting the federal government, including hearing and resolving certain discrimination complaints, which had rested with the Civil Service Commission, was transferred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It is with these four agencies that all federal employers will now deal in carrying out the provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act.

The Army, which is the largest single federal employer of civilian personnel, moved quickly to put the new law into effect. A special project office was organized within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, which was designated as the action agency for carrying out the provisions of the reform act. Policy decision authority rested in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), and a combined Army staff and secretariat implementation committee was established with the assistant secretary as chairman. Specific features of the reform act having the greatest impact on Army civilians included the requirement for a more meaningful appraisal of an employee’s performance, the establishment of a merit pay system for higher grade supervisors and managers, and the creation of a Senior Executive Service (SES). It was on this last provision that the Army initially focused its attention inasmuch as the law required that the SES become operational on 13 July 1979.

Considered the keystone of civil service reform, the Senior Executive Service is designed to improve top management performance and efficiency. It brings to the federal government a concept long common within private industry, namely, that positions and people at the senior executive level are in a different organizational environment and therefore must be handled differently from other workers. The SES accomplishes this through a modified personnel system for most top level management positions in the federal government. Conversion to the new system received top priority in the Army. Potential SES jobs were identified, a new governing regulation was written, instructions to civilian personnel offices were issued, and orientation and training sessions were developed and conducted for SES members and their supervisors. Further, entirely new performance evaluation and incentive pay systems for senior executives were


developed, staffed, and published. By mid-July, the incumbents of 254 executive positions were converted to the SES. Only three eligible Army executives declined to join the SES, resulting in a conversion rate of 98.85 percent.

The provision for a merit pay system for supervisors, managers, and management officials in grades GS-13 through GS-15 affects approximately 18,000 Army employees. These individuals will no longer receive longevity step increases in salary but will have pay adjustments based on performance. Thus, only high achievers will be rewarded. Under the system being developed in the Army, authority to determine the amount of pay within the established minimum and maximum salaries for the three grades will be delegated to commanders. Under current plans, a performance appraisal system upon which merit pay is to be based will be staffed and field tested early in fiscal year 1980, governing policies and regulations will be published in May 1980, and, as required by law, a phased implementation of the system will be completed no later than 1 October 1981.

The same principle of holding employees more accountable for their performance also is the basis of a new performance appraisal system partially developed during the year for use in evaluating all other Army civilian personnel in both general schedule and wage grade positions who are not covered by the merit pay system and are not in the Senior Executive Service. When finally put into operation, the new appraisal system will provide a sound foundation for important management decisions such as placement, retention, training, rewarding, and removal of employees, and should result in a more productive civilian work force.

The Army’s civilian strength decreased from about 405,000 on 30 September 1978 to approximately 392,000 on 30 September 1979. Of these, 328,000 were citizens of the United States and 64,000 were foreign nationals. Substantial reductions were made as a result of the Leach Amendment to the Civil Service Reform Act, which required that total civilian employment in the executive branch of the federal government be reduced to the level existing at the end of fiscal year 1977. The Office of Management and Budget allocated 11,000 of this 40,000-person reduction to the Department of Defense (DOD), although DOD strength was already below the 1977 level. The Office of the Secretary of Defense, in turn, allocated a 3,500-person cut to the Army. Conversion of civilian reserve component technicians to military status and contracting out certain jobs to the private sector caused further reductions in the Army’s civilian strength.


Also, the President imposed a hiring limitation for approximately four months of the year during which the Army, like other agencies of the executive branch, could fill only half of its civilian vacancies. During fiscal year 1979, major reductions-in-force were conducted at Forts Benning, Dix, Jackson, Bragg, Polk, and Campbell.

During the 1970’s there has been a steady decline in the Army’s civilian manpower, which had reached a peak strength of over 577,000 in 1969. Army leaders are concerned about the reductions which have impaired the Army’s ability to supply troop units, to maintain combat weapons systems, to support quality of life programs for soldiers, and to mobilize in case of emergency. In congressional testimony on 22 February 1979, Chief of Staff General Bernard W Rogers stated, “This is the major challenge in my opinion that the Army faces today. How to accommodate itself to the continued cuts in civilian personnel and still perform effectively and efficiently.”

Public Law 95-79 (Department of Defense Appropriation Authorization Act, 1978), required a 6 percent reduction in the number of employees at grades GS-13 and above by the end of fiscal year 1980. The Army reduced personnel in these grades by 2 percent in fiscal year 1978 and by 1 percent in fiscal year 1979, but supported the Office of the Secretary of Defense in its request to Congress to eliminate further high grade reductions. Neither the House nor the Senate Armed Services Committee, however, supported this request. The Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command persuaded Congressman Clarence D. Long of Maryland to propose an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1980, to extend the time allowed to accomplish the reduction through fiscal year 1981. The one-year extension would give the military services a chance to make their case to Congress for removing from the law the requirement for reducing further the number of civilian positions at GS-13 and above. The House of Representatives approved the amendment, and it was expected to be passed by the Joint Conference during resolution of variances between the House and the Senate versions of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1980.

Although the Army suspended civilian average grade ceilings in 1978, the subject of average grade surfaces from time to time, especially during the budget formulation process. For example, average grade considerations were involved in the decisions to reduce the Army’s funding for fiscal years 1979 and 1980. A review of the average grade program this year resulted in rec-


ommendations to the Vice Chief of Staff that a policy to stop grade escalation be adopted and that ceilings not be reinstated unless unjustified increases in average grade occur. The objective is to stabilize the average grade through more effective use of position management measures and monitorship. The decision not to impose average grade ceilings places responsibility for grade stabilization in the hands of each commander and agency chief.

During fiscal year 1979, the Army’s successful record in employment and advancement of minorities and women continued. At the end of the year, 35.4 percent of the civilian work force were women and 18.1 percent were members of minorities. Of the ten specific numerical affirmative action goals established for fiscal year 1979, five were achieved and substantial improvements were recorded in the other five areas. In grades GS-13 and above, there were increases of 3.9 percent for minorities and 7.8 percent for women, as compared to an overall increase of only .04 percent.

The Secretary of the Army’s Mobility, Opportunity, and Development (SAMOD) program, introduced last year to test new concepts of recruiting and training individuals with high potential for career positions, was conducted on an experimental basis in the Washington, D.C., area. During fiscal year 1979, 113 interns, 7 management interns, and 10 fellows were selected for the SAMOD program. Of these 130 positions, 23 percent were filled with minorities and 67 percent with women, thereby clearly demonstrating the program’s support of affirmative action.

The Army continued to emphasize special employment programs for veterans, handicapped persons, and young people. Under a new plan for fuller utilization of the Veterans Readjustment Authority, 2,081 Vietnam-era veterans received special appointments and job training this year. There was continued progress in removing architectural barriers to the handicapped, and the Army established a goal of hiring handicapped persons in 4 percent of the vacancies filled by outside hire. The Army’s 1979 summer employment program provided jobs for 13,824 young people; of these, 7,233 came from economically disadvantaged families.

Effective 1 October 1978, the United States Army Civilian Personnel Center was established as a field operating agency reporting to the Director of Civilian Personnel under the general staff supervision of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. The mission of the new center is to administer operational personnel


systems for centralized career administration, personnel data systems, and program evaluation; provide policy guidance and technical assistance to major commands, installations, and activities in civilian personnel program areas; develop procedures and recommend personnel policies, procedures, systems, and programs in support of the civilian component of the Army; and provide centralized management of the resources of the U.S. Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development Student Detachment and of civilian executive development funds.

The number of Army employees represented by labor unions declined for the third consecutive year. Civilian personnel covered by exclusive recognition decreased from 223,012 in 686 bargaining units to 222,543 in 674 units, probably as a result of continuing reductions in civilian strength as well as union efforts to consolidate their bargaining units. During fiscal year 1979, the Army offered four courses in labor relations for executives at various locations throughout the country. Each course was attended by approximately forty commanders and other top level management officials.

Last year the National Association of Government Employees filed a petition to consolidate all of its forty-six existing bargaining units at twenty-four installations into one Army-wide unit. The Army opposed this consolidation on the grounds that the proposed unit did not constitute a distinct and homogeneous grouping of employees who shared common interests. Furthermore, such a consolidation would promote neither effective dealings with the union nor efficiency of agency operations. On 30 January 1979, before a formal hearing of the matter, the union withdrew its petition. While no reason for this action was given, the withdrawal followed a conference in which the Army submitted twenty-eight exhibits supporting its position while the union failed to provide any documentation.

The enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act provided a statutory basis for the federal labor relations program, which formerly operated under executive order, and resulted in several important changes in the conduct of the program. Disputes about what can be negotiated, for example, have increased tremendously. From 1 January to 30 September 1979, unions filed twenty-one negotiability challenges with the Army, whereas only one formal challenge was filed during calendar year 1978. The Army, however, is not being singled out; government-wide, about 170 such cases were filed during the same period. The majority of the Army’s cases involve the management rights portion of


the new law, such as the right to take personnel actions, to contract out work, or to determine the method and means of performing work.

This year, as usual, the Army continued to encourage cost reduction suggestions from its civilian employees as well as military personnel, which resulted in first-year savings of $65.8 million. In October 1977, President Carter established a special program providing recognition in the form of a presidential letter of commendation to employees who saved the government $5,000 or more. The most important contributions are also considered for nomination for the Presidential Management Improvement Award. By the end of fiscal year 1979, the Army had nominated 1,568 civilian and military personnel for presidential letters and nine employees for presidential awards. The savings from the contributions of these individuals totaled $100,355,436.

On 13 October 1978, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff honored fifteen exceptional employees, including the outstanding suggestors of fiscal year 1978, in an awards ceremony at the Pentagon. This was the third annual ceremony recognizing Department of the Army personnel who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism.



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