Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1985
Staffing the Army
In peacetime and in wartime, people are the Army's chief asset. Throughout fiscal year 1985, the Army worked hard to bring into its ranks highly qualified and motivated individuals and to provide the professional environment that . would prompt the best to stay. The professional performance of soldiers at home and abroad, whether training friends in Honduras, participating in large field exercises with Allied forces, performing United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Sinai, or keeping constant vigil at distant outposts on the edge of freedom, attest to the considerable success of the Army's enlistment and retention programs and the other efforts undertaken during the year to support the . thesis that nothing is more important to the Army than the people who comprise it.
Plans to form two new active Army divisions over the next three years were not predicated upon a corresponding increase in authorized strength, which rose only slightly from programmed levels of 780,000 for the close of fiscal year 1984 to 780,800 at the end of fiscal year 1985; but did call for increases in Selected Reserve strength and increased responsibilities for both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. Guard paid end strength for fiscal year 1985 was 439,952 compared to 434,259 in fiscal year 1984. Army Reserve paid end strength was 292,080 in 1985 as against 275,100 in 1984.
At the close of fiscal year 1985, the Army's three military components were either just short or above authorized end of year strength levels: active Army-780,787 (-13); Army Reserve-292,080 (-3,055); and the Army National Guard-439,952 (+ 179).
The active Army met its recruitment goals in fiscal year 1985; and repeating the achievement first made in 1984, more
than 90 percent of the new recruits were high school graduates. Test category I-IIIA's represented 63.4 percent of all non prior service enlistments and test category IV's, individuals who score in the lowest acceptable category on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), fell to 10.2 percent. In light of an increasingly competitive manpower market due to a declining labor pool, an improved economy, and lower unemployment, continued success in fiscal year 1985 would be difficult to maintain and greater stress would have to be placed on such incentives as fair and competitive compensation, a new educational assistance program, and enlistment bonuses. Enlisted accession goals and accomplishments for the year are noted in Table 1.
TABLE 1 - ENLISTED ACCESSIONS
|Category||Fiscal Year 1984||Fiscal Year 1985||Fiscal Year 1986|
The Veterans Educational Assistance Act, signed into law in October 1984, gave the Army and the other military services an important new tool in attracting recruits. The basic benefits package provides persons entering active military service after 1 July 1985 $9,000 in education benefits for serving two years and $10,800 in benefits for serving three years. Additional benefits-up to $17,000 for those signing up for two years, $22,800 for a three-year enlistment, and $25,200 for individuals making a four-year commitment-are available for soldiers who have a high school diploma, score in the upper 50 percentile on the Army aptitude test, and enlist in specific, critical skills in which the Army offered training. Army reserve component soldiers who meet the requirements and extend their terms of service to six years are eligible for up to $5,040 in educational benefits.
A successful retention program in fiscal year 1985, as with a successful enlistment program, was contingent upon economic conditions; a fair, competitive, and reasonably secure level of compensation; adequate selective reenlistment bonuses; and provision of educational and self-improvement opportunities.
As in fiscal year 1984, the focus of retention was to reenlist only quality soldiers. Policy changes instituted during the year to insure this result included requiring all reenlisting soldiers to meet current physical fitness standards and be qualified in the use of their basic weapon; requiring a waiver for reenlisting soldiers who have a court-martial or an Article 15 punishment on their record; and requiring all first term nonpromotable soldiers in grade E-4 and below to appear before a reenlistment screening panel. The Army also requested congressional authorization to extend beyond 30 March 1985 an exacting requirement which denies reenlistment to midterm soldiers who do not score well on skill qualification tests or the general test portion of the armed services vocational aptitude battery. Reenlistment statistics for fiscal years 1984 and 1985 are presented in Table 2.
TABLE 2 - ACTIVE ARMY REENLISTMENTS
|Fiscal Year 1984||Fiscal Year 1985|
Reserve component enlistments in fiscal year 1985 were affected by the same demographic and economic factors which influenced active Army recruiting efforts. But the task was all the more difficult because of increased recruitment goals established for the Army Reserve and the difficulties experienced by the Army National Guard in 1984, which were expected to continue in 1985, despite a lowering of enlistment goals. In fact, the Army Reserve met its enlistment goals in 1985 while the Army National Guard fell slightly short. Reserve component enlisted accession statistics for fiscal years 1984 and 1985 are listed in Table 3.
TABLE 3 - RESERVE COMPONENT ENLISTMENTS
|Fiscal Year 1984||Fiscal Year 1985|
To aid the reserve component recruitment effort, the Army increased recruiting personnel during the year by 650 for the Army Reserve and by 601 for the Army National Guard. The Selected Reserve educational assistance program, authorized by the fiscal year 1985 Department of Defense Authorization Act, also bolstered the reserve component recruitment effort.
Both the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve failed to meet first term reenlistment objectives in fiscal year 1984; but while the Army Reserve had a particularly successful year in retaining careerists, achieving 114.7 percent of their goal, the Army National Guard fell considerably short. Guard performance in this area improved significantly in fiscal year 1985, in part through the addition of sixty-seven active guard/reserve personnel whose job was to increase the retention of trained personnel who are completing terms of service. The Guard exceeded its reenlistment goals for both first term and career soldiers. The Army Reserve came close to meeting its goal in career reenlistments, but fell considerably short in first term reenlistments.
As Executive Agent for the DOD Recruiting Facilities Program, the Corps of Engineers accomplished 2,402 recruiting station actions during fiscal year 1985. These included the establishment of a new recruiting office and the relocation, expansion, and upgrading of existing offices. As of 30 September 1985, the services had about 7,900 recruiting offices in operation.
The Army met its accession goal for fiscal year 1985 and achieved an officer end-strength of 109,687. For fiscal year 1986 the Army planned to bring in 9,473 officers to meet an end-strength objective of 110,005. ROTC units located in over 300 colleges across the country continued to be the primary source of officer accessions. While senior ROTC enrollment decreased by 3 percent during the year, approximately 7,900 graduates were expected to receive commissions in fiscal year 1986. This output will satisfy active Army needs, but will leave the reserve components short. Officer accessions in the active Army for fiscal years 1984 and 1985 and programmed accessions for fiscal year 1986 are shown in Table 4.
Successful retention rates registered in fiscal year 1984 will be maintained in fiscal year 1985 by keeping on board captains and majors in shortage specialties who are not selected for promotion and extending minimum time and grade for voluntary retirement. Successful retention of highly qualified officers will also depend on fair benefits and compensation for both active and retired personnel.
TABLE 4 - ACTIVE ARMY OFFICER ACCESSIONS
|FY 1984||FY 1985||FY 1986|
Shortfall in Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) production will have a greater impact on ARNG accession goals as the Guard's reliance on ROTC increases. This is particularly true in light of the Army-directed phased reduction of state Officer Candidate School (OCS) programs to encourage appointment of ROTC officers with baccalaureate degrees. By
fiscal year 1990, state OCSs will produce less than 20 percent of Army National Guard (ARNG) commissioned officer accessions while ROTC is expected to provide over 50 percent.
Major problem areas in the ARNG strength picture continued to be shortages of company grade officers in all combat arms and the chronic shortfall in Army Medical Department (AMEDD) officers and chaplains. Actions taken during the year specifically tailored to improve recruitment and retention in these areas included support of the Full Time AMEDD Force to assist the states in alleviating medical department officer shortages; waivers of age, overstrength, and training requirements for AMEDD National Guard officers; increased utilization of Reserve of the Army Medical/Dental Student Commissioning Program for the Army National Guard; continuation of expanded overstrength authority for Army Nurse Corps officers in states without large medical units; and enrollment of full-time seminary and theological school graduate students in the Chaplain Candidate Program.
Officer accessions in the Army Reserve, which fell short of established goals in fiscal year 1985, came primarily from ROTC, direct appointments, and transfers from the Individual Ready Reserve and the active Army. A major problem in fiscal year 1986 will be a shortfall of approximately 1,000 officers of the 3,000 required from ROTC. This reflects the higher number of ROTC-commissioned officers entering the active Army noted earlier, and will result in lowered personnel readiness in the Army Reserve.
The Army took a number of initiatives during the year to ensure that personnel who are highly skilled to meet the technical demands to fulfill the Army's mission in space would be available. Thirty officers were assigned to the Army Space Initiatives Study Group to develop the Army Space Master Plan. To more easily identify officers with space-related education, skills, and experience, a new additional skill identifier (ASI) was created. The ASI 3Y, Space Activities, is now being awarded to qualified officers. To support future requirements in space, twenty officers were selected for advanced civil schooling in selected space-related disciplines, and the 1985 Army Education Requirements Board validated twenty-seven new
space-related positions. Other space initiatives included the assignment of officers to the Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO) and a special space-related Navy project. Also, additional officers were assigned to the Ballistic Missile Defense Program Office. The experience and training these officers receive will assist the Army in meeting future space-related requirements.
The Army's Astronaut Candidate Program also supports the space effort. In 1985 the Army nominated thirty-two officers and soldiers to participate in the NASA-sponsored shuttle program. One selectee was chosen for mission specialist training, bringing the total number of Army officers participating in the shuttle program to four. Two officers have completed training and are scheduled for flights early in fiscal year 1986.
The Army revised the 1,000-point promotion worksheet for sergeant and staff sergeant during the past year in order to recognize the high quality of young soldiers in today's Army. Points for time in grade and time in service were eliminated. Points were added for physical fitness and weapons qualification. Also, emphasis was added to the commander's evaluation and military education.
The Army has worked consistently during the past decade to solve critical shortages in its NCO ranks. In 1974 there was a shortage of 65,000 in the top five enlisted ranks. Last year the gap was closed and the Army turned its attention to the proper balance and alignment of the force by Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and grade. Force Alignment Plan I (FAP I), 85-86, the Army's current program to correct MOS imbalances, seeks to reduce the 29,000 overages and shortages in grades E-5 to E-9 which existed at the beginning of fiscal year 1985 to the lowest practicable levels. Key elements in attaining this goal are the judicious use by personnel managers of accessions, promotions, reclassifications, and reenlistments. In instances where existing grade structures are not feasible or are not self-sustaining, Training and Doctrine Command will look into the possibility of changing grades to more attainable levels. The successful implementation of FAP I during the past year resulted in a reduction of MOS imbalances to 16,000 in September 1985. Continued success during fiscal year 1986 will serve to further reduce the gap between inventories and authorizations and will enhance morale by providing soldiers more equitable promotion opportunities in all MOSS.
Stability and Cohesion
Implementation of the New Manning System, which was created to increase combat effectiveness by reducing turbulence and enhancing cohesion and esprit, moved forward during the year. The new system is comprised of COHORT (cohesion, operational readiness, and training), a unit replacement system which supplements the existing individual replacement system and a regimental system to enhance esprit and give soldiers a long-term sense of identification with a specific regiment, its colors, traditions, and history.
Under COHORT, regimentally recruited groups composed of first term enlistees go through initial entry training and then report to a U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) installation to join a company-level cadre of leaders for a stabilized three-year unit life cycle. The units complete collective training and remain in FORSCOM for eighteen months if deploying to a long-term area, such as Europe; for twenty-four months if the unit's overseas assignment is to a short-tour area, such as Korea; or for thirty-six months if the unit is not schedule for peacetime deployment. Upon completion of its overseas tour, the COHORT unit is disbanded and replaced by another unit deployed from the continental United States. Nineteen COHORT units had deployed overseas (eleven to Europe, seven to Korea, and one to Alaska) by the close of fiscal year 1984. Initial assessments indicated that the linking of first-term soldiers and their leaders for a three-year period establishes a greater sense of cohesion belonging and unit pride among soldiers and leaders alike; and that COHORT units showed higher personnel stability, lower attrition rates, and higher Skill (Qualification Test scores than the norm.
During 1985 the Army increased the number of COHORT company- and battery-sized units from 76 to 122, and reorganized thirteen battalions as COHORT units. Eight of the battalions would deploy to Europe in 1986, in what would be the largest unit rotation since 1954. Plans were also under way to expand the concept to include other combat arms-COHORT company-sized units are currently confined to infantry, armor, and cannon field artillery-as well as combat support and combat service support units.
The U.S. Army regimental system is based on grouping similar battalions under one regimental flag or "color." The sixty-four regiments authorized under the system, of which fifteen are designated thus far, have been nontactical organiza-
tions and are expected to perform an important role in fostering cohesion, esprit, and identification of affiliating soldiers with a regimental "home" throughout their military careers. Additional designations are not expected until a review of the system begun in January 1985 has been completed and the Army Chief of Staff has made a decision regarding the future of combat arms regiments in the Army.
Quality of Life
The Army is not merely a job or a place to work. It is a way of life based on national service and a two-way commitment: by the soldier to the Army and the nation; and in return, by the Army and the nation to the soldier. Benefits are visible and tangible evidence of that national commitment. They reinforce the soldier's determination to serve, despite hazards, hardships, frequent moves, and uncertainties and enhance combat effectiveness. (Quality of life benefits not only reaffirm the depth of the nation's commitments to its soldiers, they also vitalize the Army.
A key thrust in efforts to improve the quality of life in the Army during the past year has been implementation of the Army Family Action Plan, an outgrowth of the Chief of Staff's white paper on "The Army Family" issued in August 1983. The plan, which lists some sixty policy and budget initiatives, was the centerpiece of the Army's theme for 1984-the "Year of the Family." Actions taken in 1984 and continued into 1985 included upgrading existing child care facilities and constructing new ones; providing additional support for handicapped family members; increasing support to Army community service centers; establishing a family safety program; and providing improved family housing.
The Army's ability to provide adequate living quarters for soldiers and their families made significant progress during fiscal year 1985 under the stimulus of two new programs authorized by the Military Construction Authorization Act of 1984. These were the build-to-lease family housing program (section 801) and the rental guarantee housing program (section 802). Both programs permit the military services to enter into long-term contracts, twenty and thirty years respectively, for the use of housing at or near military installations built to military specifications. Appropriation or obligation of funds to pay for housing would be spread over the term of the contract. Housing under both programs would be financed and con-
structed by the developer, who owns, maintains, and operates the housing. The act provided that before an 801 or 802 contract could be let, the services must show that this means of financing would be less expensive than alternatives, such as normal military housing construction. Under the 801 program the developer leases the units to the government for use as military housing; under the 802 program the developer leases units to individuals, giving preference to eligible military personnel, with the government guaranteeing 97 percent occupancy.
Actions taken during the year to carry out the new program included the advertising for proposals for 801 projects at Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Polk, Louisiana, and for 802 projects at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This was in accordance with provisions of the act permitting each service to sign two contracts for 300 housing units each under both sections 801 and 802. Subsequent authorizations added a total of 1,800 more 801 units for the Army. Of these, the Army allocated 1,400 to Fort Drum, New York, and 400 to Fort Wainwright, Arkansas. By the close of the fiscal year, contracts had been awarded for the 1,400 leased units at Fort Drum and 600 rental units at Forts Rucker and Campbell.
In other housing developments, an important first occurred in January 1985, with the award of a contract to build 153 family housing units in Wildflecken, Germany, the first government-funded housing authorized in Europe. Construction of 1,800 new family housing units was planned at twelve locations in Europe through fiscal year 1987. In another breakthrough, programming family housing for enlisted soldiers in grades E-1 through E-4 for funding was initiated. Finally, a 200-unit mobile home park opened at Fort Ord, California. A private entrepreneur developed the facility on-post and rents the homes to soldiers and their families. The availability of family housing will be the pacing factor in assigning soldiers to the new light division installations at Fort Drum, New York, and Alaska. Morale, welfare, recreational, and family support facilities such as commissaries, post exchanges, and medical and dental clinics will be built in tandem with the family housing facilities. Army Chief of Staff General John A. Wickham, Jr., explained the high priority given family-oriented construction by noting that ". . . unit readiness is inextricably tied to soldiers' morale and discipline and to sustaining their families' strength. The better we can make soldiers and their families
feel about the Army and the support provided by the Army, the better off the soldier, Army and nation will be."
Better management of Army family life programs should result from their consolidation under the Community and Family Support Center, a field operating agency of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel located in Alexandria, Virginia. Established on 1 December 1984, the new agency, which is headed by a two-star general, is responsible for family assistance; nonappropriated fund personnel and welfare business operations; lodging and leisure operations; and morale, welfare, and recreational activities which had previously been functions of The Adjutant General.
Programs to improve the living and working conditions of the individual soldier were not neglected during the year. Major new initiatives and ongoing actions included continued work on the dining facilities modernization program to increase efficiency, elimination of health and safety hazards, and improved food service; construction of new physical fitness centers to support the physical fitness program, chapel and chapel facilities to foster spiritual growth, skill development centers, theaters, and libraries; and an innovative means to provide affordable, pleasant housing such as the mobile home park at Fort Ord alluded to earlier. Particular emphasis was placed on utilizing recreational programs and physical activities as constructive alternatives to alcohol and drug abuse; and maintaining momentum in reaching the goal of providing modern barracks for all soldiers by 1992 and completing modernization of major Army medical centers by 1995. The Army's environmental program also plays an important role in improving the quality of life throughout the Army. In this area activities during the past year stressed the clean up of wastes from past industrial activities and the restoration of the environment to its natural state.
Women and Minorities
Since 1972 the Army has been in the vanguard of efforts to increase career opportunities for women. The number of women increased in all Army components during fiscal year 1985-up from 76,900 to 78,800 in the active Army, from 44,600 to 44,700 in the Army Reserve, and from 22,500 to 25,200 in the Army National Guard. At the end of the fiscal year, women comprised 10.15 percent of active Army strength, 16 percent of Army Reserve strength, and over 5 percent of
Army National Guard strength. The breakdown of female strength in the Army's three components as of 30 September 1985 is shown in Table 5.
TABLE 5 - FEMALE STRENGTH IN ARMY COMPONENTS
Under the Direct Combat Probability Coding policy, women soldiers may not be assigned to jobs with units which would routinely engage in direct combat with the enemy. The effect of the policy is to exclude women from serving in 49 military specialties, but in the remaining 302 specialties-86 percent of the total-Army policy is to provide women the greatest number of meaningful career opportunities.
Racial and ethnic minorities comprise over one-third of today's Army. This represents a slight decrease as compared to recent years, and indicates a trend toward bringing the Army's composition more in line with the makeup of the general U.S. population. Recognizing that soldiers' confidence in their peers and leaders, and that the basic fairness of the Army as an institution is a vital element of readiness, the Army pursues a vigorous equal opportunity program. During fiscal year 1985 fair and equitable treatment for all service members received increased emphasis as a leadership issue and a key part of successful mission accomplishment. The success of the program is indicated by recent surveys, which show that an increasing majority of soldiers, including minority members, express a positive attitude toward equal opportunity and particularly the state of equal opportunity in their units.
The Army depends heavily on its civilian work force for logistical support, management, and quality of life programs. Appropriated fund civilians, who comprise nearly 36 percent of total Army strength, are engaged in various management and administrative support activities; perform a full range of logistics tasks, including depot maintenance, supply and acquisition management, and transportation management; and provide es-
sential support in training, medical care, research and development, engineering, and facilities management. Nearly 24 percent of the Army's appropriated fund civilian forces make the transition from peacetime to wartime operations. Nonappropriated fund employees, who comprise three percent of the total Army strength, provide morale, welfare, and recreation support to soldiers around the world.
The civilian employment estimate for fiscal year 1985 was 401,392 (1,473 more than the fiscal year 1984 end strength). The increase-which reflected end strength adjustments in the Army Industrial Fund to accommodate an increased workload, additional manpower to improve acquisition and control of spare parts, and increased numbers of Army National Guard technicians-was not sufficient to meet increased workloads associated with force modernization and restructuring initiatives, training course development and revision, and base operations support for Europe. Additional civilians are needed to support fielding of new weapons systems.
Language in the fiscal year 1985 Department of Defense Authorization Act eliminating statutory civilian end strength ceilings for the year enabled the Army to avoid the personnel turbulence and associated administrative costs resulting from the need to release temporary employees on the last day of the fiscal year in order to meet end strength ceilings, resulting in an estimated cost avoidance ranging from $8-$ 10 million.
The civilian substitution program, which releases military service members for duty in essential combat, combat support, and service support units, continued to expand in fiscal year 1985. During the previous two years, 2,967 military positions were converted; 1,707 positions are programmed for conversion this year; and 832 are planned for conversion in fiscal year 1986.
During fiscal year 1985 the Army continued to seek a simplified federal pay system for civilian managers that is stable, contains adequate incentives, is convenient to administer, and preserves pay equity with the general schedule system.
Initiatives relating to employment assistance for family members of soldiers and civilian workers continued to receive attention. Successes included establishing a priority referral system for family members and expansion of employment assistance services and information.
During the year the Army tested a program for making optimum use of Senior Executive Service resources for engineers and scientists (nonconstruction). Approximately forty key engi-
neer/scientist positions were identified for more central management. The test program, which will run for four to five years, should result in enhanced management and technical skills, formalized career patterns, increased knowledge by senior managers of civilian executives' performance and capabilities, and prompt filling of key management vacancies with highly qualified executives.
The Army issued new regulatory guidance in July 1985 on taking disciplinary action. This guidance includes a new tougher policy concerning civilian employees who have engaged in fraud, theft, or intentionally dishonest conduct against the Army. Such employees will be considered for removal from the federal service unless there are justifiable mitigating circumstances warranting a lesser penalty.
Civilian fitness and sick leave control received increased emphasis during fiscal year 1985. Latest figures indicate a decline in sick leave use over 1980 levels and the success of a program begun in 1982 to educate employees and supervisors on the sound use of sick leave. The Army is supporting voluntary civilian fitness programs to relieve job-related mental and physical stress. The programs include physical exercises (conducted during non-duty hours), and classes on weight control, nutrition, stress management, smoking cessation, and substance abuse control. Successful programs of this type should aid in further reducing absenteeism due to sickness.
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Last updated 4 March 2004