Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1986
As a result of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act), the Army, along with the rest of the federal government, had to operate in a climate of budget austerity during the fiscal year. The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings measure directed that reductions be taken in all programs, projects, and activities at the lowest level of budget detail. For fiscal year 1986 only, the president exempted most of the military personnel programs, with the result that the Army had to make larger cuts in other programs. Reductions in personnel accounts therefore were comparatively small.
In meeting mandatory reductions in personnel accounts, the Army sought to minimize the effect on career soldiers while maintaining the active end strength of the Army. Initially the Army implemented a voluntary early-out program for soldiers who intended to leave the service in fiscal year 1986. When the money saved by this step did not meet the reduction target, additional measures became necessary. Reductions in promotions, in special and incentive pay (primarily bonuses), and in permanent change of station moves followed. During a program review in March 1986, the Army restored enlisted promotions to the previous level.
Recruitment and Retention
The active military end strength remained at 780,800 for fiscal year 1986-an achievement made possible by an aggressive civilian substitution program, application of productivity-enhancing technology, and transfer of appropriate missions to the reserve components. Army National Guard paid drill strength increased from 418,893 in fiscal year 1985 to 426,765 in fiscal year 1986, while Army Reserve paid drill strength increased from the fiscal year 1985 level of 269,407 to 285,178
in fiscal year 1986. In the same period, Guard Selected Reserve strength increased from 439,952 to 450,496, and Reserve Selected Reserve strength increased from 292,080 to 310,650.
In addition to surpassing its total recruitment requirement in fiscal year 1986, the active Army, for the third straight year, could report that more than 90 percent of its new recruits were high school graduates. While the percentage of nonprior service enlistees scoring in the top three test categories remained steady at 63.1, the percentage scoring in the lowest category declined to 3.7 and thus continued a five-year-old trend. (See Table 1 for enlisted accession requirements and accomplishments for fiscal years 1985-87.) These figures met the Army's requirements of recruiting 59-63 percent test category IA through IIIA soldiers each year, recruiting 90 percent high school graduates (nonprior service), and limiting test category IV accessions to less than 10 percent. These requirements comfortably comply with the congressional floor of 65 percent nonprior-service male high school graduates and the ceiling of 20 percent test score category IV. Achievement of such requirements is notable in the face of a declining labor pool, an improving economy, and decreased unemployment, and can be attributed in part to such Army incentives as fair and competitive compensation, educational benefits, and cash enlistment bonuses.
TABLE 1 - ENLISTED ACCESSIONS
|Category||Fiscal Year 1985||Fiscal Year 1986||Fiscal Year 1987|
*High school diploma graduate.
Once recruited, the soldier of good quality must be retained, and, as in recent years, the Army in fiscal year 1986
concentrated its retention efforts on that type of soldier. Because of the improved quality of Army accessions over the last five years, the three-year attrition of first term soldiers has declined. The Army continued to rely in 1986 on adequate compensation, reenlistment bonuses, and educational incentives to retain the type of soldier it needs. Results of retention efforts for fiscal years 1985 and 1986 are presented in Table 2.
TABLE 2 - ACTIVE ARMY REENLISTMENTS
|Category||Fiscal Year 1985||Fiscal Year 1986|
One of the most important incentives to enlistment is the new G.I. Bill, which became effective on 1 July 1985. This measure pays benefits of up to $10,800 for active duty personnel and authorizes the Army to pay to certain qualified enlistees additional educational incentives over and above the basic active duty benefit. These additional benefits, referred to as the New Army College Fund, are $8,000, $12,000, and $14,000 for two-, three-, and four-year enlistments, respectively. Cash bonuses of up to $8,000 for a four-year active duty enlistment are also available to qualified individuals who enlist in a designated skill. Use of an enlistment bonus and the Army College Fund for the same individual in the past has enabled the Army to attract high quality enlistees in hard to fill skills for longer enlistments. But the fiscal year 1986 Department of Defense Appropriations Act prohibited such dual payments to individuals; as a result, the Army expected to see migration from four-year to three-year and from three-year to two-year terms of service. The prohibition also threatened to affect the Army's ability to distribute high quality accessions into critical skills.
Following a record year for program strengths for each category of the selected reserve, the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve in fiscal year 1986 continued to make a strong showing in enlistments. This achievement was the result
of continued congressional support of the Selected Reserves Incentive Program, increased use of full-time personnel, and the accomplishment of overall recruiting objectives. Reserve component enlisted accession statistics for fiscal years 1985 to 1986 appear in Table 3.
TABLE 3 - RESERVE COMPONENT ENLISTMENTS
|Fiscal Year 1985||Fiscal Year 1986|
To assist in providing the Army a West Point graduate with the best, most up-to-date education available, the United States Military Academy initiated an extensive facilities modernization program. The purchase and renovation of Ladycliff College, renamed New South Post, will free valuable classroom space in the central post area. Renovation will include modernization of classrooms, laboratories, and cadet room furnishings.
The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) initiated several recruiting programs to improve its ability to recruit and produce its officer requirements. The programs include the ROTC Scholarship Program, the Simultaneous Membership Program, the Viability Management Program, the Mission Management System, and the ROTC Advertising Program.
ROTC scholarships increased from 6,500 in school year 1980-81 to the present figure of 12,000. Last year over 10,000 students applied for 1,450 four-year scholarships. The Simultaneous Membership Program is aimed at attracting and retaining ROTC cadets. In fiscal year 1986, 5,747 students were simultaneously enrolled in ROTC and assigned to reserve component troop units. Under the Simultaneous Membership Program, students may supplement their college income by drawing the pay of an E-5 while serving as an officer trainee.
To improve ROTC production, ROTC cadre are being redistributed to markets of high potential under the Viability
Management Program. This program allows the disestablishment of nonproductive institutions with a concomitant shift in cadre to more productive ones.
Improved retention, better management, and increased enrollments are necessary to increase . the number of officers commissioned from ROTC. Key to the accomplishment of this strategy is the ROTC Mission Management System, which will automate enrollment data and allow ROTC to manage production better without increases in manpower. Increased ROTC advertising is required to minimize the drop in the propensity of college students to enroll in ROTC.
As part of the fiscal year 1986 Defense Authorization Act, Congress approved changes to Title 10 of the U.S. Code that provide for the "commissioning" of Army warrant officers. These changes allowed the Army to align its procedures with those of the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard, all of which make appointments to the grades of CW2, CW3, and CW4 by "commission"; under previous law, the Army had "appointed" its warrant officers to WO1 through CW4. There are three basic consequences of a warrant officer commissioning program: it allows warrant officers to administer oaths of reenlistment, to serve as commanding officers, and to have their commissioned warrant officer service characterized as "commissioned service." Practically, commissioned warrant officers who are assigned as commanding officers will have significantly more authority to impose nonjudicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Impetus for another personnel management program, the balancing of the Army's structure of military occupational specialties (MOSs), came from the General Accounting Office. On several occasions the General Accounting Office took the Army to task for not forcing soldiers to move from overstrength to understrength Moss Since fiscal year 1984, the Army had been attempting to balance its MOS structure through voluntary reclassification. In that year the Army asked 12,400 soldiers in overstrength Moss to transfer to skills in which there were shortages; 3,500 responded favorably, asking to be retrained in 100 shortage Moss The next year, 1,200 soldiers, out of nearly 6,100 queried, sought retraining. Still, fiscal year 1986 found 30,000 soldiers, including 15,000 E-5s and E-4s, serving in overstrength Moss As a result, the Army began a
test program aimed at soldiers coming up for reenlistment and those on a second or succeeding enlistment who are not approaching reenlistment. Those coming up for reenlistment are required to designate a shortage skill in which they would be willing to retrain, before they are permitted to reenlist. Those unwilling to change Moss will be forced to leave the service. Those on other than first enlistments will be required to take actions to move to a shortage MOs within ninety days of notification, or will be forced to reclassify.
Under its Force Alignment Plan I, the Army seeks to reduce critical imbalances in MOs and grade level of detail among noncommissioned officers. The plan's objective is to cut to the lowest levels practical the 29,000 overages and shortages in grades E-5 to E-9 that existed at the beginning of fiscal year 1985. Progress in fiscal year 1986 was significant; by August 1986, critical MOs imbalances had been reduced to 15,000. Among noncommissioned officer MOs/grade cells, those filled at a level of 95 to 105 percent reached 32 percent of the total.
Stability and Cohesion
In 1981, the active Army implemented a Unit Manning System designed to improve combat effectiveness by reducing personnel turbulence and fostering unit cohesion, esprit, and loyalty in Army units. The program consists of two major subsystems: COHORT (cohesion, operational readiness, and training) unit replacement for the active Army and the U.S. Army regimental system. Under COHORT, first-term soldiers and career soldiers in battalion-size and smaller units are stabilized within the organization for three to five years. This long-term relationship fosters greater horizontal (peer) and vertical (chain of command) bonding within the unit. In addition, commanders have time to develop long-range training objectives for obtaining performance standards higher than those currently attainable with an individual replacement system.
Through calendar year 1985, the active Army activated 122 company-size and 13 battalion-size COHORT units. Plans called for an additional 23 company-size units to be activated in fiscal year 1986 to replace units reaching the end of the COHORT life cycle.
Within the regimental system, a regiment is defined as a unit or a group of similar units designated with a unique regimental color and formed for the purpose of providing an affiliated soldier with an opportunity for long-term identification,
the potential for recurring assignments, and the basis to perpetuate history, customs, and tradition. There were 15 active combat arms regiments in the system as of fiscal year 1985. Among the combat arms in fiscal year 1986, 2 air defense, 4 armor, 1 aviation, 3 cavalry, 6 field artillery, 16 infantry, and 1 training base units came under the system. In addition, 9 combat support and combat service support branches or other elements (including the Corps of Engineers, which is also a combat arm) were placed under the system.
Discipline indicators for the year were generally favorable. The rates per 1,000 for property crimes decreased for the sixth straight year. After declining for five straight years, the violent crime rate increased slightly (1.8 percent) over the fiscal year 1985 rate. Drug offenses are divided into two major categories: marihuana use and possession, and all other drug offenses. The fiscal year 1986 rate per 1,000 for marihuana use and possession was 31.9 percent below the fiscal year 1985 rate. In 1986 the other drug offenses category decreased 7.1 percent from the previous year-the fourth straight year of declining rates in this category. After a record low rate per 1,000 in fiscal year 1985, the absent without leave rate increased 0.8 percent in 1986. The desertion rate per 1,000 for 1986 was the same as in 1985 (6.6), following a record low rate for desertion in fiscal year 1984 of 6.1.
Quality of Life
There were major improvements for family member travel during the fiscal year, especially for junior enlisted families. New allowances included payment of per diem for dependents during permanent change of station travel, payment of temporary lodging costs in the continental United States, major increases in household goods weight allowances for junior enlisted soldiers,. and payment of dependent travel for junior enlisted soldiers for moves within the continental United States.
As part of the Exceptional Family Member Program, the Army on 1 August 1986 began mandatory medical screening of all family members applying for accompanied travel in the continental United States. Family members above the age of six are screened through a review of their medical records. Those with possible handicaps are referred to their primary care provider for evaluation and completion of a functional questionnaire to determine whether enrollment in the program is necessary. Family members six years of age and under are seen by
a primary care provider for a physical and developmental screening examination. At each Army medical treatment facility there is a point of contact for the exceptional family member program. During the month in which the screening began, the Department of Defense published new instructions increasing the emphasis on the treatment of exceptional family members in the continental United States.
Under new legislation, military families looked forward to increases of about 50 percent in the government's payments for permanent change of station moves. Payments to service members, however, would still lag far behind federal civilians in comparable salary ranges. Moreover, the new permanent change of station reimbursement rates did not affect unmarried service members without dependents.
In a related matter, the Army began a test of a modified payment method for all military temporary duty travel. Conducted under legal authority granted by Congress in the fiscal year 1986 authorization act, the test is the first step in the Army's efforts to acquire permanent legal authority to implement a temporary duty travel system that is easier to understand and administer, and that more equitably reimburses soldiers for their travel expenses.
A major family program, the upgrading and construction of child development centers, received impetus as Congress funded nineteen such projects, compared to six in 1985. The Army considers this program a readiness issue; Army active duty members have a total of 511,600 children under the age of twelve, for whom provision of proper care is a must if these service members are to be fully effective in their duties.
There were also new programs in support of the Army Community Service, the primary resource for family support on Army installations. A financial assistance and consumer education program offered debt liquidation counseling to soldiers and their families. Army Community Service Centers also began to provide counseling and supportive services to handicapped family members. Unfortunately, money available in 1986 was not sufficient to fully fund all community service programs.
The new Army Medical Enhancement Program is designed to improve the availability and the quality of Army medical care. Each active duty Army family is to be assigned to a primary care physician-a step that will create informal health maintenance organizations at each post so that families will know exactly who to turn to for their medical care. The mix
and number of physicians is to be determined by the number and mix of the patient population.
The first day of the fiscal year saw the opening in Fairfax County, Virginia, of the Army's initial clinic under the Primary Medical Care for the Uniformed Services (PRIMUS) program. Operated by private contractors, the clinic offers basic medical care and laboratory and pharmacy services. Anyone eligible for military health benefits can use the facility on a drop-in basis. The Army plans as many as twenty-five additional PRIMUS clinics.
On 1 October 1985 the Army also began a program to test all recruits' blood for evidence of the virus believed to cause the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Later in that month, the Secretary of Defense directed that programs be established to test all military personnel for the presence of the virus. Testing of active duty and reserve personnel being deployed within the continental United States began in February 1986. In the summer of 1986, the testing program was extended to all active duty personnel, with testing of the reserve components scheduled to begin in the spring of 1987.
Family members and civilian employees and their family members who are authorized government medical care may be tested, upon request, as resources permit. Testing will not be repeated routinely if a test has been administered within the previous twelve months. Department of the Army policy provides that persons who test positively are not eligible for entry into the Army. A disease surveillance program will be conducted for soldiers with confirmed positive tests. Those who demonstrate no evidence of progressive clinical illness or of immunologic deficiency will not be separated from the service solely on the basis of having tested positively. Infected soldiers who demonstrate progressive clinical illness or immunologic deficiency will be considered physically unfit for further military service and will be processed for physical disability. Through this program, the Army intends to ensure continued readiness of the force, to protect the fitness of Army personnel and their families, and to protect potential accessions who must be immunized.
Aware that dental records are a vital link in the identification of human remains, the Army leadership expressed concern that many reservists either lack dental records or have incomplete records. As a result, the Army instituted a comprehensive program designed to correct this problem. The highest priority is given to obtaining and protecting identification pan-
ographic x-rays and to ensuring that records of reserve component soldiers who train outside of the United States are complete and accurate.
In a major reorientation on a health issue, the Army mounted a strong crackdown on smoking. Instead of permitting smoking except where specifically prohibited, the new policy makes nonsmoking the norm for buildings and work areas occupied by the Department of the Army. The policy change, a response to a newly implemented Army Health Promotion Program ordered by the Secretary of Defense, applies to all of the Army's soldiers and civilian employees. Except for designated smoking areas that are necessary to avoid undue inconvenience to persons who desire to smoke, smoking is prohibited in Army-occupied space. Individual supervisors have discretion to designate smoking areas in their offices, but only where they have determined that the secondhand smoke from tobacco products can be sufficiently isolated to protect nonsmokers from its effects. In general, smoking is prohibited in conference rooms, restrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and elevators. Adequate ventilation, and space for nonsmoking patrons, must be available in eating facilities, or smoking is not allowed. The ban includes smoking in all military vehicles and aircraft. Soldiers and civilian workers who refuse to comply with no-smoking orders are subject to adverse administrative action. The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff, who ordered the new policy, stated that it is necessary because the smoking of tobacco harms readiness by impairing physical fitness and by increasing illness, absenteeism, premature death, and health care costs.
In another readiness-related area, the Army shifted the emphasis in its safety program. Historically, the Army Safety Program has been conducted by means of external inspections that produced predictable negative reactions among commanders, soldiers, and civilian personnel. The new SafeArmy 1990 plan, which sets five-year goals, stresses the teaching of safety skills rather than after-the-fact inspections. In 1986, the plan's first year, the Army National Guard worked with the U.S. Army Safety Center in implementing a tactical risk management techniques course for Guard safety officers. These officers will be responsible for teaching their acquired skills to selected division-, brigade-, battalion-, and company-level representatives.
To increase the dining facility participation rate, the Army during the fiscal year placed increased emphasis on the attitude of food service personnel, preparation and display of
food, mealtime environment, and nutrition education. In addition, the Army halted cash subsistence allowances for thousands of single enlisted soldiers below grade E-7 who live in barracks or, in some cases, off post. These soldiers had been drawing a cash basic allowance for subsistence instead of being provided meals in Army dining facilities. The size of the allowance permitted the soldiers to eat three meals a day in mess halls and have money left over-a condition reported by the Army Audit Agency and out of line with the requirements of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. The Army projected a saving of $6 million from the reduction in the cash subsistence allowances.
The Army commissary construction program continued to provide for replacement or modernization of commissaries from surcharge funds paid by commissary patrons. In 1986 and 1987 the Army planned to spend $124.8 million in surcharge funds on replacements and major renovations of nineteen commissaries worldwide. Commissaries provide an essential noncash benefit that is considered an entitlement for soldiers recruited under the present voluntary recruitment program. This benefit plays a key role in maintaining morale and ensuring a high quality of life for the Army family.
In fiscal year 1985 the Army initiated a program for a stable annual investment to rehabilitate, renew, or replace those deteriorated or obsolete dwelling units currently in the Army inventory. The fiscal year 1986 budget continued the Army's attack on large maintenance backlogs in order to improve the living conditions of soldiers and their families. A new concept at Fort Ord, California, involved the leasing of Army land there to accommodate a 200-unit mobile home park for enlisted personnel. The objective was to alleviate quickly a very serious housing shortage and to provide a pleasant living experience for enlisted personnel.
Programs to ensure compliance with environmental regulations that stress proper management of hazardous toxic wastes remained a high priority. The Army spent more than $92 million during the fiscal year to clean up contamination at Army installations.
Civilian Work Force
Also continued into fiscal year 1986, by Congress, was a test that eliminates civilian end strength ceilings. This legislation significantly increases the Army's flexibility to manage ci-
vilian employment levels without the requirement to meet an arbitrary ceiling on the last day of the fiscal year.
Another continuing program was civilian substitution, which is designed to ensure the best use of soldiers. This program converts military positions to civilian, thus releasing soldiers for duty in essential combat, combat support, and combat service support units. The result is increased readiness. During the fiscal year, the Army made 832 conversions, as planned.
The Army continued to make progress in civilian personnel mobilization planning. Installations identified retired Department of Defense civilians who could be mobilized; identified their employees who have military obligations as reservists and as military retirees; and screened from military recall those key employees with military obligations. Special emphasis remained to be placed on establishing civilian requirements on approved mobilization tables of distributions and allowances; ensuring that these requirements are reflected accurately in the Department of Defense Wartime Manpower Planning Systems; and ensuring that civilian employees identified as essential in emergency are prepared to perform their duties under wartime conditions.
In April 1986, at the direction of the Chief of Staff, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel established the Civilian Personnel Modernization Project. This action followed a special inspection by the Army's Inspector General that found significant problems in the existing civilian personnel management system. The purpose of the new joint civilian-military project is to improve the system by revising policies and procedures. Challenges include reducing the complexity of the system and improving leadership. By the end of the fiscal year, the project had resulted in the development of a draft of a proposed modernized system. Throughout the Army, managers and civilian personnel specialists reviewed and revised this draft. As the project continues to April 1987, participants will expand and refine the draft and develop an implementation plan for it.
Recognizing a void in training and professional development at the mid-management level, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel directed a task force, as part of the Civilian Personnel Modernization Project, to develop an Army Management Staff College. The college will train Army civilians in grades GS-12 to GS-14 and GM-13 to GM-14, and Army majors and lieutenant colonels, in functional relationships, philosophies, and systems used in the Army's sustaining base.
Courses offered will cover such key areas as military forces and doctrine, strategic studies, leadership, and management systems and methods. The first pilot course is planned for June 1987, and a second for February 1988.
To improve the management of Army civilian and contract security guards, the U.S. Army Military Police Operations Agency developed Army Regulation 190-56, The Army Civilian Police and Security Guard Program. Published on 10 September 1986, this regulation assigns responsibilities and prescribes policy, standards, and procedures for effective implementation of the program. Besides covering selection, employment, training, and professional development, the regulation initiates the Individual Reliability Program for civilian employees and contract guards.
The new Relocation Services Program, managed by the Corps of Engineers, permits permanent change of station benefits above those previously allowed. The main feature of the program is a guaranteed home sales provision that allows a prospective employee residing in a weak real estate market area to sell his home to a real estate company and have the government pay the costs of the sale. This provision will better enable the Army to fill key civilian employee positions.
Implementing a Department of Defense directive aimed at detecting drug use, the Army developed a program of urinalysis tests for civilian employees. Testing is limited to critical jobs in four work categories: aviation, law enforcement, safekeeping of chemical and nuclear materials, and clinical and control staff in the Army drug and alcohol prevention program. Ten thousand Department of the Army civilian employees in these categories are affected by the program. No one is allowed to obtain a job in a critical category without taking a urinalysis test, and a positive test precludes subject person from consideration for such a job. For current employees, a positive test leads to an offer of counseling or treatment. The employee is also subject to adverse action, which could result in removal from federal service, including removal for failing to meet this condition of employment. Legal challenges to block administration of the tests failed; however, appeals and other legal actions were pending at the end of the fiscal year. On 15 September 1986 President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12564, which called for a drug-free federal workplace. In light of this order, the Army began a review of its civilian drug testing program.
During the year the Army instituted a new policy that requires civilian employees to check in at the servicing military medical facility or occupational health clinic whenever they incur a job-related injury or ailment. This policy was established as part of an effort to meet the President's goal of a reduction in occupational injuries and associated medical claims. Employees must complete the check-in before seeking treatment in the private sector. The check-in procedure enables Army medical personnel to offer the employee the opportunity to be treated at the Army clinic. Also, the check-in provides the health and safety professionals with better data on accidents and exposure to possibly dangerous environments. These data serve as the basis for preventative actions.
Return to Table of Contents
Last updated 17 November 2003