Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1974
Fiscal year 1974 marked the completion of the Army's first year of transition from a wartime to a peacetime environment and from a personnel procurement system based upon a compulsory draft to an all-volunteer system which relied heavily on enhanced service attractiveness and professional pride to induce initial entry and retention in the Army. The Army resolved many of the difficulties associated with this transition, but a number of problems remain.
With the movement to a smaller force of volunteers, the Army needed more broadly qualified soldiers to ease the problems in assigning and managing its manpower. With this in mind the Army started a program to decrease the number of military occupational specialties (MOS's) and in the process reduce MOS mismatches as well. It tried new approaches to obtain qualified physicians in the absence of the doctor's draft. Through better planning and more gradual strength changes, it was able to handle excesses in a number of grades and career fields more efficiently. Yet, in reducing its strength by one-half from the Vietnam War peak, the Army had to release many who had served their country well.
During the past year the Army addressed the complexities of a new national concern, the energy problem, and continued to emphasize environmental protection. Meanwhile the Army looked to its military missions with energetic programs in such areas as systems and weapons development, logistics management, basic research, materiel acquisition, and training and education. It also stated the affiliation program in recognition of the critical role of the Reserve Components in meeting future military needs.
Although the peacetime Army was at its lowest strength since 1950, its responsibilities did not diminish. General Creighton W. Abrams, Army Chief of Staff, in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 1974, observed that the Army "must strive to get the maximum performance from each person and organization" to meet its national security mission in the current austere environment. That effort will continue during the coming year.
Last updated 27 August 2004