Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1981
Manning the Army
In fiscal year 1981 the Army continued to reverse a variety of unfavorable personnel trends that had set in after the end of the Vietnam War. Although in the previous fiscal year the active Army had an average undermanning of 16,900, it was only 164 below the active duty strength authorized by Congress. In fiscal year 1981 the active Army not only met its overall recruiting goals but also retained, at year's end, more military personnel than programmed, in part because of the anticipated large fiscal year 1982 pay raise as well as other benefits.
The active Army entered fiscal year 1981 with an authorized end strength of 775,300 men and women. To capitalize on its improved recruiting and retention rates, the Army requested and received congressional authorization to increase the active duty end strength of 780,000. The active Army actually achieved an end strength of 781,042, or 1,042 above the final authorization and 5,742 above the initial authorization.
During fiscal year 1981 the active Army was manned on the average at 100.6 percent of authorizations, with an average overmanning of 4,100 for the year. On 30 September 1981, the active Army was manned as follows:
|Authorized Strength||Actual Strength|
|U.S. Military Academy Cadets||
The growth in the active Army paralleled increases in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. At the end of fiscal year 1981 the Army Reserve reported an increase in end strength of 25,896 (the total of ready, standby, and retired reserves). The Army National Guard reported an end strength increase of 25,742. The end strength of Army ready reserves not on active duty (both National Guard and Army Reserve) rose in fiscal year 1981 to 837,458, an increase of 52,724.
All in all, improvements in monetary compensation, a weak civilian job market, a national commitment to improving the overall quality of military life, and a growing national concern
about the Soviet military buildup helped produce another encouraging year in manning the All-Volunteer Army.
In fiscal year 1981, as last year, the Army met in full its enlisted recruiting goals for the active Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve, obtaining 101.6 percent of its Total Army objective. The Army Reserve was especially successful, recruiting 104.5 percent of its total program objective. And, as last year, a substantial increase in the recruiting budget helped the Army reach its goals.
This overall success contributed to the Army's achieving several other goals: a higher recruitment of women and high school graduates and a lower recruitment of enlistees with Category IV (the lowest acceptable) scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). A strong influx of women into the Army Reserve helped contribute to a Total Army female accession of 106.1 percent of the fiscal year objective. The active Army figure for Category IV recruits without prior service was only .9 percent over the 30-percent ceiling imposed by the Secretary of the Army to assist the Department of Defense in complying with the congressionally mandated all-service ceiling of 25 percent. (Actual Department of Defense Category I V accession for the fiscal year was 18 percent.) The 30.9-percent accession rate for Category IV Army enlistees without prior service was a marked improvement over the 52-percent rate in fiscal year 1980. But there is still room for improvement. The median test scores of Army recruits, unlike those in the other services, still fell considerably below those of a representative group of 12,000 young civilian men and women who took the AFQT in 1980. In the table below, comparative AFQT scores are given for categories I through V. (Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.)
|Category|| FY 81 Army NPS
| Total DoD FY
| 1980 Youth
The Army's primary recruiting goal for the fiscal year was to increase the enlistments of high school graduates, who tend to
have more stable military careers than nongraduates. In recruiting high school graduates without prior service, the Army achieved a Total Army accession of 73.2 percent, well beyond the congressional mandate of 65 percent and in excess of its own fiscal year objective of 72.2 percent. The active Army was especially successful in this regard, with 80.3 percent of its enlistees without prior service having earned a high school diploma, up from 54.3 percent in fiscal year 1980. The Army's improvement was greater than that of any other service. The table below presents the Total Army enlisted accessions for fiscal year 1981.
|FY 81 Objective||Actual|| Percent of
|Non Prior Service (NPS) Males||98,500||99,613||101.1|
|NPS High School Grads||94,300||94,730||100.5|
|Category IV NPS||30% Ceiling||30.9|
Army National Guard
|NPS High School Grads||30,360||33,403||110.0|
|Category IV NPS||18% Ceiling||13.2|
|NPS High School Grads||18,166||19,580||107.8|
|Category IV NPS||30% Ceiling||29.9|
A key incentive in the Army's recruiting program is the offer of cash bonuses. In November 1980 the Army raised the amount of its cash bonuses to enlistees in designated skill areas. The new maximum bonus of $5000 was offered to high school graduates in categories I-III on the AFQT who enlisted for four years' service in one of eleven designated combat arms military occupational specialties (MOSs) or one designated military intelligence specialty. Maximum bonuses were also raised, but to lower levels, for similar enlistees in nine additional MOSs; three new MOSs were added to the bonus eligibility list for the first time: 93E (meteorological observer), 98G (Spanish-American linguist), and 21G (Pershing electronic material specialist). Active Army enlistment bonus payments totaled $56.8 million for the fiscal year and had a marked effect on recruitment. Whereas in fiscal year
1980 only 18 percent of the new recruits who entered the critical MOSs were high school graduates in categories I-III, in fiscal year 1981 the figure was 41 percent.
Early in the fiscal year the Army also began to implement a long-range plan for recruiting and retaining qualified language specialists. In addition to the enlistment bonuses already in place, the plan provided for recruiting procedures targeted at various ethnic population centers in the United States; monthly payments of $100 to $150 proficiency pay to language specialists, particularly those in military intelligence assignments; assignment of some linguists to Korea on accompanied, rather than unaccompanied, tours starting in fiscal year 1981; and the creation of more opportunities for intermediate and advanced language training at the Defense Language Institute and at stateside and overseas colleges and universities.
Another enlistment incentive begun at the start of fiscal year 1981 reduced the length of overseas tours for first-term soldiers on three-year enlistments. Soldiers leaving for Europe or Japan after 30 September 1980 received full benefit of the reductions: six months for a married soldier's unaccompanied tour, and an average of twelve months for bachelors. Soldiers already overseas before the start of the fiscal year and not scheduled for stateside return during the fiscal year received a pro-rata reduction. This incentive reduced the first-term unaccompanied tour to eighteen months and the bachelor, tour also to eighteen months.
By the end of the fiscal year all services except the Army claimed to have nearly 100 percent of the reservists, including members of the National Guard, that they would need if a crisis forced full mobilization. The Army was still short about 179,000 reservists, but was gradually making up the difference as more people either enlisted directly into the reserves or transferred in upon completion of an active tour of duty. Recruiting still looms as a major problem in the decade ahead as the number of draft age men (seventeen to twenty-one years old) continues to decline. As all the services try to expand their enlisted manpower upon a dwindling population base, the Army faces a difficult challenge in recruiting the quality of youths needed to operate increasingly complex weapons systems.
Although Congress terminated the Vietnam era G.I. Bill on 31 December 1976, it did provide a contributory educational program to replace the bill, effective 1 January 1977. In fiscal year 1981 the Army participated in the congressionally mandated Educational Assistance Test Program, during which three educational benefit programs were evaluated as possible replace-
ments for the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). Initial congressional funding of the three supplemental programs was designed to last only through fiscal year 1981, and administrative delays and restrictions on publicity of the plans hampered early evaluation of their success.
During the fiscal year, however, the Army did obtain evidence that its enhanced-VEAP and ultra-VEAP, which provides substantially greater benefits than similar Air Force and Navy programs, helped the Army increase quality accessions by approximately 10 percent without decreasing quality accessions in the other services. A Rand Corporation study found that the authorized "equalizer" in educational benefits substantially improved the Army's ability to meet its recruiting goals. In the test cells, where both Army and other service enlistees were offered equal education benefits, the Army enlisted 7 percent fewer quality enlistees. The Rand study also suggested that the Army could attract more quality recruits to the combat arms by requiring a soldier to enlist in a combat MOS in order to qualify for the ultra-VEAP. By the end of the fiscal year 1981, however, the Army was preparing to expand the ultra-VEAP to all geographic areas in the nation while continuing to offer it to selected, highly technical noncombat as well as combat MOSs.
The Army's targeted recruiting programs have produced some criticism in recent years. The Army has learned that high school graduates are almost twice as likely as nongraduates to complete their enlistments. Consequently, the attempt to recruit as many high school graduates as possible has produced little criticism. The first-term attrition rates for fiscal years 1978-1981 are given in the following table (as percent of accessions):
|Sex||Category||FY 78||FY 79 a||FY 80 a||FY 81 a|
|Female||NHSDG c||54.6 d||46.7 d||61.2||61.8|
a Forecasts based on current data (as of 30 Sep 81).
b High School Diploma Graduates
c Non-High School Diploma Graduates
d Basic Army policy denied enlistment to NHSDGs; a small percentage of GED certificate holders were enlisted (5 percent and 1 percent of female accessions, respectively, in fiscal years 1978 and 1979).
But the Army's attempt to turn away recruits with lower scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) has proved more controversial. The Army staff contends that there is a strong correlation between high AFQT scores and later effectiveness as a soldier, especially as measured on the Skill Qualification Test (SQT). Former Secretary of the Army Clifford L. Alexander, Jr., however, considered the AFQT generally irrelevant and banned retention of soldiers' AFQT scores in their units' field records. In fiscal year 1981 the Department of Defense submitted to Congress a study disputing this view. Soldiers with lower AFQT scores fared poorly in the SQT, dropped out of the service in higher percentages than other recruits, and were promoted more slowly. In fiscal year 1981 the new Secretary of the Army, John O. Marsh, Jr., overturned his predecessor's view and brought the Army's evaluation of preenlistment tests into alignment with that of the other services. With strong congressional support, the Army will continue to recruit individuals who score well on the AFQT, and the scores will be used to assist commanders' decisions on assignments and promotion.
To improve its ability to measure a soldier's qualifications and potential for developments, the Army in fiscal year 1981 overhauled some of its testing procedures. In late 1980 the standard preenlistment test for all services, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), was discovered to have been seriously miscalibrated since 1976. When corrected, it showed that in fiscal year 1980 over 50 percent of nonprior-service Army enlistees were in mental Category IV, the lowest acceptable, instead of 10 percent as originally reported. About 25 percent of all Army recruits accepted from January 1976 to October 1980 scored so low on the ASVAB that they would have been rejected had the test been properly calibrated. In October 1980 the Department of Defense introduced a new, properly- calibrated test.
In the summer of 1981, because of poor test construction and equipment differences, the Army ordered a halt to the SQT for certain soldiers in three MOSs. Commanders were advised to adjust the promotion scores of soldiers who may have been harmed by the faulty tests. By the end of the fiscal year the Army faced congressional criticism that the SQT by itself could not reliably measure a soldier's effectiveness nor serve as a major guide in making assignments and promotions.
Congressional interest, particularly that of the House Appropriations Committee, has also focused on the budget and organization of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). On 27 October 1980 the Army approved the USAREC Reor-
ganization Study of 1980 and directed recruiting regions to realign themselves in accordance with the study, thus saving 156 personnel spaces (out of approximately 5,000). USAREC also proceeded to realign the district recruiting commands for additional savings. The Niagara Falls District Recruiting Command headquarters was closed on 30 September 1981, saving 19 spaces in addition to the 156 spaces saved through realignment of the recruiting regions. USAREC was authorized to use all saved spaces to meet recruiting requirements necessary to increase enlistments of both high school graduates and the number of enlistees with scores in the higher test categories.
Toward the end of the fiscal year the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, was seeking authorization to nearly double the special duty performance pay (SDPP) of Army recruiters as well as permission to merge reenlistment and recruiter MOSs, thus qualifying reenlisting NCOs for the same SDPP as recruiters.
The table below represents the active Army enlisted recruiting resources in millions of dollars.
|Category||FY 79||FY 80||FY 81|
|Military Pay a||112.2||123.4||142.3|
|Recruiting Aide Specialist b||8.8||17.6||13.8|
|HQ Specialist (ADP)||3.9||5.4||8.2|
a Includes pay for recruiters and recruiter aides.
b Includes travel and temporary duty.
c Includes leased recruiting stations, but does not include examining stations.
In fiscal year 1981 the Army did preliminary work for implementing a "pro-pay" plan as a supplementary cash incentive for enlisted soldiers. Congressional leaders have recently pointed out that a sizable minority of first-term Army recruits take advantage of the opportunity to change their MOS, even after receiving a cash bonus for enlisting in a shortage MOS. Congress has also noted that most of this movement is away from the combat arms specialties. The Army made plans to counter this tendency in fiscal year 1982 by rewarding current holders of shortage
MOSs with a supplementary monthly cash payment. The original plan was to grant up to $150 monthly to 22,000 NCOs in the combat arms and to 11,000 soldiers in precision maintenance, intelligence, and automated data processing MOSs. But toward the end of fiscal year 1981 the Army decided that unavoidable budgetary constraints for fiscal year 1982 made it necessary to use all bonus funds to increase recruitment reenlistment bonuses. The pro-pay plan had to be postponed indefinitely.
Even without pro-pay the Army managed to reduce MOS migration in fiscal year 1981. In fiscal year 1980, 34.5 percent of first-term combat arms soldiers went to noncombat arms skills; in fiscal year 1981, this figure fell to 26.2 percent. And movement from noncombat and noncritical skills to combat arms and other shortage skills increased-from 12.2 percent of first-term soldiers in fiscal year 1980 to 13.8 percent in fiscal year 1981. The Army achieved this increase by improving the possibility of promotion in critical MOSs and offering selective reenlistment bonuses similar to recruitment bonuses.
The task of recruiting high-quality first-term personnel becomes much easier when the Army is able to persuade many of its skilled soldiers to reenlist. Fewer recruits are needed, and the Army quickly gains a reputation for professionalism and leadership in its noncommissioned officers. As the Army adopts increasingly complex weapons systems, its effectiveness depends more and more on highly competent NCOs. Retention is quickly becoming as vital an issue to the Army as recruitment.
In his fiscal year 1982 posture statement to Congress, the Chief of Staff stated that his most serious near-term manning problem was retaining midlevel NCOs. He asked that future increases in military compensation focus on pay raises, expanded bonuses, specialty duty pay, and responsibility pay for NCOs. The Army has been trying to increase the number of NCOs since fiscal year 1979, when the top five grades of NCOs made up 37.8 percent of the enlisted strength. In fiscal year 1980 this figure increased to 38 percent, and in fiscal year 1981 to 39 percent. Despite the improvement, serious shortages remained in the combat arms, where E-5 to E-9 strength was nearly 8,000 below objective near the end of fiscal year 1981. Voluntary reclassifications out of these combat skills among E-5 to E-9 reenlistees were many: 30 percent of infantrymen, 28 percent of artillerymen, and 26 percent of armor soldiers.
As a measure of the Army's problem with NCOs, in fiscal year 1980 the Army was authorized 264,800 personnel in the top five enlisted grades, but achieved an end strength of only
256,100. In fiscal year 1981 the Army reduced the shortage, achieving an end strength of 263,500 out of an authorized 266,100. To highlight this problem, in fiscal year 1981 the Army changed its two-level classification for enlisted men (first-termers and career) to a three-level classification (first-term, midterm, and career). The new midterm category covered all soldiers on their second or subsequent enlistment up to ten years of service. In fiscal year 1981 the Army fell considerably short of its midterm objective, obtaining 24,613 reenlistments out of a goal of 28,007, or 88 percent of the objective. Career-level reenlistments also fell short, 3.8 percent below the goal of 19,817. Only first-term reenlistments were a notable success: 34,601 reenlistments, or 118 percent of the goal. The total active Army result was about the same as last year, approximately 101 percent of the objective.
During the fiscal year, the Army considered further expansion of its reenlistment objective system. Thought was given to setting up an Army goal for reenlistments occurring outside the standard eligibility window-six months to estimated time of separation (ETS) for first-termers and three months to ETS for careerists-and to setting up a goal for reenlistment in critical specialties. None of these goals were feasible without further development of the Army's data systems and auditing capability. Development of these areas did begin during the fiscal year.
Based on its highly successful CONUS-to-CONUS reenlistment option for first-term soldiers, the Army on 1 November 1980 began a pilot program that permits careerists of rank E-6 and below to reenlist for selected CONUS installations with a promise that they will not be transferred for at least twelve months. This should help to improve retention of the midgrade careerist.
The Army's main incentive to reenlist is the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) Program, which gives bonuses to soldiers who reenlist in designated MOSs. In fiscal year 1981 Congress gave to the Army the authority to increase the maximum bonus from $12,000 to $16,000. Starting in fiscal year 1981 the Army expanded the program to include reenlistees who have ten to fourteen years of service (Zone C). This allowed about 400 linguists and other technicians to reenlist and receive a bonus in fiscal year 1981. Previously, only soldiers with twenty-one months to ten years of service (Zone B) were eligible for the reenlistment bonus. In October 1980 over 60 MOSs, mostly combat arms, were added to the Zone B program. In February 1981, 28 MOSs, again mostly combat arms, were either added to the SRB Program or authorized higher SRB payments.
Perhaps the most important change in the SRB Program this year involved Congress' extension of the maximum number of years of service for bonus computation from twelve to sixteen years. A soldier in Zone B with almost ten years of service could now reenlist for up to six years and receive a bonus based on the total additional obligation. Under the old twelve-year system, a soldier with nine years of service who reenlisted for six years could receive bonus credit for a maximum of three years of additional obligation. But even this innovation did not enable the Army to meet its fiscal year retention goal for NCOs.
Overall, however, the Army's retention efforts succeeded, with reenlistments rising from 62 percent of eligibles in fiscal year 1980 to 67 percent in fiscal year 1981. Increased pay and bonuses contributed greatly to the rise, but the Army refused to take it as a guarantee of similar success in the near future.
Several studies have noted a correlation between strong unit cohesion and soldier loyalty and effectiveness, both on and off the battlefield. In an attempt to reduce the high personnel turnover rate associated with the current individual replacement system, the Army in fiscal year 1981 began to test twenty Cohesion Operational Readiness and Training (COHORT) companies. The members of each of these companies would complete basic and advanced individual training together and serve fifteen months in the continental United States followed by eighteen months overseas. Each company would have the same noncommissioned and commissioned leaders for the three years. The first COHORT unit was formed in late March 1981 at Fort Knox, Kentucky; toward the end of the fiscal year the first COHORT company completed advanced individual training at Fort Carson, Colorado.
At the same time, the Army began to plan a more comprehensive move toward fostering unit cohesion. In fiscal year 1980 the Chief of Staff had directed the commander of the Training and Doctrine Command to develop a plan to convert the Army to a regimental system, similar to that of the British and Canadian armies. In April 1981, the Manning Task Force began to function within ODCSPER as the Army staff's focal point for planning the change.
The basic goal of the reform is to have soldiers spend more time in a single unit than the current individual replacement system allows. During fiscal year 1981 the Manning Task Force identified about 200 battalions that could be subordinated to a reduced list of four- to six-battalion regiments of the active Army. Initial studies suggested that the new system would not be directly
applicable to the National Guard or to the Army Reserve. Replacements in the new system would take place either by rotating an individual from battalion to battalion within his regiment or by rotating the battalions among the regiment's various assigned duty posts. One option considered was to allow the individual regiments to recruit directly into their own unit and then supervise the basic training of their recruits. Each regiment would be assigned a home post in the United States and one or more overseas duty stations, the battalions would take turns rotating between the home post and overseas assignments, and most of the regiment's recruits would be drawn from the region around the home base. This concept, or a variation of it, seemed likely to improve unit esprit de corps and to serve as a vital nonmonetary stimulus for reenlistments and highly motivated service. Full implementation of the new manning system will probably extend through the 1980s.
Until the new unit rotation system becomes completely operational, the Army will continue to focus on Space Imbalanced Military Occupational Specialties (SIMOS) to reduce the turbulence associated with overseas tours. An MOS with 55 percent or more of its spaces assigned abroad qualifies as a SIMOS. Soldiers in these specialties have much shorter CONUS tours between overseas assignments than average and tend to leave the Army at a much higher rate than other soldiers. About 30,000 soldiers in thirty-seven skills, mainly related to missile, nuclear, and electronic warfare operations and maintenance fields, currently are SIMOS. To assist in coping with the SIMOS retention problem, Congress in December 1980 enacted Public Law 96579, which authorizes the Army to offer either $50 a month or a period of rest or recuperative absence to soldiers who extend their overseas tours for at least one year. The incentive seems to be working. Tour extensions for SIMOS personnel tripled during the first six months of 1981 compared with a similar period in 1979 (from 323 to 1,008).
The Army's increased recruitment and retention of enlisted personnel in fiscal year 1981 had a discernible influence on a growing national debate on the future of the all-volunteer force. The Army staff, anticipating a 50-percent decline in voluntary enlistments by fiscal year 1985, proposed a five-year program calling for reinstitution of the draft by the fall of 1984 to meet its goal of expanding the active force by about 100,000 over the next five years. But the Secretary of the Army rejected this proposal, arguing that the Army can meet its manpower requirements, at least through 1987, without reviving conscription.
Expanded recruiting and retention incentives, such as greater pay and benefits, and the increased use of civilians in noncombat jobs were expected to offset most of the decline in the size of the youth population eligible for military service. Furthermore, by the end of the fiscal year, looming budgetary constraints seemed likely to cause the proposed large increases in active Army strength to be shelved at least temporarily.
The active Army finished fiscal year 1981 with the following enlisted grade structure:
In fiscal year 1981 the Army's officer program, like its enlisted program, achieved notable successes. Although the Army fell short of its accession goal by 522 officers, the end strength of the officer corps rose by 3,259 to a total of 101,477. Officer retention, especially of lieutenants and captains, was outstanding.
In accordance with the fiscal year 1981 , Department of Defense Authorization Bill, the number of general officers in all services declined by 4 percent (in the Army, from 432 to 415). The following table breaks down the actual officer end strength by grade as of 30 September 1981:
*Includes 373 commissioned officers not paid from Military Personnel, Army (MPA), funds.
In fiscal year 1981 the Army accessioned 11,194 active duty officers, compared with 10,874 in fiscal year 1980. Of these, 471 transferred from the Army National Guard or Army Reserve, and 1,917 were warrant officers. The following table breaks down officer accessions by source for fiscal year 1981:
|United States Military Academy||952|
|Reserve Officers' Training Corps||3,981|
|Officer Candidate School||753|
|Chaplain, Judge Advocate General, Army Medical Department||2,282|
|Transfers from Other Components (including Individual Ready Reserve)||471|
|Direct Appointments, Reappointments, and Interservice Transfers||838|
As in previous years, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) furnished the largest single group of new active duty officers: 3,981 out of a total ROTC production of 6,174 officers. Average enrollment in college-level ROTC programs increased 2.7 percent over the previous fiscal year, from 63,326 to 69,663. The nation's changing attitude toward military service accounts for some growth, but successful management also played a role. The Army continued to increase the number of ROTC units at the nation's colleges, universities, and high schools, and it further developed the ROTC-Selected Reserve Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). The Army also awarded the first 1,035 of the 5,500 new ROTC scholarships authorized by Congress in September 1980.
The Expand the Base program, begun in fiscal year 1980, calls for the phased opening of extension centers, consisting of three officer instructors and one NCO, at colleges and universities that have not previously offered ROTC. The most successful centers will then be elevated to full detachment (host) status (five officers, four NCOs, and one civilian). In fiscal year 1980 forty-one extension centers were opened, and about 2,500 students (about 1,000 more than the Army expected) enrolled. In fiscal year 1981 forty-eight new centers were opened, and eight old centers were elevated to host status. By fiscal year 1983 the pro-
gram is scheduled to have elevated twenty-eight more centers, creating a total of 315 host detachments. An important feature of the expansion program is the assignment of an Army Reserve or Army National Guard officer to each of the host detachments, so that most of the 4,000 additional officers expected to be produced each year by the expansion and other initiatives can be channeled into units of the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. In fiscal year 1981 fifty Army Reserve officers and fifty-one Army National Guard officers were assigned to host institutions.
The Army ROTC-Selected Reserve Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) continued to be highly successful in fiscal year 1981. Subject to certain limitations, SMP permits eligible enlisted personnel assigned to a troop program unit of the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve to enter the Advanced Course (Military Science III and IV) of the ROTC academic program, and allows eligible ROTC Advance Course cadets to enlist in and serve as officer trainees with guard or reserve units. Participants in the program drill with their National Guard or Army Reserve units as officer trainees at the rank of cadet and are paid in the grade and years of service attained (but not less than the grade of E-5). Participants also receive ROTC training as well as a subsistence allowance of $100 per month for up to twenty months. On completing the ROTC program, SMP participants are commissioned and assigned to either an Army Reserve or National Guard unit, pending graduation from college. Upon graduation, these officers are assigned active duty, reserve forces duty, or educational delay, depending on the needs of the Army.
By the end of fiscal year 1980, the SMP program could boast of more than 2,000 participants. In fiscal year 1981 this number grew to more than 5,000, even while enrollment in the ROTC Advanced Course grew only 1.6 percent, based on opening year enrollment. Although most participants were already enrolled in ROTC when recruited into the SMP program, future emphasis will be placed on recruiting enlisted reserve component members who have had no ROTC training.
Improvements in officer retention paralleled those in officer accession. Officer retention in fiscal year 1981 continued the favorable trend of the previous five years. There were fewer losses among all types of officers than in the past fiscal year. In 1981, 2,248 officers resigned or were released from active duty, compared to 2,903 in 1980. Voluntary retirements also showed a drop, down to 3,983 after a four-year high of 2,637 in 1980.
Company grade losses were 3,793, compared with 4,226 in 1980. Despite these improvements, the Army still experienced officer shortages in some engineering, scientific, and technical specialties and in the warrant officer aviation skills. In fiscal year 1981, 1,100 authorized officer jobs went unfilled. Congress has authorized continuation pay to improve the retention of scientists and engineers.
One long-standing problem area in the officer force, the recruitment and retention of medical personnel, showed some improvement in fiscal year 1981, despite continuing shortfalls. Recruitment and retention efforts resulted in an even greater increase in the number of year-end active duty Medical Corps officers (from 4,627 to 4,909), but critical shortages still existed in several specialties, such as orthopedic surgery. The number of officers in the Medical Corps and Nurse Corps still fell far short of minimum peacetime requirements.
Passage of the Uniformed Services Health Professions Special Pay Act of 1980 has had a generally positive effect on retention. Many physicians no longer feel that military pay and benefits are a drawback to military service. But civilian pay is still considerably higher in some surgical specialties. As a result of increased pay and other management initiatives, the retention rate for first term physicians (other than volunteers) now exceeds 30 percent and may rise to and stabilize around 33 percent in the near future. Volunteer physicians tend to have a much higher retention rate, approaching 70 percent. Since half of the present Medical Corps strength has entered active duty since 1978, it is unclear whether these retention rates will continue over a period of years. If they continue, however, the Army should have less trouble maintaining the strength of the Medical Corps.
To provide the armed forces with an officer management policy that is uniform, equitable, and tailored to contemporary manpower requirements, the Department of Defense and Congress in fiscal year 1981 finally agreed, after sixteen years of effort, on the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA). Congress passed it on 21 November 1980, the President signed it on 12 December, and it went into effect on 15 September 1981. Although DOPMA affects all commissioned officers, including generals, its primary effects will be, first, to create a single promotion system for all field grade officers on active duty and, second, to create eventually an active Army field grade officer corps that is all Regular Army. The new system will replace the old dual system of permanent Regular Army (RA) ranks and temporary Army of the United States (AUS) ranks as well as an
active Army field grade officer corps that since the Vietnam War has consisted of about 7 percent Other Than Regular Army (OTRA) officers.
On the new active duty list, officers will be grouped into competitive categories for promotion. These categories will be formally established in early fiscal year 1982, but they are expected to be the same as they were before DOPMA. They are as follows: (1) Army, which includes officers in specialties 00 through 54 and 69 through 97; (2) Judge Advocate General's Corps; (3) Chaplain Corps; (4) Medical Corps; (5) Dental Corps; (6) Army Nurse Corps; (7) Medical Service Corps; (8) Army Medical Specialist Corps, combined with Medical Corps for general officer promotion; and (9) Veterinary Corps.
Under the old officer management system, OTRA officers held temporary AUS ranks for active duty purposes and generally were separated or reduced in rank before RA officers. RA officers on active duty held both their permanent RA rank and an AVS rank, which usually rose before the RA rank. Active duty RA officers competed on the same list with active duty OTRA officers for AUS ranks, and had to achieve promotions that kept their RA rank within range of their AUS rank, or face involuntary separation. Both RA and OTRA officers on active duty could retire at their AUS rank even if it were higher than their RA or reserve rank. While retired RA officers who later worked as federal civilian employees had to accept a reduction in their military retirement pay, reserve officers and regular officers retired for combat disability who later worked as civilian federal employees could draw both their full military pension and their full civilian employee salary, subject to an overall limit equal to the current compensation of civilian Executive Level V employees ($57,500 in fiscal year 1981). DOPMA leaves intact the main retirement provisions of the Dual Compensation Act and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, but it requires far-reaching changes in the active duty treatment of regular and OTRA officers.
Under DOPMA provisions, the Army will replace the dual system in the active Army field grades with a single active duty list, which will eventually consist of an all-regular force. As of 15 September 1981, the effective date of DOPMA, the temporary (AUS) rank of field-grade active Army officers became their permanent rank, eliminating the temporary quality of the AUS ranks. In addition, a number of active Army OTRA field grade officers on active duty before 1 October 1981 were scheduled to be offered integration into the Regular Army. Active Army
OTRA lieutenants and captains who start active duty after 15 September 1981 will, if promoted to major, have to accept integration into the Regular Army or else leave active duty within ninety days. Those active Army OTRA lieutenants and captains who started active duty before 15 September 1981 may, if promoted to major after 30 September 1981, decline the Regular Army integration and continue on active duty to maximum tenure, subject to the needs of the Army and on the condition that they maintain a standard schedule of promotions.
These active Army OTRA officers, however, have several incentives to convert to the Regular Army. First, they will be eligible for up to thirty years' tenure in the Regular Army if they can advance to colonel, whereas the usual active duty tenure for OTRA officers is only twenty years. Second, they can take advantage of DOPMA's modification of the traditional up-or-out system in the Regular Army. Under the new system, RA captains who are twice passed up for promotion may be selectively continued to a maximum of twenty years' service; majors who are twice not selected for promotion may be continued to a maximum of twenty-four years' service. OTRA captains and majors in this predicament will probably obtain less liberal terms for selective continuation, such as those offered in the Selective Continuation Program, newly implemented in fiscal year 1980. This program permitted certain non-selected officers to continue in active service for three years or until they are eligible for retirement, whichever comes first. As a third incentive, during reductions in force, regular officers will be separated only after OTRA officers in their competitive area.
The eventual effect of these DOPMA-induced changes will be to create an all-regular officers corps in the field grades of the active Army, once all active Army OTRA officers who have declined the Regular Army conversion have retired.
DOPMA also contains other provisions that will have a significant effect on Army personnel policy. Under the DOPMA realignment of the ranks of field grade officers, the Army has until the end of fiscal year 1983 to reduce the number of majors and lieutenant colonels. DOPMA authorizes the decentralization to the field of promotions to captain, but in fiscal year 1981 the Army decided to postpone its plans to implement this provision. DOPMA mandates minimum time-in-grade standards for due course officer promotions:
|To First Lieutenant||18 months|
|To Captain||2 years|
|To Major||3 years|
|To Lieutenant Colonel||3 years|
|To Colonel||3 years|
DOPMA also provides that an officer retire in the highest grade in which he served on active duty for six or more months; except that to retire voluntarily in a grade above major, the officer must have served on active duty at least three years in that grade. Prior law did not require any minimum period of service for an officer to retire voluntarily in his permanent grade; but for retirement in a temporary grade that was higher than the officer's permanent grade, Army policy required six months' satisfactory service in the higher grade. DOPMA doubles the maximum pay for involuntary separation, from $15,000 to $30,000. It also establishes uniform constructive credit rules for all the services that will improve Army accession of highly educated and technically trained officers, especially in the Medical Department and Judge Advocate General Corps. To allow for the mandated conversion of active Army officers with reserve commissions to the Regular Army, DOPMA increases the authorized strength of the Regular Army officer corps from 49,500 to 63,000.
The transition to an all-Regular Army field grade officer corps in the active Army may take a decade or more. DOPMA is the most complete revision of officer personnel management since the Officer Personnel Act of 1947.
In fiscal year 1981 the Department of Defense, with DOPMA now enacted, began work on companion legislation for the management of reserve officers. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Logistics) began to draft the Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA). The department organized a steering committee of general and flag officers representing all reserve components to resolve interservice differences and review the basic areas of proposed legislation. After two meetings in fiscal year 1981, the steering committee recommended that the proposed legislation address the problem of recruiting professionals into the reserves. Since DOPMA has constrained the services in appointing officers in grades above second lieutenant, the reserve components anticipate even more problems in recruiting civilian professionals and appointing them in the higher grades. It appears that the reserve components will request considerable leeway in granting con-
structive service credit to new reserve appointees, particularly to nonmedical and nondental professionals whose civilian experience warrants an appointment in a grade higher than major.
In its continuing effort to improve the professional development of commissioned officers, the Army made several changes in its Officer Personnel Management System in fiscal year 1981. It created Specialty Code (SC) 70, Intelligence Management, to identify multifunctional, senior (normally 06, but in no instance below 05) managerial positions in intelligence, primarily at the national or major command level. It fused SC 76, Armament Materiel Management, and SC 77, Tank-Ground Materiel Management to form SC 91, Maintenance Management. Also merged were SC 87, Marine and Terminal Operations, and SC 88, Highway and Rail Operations, to form SC 95, Transportation Management. SC 52, Atomic Energy, was redesignated Nuclear Weapons.
During fiscal year 1981 staff elements of the Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the Military Personnel Center, and the special branches continued to develop the Officer Force Management Plan, concentrating on synthesizing DOPMA constraints with projected force structure requirements for the 1980s. In a related development, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs took the lead in planning for a fiscal year 1983 implementation of FORECAST, an automated information system designed to provide the Army with a comprehensive officer management and analysis tool. During fiscal year 1981 a FORECAST Technical Work Group, consisting of representatives from the Military Personnel Center, the Training and Doctrine Command, and the offices of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, selected the contractors to write the functional description of the system, helped them in their work, and prepared for the system development to be completed in fiscal year 1982. FORECAST will serve as a comprehensive tool, oriented toward the Army Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System, for projecting requirements in officer training, procurement, promotion, retention, skill development, and distribution.
Women in the Army
In fiscal year 1981 the sustained growth over the last nine years in the number and influence of women in the Army slowed
perceptibly, as both the Department of the Army and the Supreme Court involved themselves in a review of this process.
In June 1981 the Supreme Court ruled in Rostker v. Goldberg that Congress acted constitutionally in excluding women from the draft registration program that Congress had enacted in fiscal year 1980 as part of the U.S. response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Opponents of the draft had questioned the constitutionality of an all-male draft registration. The six-to-three majority opinion in the Supreme Court rested on the argument that Congress had intended to provide for a draft of Americans suitable for fighting as combat troops and that women, because of congressional and military restraints of the use of women in combat, are not suitable for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft. The Supreme Court refused to fault Congress' conclusions that volunteers will meet the need for any extra women in noncombat roles during a mobilization and that staffing noncombat positions with women during a mobilization "would be positively detrimental to the important goal of military flexibility." The Court concluded that Congress gave thorough consideration to the issue before excluding women from the draft registration and that the decision "was not the accidental by-product of a traditional way of thinking about women."
In a related action the Department of the Army in February 1981 decided to reduce its projected end strength for women soldiers, an action which brought to a virtual halt by June 1981 the recruitment of women for the fiscal year. It was resumed briefly at the end of the fiscal year, but only for high school graduates. The department had decided to review and evaluate a number of reports from field commanders who were questioning the effect of women soldiers on the readiness of their units.
Some field commanders have indicated that combat readiness is being affected by a high rate of female dropouts from the Army, especially during the first term; by the high number of pregnancies; and by low female stamina and upper body strength. Nearly 50 percent more first-term female soldiers fail to complete their enlistment than first-term male soldiers. From 8 to 10 percent of female enlisted soldiers are pregnant at any one time, and probably three-fourths of these would have to be evacuated along with dependents from potential war zones, such as Europe, in event of a mobilization. Furthermore, some women soldiers have trouble adjusting to certain military occupational specialties, such as heavy maintenance, that require exceptional upper body strength. In February 1981 the Army decided to pause at an active Army end strength of 65,000 women enlisted personnel,
to allow time for a more thorough study of these alleged problems.
In April 1981, under orders from the Chief of Staff, the Army formed a Policy Review Group on Women in the Army, under the direction of a general officer. The active Army consists of approximately 9 percent women, while the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve troop units are about 5 percent and 15 percent female, respectively. The decision to stabilize the female end strength, pending a review of the effect of the female soldier on Army readiness and combat effectiveness, did not limit the recruiting of females into the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve; but any policy revisions resulting from the final report of the Policy Review Group will affect these components. The director of the Policy Review Group was scheduled to present his initial findings to the Chief of Staff by the end of December 1981.
In a number of related actions, the Army staff and field agencies began to focus on the status of women in the Army. The Army Research Institute initiated a major study of women in the Army, to determine the causes of the differences in male versus female attrition in the Army's approximately 350 enlisted MOSs and to suggest ways to reduce these differences. The study was scheduled for completion during the second quarter of fiscal year 1982. The Army Audit Agency .also conducted a similar survey and audit, whose results will be compared with the findings of the Army Research Institute. A final report should be completed by the end of the second quarter of fiscal year 1982. At the same time, the Training and Doctrine Command began to establish physical strength standards for each of the MOSs in order to allow the screening out of personnel who lack the physical requirements of a particular MOS.
One goal of these studies will be to determine the reasons for the unusually high number of females leaving the nontraditional MOSs. The Army in the past few years has opened about 94 percent of its MOSs to females, administratively excluding them only from MOSs likely to involve direct combat: namely, MOSs organic to battalion-sized and smaller units of infantry, armor, cannon field artillery, combat engineers, and low-altitude air defense. In fiscal year 1981 only 40 percent of the Army's enlisted women served in traditionally female skills-medical and administrative. Less traditional skills accounted for 25 percent; and nontraditional skills took up the remaining 35 percent, down from 39 percent in fiscal year 1980.
But in fiscal year 1981 this broadened approach to female
participation in Army work drew criticism from within the Army and prompted a suggestion that women be allowed to enlist freely in traditionally female MOSs. Several critics have pointed out that many MOSs open to women, such as transportation, will inevitably require them to work close behind the forward edge of the battle area and that they will at times be subjected to intense enemy fire. The critics have expressed doubts that women in general will be able to function as effectively as men in such an environment. The Army is fully aware of this skepticism, however, and has been giving men and women identical initial entry training and advanced skill training, including weapons qualifications.
With increasing evidence that sexual harassment contributes significantly to the high rate of female first-term attrition, the Secretary of the Army in May 1981 signed a memorandum for all personnel emphasizing the unacceptability of sexual harassment and its incompatibility with "the highest professional behavior and courtesy." The memorandum defined sexual harassment as
(1) influencing, offering to influence, or threatening the career, pay, or job of another person-woman or man-in exchange for sexual favors; or (2) deliberate or repeated offensive comments, gestures or physical contact of a sexual nature in a work or duty-related environment.
The memorandum urged individuals subjected to sexual harassment to make it clear to the offending person that such behavior is offensive and to report the harassment to the appropriate supervisory level. During fiscal year 1981 the Army staff initiated a survey through the Soldier Support Center at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, to determine more precisely the extent and effects of sexual harassment in the Army.
In spite of the ongoing review concerning the proper role of women in the Army, the end strength of enlisted women rose from 61,351 in fiscal year 1980 to 64,884 in fiscal year 1981, and of officers from 7,615 in fiscal year 1980 to 8,385 in fiscal year 1981. In addition, there were 19,621 women in the Army National Guard and 49,618 in the Army Reserve (both Individual Ready Reserve and Selected Reserve). The decision to reduce the projected end strength in enlisted women, however, meant that the active Army fell far short of its original goal for fiscal year 1981 of 24,500 female enlistees without prior service, recruiting only 18,302.
Military Manpower and Personnel Management
Since October 1973 the Army has employed a system called ELIM-COMPLIP (Enlisted Loss Inventory Model-Computation of Manpower Programs Using Linear Programming) 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 recruiting objectives. Each year the Army refines ELIM-COMPLIP to improve enlisted loss projections and enlisted force management. Although a highly successful tool, ELIM-COMPLIP cannot discriminate by grade or military occupational specialty.
Furthermore, the system models only the enlisted force. Officer projections are done externally and entered into the ELIM-COMPLIP system, so that they are available for the various reports that the system produces. A five-year project is under way to develop a more comprehensive system called FORECAST-a modular, automated data processing system that will project active Army military strength (officer and enlisted) both in aggregate terms and by grade, skill, and unit. The system is designed to improve planning, programming, and budgeting and to enable the Army to better project the effects of alternative policies on its manpower. The system will function in modes adapted to times of peace, partial mobilization, and full mobilization.
By the end of fiscal year 1981 the Army staff had completed and tested a prototype of the Enlisted MOS Level Subsystem of FORECAST. The production version of the subsystem is scheduled to be completed in fiscal year 1982. This new module will be put into operation in fiscal year 1984 and will provide detailed skill and grade information. Also in fiscal year 1981, contracts were let to develop the Enlisted Mobilization Subsystem, the Unit Level Subsystem, and Officer Subsystem, all of which should be ready between fiscal year 1984 and fiscal year 1987. When combined with the existing capabilities of FORECAST, these subsystems should enable the active Army to project and plan for enlisted and officer strengths both in peacetime and during mobilization.
Development of the Manpower Evaluation and Tracking System (METS) continued in fiscal year 1981. METS, a three-phase program for monitoring manpower resources, compares data from the Army's manpower, personnel, and financial accounting systems. METS will allow the Army to ensure that manpower
and related dollars are being used for the purposes for which they were justified and authorized. During Phase I, completed in fiscal year 1980, the basic system structure was established to demonstrate both the feasibility and capabilities of the project. After Phase II, scheduled for completion by mid-fiscal year 1983, METS will provide data to manage the manpower and related resources of all the Army's manned units. During Phase 111, METE will be expanded to provide automated, remote access to the system by major commands and interested agencies.
Design of an upgraded manpower programming system for the Army Reserve was finished in fiscal year 1979. This system, known as ARMPRO, provides manpower planning, budgeting, and programming information for Army Reserve troop program units similar to that supplied by ELIM-COMPLIP for the active Army. During fiscal year 1980 modifications in ARMPRO resulted in a more responsive program that reflects current Army Reserve policy. During fiscal year 1981 the test and validation phase of the development of ARMPRO was completed. The system will become fully operational in early fiscal year 1982.
In addition to these improvements in military manpower management, the Army continued to experiment with new approaches to civilian manpower management. In August 1979 the Chief of Staff authorized the testing of a revised method for determining Army manpower requirements. In contrast to the usual technique of reviewing many functions at a single installation, this new test, called Functional Army Manpower Evaluation (FAME), studied a single function (civilian personnel administration) at twenty-five representative locations. The test identified relationships between man-hours expended and the final product. From this data the Army staff developed man-hour equations that predict staffing requirements for civilian personnel administration throughout the Army.
On 24 July 1981 the Director of Manpower, Programs, and Budget approved the standards for civilian personnel operations that came from FAME and provided guidance to the major commands for application and implementation of the standards. The major commands are scheduled to implement the standards and formalize the resulting manpower requirements in tables of distribution and allowances before the end of fiscal year 1982. As a result of the successful FAME test, the Army has begun work on an expanded version of the test program-the Manpower Staffing Standards System, which will include the development of a functional dictionary to provide a language for and interface with The Army Authorization Document System (TAADS) and
the Army Management Structure Code System for manpower programming and budgeting.
To reduce the inordinate amount of man-hours needed to review TAADS periodically, the Allocation and Documentation Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel contracted with ASM & Associates in March 1981 for the development of a computer program that will identify documents in need of review. The program, known as Automated Identification of Documents for Review (AIDR), will assist manpower analysts in screening out from the several thousand TAADS documents those that need detailed review. AIDR has two basic screening routines. One is fixed and looks at specific units and total increases in predetermined grades, specialty skill identifiers, and MOSs. The other is a flexible routine that monitors a known set of resource changes approved for implementation, such as a major strength change in a unit or several units. The first full operational test of AIDR is scheduled for the first quarter of fiscal year 1982. The results will be given to the major Army commands, and a procedure will be established for extending the AIDR program to TAADS offices of these major commands.
Organizationally, a DOD directive dated 12 March 1981, entitled "Department of Defense Management Headquarters and Headquarters Support," caused the Army to revise its list of management headquarters activities and to add approximately 1,900 personnel to the rolls of Army management headquarters activities from other Army personnel accounts.
In fiscal year 1981 civilian personnel continued to be a high priority in the Army. Early in the fiscal year the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel publicly stated that the shortage of civilian employees was the Army's most important personnel problem, of more concern to the Army staff than active Army and reserve component recruiting.
Although the ratio of military personnel to civilians in military functions dropped sharply at the end of the Vietnam War and remained almost constant through fiscal year 1981 (about 2.4 to 1), the number of civilians in military functions (excluding indirect hire overseas support personnel) decreased greatly in absolute terms: from 367,300 in June 1972 to 310,000 in September 1980. Since 1974, the number of Army civilians in military functions has dropped about 10 percent, while overall federal employment decreased only 1 percent over the same pe-
riod. Because civilian support personnel take longer to mobilize than military personnel, the Army considers a strong peacetime civilian force a necessity if it is to win the opening battles of a future war.
In a joint statement to Congress early in the fiscal year, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff emphasized the critical role of Army civilians in the first stages of a war:
The present civilian work force, on whom we will depend for many critical mobilization needs, is inadequate to perform even the everyday tasks of supporting the peacetime Army. It is far below levels required if a major mobilization is called. The gap between required and available personnel cannot be quickly closed by our emergency augmentation plans because of the current low civilian strength levels and the large surge in requirements at mobilization.
Before presenting the fiscal year 1981 supplemental budget request, the Army estimated that current civilian strength was 65,000 below the level needed to meet peacetime requirements.
Despite various hiring restrictions for civilian personnel imposed during the year, the Army civilian strength, including overseas indirect hires, increased from 360,508 to 372,111 in fiscal year 1981. The one-for-two hiring limitation imposed on the Department of the Army by President Carter in March 1980 lasted until 19 January 1981, when President Reagan imposed a total freeze on outside hiring that lasted until 17 February. When the freeze was lifted, the Army civilian ceiling was increased about 10,000 spaces. In July, in the midst of a Department of the Army hiring surge to reach the new increased authorization, the full-time permanent ceiling was suddenly reduced by 8,837 spaces. Since the Army now had a surplus of full-time permanent employees rather than a shortage, a hiring delay was imposed, which in turn delayed the starting dates for many new full-time permanent employees until after 30 September.
At the end of the fiscal year, civilian end strength in military functions was 372,111 against an authorized strength of 372,533, a fill rate of 99.9 percent. Employee strength in full-time, permanent positions was 289,156 versus an authorized level of 289,700, a fill rate of 99.8 percent. Although the Army was within the total employment ceiling, it exceeded the direct hire limit of 314,642 by approximately 3,600 employees. Representation of minorities and women increased from 18.8 percent to 19.8 percent and from 36.8 percent to 37.7 percent, respectively.
One of the main arguments the Army has used before Congress to justify increased civilian personnel is that commanders are reporting that large numbers of military personnel are being
diverted from military functions to jobs that could be held by civilians. During a mobilization, many of these soldiers would resume their military functions, leaving many important support jobs unfilled. In fiscal year 1981 the number of soldiers performing jobs for which documented requirements existed but for which civilian manpower authorizations or assigned civilians were lacking (known as borrowed military manpower) averaged, as in past years, 13,000 to 14,000. Another 12,000 to 14,000 troops a day were diverted to tasks still undocumented as requirements but necessary to peacetime support.
During fiscal year 1981, Congress authorized for the Army a total of 16,800 civilian spaces to reduce borrowed military manpower and other troop diversions. The Army allocated 6,500 of these spaces for use in fiscal year 1981, and the remainder for fiscal year 1982. From March through September 1981 about 6,000 civilians were hired, allowing some 5,400 soldiers to return to their military assignments, thus improving unit training and readiness. By 30 September 1981, reported borrowed military manpower had dropped to 10,500 soldiers. The Army Audit Agency and the General Accounting Office are scheduled to review the civilian increase in fiscal year 1982, and borrowed military manpower remains a special interest of the Department of the Army Inspector General.
In fiscal year 1981 the Army continued to implement the Stop Grade Escalation policy begun the preceding fiscal year. While the program set no absolute average-grade ceiling, the goal was to remain at or below the fiscal year 1979 average grade of 7.56. An increase in this average would be allowed only if proven to be necessary. In fiscal year 1980 the average grade remained at 7.56, but in fiscal year 1981 it rose slightly to 7.61.
The Army also successfully implemented the performance appraisal provisions of Title II of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 for merit pay, General Schedule (GS), and Federal Wage System (FWS) employees. A comprehensive two-phase training program for supervisors and managers of employees covered by these provisions commenced in December 1978 and ended before the system was implemented. The new merit pay performance appraisal system became effective on 1 October 1980. Implementation of the General Performance Appraisal System (GPAS), covering GS and FWS employees, began on 1 May 1981 and continued throughout the rest of fiscal year 1981. Negotiations with labor organizations, however, delayed the implementation at several activities, where management's last best offer was then put into effect, subject to further negotiation and modification.
By the end of the fiscal year about 270,000 employees, or 95 percent of those intended, had received written GPAS major job elements and performance standards.
The fiscal year 1981 program of encouraging cost-saving suggestions from employees proved less successful than in fiscal year 1980, but the program still realized savings of over $69.8 million from numerous employee suggestions and significant achievements. Adopted suggestions of military and civilian personnel saved $34.6 million. A civilian employee of the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range won recognition as the outstanding contributor of the year for his suggestion which saved approximately $4.1 million the first year. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 1980 provided for full participation by reservists and National Guard members in the suggestion program, making them eligible to receive cash award for their inventions and scientific achievements.
On 9 September 1980 the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) approved development of the Army Automated Civilian Personnel System (ACPERS), a fully automated information system to support mobilization and peacetime requirements of all functional areas of Army civilian personnel management. During its start-up phase (fiscal year 1981 to 1985) the system will be contracted to industry at a cost of $6 to $7 million. The contract is scheduled to be awarded in February 1983, with production deliveries to begin in February 1984. ACPERS will replace all automated civilian personnel systems currently being operated in the Army.
Unfair labor practice charges continued at an extremely high rate in fiscal year 1981 compared with the number filed before the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. In conjunction with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Army recommended major changes in the way the Federal Labor Relations Authority handled these charges. To remedy the over legalization and increasingly adversarial nature of the system, the Army urged several changes, such as requiring an informal attempt at resolution before formal charges were filed.
But the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) continued to expand the scope of bargaining in federal labor-management relations, and federal courts upheld a number of the authority's early decisions, such as those that required bargaining on stays of disciplinary actions and on details by seniority. Only in assigning work and contracting it out was management's right not to bargain left intact. Instead of asserting its right not to nego-
tiate, the Army began to emphasize discovering strategies for winning acceptable agreements at the bargaining table.
During the fiscal year a FLRA decision forced the Department of the Army to reassess its position on including many staff action officers in the merit pay system for supervisors and managers in grades GS-13 through GS-15. The Army's broad interpretation of the statutory term management official, used to determine which employees may be included in bargaining units and which employees are subject to the merit pay system, was invalidated by an FLRA decision that took a more restrictive view of the term. At the end of the fiscal year the Army was still assessing the effect of that decision on its merit pay system. Several thousand employees originally targeted for the new system, which is scheduled to go into effect 1 October 1981, will probably have to be excluded.
Bargaining unit membership increased slightly, from 198,722 employees in 613 bargaining units to 200,115 employees in 609 bargaining units (excluding Army National Guard figures).
In the DOD Authorization Act for 1978, Congress required a 6-percent reduction in the number of civilian employees at grade GS-13 and above by the end of fiscal year 1980. The DOD Authorization Act for 1981 amended the 1978 act, requiring a 4-percent reduction by 30 September 1981 and an additional 2percent reduction by 30 September 1982. The Office of the Secretary of Defense, however, stated that the full 6-percent cut would be completed by 30 September 1981. Although the Army was successful in its fiscal year 1980 reduction program, ending the year 221 positions below the ceiling of 18,892, it ended fiscal year 1981 with 409 positions over the same assigned ceiling.
As of mid-September 1981, scientific and engineering positions accounted for 52 percent of the Army's total senior-level positions.
The Department of the Army has tried unsuccessfully to obtain OSD exemption of civilian physicians, employees in foreign military sales projects, and workers in other reimbursable programs from the high grade ceiling. In fiscal year 1981 prospects for congressional repeal of the statutory reduction appeared favorable. But the Office of the Secretary of Defense took no official position regarding the current ceilings or the possible repeal of the requirement. If the Department of the Army has to meet its assigned 30 September 1982 ceiling, it will have to cut over 800 filled positions during fiscal year 1982.
In fiscal year 1981 congressionally imposed pay caps and the steady erosion of benefits continued to make the Senior Executive
Service (SES) of the Army, as in other agencies, a troubled area. Although this year was better than last, recruitment and retention still suffered. Six large private industrial firms requested that they no longer be on the distribution list for Army SES vacancy announcements, and few SES applications were received from candidates outside the federal service. In fiscal year 1981, Congress' pay cap equalized the pay of officials at nine levels of responsibility, ranging from GS-14, step 9, up through SES Level V Some gains were registered, however. SES vacancies were reduced from 79 at the end of fiscal year 1980 to 57 at the end of fiscal year 1981. Twenty-six Army SES officials; or about 12 percent of the total, retired during the year, compared with 55 in fiscal year 1980. The pay cap seems to have been the key factor in most of the retirement decisions.
In accordance with congressional actions and OPM guidance, the Army in early fiscal year 1981 awarded bonuses to only 52 of its SES members, compared with the original 178 eligible under the Civil Service Reform Act. Similar problems appeared in the program of Presidential Rank Awards for SES members., In April 1981 the Secretary of the Army forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of Defense five nominations of senior executives for the Distinguished Rank Award and twenty-one nominations for the Meritorious Rank Award. OSD forwarded all the Army nominations to the Office of Personnel Management, which convened the SES review panels. The President eventually approved only twelve Army awards, two Distinguished Rank and ten Meritorious Rank, a reduction of more than 50 percent of the Army's nominations.
One small victory in the management of the Army's SES program came on 22 May 1981 when the Deputy Secretary of Defense delegated authority to the Secretary of the Army to set or adjust SES pay to the ES-5 and ES-6 levels. Two pay rates for executives were adjusted to ES-6, and twenty-eight were adjusted to ES-5 for fiscal year 1981.
In October 1980 the Army announced a Candidate Development Program for SES managers with high potential. A screening and selection process chose twenty-six participants in nine functional fields. The candidates and their assigned advisers received orientation to instruct and advise them on the drafting of Individual Development Plans.
Return to Table of Contents
Last updated 17 September 2004