Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1988
The ability of the Army to conduct assigned roles in national defense depends directly upon the caliber of its personnel. The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff gave high priority in FY 88 to adequate manning of the Total Army-active and reserve components and the civilian work force. They emphasized the importance of sufficient numbers of able and skilled people fully qualified to perform their duties in both peace and war. Ethical and professional leadership of stable and cohesive military units rated highly on their priority list. The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff promised to provide equal opportunity and quality of life support to soldiers, their families, and civilians. Unfortunately, "belt tightening" in FY 88 mandated reductions to the strength of the Total Army and slowed the growth of personnel support programs.
Recruitment and Retention
During FY 88 officials from both the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Department of the Army reaffirmed their preference for the volunteer force to conscription and national service as methods to acquire military manpower. They claimed that the latter approaches would cost more money, procure less talented personnel, require disproportionate use of the training base, and would not permit development of full individual and unit proficiency. Defense officials recognized that the initial financial output made by the Reagan administration in the early 1980s for recruitment represented a considerable increase over spending levels of the late 1970s. Nevertheless, they asserted that such changes as increased pay and modernized equipment vastly improved the combat readiness of the armed services and promoted retention of proficient personnel. Influenced by the Army's 1983 decision to forego strength increases in favor of accelerated modernization, Army active component strength approximated 781,000 at the outset of FY 88. The Selected Reserve strength for
the National Guard and the Army Reserve numbered 452,000 and 310,000, respectively. Budget reductions, however, prompted Congress and Pentagon officials to cut Army active component authorized strength to 772,300 by the end of FY 88.
Congress and the Department of the Army define a high quality recruit as a high school graduate who scores in the top half of the Armed Forces Qualification Test, or in the categories I-IIIA. In most instances, these persons have demonstrated their ability to learn quickly, perform efficiently, maintain strict individual discipline, and faithfully complete their enlistments. The Army has the following active component non-prior service recruiting goals90 percent or higher, high school diploma level; 63 percent or higher test scores in categories I-IIIA, or the upper 50th percentile; and 10 percent or lower of test scores in category IV. Reducing an original recruiting goal of 131,000 for active component enlisted personnel in FY 88 because of budget constraints and mandated strength cuts, the Army accessed 115,386 soldiers as shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1 - FY 88 ENLISTED PERSONNEL STRENGTH
|Service Category||Numbers Achieved||Education||Test Results|
|Non-prior service||High School Diploma|
|Female||14,296||Test Category I-IIIA||66 percent|
|Prior service||9,746||Test Category IV||4 percent|
The reserve component fell short of its recruiting goals for enlisted personnel in FY 88. The National Guard accessed 75,600 inductees or 92.6 percent of its 81,600 goal. Of the guard's 37,400 non-prior service accessions, 87.4 percent had high school diplomas. Test scores totaled 51 percent in categories I-IIIA and 9 percent in category IV. The Army Reserve recruited 74,800 personnel or 96 percent of its 77,600 goal. Of its 28,700 non-prior service accessions, 94 percent held high school diplomas, 71 percent scored in test categories I-IIIA, and only 5 percent scored in category IV.
Recent cuts in Army advertising appropriations have caused the Army Recruiting Command to anticipate problems in continuing to enlist the proficient caliber of soldier it has obtained in recent years. The Army still maintains, however, several productive recruiting incentives. The Montgomery GI bill, which became permanent in June 1987, provides educational benefits to both the active and
the reserve component. Soldiers who came on active duty after 30 June 1985 automatically enrolled in the Montgomery GI bill. Those who complete three years' active service may receive $10,800 for college or other civilian training schools approved by the Veterans Administration. The Army College Fund represents an additional educational benefit aimed at college-bound youth who take time first to serve in the Army. It provides benefits above the basic GI bill of $8,000, $12,000, and $14,400 for 2-, 3-, and 4-year or more enlistments, respectively. Enlistment bonuses attract job/skill-oriented recruits into critical military occupational specialties. This program pays bonuses that range from $1,500 to $8,000 for 4-, 5-, or 6-year enlistments. Retention incentives also provide nonmonetary choices. For example, enlisted personnel in grades E6 and below may choose from three reenlistment options: extended assignment at the present duty station, retraining into a shortage military occupational specialty, or relocation to a duty station of individual preference where a valid vacancy exists.
Fiscal year 1988 budget cuts forced the Army to reduce in-service education benefits. It limited college tuition aid for officers, warrant officers, and enlisted soldiers to 75 percent of tuition costs with a cap of $80 per semester hour for undergraduate and $165 for graduate studies. The Army eliminated in-service tuition aid for officers in the grade of lieutenant colonel and above; however, lieutenants, captains, and majors may receive aid for both undergraduate and graduate schooling. Enlisted soldiers will continue to draw tuition aid to complete high school, for undergraduate courses, and to improve their basic education skills. The Basic Skills program serves high school graduates who need additional math, reading, and communications instruction either to improve their military job performance or to qualify for college. The changes in financial aid for schooling will also bar in-service education benefits to all military personnel who entered the Army before 1 January 1977 and retain eligibility for Vietnam-era GI bill education benefits.
The Army tightened the rules in two other areas affecting retention of enlisted personnel. Army regulations have specified career limits, called retention ineligibility points, for each enlisted grade beyond which no enlisted person may either reenlist or extend military service: Specialist, 8 years; Sergeant, 13 years; Staff Sergeant, 20 years; Sergeant First Class, 24 years; Master Sergeant, 27 years; and Sergeant Major, 30 years. Centralized boards select command sergeants major and sergeants major for retention beyond thirty years. Heretofore, senior Army commanders
have granted exceptions to these cutoff points for soldiers who demonstrate exceptional potential for future service. These cases have numbered approximately 2,000-2,500 per year. Effective 1 May 1988 all enlisted personnel must abide by the retention ineligibility points system. Another rule change for enlisted personnel requires that non-U.S. citizens, who serve more than eight years, now must obtain their U.S. citizenship before they can reenlist or extend their service. Officers, in most instances, must obtain citizenship before commissioning.
Congress questioned the need for an 11.3 percent increase in Army officers while enlisted personnel grew by only 3.9 percent and also perceived disproportionate increases in the officer strength of the other armed services during the period of 1980-85. With the FY 87 Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated a 6 percent reduction in the commissioned officer (grades of CW2 through O10) strengths of the armed services within three years. The Army obligingly reduced its commissioned officer strength by 1.51 percent or 1,635 in FY 87 and established a three-part package of voluntary and involuntary separation programs to reduce commissioned officer strength early in FY 88. Selective early retirement boards screened a group of about 1,200 lieutenant colonels and colonels, who had more than twenty years' service but seemed unlikely for promotion, and involuntarily separated 363 of them. The Army created a voluntary early out program for all commissioned officers and an accelerated involuntary release program for reserve first lieutenants passed over twice for promotion.
The Army Chief of Staff testified before Congress in March 1988 that the 6 percent reduction of officer strength would cause severe readiness and morale problems in the Army. He stated that over 80 percent of the Army commissioned officer growth had occurred in the grades of lieutenant and captain. The introduction of new crew-served weapons and equipment in armor, mechanized infantry, field artillery, military intelligence, and aviation units required these additional junior officer positions. The Chief of Staff pointed out that much of the remaining growth occurred in the medical branches in response to a 1979 congressional directive to increase the number of active duty doctors and nurses. Concerted efforts by the Army leadership, Defense Department manpower officials, and other influential groups persuaded Congress to incorporate a compromise on commissioned officer reductions in the FY 89 Defense Authorization Act. Congress reduced the Army's original 6 percent cut to the following: FY 87,
1,635 or 1.51 percent; FY 88, 1,514 or 1.40 percent; FY 89, 500 or 0.46 percent; FY90, 500 or 0.46 percent. These cuts totaled 4,149 or 3.83 percent.
Current and projected shortages of medical personnel, a continuing problem to Army readiness, persuaded Congress to exclude all Army medical personnel from commissioned officer reductions in FY 88. As of 30 September 1988, medical personnel strengths for all components totaled the following: Medical Corps 11,634, Army Nurse Corps 15,656, and enlisted personnel 110,658. Five-Year Defense Plan projections for the Army anticipate a shortfall of 1,856 Medical Corps officers, 11,019 Army Nurse Corps officers, and 28,487 qualified enlisted soldiers. The Army has adopted several strategies to improve the recruiting and retention of Medical and Army Nurse Corps officers in the active component. Despite additional recruiters, educational guarantees, and accelerated accession processing, however, projected recruiting and retention rates are declining. The Army has implemented several programs to alleviate the shortage of medical personnel in the reserve components: the New Specialized Training Assistance Program, the Health Professions Loan Repayment Program, the National Army Medical Department Augmentation Detachment, and an FY 88 increase of eighty-seven active guard/reserve personnel in the Army Medical Department Recruiting Force.
Several new Army policies provide stricter physical health standards for initial entry and promotion of military personnel. The FY 88 Defense Authorization Act required, effective 1 June 1988, that the armed services test military service applicants for both alcohol and drug use before they take the oath of appointment, induction, or enlistment. The Secretary of Defense directed that the armed services conduct the testing during the individual's preenlistment, precontracting, or preappointment physical examination. Defense Department policy specifies that individuals who test positive for marijuana may reapply in six months, while those who test positive for cocaine cannot reapply for a year. Alcohol tests use National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved breath analyzers or blood alcohol tests. Individuals who register.05 or higher cannot enter the service but may reapply in six months. Applicants who test positive for either drugs or alcohol on their second attempt cannot reapply for two years. All command sergeants major and lieutenant colonel and colonel command selectees, regardless of age, must now pass cardiovascular tests before assuming their new duties.
Army Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing of blood donations began in October 1985 ,for selected units and locations.
The process expanded to include all active duty personnel in February 1986. Initially, reserve component personnel underwent testing only when they reported for active duty training, but the Army provided specially targeted testing programs for them in 1986 and 1987. Since that time, the Army has identified 1,795 soldiers as HIV infected; 696 of them served on active duty during FY 88. All HIV infected active duty soldiers are medically evaluated and periodically reevaluated to monitor disease progression and to determine their fitness for continued active duty. Restricted to CONUS assignments, these HIV-infected soldiers can continue on active duty until they are no longer physically qualified for retention. At that point, the Army medically retires, discharges, or separates them through the physical disability system. Both active duty and reserve component soldiers must submit to testing for HIV infection at least every two years. In addition to mandatory testing, soldiers must have undergone testing with negative results, within six months of the effective date of certain personnel actions. Examples include outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) permanent change of station and assignments to special operations and COHORT (cohesion, operational readiness, and training) units.
In a related FY 88 initiative, The Surgeon General (TSG) directed implementation of a voluntary routine adjunct patient HIV screening program for persons admitted to Army hospitals, sexually transmitted disease clinics, and those receiving prenatal care. Other categories of patients The Surgeon General listed were those enrolled in drug and alcohol treatment programs, receiving adult physicals, and certain other unnamed categories when deemed clinically appropriate by medical treatment facility commanders. A revised Army policy permits HIV infected reserve component soldiers to obtain medical proof of their fitness for continued duty at their own expense. An HIV infected reserve component soldier, who demonstrates fitness, may serve in an existing nondeployable billet in the Selected Reserve if qualified and residing within commuting distance of the unit. Also, HIV infected soldiers may request transfer to the Standby Reserve, retire if eligible, or request discharge under the plenary authority of the Secretary of the Army. The Army may require HIV testing of civilian employees only when they are assigned overseas to a host nation that requires a negative HIV test as a condition of entry or residence.
In order to identify existing problems and to develop solutions regarding personnel security in the Department of the Army, the Secretary of the Army established the Personnel Security Program Task Force in March 1987. The task force instigated completion of several actions. The Director of the Army Staff has approved a functional definition of a Total Army Personnel Security Program. Effective 1 January 1988, officer accession regulations require a secret clearance to appoint or commission an officer. More stringent reclassification procedures now apply to personnel who request a military occupational specialty that requires a security clearance. Other major ongoing actions include: expansion of the new Personnel Security Program to the reserve components and civilian employees; by-name review of all Army components to comply with Defense Department policy, which precludes aliens from holding security clearances; a review of enlisted entrance standards; and a revision of Army Regulation (AR) 604-10, Military Personnel Security Program.
The Army instituted the Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report, NCO-ER, in FY 88 to replace the Enlisted Evaluation Report. The first formal written evaluations of noncommissioned officers, begun in 1948, did little more than assist a rater in a general evaluation of leadership skills. By the late 1950s the Army used the evaluation report primarily to award enlisted proficiency pay. In 1975 the Army modified the report to include recommendations on schooling and assignments and encouraged, but did not require, individual counseling. Numerical scores employed by the Enlisted Evaluation Report had become highly inflated in the 1980s and proved of limited value to promotion boards. Thus, the Army developed the NCO-ER that consists of an evaluation report that employs box checks and concise written comments, which evaluate a soldier's performance and potential for advancement with three rating levels-excellence, success, and needs improvement. A "success" rating represents the performance standard. An "excellence" or "needs improvement" rating requires additional short or bullet narrative justification.
The roles of rating chain members for noncommissioned officers have also changed. The rater focuses on performance, while the senior rater, formerly called the indorser, concentrates on the soldier's potential for growth in the Army. The reviewer ensures that the short narratives support the box check narratives and also must comment when the rater and senior rater disagree. The most
significant change effected by the NCO-ER concerns the requirement for individual counseling by the rater for corporals through command sergeants major. Raters must perform counseling within the first thirty days of each rating period and at least every quarter throughout the year. A phased implementation began 1 March 1988 for noncommissioned officers of both the active component and active guard/reserve personnel as indicated in Table 2. Corporals undergo individual counseling but not the written evaluation report. A phased implementation of the NCO-ER for the reserve components began I September 1988.
TABLE 2 - NCO-ER TRANSITION
|NCO Grade||Final EER||1st Counseling||1st NCO-ER|
|SGM and MSG||29 Feb 88||Mar/Apr 88||1 Jun 88|
|SFC and SSG||31 May 88||Jun/Jul 88||1 Sep 88|
|SGT||31 Aug 88||Sep/ Oct 88||1 Dec 88|
In 1987 Congress ordered the Army to reduce the strength of its top five NCO grades from 284,000 to 277,000 by 1 October 1988. Under the Qualitative Management Program the Army denies reenlistment to soldiers who either fail to meet minimum performance standards or exhibit improper moral or ethical behavior. In the spring of 1988 the Army created a special Qualitative Management Program, and the Total Army Personnel Agency (TAPA) identified about 2,000 noncommissioned officers for separation from service. These soldiers had ninety days to file appeals based on either a material error in their personnel files or improved performance. Of 524 appeals, the Army sustained 190. It denied those of 64 soldiers with 18 years of service but allowed them to remain on active duty until they qualify for retirement benefits at 20 years. In July 1988 the TAPA sent final separation notices with a 90-day deadline to some 1,600 noncommissioned officers.
Army procedures for determining the official promotion dates of military personnel received attention in FY 88. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (ODCSPER) approved a change for establishing dates of rank for enlisted personnel, sergeant and above, that makes the date of rank the same as the effective date of promotion, a procedure already followed for officers. The existing procedure spread dates of rank for enlisted soldiers, promoted the first day of the month, over the preceding
month. Frocking, or permitting officers to wear the insignia of higher rank before their official promotion, has received close scrutiny from the Senate Armed Services Committee in recent years. Army spokesmen defend frocking; they assert that it makes officers more effective in some jobs and costs the government nothing since frocked officers receive no pay increase until their official promotion date. Defense Department manpower officials reported to Congress in March 1988 that the Army had reduced frocking of field grade officers-majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels-82. percent and general officers 48 percent since 1985. The Defense Department has set a 3 percent limit for frocking field grade officers and currently frocks less than 1 percent of them.
Title IV of the 1986 Defense Department Reorganization Act mandated the creation of joint officer personnel policy within each armed service. It would consist of designated joint duty assignments, joint professional military education, and joint officer management and promotion policies for joint specialty officers. It required the majority of field grade officers to serve at least 3.5 years in a joint duty assignment as a prerequisite for promotion to general officer. General officers had to serve at least three years of joint duty before promotion to the next higher grade. The law stipulated that joint specialty officers fill at least half of all joint duty assignments, including those designated as critical, by 1 October 1989. A qualified joint specialty officer must complete a joint professional military education and then a full joint duty tour. Those exempted from the tour length and education requirements included certain field grade and general officers in the combat arms who can receive full credit for joint tours as brief as two years if reassigned to operational positions. The Secretary of Defense can waive the full tour requirement for officers in professional branches or those with scientific or technical skills. Officers who have completed two full joint duty tours and wish to become joint specialty officers may forego the joint professional education requirement.
In January 1988 an Army centralized selection board reviewed about 6,000 personnel files of officers who possessed high performance ratings and experience in joint assignments for selection as joint specialty officers. The board recommended about 4,500 names from which the Secretary of Defense chose 4,315 Army field grade and 133 general officers to receive the designation Additional Skill Identifier 3L, Joint Specialty Officer. The Army designated 3,025 field grade and 94 general officer joint duty assignments, which included 381 critical positions. Unable to meet its total joint professional military education requirements solely with
slots available at the National Defense University (NDU), the Army obtained permission from Congress to establish temporary programs in joint education at the Army War College and the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). The FY89 Defense Authorization Act liberalized certain Title IV requirements. It reduced joint duty tour lengths to three years for field grade and two years for general officers, allowed use of the grandfather clause for joint tours served before enactment of Title IV, and extended the transition period for the joint duty program from October 1988 to October 1989.
Begun in December 1988, the Jumpstart program assigns highly qualified active component captains and majors to Army Readiness Groups in CONUS. A team effort by U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and the Total Army Personnel Agency to improve Active Army support to the reserve components, it utilizes captains graduated from the officer advanced course and majors graduated from a command and staff college. Following 24-30 months' service in a FORSCOM active duty assignment, these officers transfer to a nearby readiness group for the remainder of their stateside tours. Thus, they bring knowledge and skills gained from both advanced Army schooling and experience with Tables of Organization and Equipment (TOE) units to their jobs with the reserve components. Of 770 authorized slots for active component officers assigned to CONUS Army Readiness Groups, Jumpstart personnel will fill about 120.
The Army created a new career program for active component officers in psychological operations and civil affairs in February 1988. Heretofore, reserve component personnel have filled most of these positions and carried the career field designation BR (branch) 38. Active component officers who worked in psychological operations and civil affairs have used the designation FA (functional area) 18, Special Operations. Army officials assigned that designation to the new Special Forces branch in 1987. A functional area represents a career field, unrelated to branch, normally assigned to officers during their seventh year of service. Most officers alternate between branch and functional area duties after fully qualifying in their career branch. The Army, in effect, has established a new functional area so that active component officers, captain through colonel, may train in a formal career program that includes professional development, promotion potential, and command opportunities. The new career field carries the designation FA 39. Reserve component civil affairs specialists have retained
the designation BR 38, while psychological operations specialists have assumed FA 39C.
The Army Vice Chief of Staff approved deletion of Area of Concentration (AOC) 25F, Communications-Electronics Materiel Integration, in June 1988. His decision placed primary responsibility for materiel management of electronics and electronic devices in the logistics branches. Army classification personnel recoded about 479 active component officers; some 360 officers remained Signal, AOC 25C; and the remainder transferred to Ordnance and Quartermaster. Officials expected to reclassify approximately 116 officers in the National Guard and 129 in the Army Reserve by early FY 89. All affected officers could submit preference statements for rebranching and individual training plans.
In an attempt to improve warrant officer personnel management and retention, the Army has implemented the Total Warrant Officer System (TWOS). Not covered by the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, warrant officer management has operated under fixed promotion points,. without a selective retirement plan for periods of forced strength reductions, and with the burden of outdated laws. The 99th Congress changed Title 10 of the United States Code to provide for the commissioning of warrant officers with the intent of standardizing warrant officer appointment procedures. While not mandatory, the commissioning process did increase the authority of warrant officers. The prerogatives of those commissioned include ordering enlisted soldiers into arrest or confinement, administering oaths of enlistment or reenlistment, and serving on courts-martial in certain situations.
TWOS contains a combination of Army policy changes and proposed legislation. In FY 88 the Army created the position of master warrant officer, MW4. This position kept the chief warrant officer (CW4) pay level but became senior to CW4. MW4s attain full qualification by successful completion of a three-stage training program-a 100-hour correspondence course; an 8-week resident course at the Warrant Officer Career College, Fort Rucker, Alabama; and a proposed advanced instruction phase geared to a warrant officer's job specialty. Other implemented warrant officer management policy changes include the requirement of Warrant Officer Candidate School before appointment; position coding by skill and experience and a restructured training system to meet position coding requirements-warrant officer (W1/2), senior warrant (W3/4), and master warrant (MW4/W5); and Regular Army integration at W3 level. The Army has proposed several legislative changes to facilitate the effectiveness of TWOS: creation of the pay
grade of W5, W4 level plus approximately 12 percent; establishment of the rank CW5 with a 5 percent strength limit; a single active duty list and promotion system; selective retirement under conditions of forced warrant officer strength reductions; and mandatory retirement for CW4s at 24 years of warrant officer service and CW5s at 30 years of warrant officer service.
The Full Time Support (FTS) force for the reserve component consists of active component, active guard/reserve personnel, military technicians, and Department of the Army civilians. They augment the administrative, recruiting, maintenance, and training needs demanded of the reserve component by the CAPSTONE, a procedure that aligns reserve component units scheduled for assignment to Europe with their wartime chain of command, and roundout programs. Granting less than the Army requested, Congress increased active guard/reserve strength by 1,587 and military technicians by 1,388 in FY 88. About 38,000 soldiers serve in the active guard/reserve, 25,000 with the National Guard, and 13,000 with the Army Reserve. Management of the active guard/reserve, which began in the early 1980s, started with a decentralized system in which commands and agencies controlled assignments and tour renewals. In recent years the Army has standardized many management procedures for the active guard/reserve. It now uses selection boards that convene periodically at the Army Reserve Personnel Center in St. Louis, Missouri, to review the qualifications of soldiers in the program. In FY 88 the Army further standardized management procedures by establishing each first tour at three years and requiring continuation boards to approve all active guard/reserve personnel for subsequent tours.
The Defense Department has modified its overseas military personnel assignment policy by redefining low-cost moves. Formerly capped at $100, low-cost moves now may total $500. Low-cost moves possess the advantage of eliminating many administrative requirements of a normal permanent change of station by shifting authority over transfers from personnel commands to overseas commanders. The recent change simplifies reassignment for short distances of personnel already overseas without extending the length of their tours. Additionally, soldiers are now entitled to a paid trip to the U.S. if they serve a consecutive tour of duty at the same station or are reassigned to another OCONUS duty station. This procedure allows OCONUS commanders the flexibility to retain soldiers for mission requirement and lets soldiers volunteer for reassignment for a consecutive overseas tour at another location.
The Army has introduced its Transition Management Program designed to foster Total Army manning and to reduce costs. It concentrates upon retention of first term active duty soldiers but also seeks to recruit departing active military personnel into the reserve component, to enhance the Army's image by the successful reentry of soldiers into the civilian job market and educational institutions, and to reduce the Army's annual unemployment costs, which presently run about $65 million. The Unemployment Compensation Ex-servicemen's Program provides up to thirteen weeks of unemployment compensation to Army personnel who leave service either voluntarily or involuntarily. Composed of four modules-Total Army career counseling, career planning and retirement services, education, and job assistance-the Transition Management Program has undergone testing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Army officials expect not only to retain the program but also to expand it throughout CONUS by 1990. Continuation of the program, however, depends upon funding from a skeptical Congress.
Various segments of the executive branch and Congress have expressed growing concern about improving the use of federal civilian employees in the 1980s. In FY 85 Congress eliminated the civilian strength ceiling for the armed services and emphasized managing the civilian work force based on funded work load. In the mid-1980s the Army Chief of Staff instituted the Civilian Personnel Modernization Project (CPMP) to evaluate the feasibility of making fundamental changes in Army management of its civilian employees. Areas of special concern included simplifying job classifications, making local managers more accountable, recruiting employees directly, and basing pay levels upon performance. An outgrowth of CPMP, the Army's Managing the Civilian Work Force to Budget (MCB) experiment began in October 1987. It consists of a two-year test that delegates responsibility for position classification and execution of the approved Army budget for civilian personnel resources to the lowest level of management, the line supervisor. A gain-sharing plan rewards supervisors and employees with dollars saved by their increased efficiency. The following installations are participating in the test: Fort Jackson, Fort Irwin, North Pacific Engineer District, Red River Army Depot, Natick Laboratory, U.S. Military Academy, and the Army Personnel Center.
Stability and Cohesion
In 1981 the Army initiated the Unit Manning System, first called the New Manning System, to enhance the combat readiness
of tactical units of the active component by reducing personnel turbulence and fostering unit cohesion, esprit, and a sense of belonging. Originally, the initiative consisted of two major subsystems: the Cohesion, Operational Readiness, and Training (COHORT) Unit Replacement and the U.S. Army Regimental System. In 1985, the Army decided to separate the COHORT and. Regimental systems. On 24 February 1988, the Chief of Staff approved the continuation and expansion of the Unit Manning System, which builds on the success achieved with the COHORT Unit Replacement program.
In general terms, the Unit Manning System operates as a tiered replacement system that has three interdependent processes. Traditional COHORT company-size units support the requirements in short tour areas OCONUS. These combat arms units are recruited and trained as companies that remain together for a definite life cycle, usually three years. Sustained COHORT units, commonly referred to as the Package Replacement System, form at the battalion level. Sustained COHORT units have perpetual life cycles and receive sustainment packages of officer and enlisted personnel periodically in lieu of a complete rebuilding of the unit. The Sustained COHORT System supports all COHORT units except those deploying to Korea. The Sustained COHORT System functions as a cyclical personnel replacement system that assigns packages of soldiers which form from the, training base and the Army at large directly to the TOE battalion. Packages composed of officer, NCO, and initial term soldiers arrive every four months. Selected units of light infantry divisions receive reload packages every twelve months. The Individual Replacement System primarily supports Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) units, TOE units above battalion, and other TOE units until they are manned through either Traditional or Sustained methodologies.
Through implementation of Chief of Staff guidance approved in FY 88, 33 percent of divisional and selected corps company-level units of infantry, armor, and field artillery will be manned under Unit Manning System methods by FY 92. Korea will be supported by 76 companies of Traditional COHORT. These companies will , form and spend their first 24 months in either Forces Command or Western Command (WESTCOM) and then deploy to Korea for the final 12 months of their life cycle. Replacement units formed by the same procedure will take their place at the end of the units' Korean tour. Two hundred eighty-eight company-level units in Forces Command, Western Command, and U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), will be manned with Sustained COHORT. The majority of these 288 units will receive replacements on a 4-month periodic basis. The
7th and 10th Infantry Divisions (Light) will test a 12-month replacement cycle. By the end of FY 88 the Army had formed a total of 281 COHORT companies.
The U.S. Army Regimental System affiliates a unit or group of similar units with a particular regiment. Each regiment has its own colors and provides soldiers in its affiliated units the opportunity to identify with the regiment's history, customs, and traditions. The system had 160 combat arms regiments by the end of FY 887 Air Defense, 16 Armor, 27 Aviation, 7 Cavalry, 48 Field Artillery, 54 Infantry, and 1 Special Forces. The Regimental System also allows affiliation by Active Army soldiers in combat support and combat service support units and special branches. All branches have retained their corps titles and exist as whole branches-Adjutant General's Corps, Army Medical Department Regiment, Chaplain Corps, Chemical Corps, Corps of Engineers (COE combat arms branch, which adopted the whole branch corps concept), Finance Corps, Judge Advocate General's Corps, Military Intelligence Corps, Military Police Corps, Ordnance Corps, Quartermaster Corps, Signal Corps, and the Transportation Corps.
Disciplinary actions resulting from violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) by Army personnel have decreased dramatically since the 1980s began. The number of disciplinary actions fell most sharply from FY 81 to FY 85 and have either continued to drop, although at a slower pace, or stabilized by FY 88. Courts-martial reached a peak of almost 14 per 1,000 in FY 81 but fell to about 5 per 1,000 by FY 88. Nonjudicial punishment cases numbered 197 per 1,000 in FY 81 but dropped to about 120 per 1,000 in FY 88. Absence without leave (AWOL) and disciplinary actions for desertion decreased sharply between 1981 and 1985 and have stabilized since that date. Attempts to assess the scope of drug use by Army military personnel in the 1980s have produced inconclusive findings, largely as a result of an absence of uniform testing and reporting practices during much of the period. Studies indicate that Army personnel have used several addictive drugs in this decade with marijuana ranked number one to recent date. A study of marijuana and cocaine use in the Army from 1979 through 1987 revealed totals of 302,984 and 12,042 users respectively reported to the Army Crime Records Center. Cocaine use appears to be increasing among Army military personnel, although on a scale no different from society at large. Army officials are vigorously seeking improvement of their detection and treatment procedures for drug offenders.
Quality of Life
The term quality of life refers to Army services and facilities that impact directly upon the living and working conditions of soldiers and their dependents. These include family support programs, child care, spouse employment, health care, and housing. The Army leadership recognizes the importance of adequate quality of life programs because they directly influence job efficiency, retention, and ultimately the readiness of the Total Army. Budget constraints held progress in Army quality of life programs to modest gains during FY 88 and caused Army planners serious concern about the adverse effects of continued tight money upon future development of these programs.
The Secretary of Defense issued a policy statement in FY 88 that charged the armed services to develop family support programs which meet installation-specific needs. He emphasized that dramatic reductions in the Defense Department budget demand innovative solutions that must include sharing resources between the armed services and with other federal agencies. Areas of family support highlighted included premobilization indoctrination, relocation assistance, child care, youth recreation/development, private and public sector employment assistance, substance abuse prevention, family health and fitness, exceptional family member program, and community development. The Army responded with a renewed commitment to improve its family support programs. The Army Research Institute (ARI) completed the first year of a five-year study, the Army Family Research Program, in FY 88. It is investigating the effect of the families of Army personnel on readiness and retention. The study estimates that 20-30 percent of soldiers who leave active duty do so because of family reasons. Based on interviews with Army personnel, the institute has identified five major family issues that exercise great influence over decisions to continue or leave Active Army service: permanent change of station moves, spouse employment, child care, health care, and housing.
In 1987 the House Armed Services Committee directed the Defense Department to establish relocation assistance centers in the armed services on a trial basis. The centers would offer information to newly assigned personnel and their families on the local cost of living, housing, spouse job opportunities, day care facilities, schools, and public transportation. The Army opened relocation assistance centers at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Lewis, Washington, in FY 88 to assist both its military and civilian personnel. The Secretary of Defense issued a formal policy directive in FY 88
that affirmed the right of service member spouses to have jobs and prohibited commanders from considering this factor in rating, assigning, or promoting service members. The Army Family Research Program, cited above, determined that employed spouses of Army personnel contribute about 28 percent of family income. It also concluded that the presence of a spouse employment program on post increased the number of employed spouses by 10 percent.
During FY 88, 304 Army child development centers and some 8,000 on-post quarters of Army families offered regular day care to about 149,000 children. The budget allowed $33 million for construction of 13 new child development facilities at 11 locations. Some of the new facilities will accommodate not only day care but also youth, education, and religious activities. In March 1988 the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (DCSPER) approved a policy regarding children infected with HIV who use Army day care centers. Those under age six, and those of any age who lack control of their body secretions, must obtain care in a special-purpose family child care home. Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Rucker (Alabama) have the existing homes in 1988. Parents of school age children infected with HIV must coordinate with physicians, public health officials, and child development services staff to determine appropriate placement options.
Implemented in FY 86, the Army Health Promotion Program seeks to improve and protect the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of soldiers, civilians, retirees, and family members. It aims to provide health risk assessments for all participants and to offer health education classes on such topics as abstention from smoking, weight control, stress management, alcohol/drug abuse prevention and control, and suicide prevention. The Army's alcohol and drug abuse prevention and control program served more than one million active duty and retired soldiers, civilians, and family members during FY 88. It operates at 192 installations worldwide and, in the past three years, conducted prevention education classes for 600,000 people and returned some 26,000 troubled active duty personnel to regular duty. Army representatives attended the White House Conference for a Drug Free America in March 1988. The conference revealed that the development of drug prevention and control programs by the armed services exceeded those of the private sector. The soldier suicide rate of 10.25 per 100,000 averages less than the 11-12 per 100,000 rate for the general population. Recent reductions in Army suicides-120 in 1985,
115 in 1986, and 85 in 1987-promoted optimism, but the 1988 number of 90 caused some concern.
The Army health care system, which consists of direct care in Army facilities, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS), and the Dependents' Dental Plan faced continuing problems with staffing and costs in FY 88. Established in 1966, CHAMPUS provides non-active-duty beneficiaries with health care from civilian providers when not available at military facilities. Beneficiaries over age 65 must use Medicare. CHAMPUS pays 75-80 percent of a patient's medical costs, and the patient pays the remaining 20-25 percent. The Army's health care work load, like the other armed services, has been gradually shifting from Army facilities to CHAMPUS during recent years. Costs have escalated both because the number of CHAMPUS users has increased and CHAMPUS expenses exceed direct care by about 40 percent. The Defense Department has undertaken several cost-cutting initiatives for the armed services. One of them, Project Restore, has three elements. Each service medical department chief maintains direct financial responsibility for CHAMPUS and his medical health care facilities. Military hospital commanders may hire civilian medical personnel to increase health care services at their facilities as the need warrants. Each service also will closely monitor the issuance of nonavailability statements of on-post health care facilities which authorize patients to use CHAMPUS.
The Defense Department has initiated other cost reduction measures for CHAMPUS. It adopted a fixed rate plan for certain medical conditions treated in civilian hospitals, the diagnostic-related groups-based hospital payment system. In another measure, the Defense Department awarded a fixed price contract to a consortium headed by Foundation Health Corporation of Sacramento, California, to provide health care services to military dependents and retirees in California and Hawaii. Defense medical officials expect this plan to improve the quality of health care and to reduce both costs and paperwork. Additional changes in FY 88 help CHAMPUS users. As of October 1987 a cap on expenses incurred during a catastrophic illness applied to all patients. Active duty families pay a maximum of $1,000 for covered CHAMPUS medical expenses each year, while retiree families have a $10,000 liability. CHAMPUS now shares in the cost of psychological counseling when provided by authorized counselors. To qualify, beneficiaries must have a medically diagnosed mental disorder, and the diagnosing doctor must refer the patient to an approved counselor and monitor the treatment.
The Army pursued continued improvement in the housing needs of military personnel in FY 88. It sought construction of 1,532 new homes in CONUS and 446 in Europe. Congress and Defense Department officials authorized the numbers of 1,414 and 446, respectively. The Army requested funding to upgrade 703 substandard dwellings into 536 adequate ones, to convert temporary attic apartments and unused attic space into dwelling units, and to lease 32,741 units in the private sector. It received sufficient money to upgrade 536 substandard dwellings, to convert attic apartments and attic space into 150 dwelling units, and to lease a grand total of 36,715 privately owned units. Build to Lease, Section 801, and Rental Guarantee, Section 802, programs authorize the military services to sign contracts with private developers for housing on or near military installations in CONUS. In FY 88 Congress approved extension of the 801 program to October 1989 with 3,500 additional units and the use of rehabilitated units for both the 801 and 802 programs. In another development in Army housing, Congress authorized a three-year pilot program to transform abandoned urban housing into low-rent enlisted family dwellings. In a temporary setback for Army personnel that subsequent funding may relieve, Congress froze Variable Housing Allowance (VHA) funding for FY 88 at FY 86 levels and also tightened the rate tables. This resulted in an average cut of 2.5 percent in the total annual VHA allowance for eligible soldiers.
Heightened public concern, warnings by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a Secretary of Defense policy memorandum prompted the Army to develop a comprehensive indoor radon measurement and mitigation program in FY 88. A colorless and odorless gas formed by the radioactive decay of uranium in natural soils, radon can accumulate in poorly ventilated buildings to levels that may cause lung cancer. Scientists estimate that 5,000 to 20,000 Americans die each year from radon exposure. Expected to cost $20-$30 million and to continue through FY 90, active radon testing by the Army began in late 1988. Using about one million radiation-sensitive plastic strips called alpha track detectors, the Army announced it would test its buildings with first priority to housing, child development centers, hospitals, and schools; second priority to facilities with 24-hour operations; and then all other buildings. After identifying all structures with radon levels above the EPA's recommended action level of four picoCuries per liter of air, the Army will take appropriate remedial action.
Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) refers to programs and activities provided to soldiers and their families that
create a community environment similar to that found in the private sector. The level of appropriated funding depends upon the degree of each program's impact upon combat readiness. On one extreme, mission-sustaining activities have received support primarily from appropriated funds (APF). Examples of mission-sustaining activities include recreation centers, physical fitness centers, and libraries. On the other extreme, nonappropriated funds (NAF), generated by fees charged for services and goods to soldiers and their families, have largely, but not exclusively, financed Army MWR facilities regarded as revenue-generating activities. Bowling centers, clubs, and golf courses illustrate revenue-generating activities.
In an area between the two extremes, Congress authorized support with APF and NAF for basic community support activities such as art, crafts, and child development services. Congress has directed the armed services to reduce their levels of appropriated funding to MWR activities that can generate revenue and to manage all MWR operations in a more uniform, efficient, and businesslike manner. The Army leadership exemplified its intent to comply with the wishes of Congress by planning a series of measures. They include expanding the Army partnership with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, exploring private sector initiatives that could enhance MWR management, building on the one-fund concept, adopting principles of management centered upon customer-oriented marketing, pursuing management information systems for MWR worldwide, and instituting high quality MWR training programs.
Commissaries provide a basic quality of life benefit to Army families and save their patrons about 25 percent over similar purchases from private businesses. Begun in March 1987, the Reserve Component Modified Shopping Agreement permitted reserve personnel to accrue one day of commissary privilege for each day of active duty for a maximum of fourteen days a year. Influenced by private sector interest in the commissary business, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposed a limited test during FY 88/89 to determine if private management can operate commissaries more efficiently than the armed services. The consensus of Congress opposed private operation of commissaries. The 1989 Defense Authorization Act prohibited contracting, procurement, or management of any commissary by outside contractors and also testing of private operation of commissaries. Congress did approve, however, removing responsibility for designing and building commissaries from the Corps of Engineers to private parties. The Army
contracted with a commercial food store construction firm in late 1987 to replace the commissary at Fort Sheridan (Illinois).
The Army Safety Program attained its best results ever in FY 88. Reductions occurred in every major category of military personnel accidents. The total number dropped 8 percent from FY87 with tactical training accidents down 16 percent and accident fatalities down 10 percent. Privately owned vehicle accidents caused 243 of the 391 soldier fatalities in FY 88. The aviation accident rate dropped to an all time low-1.84 per 100,000 flying hours for Class A and 4.82 for Class A through C. Accident costs fell 21 percent to the lowest figure in seven years. A less favorable development, civilian injury compensation costs rose to $120 million in FY 88 despite a 10 percent drop: in the number of claims during the past five years.
Women in the Army
The presence of women in the Army has risen dramatically in the last 25-30 years. Active component strength in FY 60, 4,263 officers and 8,279 enlisted personnel, rose to about 11,750 officers and 71,500 enlisted by FY 88. Army Reserve strength demonstrates even greater expansion with women now comprising 19 percent of the force-9,125 officers and 46,250 enlisted. Females make up about 6 percent of the National Guard-3,100 officers and 23,700 enlisted soldiers. Despite advances in numbers and opportunities for women in the Army during this period, problem areas remain. In order to assist him in planning for the expanding role of women in the armed services, the Secretary of Defense established the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOW-ITS) in 1951. Composed of thirty-two civilian men and women appointed to three-year terms, the committee meets twice a year with the respective armed services hosting them on a rotating basis.
As a direct result of continuing concerns expressed by DACOW-ITS about the status of women in the armed, services, the Secretary of Defense established the Defense Department Task Force on Women in the Military in the fall of 1987. The task force's report, published in January 1988, focused attention upon three primary areas: general treatment of women in the services, the application and impact of combat exclusion statutes and policies upon women, and the effect of force management policies upon women's career opportunities in the military. The task force emphasized the continuing presence of sexual harassment of female soldiers and called for a standardized definition of the term by the Defense Department, periodic review of its prevalence, and an improved training
program about sexual harassment by each service. The task force also recommended that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD [HA]) reevaluate the present policy that restricts the number of assignments open to medical personnel who specialize in the treatment of servicewomen.
Although legislation exists that excludes servicewomen of the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Air Force from combat duty, no statutory provision applies explicitly to the Army. United States Code, Title 10, Section 3013, grants the Secretary of the Army authority to determine assignment policy for all Army personnel. The Secretary has used that authority to forbid assignment of women to military specialties that incur the highest probability of direct combat. In 1983 the Secretary of the Army created the Direct Combat Probability Coding System (DCPC) that codes every position in the Army from the highest to lowest probability of direct combat, P1 through P7. Women cannot serve in PI positions. Furthermore, the DCPC system closes many noncombat positions and units primarily because of their continued proximity to the enemy on the battlefield. Women ordinarily cannot serve in units routinely operating forward of the brigade rear boundary. The task force recommended that the Secretary of the Army consider opening brigade positions which, like forward support battalions, experience less risk than combat battalions. As regards servicewomen's career development, the task force suggested that each service secretary give priority consideration to female officer leadership development and key billet/command assignment and to devise a plan to open nontraditional skill areas to enlisted women.
In conformance with the recommendations of the Defense Department Task Force on Women in the Military and instructions from the Secretary of Defense, the Army reaffirmed its sexual harassment prevention program in FY 88. Following a reevaluation of the DCPC system, the Army opened 11,138 positions for female military personnel-3,128 active component, 6,274 National Guard, and 1,736 Army Reserve. The DACOW-ITS raised additional questions on women in the armed services in 1988, which required ongoing consideration by Army officials of such topics as career opportunities for women in field artillery, selection criteria for lieutenant colonel commands in the reserve components, and the effects of pregnancy on morale and combat readiness.
Comprising most of its sustaining base, the Army's civilian force serves as an essential component of the Total Army team. Its members perform critical functions in varied and complex fields that include acquisition, communications, logistics, maintenance, medical support, and research and development. In 1988, the Army developed its Civilian Employment Level Plan (CELP) as a means of managing civilian strength.
Deficit reduction agreements reached in late 1987 forced the Army to cut its civilian strength. The Total Army Personnel Agency oversaw a reduction-in-force program, which the Offices of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) (ASA [M&RA]), and the Chief, Legislative Liaison, coordinated with Congress. Hiring freezes, cancellation of job vacancies, reprogramming of funds, and voluntary early retirements reduced initial estimates of 2,141 separations to fewer than 300. Army agencies that resorted to early retirement authority included the Army Materiel Command (AMC), Forces Command, Information Systems Command (ISC), TAPA, and the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Of 26,898 civilians eligible to retire early, 5,179 did so. The Army's CELP for FY 88 authorized approximately 400,000 personnel. The Defense Department's one-for-two hiring freeze, implemented during late May through September, however, left Army civilian strength at 392,947 by the end of FY 88-336,630 direct hires and 56,317 indirect hires.
Work efforts of the Civilian Personnel Modernization Project continued in 1988. Beginning 1 October 1987, fifteen Army activities began participating in the Managing the Civilian Work Force to Budget (MCB) test. MCB holds managers responsible and accountable for their civilian personnel resources. Within this context, MCB provides participating supervisors maximum flexibility to manage their civilian personnel costs (including base salary, benefits, overtime, awards, and premium pay) within a Civilian Pay Ceiling (CPC). Conventional controls over civilian personnel costs-average grade controls, high grade controls, and supervisory ratios-were rescinded or modified. Because of initial favorable reports on MCB, the Army projected its expansion by FY90 to an additional forty-five activities and all TRADOC activities.
Training represents another issue essential to the civilian community. In 1988, the Chief of Staff fully endorsed the implementation of the Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development
System (ACTEDS) in an attempt to improve civilian training. Designed to ensure planned development of the civilian work force through an approved career management system, ACTEDS blends progressive and sequential work assignments with formal training from the entry to the senior executive service level. This program provides a structured approach to technical, professional, and leadership training and development similar to that used by the military. In August 1988, the Chief of Staff indicated that the Army would not have adequate funding for ACTEDS, but he directed commanders to "make ACTEDS happen."
A 1986 Army Inspector General Report noted a deficiency of leadership training for Army civilians and a lack of understanding of civilian personnel management by the Army's military managers. As a consequence, in 1988 the Army instituted a Civilian Leadership Training Program (CLTP) as part of ACTEDS. The CUP provides three levels of leadership training-Level I, Intern Leadership Course; Level II, Leadership Instruction and Supervisor Training Course for new supervisors; and Level III, Organizational Leadership for Executives Course intended for managers in the grades of GS/GM 13-15. The Center for Army Leadership (CAL) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, conducted Levels I and III courses as regular training programs in FY 87 and tested Level II courses in FY 88. By the end of FY 88, CAL had trained 2,179 students in CUP. CAL will train two-person teams, from various Army commands and activities, at Fort Leavenworth to enable local delivery of CUP throughout the Army.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued two directives to federal agencies regarding their affirmative action/equal employment opportunity programs in FY 88, which required responses by the Army. Directive MD 713 instructed federal agencies with more than 1,000 employees to submit annual affirmative action progress reports to the commission on the hiring, placement, and advancement of handicapped persons. Directive MD 714 required all federal agencies to improve their hiring and promotion practices for women and minorities. Since 1980, Army representation of minorities has risen from 18.8 to 25.7 percent, while representation of women has risen from 36 to 42.1 percent of the total work force. Both figures exceed the national civilian labor force representation of minorities and women. In higher general schedule grades through senior executive service (SES) positions, their representations remain minimal. This situation led the former Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff to sign a memorandum which directed the personal commitment of commanders
in improving representation of minorities and women in GS/GM 15 and SES positions. A selection review procedure has been instituted that requires approval of selections by secretariat level functional officials.
Important decisions regarding drug testing and HIV screening of Army civilian personnel occurred in FY 88. On 1 March, a federal district judge enjoined the Army from performing random drug testing of its civilian employees assigned to critical positions. The injunction, however, permitted continued testing of job applicants, persons in consensual rehabilitation, and in cases both of accident and reasonable suspicion of drug use. On 30 March, the Court of Appeals stayed the preliminary injunction pending appeal. On 6 July, the same judge made permanent the preliminary injunction against drug testing issued on 1 March; however, random testing continued under a stay pending appeal. Also in July the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management and Personnel stated that Defense Department policy on HIV testing of its civilian workers required only those employees who perform official duties OCONUS to undergo testing when formally requested by host nations. For example, Egyptian officials requested HIV screening of Army Corps of Engineers civilians assigned in their country. Defense Department policy on HIV screening of civilians does not apply to their family members or contractor personnel.
Congress passed legislation in 1983, Public Law (PL) 98-21, which brought federal workers hired after 1 January 1984 into the Social Security System. This change required a new federal retirement program that Congress established in June 1986, PL 99-335, called the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). FERS consists of three primary parts-social security, a basic plan that supplements social security, and an optional tax-deferred savings plan. Effective in January 1987, FERS required its members to pay social security taxes and contributions into the basic plan of 1.3 percent for 1987, 0.94 for 1988 to 1990, and 0.8 percent in 1990. The optional tax-deferred savings plan, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), became effective in April 1987. Employees of both the FERS and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), the retirement program for federal workers hired before January 1984, could participate in FERS. FERS members can contribute up to 10 percent of their salaries into the TSP, which the government will match up to 5 percent. CSRS employees can contribute up to 5 percent into the TSP, but they receive no government matching. The federal government held an open season during 1 July 1987-31 December 1987 at which time CSRS employees could elect to transfer to
FERS or remain in CSRS. About 2 percent of Army CSRS workers, eligible for conversion, chose FERS coverage.
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Last updated 17 November 2003