CMH Home
CMH Home
Department of the Army Historical Summary
Fiscal Year 1999
Chapter 3

3.

Personnel

In FY 1999, the active Army declined from 483,880 personnel to 479,426. The loss of nearly thirty-five hundred personnel through normal attrition placed the force in line with its authorized strength of 480,000 officers and enlisted members. The 68,935 commissioned and enlisted women of the active Army constituted 14.7 percent of the force. That percentage was expected to continue to rise, with 90 percent of all Army occupations and 70 percent of all positions open to women as of FY 1999. More than 20 percent of new personnel in FY 1999 were female, surpassing the minimum goal of 18 percent. African-Americans composed 26.5 percent of the force; Hispanics, 7.6 percent; and Caucasians, 59.2 percent. Other groups made up the remaining 6.7 percent of the active Army’s personnel. For comparison, in 1999 the U.S. population of 17-19 year-olds was 14.2 percent African-American, 14.9 percent Hispanic, 66 percent Caucasian, and 4.9 percent of other heritage.

Membership in the Army National Guard (ARNG) decreased by 4,975 members, to a total of 357,469. This left the ARNG at 100.1 percent of its authorized strength of 357,223 personnel. The 37,607 women serving in the ARNG accounted for 11.75 percent of the total force. African-Americans composed 15.6 percent of the ARNG, and the 1,574 Hispanic officers and 23,212 Hispanic enlisted members accounted for 6.9 percent of ARNG personnel. The 257,579 Caucasians in the ARNG made up 73.8 percent of the force; Asians and Pacific Islanders, 1.8 percent; and Native Americans, 0.8 percent; with 1.1 percent of ARNG personnel identifying themselves as of other or unknown ethnic origin.

In contrast to the reductions of the active Army and the ARNG, the Army Reserve (USAR) expanded by 1,868 members, despite substantial recruiting shortfalls. Its FY99 end strength of 206,836 still remained below the authorized level of 208,003 officers and enlisted men and women. The 50,710 female USAR personnel composed 24.52 percent of the total force. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and those identifying their ethnicity as other or unknown were also more prominent in the Reserve than in the Guard, at 25.4, 8.0, 3.3, and 2.7 percent, respectively. Caucasians made up 60.1 percent of USAR personnel, and

25


TABLE 3 - END-STRENGTH COMPARISON: FY 1998 AND FY 1999

Component
FY98 Authorized
FY98 Actual
Percentage
FY99 Authorized
FY99 Actual
Percentage
Active Army
487,575
483,880
99.2
480,000
479,426
99.9
USAR
208,000
204,968
98.5
208,003
206,836
99.4
ARNG
361,516
362,444
100.3
357,223
357,469
100.1

Note: ARNG = Army National Guard, USAR = U.S. Army Reserve.

0.5 percent were Native Americans. Total end strength figures, authorized and actual, for the active Army, the ARNG, and the USAR in FYs 1998 and 1999 are shown in Table 3.

Both of the reserve components faced a continuing and serious shortage of full-time support personnel during the fiscal year. These personnel constitute the critical portion of reserve units responsible for routine administration, logistics, recruiting, retention, and operations. Shortages in support positions adversely affect the preparedness of reserve-component units. Such personnel fall into four categories: activeduty Guard and Reserve members performing administrative and support functions, dual-status military technicians who are participating reservists as a condition of their employment, active Army personnel attached to reserve formations, and civil service employees. Table 4 lists full-time personnel required, authorized, and actually assigned to the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

The ratio of full-time personnel authorizations to validated requirements reached an all-time low in FY 1999. The USAR was authorized at only 62.1 percent of its requirement; the ARNG at 72.5 percent. In contrast, the ratio of authorizations to requirements was 99 percent for the Naval Reserve, 97 percent for the Marine Corps Reserve, 92 percent for the Air National Guard, 94 percent for the Air Force Reserve, and 100 percent for the Coast Guard Reserve. At the end of the fiscal year, the Department of Defense (DOD) was reviewing full-time support programs and procedures to address this disparity.

Another discrepancy might have become a serious complication for the accession of first-term recruits in FY 1999. Despite clear goals defined by the Quadrennial Defense Review and force reduction plans, the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) did not receive sufficient funds to execute its training mission. By February 1999, the TRADOC reported that it lacked the resources necessary to meet the Army’s needs, predicting shortfalls in training spaces for new enlisted personnel of 6,900

26


TABLE 4: FULL-TIME SUPPORT PERSONNEL IN THE RESERVE COMPONENTS

Component Personnel
Army Reserve
Army National Guard
Active-duty Reserve and National Guard personnel
Required
21,517
40,827
Authorized
12,807
21,986
Assigned
12,983
21,912
Military Technicians
Required
10,347
23,815
Authorized
6,474
24,761
Assigned
6,355
23,578
Active Component
Required
603
320
Authorized
619
188
Assigned
184
463
Civil Service
Required
1,579
527
Authorized
1,251
527
Assigned
1,169
461
Totals
Required
34,046
56,489
Authorized
21,151
47,462
Shortfall
12,895
18,027

in the active Army and 9,300 in the reserve components, as well as a deficit of 500 training spaces for newly commissioned officers by the end of the fiscal year. Actual year-end accession figures were almost 16,500 below the target, rendering the problem moot. If recruiting had been fully successful in 1999, the Army might not have been able to train that many new personnel.

Enlisted Personnel

The strong economy and low rate of civilian unemployment proved to be a serious obstacle to first-term enlistments in FY 1999. In an attempt to meet recruiting goals in that challenging environment, the Army

27


supplemented its standard enlistment bonus program for those men and women entering a critical military occupational specialty (MOS). All such bonuses were limited to a maximum of $6,000 for a two-year enlistment or $12,000 for four or more years. The added incentives were a seasonal bonus to equalize the flow of recruits to training facilities, the “HIGRAD” bonus of $4,000 for applicants with thirty or more semester hours of college, and the $3,000 Airborne bonus for those selecting an airborne MOS and agreeing to become airborne qualified. To widen the pool of potential personnel, the Army also initiated a five-year experiment in which graduates of home-schooling programs would be considered high school graduates for enlistment purposes. But first-term enlisted accessions still failed to meet established targets. Those targets are compared with actual accessions in Table 5.

TABLE 5 - ARMY ENLISTED ACCESSION RESULTS: FY 1999

Component
Goal
Actual
Difference
Percentage
Active Army
74,500
68,209
-6,291
-8.4
ARNG
56,958
57,090
+132
+0.2
USAR
52,084
41,784
-10,300
-19.8

Note: ARNG = Army National Guard, USAR = U.S. Army Reserve.

The active Army contained 398,155 enlisted personnel at the end of FY 1999. In response to the shortage of new enlistees, the Army adjusted its FY99 retention goal from the original 62,300 to 65,000. To meet that goal, the rule requiring reenlistment to be initiated ninety days prior to separation from service was waived. This encouraged retention officers to further sharpen the focus of their reenlistment efforts on personnel in the final year of their enlistments. The appeal of the 3.1 percent increase in base pay authorized in the FY99 budget also aided retention efforts, which exceeded the increased goal with 71,147 reenlistments. Active-component retention rates for enlisted personnel are presented in Table 6.

TABLE 6 - ENLISTED ACTIVE ARMY RETENTION: FY 1999

Personnel
Goal
Obtained
Percentage
Initial-term
20,200
20,843
103.2
Mid-career
23,000
24,174
105.1
Career
21,800
26,130
119.9
Total
65,000
71,147
109.5

28


The introduction of an indefinite-reenlistment program improved personnel retention. This new option sought to stabilize the noncommissioned officer corps and to encourage career service commitments. Beginning in FY 1999, personnel with ten years of uniformed service and grades of E-6 or higher are given the option of reenlisting for an indefinite term instead of the standard two- to six-year commitment. Personnel selecting that option are formalizing their commitment to an Army career and continue to serve until retirement or, as with officers, until they resign or exceed time-in-grade limits without promotion.

The Army Reserve continued to fall slightly short of its authorized strength in FY 1999, despite exceeding its goal for non–prior-service recruits by 132 through a major recruiting campaign. A decline in priorservice recruitment and decreasing interest in reserve service were the greatest obstacles in reaching authorized force levels. To correct the problem, 186 additional Reserve recruiters began to join the existing force of 1,318 as the fiscal year ended. At their disposal as incentives were a newly approved $8,000 bonus for non–prior-service recruits and expanded benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill.

Enlisted personnel accounted for only 161,930 of the Reserve’s 206,836-person strength. At 78 percent, this was the lowest enlisted composition of the three force components. Enlisted personnel composed 83.6 percent of the active Army, and the Guard’s enlisted force was 89 percent of the total. The Reserve was also relatively lacking in warrant officers, who made up only 1.4 percent of all personnel, as opposed to the active Army’s 2.4 percent and the Guard’s 2.2 percent.

This comparative shortage in enlisted personnel and warrant officers is partly explained by the Reserve’s structure. The Army Reserve includes both the Individual Ready Reserve and Individual Mobilization Augmentees (IMAs), categories unique to the Reserve that distort any direct comparison of force composition. Officers accounted for 6,388 of the 8,019 IMAs in FY 1999, a substantial surplus over the authorized 4,748 officers and the major reason for the apparent imbalance. If IMA personnel are ignored, Reserve enlisted personnel accounted for 81.45 percent of the force, bringing the USAR’s composition much closer to that of the other Army components.

The Army National Guard enlisted 26,085 non–prior-service personnel in FY 1999, only 91.5 percent of the objective. Prior-service accessions made up the shortfall, with the Guard achieving 108.9 percent of its target at 31,005. The combination amounted to 57,090 new ARNG enlisted members, or 100.2 percent of the programmed objective of 56,958. In FY 1999, the ARNG formed an enlisted personnel management review panel to examine current practices and procedures and to propose improvements in the ARNG’s personnel management. Among topics

29


considered by the panel were the promotion system, assignment cycles, and access to training. The panel recommended some minor changes in the promotion system that are scheduled for implementation in FY 2000.

The ARNG’s examination of enlisted personnel policies corresponded with the activities of the Force Integration Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. In addition to reviewing enlisted promotion standards, the division examined MOS designations and structures as part of a service-wide multiyear effort to validate standards of grade and to clarify the grade and career progression paths within each MOS. The various new standards were scheduled for publication in FYs 2000–03.

Officer Personnel

There were 77,152 officers in the active Army at the end of FY 1999, including 11,633 warrant officers. More than 13 percent of the total, 10,522 commissioned and warrant officers, were female. Of the commissioned officers, 11.3 percent were African-American, 3.8 percent were Hispanic, and 78.5 percent were Caucasian. People of mixed heritage and other groups made up 6.4 percent of the officer corps. The composition of the warrant officer ranks was similar: 15.7 percent African-American, 5.0 percent Hispanic, 74.1 percent Caucasian, and the remaining 5.2 percent in other categories. Table 7 shows the total number of active Army officers by grade.

TABLE 7—ACTIVE ARMY OFFICERS BY GRADE: FY 1999

Grade
Number
Grade
Number
Grade
Number
General
10
Colonel
3,457
CW5
347
Lieutenant General
46
Lieutenant Colonel
8,747
CW4
1,484
Major General
94
Major
14,201
CW3
2,893
Brigadier General
148
Captain
21,306
CW2
4,985
First Lieutenant
9,351
WO1
1,924
Second Lieutenant
8,159
Totals
298
65,221
11,633

Note: CW = chief warrant officer, WO = warrant officer.

30


New officers enter the service through several paths. The Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the nation’s colleges and universities continues to be the primary source of new officers, while graduates of the U.S. Military Academy provide the professionally educated heart of the junior officer corps. Officer Candidate School provides another route to commissioning, and the Judge Advocate General Corps, Army Medical Department, and Chaplain Corps each maintain their own professional programs. New officer accessions for FY 1999 are totaled by source in Table 8.

TABLE 8 - COMMISSIONED OFFICER ACCESSIONS BY SOURCE: FY 1999

Source
Active Army
AMEDD
JAGC
CC
Total
USMA
937
21
1
0
959
ROTC
2,389
397
39
0
2,825
OCS
483
0
0
0
483
Other
19
799
105
79
1,002
Total
3,828
1,217
145
79
5,269

Note: AMEDD = Army Medical Department, CC = Chaplain Corps, JAGC = Judge Advocate General Corps, OCS = Officer Candidate School, ROTC = Reserve Officer Training Corps, USMA = U.S. Military Academy.

Army officers normally become eligible for grade advancement when a standardized schedule places them in the zone of consideration after a predetermined length of service. They may also be considered above or below that standard zone of promotion when circumstances warrant. Table 9 lists the average length of service at promotion and the standard length of service for promotion, by rank, for FY 1999. The schedule was established by the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) of 1980.

TABLE 9 - OFFICER YEARS OF SERVICE AT PROMOTION BY RANK: FY 1999

Rank
Average Length of Service (Years)
Standard Length of Service (Years)
Colonel
22.4
22.0 +/-1.0
Lieutenant Colonel
16.5
16.0 +/-1.0
Major
10.8
10.0 +/-1.0
Captain
4.0
3.5 +/-1.0

31


Officers are considered as fully members of the career force upon promotion to the rank of captain, and they may continue to serve until their time in grade without promotion exceeds established limits. The Army continued to meet the DOPMA standards in the promotion of officers, as shown in Table 10, an achievement that escaped its grasp in the early 1990s as force reduction efforts and the legislated promotional windows conflicted. That awkward transition ended when force levels stabilized. In fact, the percentage of considered officers selected for promotion in 1999 was higher than the same figure for the Cold War Army of 1989, and promotions came somewhat faster, as shown in Table 11.

Assessing officer performance for development and promotion is a challenge. In FY 1999, the Army furthered its efforts to establish more sophisticated and useful analytical tools for those processes. The chief of staff directed the Center for Army Leadership (CAL) to test a leadership assessment program in operational units, based on earlier trials at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with students in the Combined Arms and Services Staff School and the Command General Staff Officer Course of the Army Command and General Staff College. The program provides leaders with performance feedback from superiors, peers, and subordinates. As a result of the combination of evaluations from all perspectives, the CAL labeled the program a “360-degree” assessment. The two test programs, conducted in the 212th Field Artillery Brigade, Third Corps Artillery, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the First Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division (Mechanized), at Fort Hood, Texas, proved successful enough that the CAL suggested an expansion of the development program in FY 2000.

Managing personnel assignments to meet the needs of the Army and the interests and career aspirations of individual officers is a challenge undertaken by the Officer Personnel Management Directorate (OPMD), Army Personnel Command. On 1 September 1999, OPMD reestablished the central Colonels Division, which had been disbanded in 1997, to manage the assignments of colonels. In the two-year interim, basic branch assignment officers or functional area managers had made colonel assignments, and many branch chiefs had managed colonel assignments personally. The restored division eliminated that burden on branch chiefs, permitting them to concentrate their personnel development efforts elsewhere. In its new form, the Colonels Division enabled assignment officers to focus their efforts within their own basic branch, managing the assignments and professional development of the individual colonels in that branch.

Civilian Personnel

The Army’s civilian workforce declined by seventy-seven hundred members in FY 1999, from 232,600 to 224,900 employees. Overall, the

32


TABLE 10 - OFFICER PROMOTIONS ABOVE, IN, AND BELOW ZONE BY RANK: FY 1999

Rank
Considered in Zone
Select Above
Select In
Select Below
Select Total
Promotion Rate (%)
DOPMA Goal (%)
Colonel
777
18
386
16
430
55.3
50
Lieutenant Colonel
1,386
33
954
73
1,060
76.5
70
Major
1,732
78
1,353
79
1,510
87.2
80
Captain
4,122
19
4,053
n/a
4,072
98.7
95

TABLE 11: PROMOTION RATE AND TENURE COMPARISON: SELECTED YEARS

FY
Major
Lieutenant Colonel
Colonel
% Selected
Years/Months
% Selected
Years/Months
% Selected
Years/Months
1989
82.0
11/8
73.9
17/9
49.4
22/10
1994
85.4
11/10
70.5
16/9
50.4
22/9
1999
87.2
10/10
76.5
16/6
55.3
22/5

33


civilian workforce was down 44 percent from its FY89 strength of 402,900, reflecting the general force reduction as the Army transforms itself from its Cold War orientation to the Force XXI structure. In the process, the workforce has aged. The average Department of the Army civilian employee was 46.6 years old in FY 1999, up from 43.0 ten years earlier. Average length of service also increased, from 13.5 to 17.2 years. These figures imply a troubling, disproportionate decline in the numbers of entry-level personnel. As the leadership of the Army’s civilian workforce ages toward retirement, it may experience difficulty in locating a sufficiently broad talent pool of experienced potential successors.

In response to that concern, the training, education, and professional development of the civilian workforce have been a priority in recent years. The DOD instituted the Defense Leadership and Management Program (DLAMP) in 1997 to prepare administrators for senior positions. The DLAMP consists of defense-focused graduate education, rotational assignments, and professional military education to prepare civilians for key leadership positions. Fourteen new graduate courses joined the DLAMP’s existing thirteen courses in 1999. This expansion of the young but already successful program was assisted by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen’s appointment of the first chancellor for education and professional development on October 2, 1998. The chancellor serves as the advocate for all DOD higher education and professional development programs for civilian personnel.

Management of the Army’s civilian personnel is being centralized as part of the Army Enterprise Strategy’s ongoing effort to maximize efficiency. A total of ten regional Civilian Personnel Operations Centers (CPOCs) replaced individual post and command facilities in FY 1999, coordinating personnel selection and administration. The South Central CPOC became the first to reach full operational capability, doing so in the closing days of FY 1998, on 27 September. It serves nine major commands, including the U.S. Army Materiel Command and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, its largest clients.

On 1 October, the North Central CPOC also attained full capability, serving the facilities of three major commands in eight different states, plus some activities in Colorado and Texas that lay beyond its otherwise designated geographic borders. The North Central CPOC was subsequently designated as the Army’s single-source recruiter for career interns. It also developed and fielded the Resumix online applicant response system, an automated tool that enables applicants to view the status of their résumés. The system was quickly adopted as the Army standard, with interest from other DOD agencies. By the end of the fiscal year, all ten CPOCs were fully operational, serving almost 100 percent of the Army’s civilian labor force.

34


Families

Family support contributes substantially to the total quality of life for servicemembers, in turn improving morale, individual mission readiness, retention rates, and first-term enlistments. Simple demographics indicate the importance of family issues to today’s Army. The 479,426 active Army personnel in FY 1999 had a total of 714,486 immediate family members: 250,908 spouses, 459,052 children, and 4,526 adult dependents. Army parents—52.8 percent of commissioned officers, 75.7 percent of warrant officers, and 47.9 percent of enlisted personnel—have an average of two children each; 4.0 percent of all officers and 8.4 percent of enlisted personnel are sole parents. Some of these parents face difficulties with very basic matters, including household finances. Army commissaries redeemed $6.8 million in food stamps and $8.7 million in vouchers for the federally supported Women, Infants, and Children nutritional program in FY 1999.

Female servicemembers of all ranks are less likely to be married than their male peers, as Table 12 shows, but Table 13 demonstrates that those who are married are far more likely to have a spouse who is also in military service. The unique challenges of a dual military marriage, faced by roughly 6 percent of Army personnel, confront almost 20 percent of all women and less than 4 percent of all men in the service. Thus the Army’s ability to support uniformed couples may well have particular significance for the quality of life of female personnel.

TABLE 12 - MARRIAGE BY GENDER AND GRADE: FY 1999
(Percentage)

Grade
Male
Female
Total Grade
Officer
72
54
70
Warrant officer
87
60
85
Enlisted personnel
53
44
51
Total personnel
56
45
55

Secretary of Defense William J. Perry recognized the impact of family issues on overall quality of life in 1995 when he created the Quality of Life Executive Committee. That committee includes family issues in four of its six guiding principles: providing servicemembers and families safe, modern communities and housing; making educational opportunities for servicemembers and their families a cornerstone of quality-of-life programs; ensuring parity in quality-of-life programs across installations and services as servicemembers and their families move between them; and building solid communications with servicemembers and their families.

35


TABLE 13: DUAL MILITARY MARRIAGES BY GENDER AND GRADE: FY 1999
(Percentage)

Grade
Male
Female
Total Grade
Officer
5.1
44.2
9.5
Warrant officer
4.3
48.5
6.3
Enlisted personnel
6.9
42.2
11.5

Such issues are addressed within the Army through a number of programs. The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) identifies issues of concern through Army family symposiums at all command levels and through AFAP conferences and meetings of the AFAP General Officer Steering Committee, held in alternating years. The 1999 AFAP conference identified for discussion 127 separate issues, in nine major categories. With the assistance of subject matter experts, conference members voiced their concerns and identified possible solutions, producing a list of priorities for the attention of Army leaders. The list contained 27 new issues, which were added to the 37 matters previously identified for action by the steering committee. Delegates also voted for the five most valuable services offered to Army families. The most valued services for 1999, in descending order, were medical and dental care, Army housing, the commissary, the AFAP itself, and retirement services.

Some of the issues that the AFAP addresses are quite specific. For example, the Directorate of Human Resources of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel administers the Adolescent Substance Abuse Counseling Service (ASACS). In 1999, that service provided intensive substance abuse prevention support to at-risk teens, efforts proven by experience to be more successful than the general educational mission that the ASACS held at its 1980 inception. The service has proven to be popular as well as effective, and in some posts may be the only adolescent counseling program available. The AFAP continues to voice strong support for the ASACS program.

More general issues of family support are addressed at the unit level. Family support groups emerged when Guard and Reserve units struggled to meet the needs and concerns of the family members of personnel mobilized for the Gulf War. These family support groups are largely staffed by volunteers supported by local commanders and Army policy. They act as an information conduit and point of contact between family members and the military chain of command, seeking to integrate family members fully into the Army team.

36


The Army Family Liaison Office supports the activities of the family support groups and, in 1999, added a paid position specifically set aside for an Army spouse. The selected spouse serves under contract to provide technical research and support to the Army Family Liaison Office, based on familiarity with installation quality-of-life programs, facilities, and issues, particularly from the perspective of an Army family member. The holder of the position also assists in defining and implementing plans, policies, procedures, evaluation criteria, and reporting requirements to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness within the Family Liaison Office.

Special Topics

The 364th Infantry Regiment, an African-American unit stationed at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi, during the fall of 1943 was the focal point of allegations that the Army massacred more than one thousand of its soldiers and covered up the crime. In The Slaughter: An American Atrocity, author Carroll Case used local legends and rumors as the inspiration for a novel making these claims. Primarily a work of fiction about the alleged massacre, The Slaughter contained a short nonfiction section describing Case’s investigation of the rumors. That section caused the Library of Congress to categorize the entire work as nonfiction, which contributed to the controversy the book raised when it was published in the summer of 1998. In 1999, Mississippi Congressman Bennie G. Thompson and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People requested that the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army determine if there was any truth to the story.

In response to questions raised about The Slaughter, the assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs assigned the Army Center of Military History (CMH) the task of fully documenting the history of the 364th during World War II, seeking any indication of unusual or inexplicable loss of personnel. Subsequent exploration of records at the National Archives and Records Administration, including the National Personnel Records Center, found no evidence of the alleged massacre and subsequent cover-up. The CMH traced all officers and men assigned to the unit during the war to their separation from service and randomly surveyed veterans of the unit from the fall of 1943. The veterans discounted the possibility of such an event, and the research revealed no unexplained disappearances, large-scale transfers, or other events that could have hidden mass murders.

Instead, the history of the 364th that emerged documented the challenges facing an African-American unit serving in the southern United States under trying circumstances. Racism, poor leadership, and adverse conditions combined to create several incidents involving the regiment.

37


Those incidents became the subjects of rumor and exaggeration, and a local legend bearing little resemblance to the actual events began to develop. The events themselves are clear. By late 1942, the unit was under investigation for allegations of poor leadership and conduct. A drunken brawl between a soldier of the 364th and an African-American military policeman of the 733d Military Police Battalion on Thanksgiving Day 1942 resulted in an accidental shooting in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. When exaggerated accounts of the incident reached their camp, members of the 364th seized weapons and headed for town. Before order could be restored, men from the unit and local police had exchanged fire. Two soldiers and one civilian died in the confrontation, which left fourteen other people injured.

Fifteen men from the regiment were court-martialed over the riot before the unit departed for predeployment training at Camp Van Dorn. Rumor and a grim reputation preceded the unit into Mississippi. On the afternoon of 30 May 1943, Pvt. William Walker of the newly arrived 364th struggled with a white military policeman in the small town of Centerville. Three local police officers intervened, and Sheriff R. Whitaker shot and killed Walker. As had happened previously, men from the regiment remaining in camp responded to the incident in town, this time by assembling at a post exchange and seizing weapons from the Company C arms room. When military police arrived, they were rushed by men from the unit and fired several shots to halt the crowd. One struck a bystander in the leg. Col. John Goodman, the regimental commander, arrived shortly thereafter and reestablished control. The incident triggered a number of investigations by the War Department and eventually resulted in the unit, scheduled for the European Theater, being deployed to Alaska. It served well as a garrison force in the Aleutian Islands.

In 1944, Camp Van Dorn was the scene of another event in the area formerly occupied by the men of the 364th Infantry Regiment. Two African-American soldiers struggled in the post exchange, and a soldier from the 1697th Engineer Combat Battalion was stabbed. Soldiers from his unit seized their weapons and fired on the barracks of the 394th Quartermaster Company, thought to be the knife-wielder’s unit. The entire camp heard the fusillade, which left the two men wounded and the barracks clearly damaged by rifle fire.

These three incidents and the rumors that surrounded them appear to be the slender factual foundation for Case’s fictional massacre. The investigation prompted by Case’s allegations of murder and conspiracy discovered no evidence of atrocity or cover-up, no personnel unaccounted for, and no suspicions or allegations among veterans of the unit in question.

A more substantive personnel issue emerged in July 1998 with the secretary of defense’s call for a revision of policies on personal relationships

38


between military members of different rank. The Army’s resulting revision to AR 600-20, Command Policy, became effective on 2 March 1999. The Army’s former prohibition of personal or business relationships that compromise the chain of command, are exploitative or unfair, lead to partiality, or otherwise affect good order and discipline, remained in effect. In addition, relationships between officers, including warrant officers, and enlisted personnel were prohibited. Existing marriages and relationships between members of the National Guard and Reserve arising primarily out of their civilian occupations were excluded from the regulation’s provisions, which included a brief period to resolve newly prohibited relationships.

Abuse of controlled substances remained a major concern of Army personnel policy in FY 1999. The Army continued its substance abuse programs in an effort to protect the health, reliability, and morale of military and civilian personnel. As the greatest deterrence to the abuse of controlled substances, testing provided the cornerstone of the Army’s efforts. Activeand reserve-component personnel and civilians in positions with critical safety or security requirements are randomly tested. Specimens from military personnel are examined in two forensic drug-testing laboratories for cocaine, THC, and amphetamines. Alternating tests for PCP, opiates, LSD, and barbiturates are included in the process, which may also include examination for anabolic steroids when requested by a commanding officer. Civilians are examined for THC and cocaine and, on a rotating basis, for PCP, amphetamines, and opiates. The overall positive rate for drug testing was 1.12 percent in FY 1999. Table 14 gives test results by group.

TABLE 14 - DRUG-TESTING RESULTS BY COMPONENTS: FY 1999

Component
Number of Specimens Tested
Positive Rate (%)
Active Army
1,076,361
0.83
ARNG
136,469
2.68
USAR
70,798
2.32
Civilian
8,593
1.70

Note: ARNG = Army National Guard, USAR = U.S. Army Reserve.

The Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs (ACSAP) provides policy, training, and assistance in all aspects of the Army Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program. During FY 1999, the international accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers completed an external evaluation of the program under an ACSAP contract. The review concluded that the Army’s substance abuse programs had deteriorated since the firm’s 1994 evaluation. That decline was primarily attributed to the loss of staff and resources. In addition, a lack of standardization, defense

39


of local programs, and current promulgated policy hampered efforts and contributed to the discouragement and demoralization of program staff. The review recommended formation of a task force to reorganize the program, suggesting it consider the possibilities of contracting the activity out, adopting private industry’s employee assistance program model for Army use, or combining the two solutions.






40


Return to Chapter 2

Return to Table of Contents

Go to Chapter 4