Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1974
As in last year's summary, this section on support services brings together a number of topics dealing with the needs and welfare of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Army. In the past these topics have been covered elsewhere, principally in the personnel and logistics chapters, treating them in a single format underscores the importance of activities and services associated with the quality of Army life and its attraction in recruiting young Americans and in retaining experienced soldiers.
Health and Medical Affairs
Work loads in Army medical facilities decreased in fiscal year 1974, continuing a trend that began in 1970. As compared to the previous year, the number of medical care composite units decreased by 10.4 percent worldwide (10.8 percent in the United States and 8.9 percent overseas), bed occupancy dropped 13.8 percent (15 percent in the United States and 9.8 percent overseas), admissions were down 15.6 percent (17.2 percent in the United States and 10.9 percent overseas), births declined by 10 percent (7.7 percent in the United States and 14.3 percent overseas), and clinic visits were down by 5.2 percent (4.5 percent in the United states and 7.2 percent overseas). These decreases were to a great extent a reflection of the decline in Army strength, although the drop in bed occupancy was also attributable to a 63 percent reduction in acute respiratory diseases, a 50 percent decline in influenza and pneumonia, and a 98 percent decrease in rubella cases.
Despite the decline in medical work load, the cost of health care continued to rise, caused principally by higher civilian salaries authorized by Congress; the conversion of many enlisted positions to civilian jobs; the cost of the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program, which completed its first full year of operations; and the continuing rise in the cost of medical supplies. Expenses connected with the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS) continued to increase, but at a lower rate than in recent years. Although fewer active duty dependents used CHAMPUS, this cost reduction was more than offset by increased treatment of retired persons and their dependents and by the higher rates charged in the civilian medical community.
Medical Corps officer authorization dropped from 5,153 in fiscal
year 1973 to 4,302 this year. Because of the physician shortage, physical therapists were given more responsibility in selected medical treatment facilities. They were the first to see patients with back pain or other musculoskeletal complaints, examining them, determining a provisional diagnosis, and overseeing the treatment prescribed in the final diagnosis.
Dental Corps officer authorizations also decreased, from 2,207 last year to 1,822 in fiscal year 1974. To help balance this reduction, several measures were taken. The criterion for dental treatment rooms per dentist was changed from one to two and two and a half, and construction began at Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Carson, Colorado, the first two clinics designed to meet this standard. Eleven additional clinics of this type were programmed for fiscal year 1975. In a corresponding change, dental assistants were increased from one per dental officer to one per treatment room. More use is being made of dental therapy assistants. A 48-week training program was started, and approximately one-half of nearly 400 assistants have completed training and are working. Meanwhile the number of installations using dental therapy assistants increased from the original twenty-two to twenty-eight. Employed in professional-paraprofessional teams, these dental assistants were well received by patients.
During the past year the Army cooperated with government agencies in veterinary matters. It assigned a Veterinary Corps liaison officer to the Department of Agriculture primarily to give advice on laboratory and histopathologic diseases. The liaison officer's other duties took in worldwide monitoring of animal and zoonetic diseases, training of active duty and Reserve personnel in the diagnosis of foreign animal diseases, and the development of laboratory diagnostic study sets. Another example of the Army's cooperation with the Department of Agriculture was an agreement, following consultations between Department of State and Federal Republic of Germany representatives, that permitted Veterinary Corps officers to certify for the Department of Agriculture all U.S. beef and pork shipped to Germany. The Veterinary Corps also participated in the Food and Drug Administration's worldwide survey of canned mushrooms. Taking place after inspections of civilian processing facilities revealed unsanitary practices and the existence of contaminated cans, the survey helped to reduce the potential biological hazard associated with clostridium botulinum contamination.
In medical research, the Army made excellent progress in developing a homologous convalescent antiserum for preventing and treating Bolivian hemorrhagic fever. Following inoculation with Machupu virus, the disease's etiological agent, rhesus monkeys
developed clinical signs, hematologic changes, viremias, antibody responses, and histopathologic lesions that were generally consistent with the disease in man. Usually the monkeys became ill about six days after exposure, and the mean time of death occurred on the nineteenth or twentieth day. Prophylaxis was possible with immune serum or the gamma globulin fraction when administered at about the time of exposure. The dosage of serum that produced low, detectable titers in the recipient protected against severe disease. Higher doses protected against the development of clinical signs, but not against infection. Monkeys could be successfully treated with a single dose of specific antibody if therapy was started within one or two days after clinical disease developed (eight days after inoculation). The dosage required was approximately seven times that which prevented illness. Findings also suggested that treatment could be successfully performed later in the course of the disease with continuous daily administration of the antibody.
Army medical researchers also discovered that up to 30 percent of the energy requirements received through intravenous feeding might be supplied by fat emulsions. Use of fat emulsions is expected to reduce the complications caused by the intravenous feeding of concentrated sugar solutions. Also, fat emulsions are easier to administer.
During the past year a number of medical units and facilities were discontinued. These included the U.S. Army Medical Research Unit, Malaysia, on 2 July 1073; the U.S. Army Medical Research Unit, Panama, also on 2 July 1973; the U.S. Army Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory, Denver, Colorado, on 24 August 1973; the U.S. Army Medical Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, on 30 October 1973; the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity, Fort Wolters, Texas, on 8 March 1974; and Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, on 30 June 1974.
On 15 August 1973, the Chief of Staff designated the Chief of Chaplains to be a member of his personal staff with full Army staff responsibility on matters of religion, morality, and human self-development. Previously the Chief of Chaplains had been under the general staff supervision of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. In a time of changing mores, this decision reflected the importance to be placed on religious and moral values within the Army community. In another organizational change, two career Reserve Component chaplains, one from the Army National Guard
of Chaplains, on two-year tours to coordinate Reserve Component chaplain programs with the National Guard Bureau and the Office, Chief of Army Reserve.
The Chaplain Organization Development Program was started during the year as a way to define and articulate what the ministry is or can be on a given installation, to identify barriers to performing that ministry, and to plan for more effective organizational behavior. The ultimate goals of the program are to broaden participation in developing chaplain-related programs and to expand the chaplain's role in the formulation of command policy and in decision making.
The Chaplain Organization Development Program was begun at ten installations: Forts Benning, Bragg, Dix, Hood, Jackson, Knox, Ord, Polk, Riley, and Sill. Based on favorable reports, the Army at the end of the year planned to add eight installations to the program: Forts Bliss, Campbell, Carson, Devens, Eustis, Meade, the Presidio of San Francisco, and Stewart. Each installation in the program will have a consultant from the National Training Laboratories for Applied Behavioral Sciences who would work with the post chaplain in carrying out the program. Additionally, laboratory training in interpersonal skill development, consultation skills, and training theory is given to selected chaplains at participating installations.
With the Chaplain Organization Development Program concentrated initially on the professional chaplain community, a corollary program, Faith at Work, was started primarily for the laymen. Under this program approximately ninety persons will be sent annually to laboratories designed to help men and women better appreciate their potential and expand their skills for working with others. The program will eventually develop a network of trainees within the military religious community capable of conducting installation workshops related to the annual training.
Together the Chaplain Organization Development Program and Faith at Work help to develop a sense of collegiality in the whole religious community. Each program aims at an open environment in which full participation in program planning and decision making would be shared by chaplains and laymen.
Housing and Homeowners Assistance
The approved fiscal year 1974 Army Military Construction Program included $227 million for building 23,391 new troop housing spaces and 185 bachelor officer spaces in the United States and overseas. The budget also provided $140.5 million for modernization of 45,173 existing troop housing spaces and 528 bachelor officer
spaces. Included for members of the Women's Army Corps were 2,837 new construction spaces, 3,289 modernized spaces, and 100 new bachelor officer quarters.
During the congressional review of the fiscal year 1974 Army Military Construction Program, the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Military Construction challenged the living standards used in designing new and modernized barracks. The subcommittee wanted four men per room rather than three for grades E-1 through E-4 (trainees would continue to be billeted in open bay squad rooms) and thought that grade E-7's should share a room rather than have a private room. The Senate-House Armed Services Committee Joint Conference later directed the Secretary of Defense "to make a study of a planned occupancy for permanent barracks with a minimum of four persons per room for Enlisted Grades E-4 and below." The study was to estimate the cost savings for changing to this criterion and also the effects on morale and recruiting. An ad hoc group of representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military services was formed to conduct the study. The group's report, entitled Department of Defense Study of Bachelor Enlisted Housing, January 1974, stated that although a number of small cost savings could be realized by using four-man rooms, these would be offset by lowered morale, a reduction in retention rates, and a detrimental effect on recruitment. The Office of the Secretary of Defense then recommended to Congress that no change be made in the enlisted housing criteria, a recommendation which Congress approved in March 1974.
Modernization of barracks and dining facilities under terms of the fiscal year 1972-73 Offset Agreement between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany continued satisfactorily. The Army's share of this program, 576 million Deutsche marks, financed the renovation of 60,000 barracks spaces at fifty-five caserns and at border and other remote sites. At year's end, work was complete at 17 caserns, contracts were under way at 37 caserns, and plans had been completed for 1 remaining casern. The fiscal year 1974-75 Offset Agreement was signed on 25 April 1974. This agreement stipulated that funds would be used to complete the barracks and dining facilities modernization program and that any remaining funds would be allocated to environmental protection and ammunition storage projects. It was expected that all of the Army's share, 503.3 million Deutsche marks, would be required to modernize the remaining troop living facilities at 84 caserns and at remote sites.
The Army improved its family housing, making progress in providing suitable accommodations either on post or in the civilian
community for married soldiers (except trainees), adequate maintenance for existing housing, sufficient replacement furniture overseas, and government-owned clothes washers and dryers in overseas housing. The family housing picture was also brightened when the Secretary of Defense changed the criteria for quarters eligibility to include grades E-4's with over two years of service, and new family housing was programmed for enlisted people in this grade.
The fiscal year 1975 family housing program was presented to the Congress for consideration as the year closed. Key items in the programs for 1975 and for the remainder of the 1970s were as follows:
|Mobile home spaces
|$120 million ($30 million/year)
|20,000 level/year (FY 79)
|$46.5 million/FY 76; FY 77-79 ($25 million /year)
|$80 million ($20 million/year)
The family housing program, however, was not without problems. Currency revaluation overseas and escalating fuel prices continued to raise housing costs. Funds programmed to reduce deferred maintenance had to be cut, and the maintenance backlog was expected to increase. It became more difficult to award construction contracts at the statutory average unit cost limit of $27,000 for fiscal year 1974 without sacrificing desired living features. For this reason the 1975 budget proposes an increase of the unit cost level to $30,000. The following table provides a general picture of the appropriations and execution of the Army family housing program for fiscal year 1974. The differences between the program submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the actual appropriations represent OSD and congressional adjustments.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY FISCAL YEAR 1974 FAMILY HOUSING MANAGEMENT ACCOUNT
(In millions of dollars)
|Submitted to OSD
|Mobile home facilities
|Operation & maintenance
|Total operation & maintenance
Since enactment of the Homeowners Assistance Program in March 1967, 11,618 applications for assistance have been received and 10,766 have been processed. Of the number processed as of 30 June 1974, 8,143 were settled at a cost of $21.9 million, including 1,893 mortgage assumptions totaling $18.1 million. Some 2,623 applications were rejected, and 809 settlements were made without payment. A total of 891 appeals were submitted, of which 408 were approved, 402 were denied, and 81 were still being processed.
During fiscal year 1974, 242,273,415 meals valued at $181,955,765 were served, 1,078,100 pounds of bread were baked, and 9,336,500 servings of pastry were prepared. The number and types of food service facilities supporting the worldwide Army Food Service Program were as follows:
|Garrison bread bakeries
|Central pastry kitchens
Better food service remains the Army's goal, and several activities are -under way to bring about needed improvements. Among them are the Dining Facility Improvement Program, the Dining Facility Modernization Program, and the Central Food Preparation System.
The Dining Facility Improvement Program was started in fiscal year 1972 to provide a more pleasing environment in the dining area, improved serving line equipment, and limited replacement of unserviceable food preparation equipment. Thus far the program has failed to produce dining facilities up to the standards desired for today's volunteer soldier and has not achieved the operational efficiencies and economies sought.
The modernization program, which is scheduled to get under way next year, will replace the improvement program. Intended to better the entire dining facility, it calls for the most advanced food preparation equipment, regular and short order serving lines, properly equipped and configured self-service areas, and, similar to the improvement program, relaxed dining.
During the past year twenty central food preparation facilities were programmed for construction at selected installations within the United States. An interim facility at Fort Lee, Virginia, will begin operations by April 1975, providing information on staffing requirements, production, planning, doctrine, and equipment. It
will also train personnel for other central food preparation facilities. Funds for construction of two permanent facilities at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Lee, Virginia, were appropriated.
The food cost reduction program described in last year's report was rescinded on 1 November 1973. During the fifteen months the program was in effect, food cost reductions amounted to $1.763 million.
The U.S. Army Quartermaster School, in collaboration with the American Culinary Federation (ACF), proposed that Army food service people receive accreditation for each phase of career development. Through this active association with the ACF, the Army would be able to keep abreast of new food service methods. Equally important, accreditation, by providing an attractive second career opportunity upon retirement, is expected to attract more capable individuals to the Army Food Service Program. The proposed program will be submitted to the Department of the Army for approval.
Signature head counting at Army dining facilities tends to slow food service lines because of the time required to sign in. To remove this irritant, two accounting methods were under consideration. The first was a fully automated system to support the Central Food Preparation System; it will be tested at Fort Lee, Virginia, next year. The second uses meal card numbers instead of signatures. This alternative was evaluated by U.S. Army, Europe, and will be submitted to the Department of Defense for consideration in fiscal year 1975.
In other food service matters, the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency reestablished food management teams to assist Army commands and installations. Three of five planned teams became operational and visited twelve installations and 186 dining facilities during the last quarter of the fiscal year. Moreover, the last of three reports prepared by the Subsistence Operations Review Board (SORB) was published as the year closed. SORB III, a major undertaking, contained twenty-two recommendations. The Department of the Army Subsistence Review Committee, which did not meet while SORB was active, will resume next year.
The Direct Commissary Support System, which began in June 1970 as a pilot program involving three commissaries in Germany, provides nonperishable subsistence to forty-six commissaries overseas. Of the 31 overseas stores not in the system, 3 in Panama and 3 in Alaska were not added because of costs and distribution con-
straints, and the remaining 25 stores in Germany were, for the most part, too small to receive direct shipments.
As noted in last year's report, an internal automated system was installed in a hundred Army commissaries throughout the world to handle major administrative functions. During the past year a more sophisticated computer was successfully tested at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, demonstrating the feasibility of computerizing the work load at large installations. Requirements for a new commissary management system based upon this test were developed and at year's end were being staffed.
During fiscal year 1974 new procedures for modernizing the commissary surcharge account were established and will go in effect early next year. Accounting end reporting functions previously performed by the U.S. Army Finance Support Agency will be transferred to the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency, and reporting and reimbursement procedures will be streamlined to reduce work load at intermediate levels within the Army. Also the new procedures should lead to quicker reimbursements and to an up-to-date surcharge fund account.
Laundry and Dry Cleaning
During the past year the Army continued to replace outmoded equipment at laundry and dry-cleaning facilities. Eighty-five percent of the replacement program, described in last year's report, was completed. Of particular note was the completion of a replacement laundry facility at Fort Lewis, Washington. The new $2.4 million facility, which replaced an old World War II plant, contains the latest in labor- and cost-saving equipment designed to simplify and expedite the processing of over eight million pieces of laundry annually.
Plans were also completed for the installation of the hydraveyor, a fully automated, highly sophisticated device that washes, bleaches, rinses, extracts, and dries polyester and cotton clothes at the rate of 400 per hour. The hydraveyor will virtually eliminate hand pressing these garments. Those requiring pressing will be placed on hangers and then fed on a conveyor into the machine. The garment will emerge washed, pressed, and ready for the patron. The cost would be approximately 2.4 cents per garment, versus 7 to 14 cents for conventional methods.
Clothing and Personal Equipment
The Army adopted durable press summer uniforms to replace the all-cotton Army tans and durable press fatigue uniforms to
replace the standard cotton-sateen fatigues. The Defense Supply Agency has started procurement of the new summer uniform, which should be available for issue by 1 July 1976. Procurement of a durable press fatigue uniform awaits agreement among the military services on a standard version.
Following testing by the U.S. Army Natick Laboratories, the Army Uniform Board recommended and the Chief of Staff approved two fabrics of polyester-wool blends for optional double knit Army green uniforms for men and women. A list of manufacturers authorized to sell double-knit uniforms was made available to interested retail stores and individuals. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) offered the uniform for sale in post exchanges for $100 to $125.
Development of a new helmet and torso vest for better fragmentation protection continued. Prototypes of each were designed, and development testing was begun. At the same time, the Army reviewed the threat of fragmentation and small arms munitions and completed a cost effectiveness analysis for the new protective gear.
The accomplishments of the Institute of Heraldry during the past year are reflected, in part, by the following statistics: 438 items designed, 2,130 drawings and paintings completed, 168 items sculptured, 403 items developed, 1,198. items certified, 108,194 items inspected, and 90 standardization documents completed. Of particular interest was the Institute's role in the design and development of the new Department of the Army plaque, which was approved by the Secretary of the Army on 29 January 1974. Its design is derived from the official Department of the Army seal, which has been in use since the Revolution without change, and is a symbol of the Army's traditions, ideals, and contributions to the development of the nation. Among other items designed or developed by the Institute of Heraldry were distinctive unit and shoulder sleeve insignia, ROTC flags and insignia, the Secretary of Defense Outstanding Public Service Medal, the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, Navy ship markings, Coast Guard flags and streamers, the Department of Transportation Superior Achievement Medal, the American Red Cross Harriman Award Medallion, and Civil Service Commission length of service emblems.
The Institute started several new studies and experiments on materials and processes for manufacturing heraldic items in order to improve quality, reduce procurement difficulties, and lower costs. These included tests to determine the suitability of black plastic
insignia of grade for enlisted men, a study on making better looking ribbons to be placed on bars and used as streamers, a project on experimental flagstaffs made of alternate materials to assure availability at reasonable cost, and a study on substitute materials for the metal flagstaff head, spear, and ferrule. The Institute continued to study and experiment with new materials and methods of manufacturing flags (including embroidery, appliqué, and silk screening) because of the diminishing supply of certain fabrics and the problems of dyeing fabrics in multicolors in relatively small quantities.
As a result of successfully concluded experiments and studies, significant reductions in the production costs of several heraldic items have been achieved. For example, a number of insignia, badges, and other awards formerly made of gold and sterling silver will be produced either of less expensive metals or with substantially less gold and silver, with no change in overall appearance or serviceability. Also, new tools were developed to minimize the difficult enameling processes required in the manufacture of the Army and Air Force medals of Honor.
Morale and Recreation
A decline continued in the financial support provided by the Army Central Welfare Fund (ACWF) for morale, welfare, and recreational programs. Dividends from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which totaled $46.8 million in fiscal year 1972 and fell to $28.9 million last year, dropped to $26.1 million. By 30 June 1974 the ACWF was over obligated by $3:1 million, and $17.8 million in new construction of morale, welfare, and recreational facilities, scheduled for fiscal years 1974 and 1975, had to be canceled.
In a related development, the Army in March 1974 ended the construction loan program for the ACWF attest houses. Since its beginning in 1967 this program had provided $10 million in revolving loans and financed twelve motel-style guest houses at Army installations in the United States.
Despite the decline in ACWF funds and increased costs, subordinate commands sustained their programs by drawing upon dividends accumulated in prior years. Next year, however, many morale, welfare, and recreational programs will face curtailment unless additional appropriated or nonappropriated funds can be made available.
For outdoor recreation, the Army set up ten travel camp centers, each a prefabricated 1,200-square-foot building with washers, dryers, recreational playground equipment, picnic tables, and grills.
It distributed 800 men's and 200 women's three-speed bicycles and bought an additional 1,660 bicycles, to be delivered next year. It also bought 500 pedal boats for recreation on lakes, ponds, and other small water areas. A technical manual on Army outdoor recreation facilities was also started, and the first Army-wide Outdoor Recreation Training Conference was held during 28 January1 February 1974. Approximately 100 outdoor recreation personnel and recreation services officers attended.
Under the Army Arts and Crafts Program, the first permanent arts and crafts center was built with military construction funds and opened in May 1974 at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Another new arts and crafts center, constructed with nonappropriated funds, opened at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and new automotive facilities were completed at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and Fort Bliss, Texas. A total of 193 arts and crafts training projects were undertaken during the year: 33 workshops for arts and crafts directors and instructors were scheduled; certification tests for 100 auto mechanics were administered; and, in cooperation with the General Education Development (GED) Program, 60 courses were presented in subjects such as auto mechanics, carpentry, upholstery, jewelry making, and appliance repair. Also, glassblowing was added to the Arts and Crafts Program.
Several activities were under way as part of the Army Music and Theatre Program. A test program for piano instruction was begun at fifteen installations in the United States and five in Europe. Theater craft kits for technical training were distributed to volunteers whose talents augmented professional civilian specialists employed in the Army Music and Theatre Program. Finally a series of guest artist seminars were held to train theater specialists.
Electric guitar lessons were a favorite among Army people this past year. More than 27,000 participants each month took advantage of the training offered at twenty-one electric guitar laboratories, including twelve new ones. To augment the training offered at the laboratories, self-instruction kits were distributed.
The testing of two showmobile prototypes, described in last year's report, proved successful. Extending the testing to other installations, however, was hampered by reduced funding for the purchase of additional prototypes.
Increases and reductions marked Army band activities during the year. As authorized last year, WAC personnel were assigned to Army bands for the first time. The Third Army Band was enlarged from forty-three to seventy-two pieces and reorganized as the 214th Army Band, "FORSCOM's Own." The 328th Army Band, Fort
Wolters, Texas, was inactivated on 24 August 1973, and the number of bands reduced to sixty-three. The U.S. Military Academy Band went from 159 to ninety-nine pieces. In a related matter, plans for the U.S. Army Forces Bicentennial Band were completed during the year.
Armed forces aerial demonstration teams conducted 399 exhibitions during the fiscal year, performing before audiences totaling almost 5 million. The Army for its part continued to highlight its parachute team (Golden Knights) and its aviation precision demonstration team (Silver Eagles). Although Department of Defense Budget Decision 182 called for disbanding all aerial demonstration teams at the end of the fiscal year, all four military services protested and the exhibitions were allowed to continue. Aerial demonstrations were halted, however, in February because of the energy crisis, not to resume until April and then on a limited schedule. Meanwhile, the Army sent its teams on ground demonstration tours. On 23 May 1974, scheduling responsibility for the Army's teams was transferred to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). The Office of the Chief of Information will serve as public affairs coordinator of the team's appearances at public events.
A survey of recreation, education, and avocation preferences (REAP) within the military community taken in 1971 led to a major revision of Army Regulation 28-1, Welfare, Recreation, and Morale: Army Recreation ,Services, which was published on 15 October 1973. The revision designated outdoor recreation and dependent youth activities as separate, major recreation programs; called for installation information, tour, and travel centers; and discontinued use of the term "Special Services" in favor of "Recreation Services."
A second REAP survey conducted from mid-October to mid-December 1973 revealed that the most popular interests of the military community were bowling, basketball, football, tour and travel, swimming, and fishing. Hiking, bicycling, motorcycle racing, vocational training, and higher level sports activities (principally overseas) also ranked high. The survey indicated a need for better publicity and for adequate transportation to make recreational activities more accessible to participants.
Following a review of the activities of the U.S. Army Club Management Agency (USACMA) in December 1973, Congress denied the agency use of appropriated funds in carrying out its mission of providing financial and technical management of officers', noncommissioned officers', and enlisted men's clubs. Later, in April 1974, USACMA was reorganized at two-thirds its former size and as-
signed as an activity of the Adjutant General Center. All retained civilian positions were to be paid with nonappropriated monies from the Army Central Mess Fund. Additional nonappropriated funds needed to operate the agency would be assessed on the gross retail sales of packaged alcoholic beverages at Army clubs. The levy, which went into effect on 1 July 1974, would be prorated based on the number of bottles of all alcoholic beverages, except beer, projected to be sold within each command during fiscal year 1975. The assessment plan will be reviewed annually, and installation commanders will be allowed to make one-time price adjustments for selected noncompetitive items to offset their assessments if they unduly affect net income.
To provide better assistance to Army clubs, USACMA has grouped its technicians as "desks." Each desk is manned by a club management officer, a food and beverage specialist, and a business management analyst who together monitor the clubs of an integral command, such as the Army Materiel Command, or the clubs of a group of smaller commands. Under this procedure club managers and their commanders have designated representatives at USACMA to help with club problems-an our-man-at-USACMA concept that should foster a close relationship between club management people and the agency.
Congressional concern about the role of the Department of Defense in educational affairs resulted in the disestablishment of the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) and the end of Project Transition, which prepared military people to return to civilian life. Concluding Project Transition a year sooner than expected, the Army accelerated a shift to vocational and technical education as part of the General Educational Development (GED) Program. During its six-year existence, Transition provided counseling for 1,136,108 soldiers and training for 302,999:
The rapid and unanticipated disestablishment of USAFI left the Army with a severely curtailed testing program. The Department of Defense established the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES), with the Navy as executive agent, to continue an armed forces credit-by-examination program and to catalog self-study opportunities for service members. Until DANTES becomes operational, however, the Army will continue to conduct limited testing with state and local school assistance in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii.
In addition to terminating USAFI, Congress directed that the
military services refrain from issuing high school equivalency certificates. Instead, they were to rely on the more than 1,800 official GED testing centers established by state Departments of Education.
With the determination of high school equivalency a matter for the states, military people without a diploma have been encouraged to pursue a high school education through the GED-sponsored Pre-discharge Education Program (PREP). PREP monthly enrollment was 8,466 at the end of December 1973, reached a peak of 15,650 on 31 January 1974, and was 12,240 by the end of May 1974.
In addition to PREP, a number of other GED programs reached all-time enrollment highs during fiscal year 1974, as indicated below:
As classroom activity increased during the year, the Army added three professional counselors and one military administrative officer to the GED staff at Department of the Army. Responding to a House Appropriations Committee report which called for an end to hiring counselors on nonpersonal services contracts, the Army also added 543 spaces to the education center staffs for full-time professional counselors. To train career educational counselors for the new spaces, teams from the U.S. Armed Forces Institute and the University of Wisconsin conducted seven counselor training sessions during the year at locations throughout the world.
Related to the GED Program, the Servicemen's Opportunity College (SOC) concept was expanded during the fiscal year to include four-year institutions. There are now over 250 two- and four-year institutions in the SOC network across the United States and abroad.
The Army printed and distributed its own Educational Services Plan. This plan requires installation commanders to write their own local plans, setting forth the educational needs and desires of their people and the opportunities available within the limits of facilities, personnel, the financial resources.
In April 1973 the Department of the Army approved the installation of three minicomputers in selected U.S. Dependent Schools, European Area (USDESEA). Additional procurement was contingent upon successful reviews of these minicomputers. The
reviews revealed that the minicomputers were useful in the USDESEA high schools but that installation would be economically justified only at high schools with a minimum of 175 students. Based on this criterion, thirty-two USDESEA high schools qualified for minicomputers. These will be installed in three annual increments, with the first group of ten to be set up in the fall of 1974.
On 16 July 1973 the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs authorized the military departments to continue the Pilot Legal Assistance Program, renamed the Expanded Legal Assistance Program. At the end of the fiscal year the program was in operation at ten Army installations, and additional posts were preparing to implement it.
In other developments, the revision of Army Pamphlet 27-12, Legal Assistance Handbook, and of Army Regulation 608-50, Legal Assistance, was completed. Also, the Army Legal Assistance Office, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, the Air Force, and the Navy, organized the 1974 Armed Forces Income Tax Instructor schools, which were held in several locations throughout the world during January and February 1974.
Because 1973 was an off year for voting, with only seven states having scheduled elections and four having special elections, the Army's Voting Assistance Program was somewhat limited during most of the past fiscal year. Early in 1974, however, the program was stepped up to prepare for the primary elections, which began in March. Unit voting assistance officers and counselors were appointed throughout the Army, and detailed voting information was supplied by circular, letter, fact sheet, and message to provide a more effective voting program for the election year.
United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home
The United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home carries on a tradition over a hundred years old of providing a comfortable residence for old or disabled enlisted men and warrant officers of the Regular Army and, since 1947, of the Regular Air Force. The home is principally supported by funds derived from active duty soldiers and airmen and set apart by law in a trust fund known as the "Soldiers' and Airmen's Home Permanent Fund." Interest from this fund is used to defray expenses. Additional operating income comes from fines and forfeitures imposed by
sentences of courts-martial, unclaimed estates of deceased soldiers, and monthly withholding of pay.
Since 1971 the home's revenues have not kept up with the costs of maintaining essential services. The board of commissioners of the home and the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force took actions during fiscal year 1974 to maintain financial solvency. Legislation was enacted on 15 December 1973 to increase the statutory limit on interest paid on the Permanent Fund from 3 percent per annum to the average yield on comparable outstanding U.S. long-term obligations. With this increase, annual interest should yield approximately 7 percent. Also, the monthly deduction from the pay of Regular enlisted and warrant officer members of the Army and Air Force on active duty was raised from 10 cents to 25 cents per month, effective I July 1974. Expenditures for new construction, except that needed for the already under way renovation of the Sherman South domiciliary building, were deferred. Civilian employment spaces at the home fell from 1,274 to 1,203, effective 1 October 1973.
During fiscal year 1974, 2,795 bodies-1,304 overseas and 1,491 in the United States-were handled under the Army's Disposition of Remains Program. In carrying out this function overseas, the Army operated eight mortuaries, two less than in fiscal year 1973, in foreign countries where U.S. forces were stationed. The bodies brought back to the United States were processed at three ports of entry: Oakland Army Base, California; Fort Hamilton, New York; and Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. In the United States, installations were authorized to use civilian funeral establishments at or near the place of death, either on a one-time basis or by annual contract.
The United States Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, continued to resolve the status of U.S. personnel missing in Southeast Asia. One phase of its mission included search and recovery operations throughout Southeast Asia under arrangements made through the Four-Party Joint Military Commission. Supporting the JCRC mission was the Central Identification Laboratory at Camp Samae San, Thailand; it received all the recovered bodies and processed each for identification. The U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Agency (USAMAA) supplied the laboratory with information on incomplete cases. Upon completion of identification by the laboratory, case papers with recommendations were submitted to the USAMAA Armed Services
Graves Registration Office for approval. During fiscal year 1974, forty bodies were received and identified, including twenty-three who died in captivity. After each body was identified, the respective service arranged for disposition in accordance with the desires of the next of kin.
The remains of seven World War I soldiers were unearthed in Villesavoye, France, by laborers installing a septic tank. Identification after a lapse of fifty years was impossible, and the unknown soldiers were interred on 22 January 1974 in the Somme American Cemetery, Bony, Aisne, France.
The remains of 20 soldiers of World War II were recovered from former battle areas where U.S. forces had been stationed: 5 were recovered from the wreckage of a B-24 in India, 1 from Germany, 13 from New Guinea, and 1 from the Philippines. The bodies found in India could not be identified and, after group burial rites, were interred in Arlington National Cemetery on 7 December 1973. Ten of the bodies from New Guinea, also casualties of a B-24 crash, and not identifiable, were to be interred as a group in Arlington National Cemetery. The remaining five Army decedents were identified and interred in accordance with instructions received from the next of kin.
As noted in last year's report, the National Cemeteries Act of 1973 provided for the transfer of eighty-two of the eighty-four national cemeteries under the Army's jurisdiction to the Veterans Affairs Administration. The transfer was accomplished on 1 September 1973. Interments at the two national cemeteries remaining under Army control totaled 2,639 for the fiscal- year: 2,537 were buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and 102 were interred at Soldiers' Home National Cemetery.
In accordance with other provisions of the National Cemeteries Act of 1973, the Administrator. of Veterans Affairs, together with the Secretary of Defense, conducted a comprehensive study of the future status of Arlington National Cemetery. This study, submitted to the Congress in January 1974, recommended retention of Arlington National Cemetery by the Army, continuation of the present restrictive burial criteria at Arlington, and the establishment of another cemetery in or near the District of Columbia.
The U.S. Army Memorial Affairs Agency provides staff supervision for twenty-eight Army post cemeteries located in twenty states and for three plots in private cemeteries used for post burials. The plots, located in Denver, Colorado, Detroit, Michigan, and Columbus, Ohio, were not open for additional interments. Sixteen of the twenty-eight post cemeteries, located in fourteen
states, still have burial space. Interments made since the establishment of the post cemeteries and the post burial plots in the three private cemeteries totaled 25,496 as of 30 June 1974. Of this number, 517 decedents, whose identity could not be established, were interred as unknown soldiers.
The Army furnished government headstones and markers for the graves of all eligible deceased members of the armed forces until this activity was transferred to the Veterans Administration on 1 September. Government headstones and markers procured during the two months before the transfer totaled 34,261: 10,373 were marble, 9,294 granite, and 14,594 bronze. A total of 8,544 headstones and markers were sent to national and post cemeteries and 25,717 to private cemeteries. Funds obligated by the Army during July and August 1973, including transportation, amounted to $1,175,000. A total of $5,623,000 was transferred to the Veterans Administration to pay for headstones and markers for the balance of fiscal year 1974.
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Last updated 27 August 2004