Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1976
The Army National Guard of the United States and the Army Reserve have the mission of augmenting the active Army during the initial stages of war or national emergency. Their importance in national defense was recognized during the past year by the passage of Public Law 94-286. This act authorized the president to order as many as 50,000 members of the Selected Reserve to active duty for up to ninety days under conditions short of a declaration of war or national emergency.
To improve the management of the reserve components, the Army staff during the past year surveyed the functions and organization of the National Guard Bureau and the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve. The staff took a number of actions as a result of the survey. It directed the Construction Requirements Review Committee to integrate a review of reserve components construction requirements with the active Army construction program; converted National Guard technicians who served on the Army staff to civilian pay status; discontinued service of reservists and guardsmen on the Army staff for active duty training, except for special projects; established an office of mobilization readiness and two new field operating agencies within the National Guard Bureau; and increased personnel authorizations for both the bureau and the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve.
The Army National Guard (ARNG) supports the 24-division force with eight divisions. In addition, four National Guard brigades and nine separate combat battalions have a special function to round out understructured active Army divisions. During fiscal year 1976 the Army National Guard carried out a number of changes in its force structure to meet its commitment to the 24-division force and to improve command and control, training opportunities, and logistic management. The 58th and 116th Infantry Brigades, using assets present within each state’s troop allotment, were activated in Maryland and Virginia, respectively. In other important changes, one armor battalion was moved to Kansas from Pennsylvania, an artillery battalion was moved to Arizona from Michigan, and a separate infantry battalion was inactivated in Illinois.
As of 30 September 1976, the Army National Guard structure included 3,300 units, an increase of forty-four over the 30 June 1975 figure. The organizations in the structure were as follows:
5 Infantry divisions
3 Armored cavalry regiments
1 Mechanized infantry division
2 Special Forces groups
2 Armored divisions
136 Separate battalions
11 Infantry brigades
965 Other company- and detachment-size units
6 Mechanized infantry brigades
3 Armored brigades
During the year the United States Army Reserve (USAR) began a three-year program to align its force structure with the requirements developed in the Army analysis. Additions to the USAR troop structure included chemical, composite services, medical, and transportation units. Inactivations included finance units, two railway transportation battalions, and one engineer battalion. The total program consisted of seventeen activations and forty-one conversions. The major changes included the reorganization of the 205th Infantry Brigade to a light infantry brigade, with a special mission assignment in Alaska. Company D of the 13th Engineer Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, was activated in the Army Reserve. Postal support to the Army was also reorganized. Twenty-two postal units were inactivated, and the remaining twenty-two were modified in size and scope.
Also inactivated, on 30 September 1976, were six Army Reserve field press censorship detachments, which had the mission of reviewing for security purposes news material intended for dissemination to the public in a theater of operations. These units, with a combined strength of eighty-two officers and fifty-two enlisted men, represented the armed forces’ entire field press censorship capability. Their deletion reflected the great technological advances in communications in recent years which have rendered World War II type censorship operations impractical because of the inordinate amount of manpower that would be needed to screen vast quantities of copy, television footage, and tape recordings. In addition, since NATO allies do not have a field press censorship plan or capability, continuation of a unilateral program would be ineffective. The National Wartime Information Security Program will have to be modified to reflect this change.
As of 30 September 1976 the Army Reserve consisted of approximately 3,200 units of company and detachment size. Major organizations in the troop structure were:
19 U.S. Army Reserve commands
3 military police brigades
12 divisions (training)
2 engineer brigades
2 maneuver area commands
3 support brigades
2 engineer commands
2 medical brigades
1 military police command
4 hospital centers
1 theater army area command
5 hospitals (1000-bed)
3 civil affairs commands
98 hospitals (miscellaneous)
9 maneuver training commands
1 IX Corps (Augmentation)
2 infantry brigades
57 separate battalions
1 mechanized infantry brigade
|1500 other company and detachment-size units
3 transportation brigades
The federally recognized strength of the National Guard decreased from 401,981 on 30 June 1975 to 375,706 a year later and then increased slightly to 376,141 by 30 September 1976. Paid drill strength dropped from 394,720 to 366,841 during the same fifteen-month period. The number of women increased from 6,771 to 11,146, and the number of blacks rose from 31,029 to 46,696. At the end of September 1976, there were 73,519 members of various minority groups in the Army National Guard, representing 19.5 percent of the total strength. These substantial increases in minority participation were attributed primarily to the effectiveness of the National Guard Affirmative Action Plans. Procurement of minority officers, however, continued to lag and did not keep pace with that of enlisted personnel. The ratio of new enlistments to reenlistments has changed considerably since the end of the draft. On 30 June 1974 the ratio had been 27 percent for new enlistments to 73 percent for reenlistments, but by 30 September 1976 it was 40 percent to 60 percent, respectively, well on the way toward the National Guard goal of 50 percent in each category by 1980.
Recruiting and retention continued to be high priorities for all units, with particular emphasis on quality enlistment programs. The “Try One” program, begun in fiscal year 1970, continued to help the National Guard attract trained veterans into its ranks. Since June 1971 the National Guard has recruited 1,941 experienced Army aviators upon their release from active service, thereby retaining the considerable time and money expended in their training, and helping the guard’s 105 aviation units maintain their strength at or near authorized levels. In a joint recruiting effort by the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve, and the active Army at thirty-one military installations, soldiers leaving the active Army were encouraged to join their hometown guard or reserve unit.
The Army Reserve paid drill strength decreased from 225,100 to 192,000 between 30 June 1975 and 30 September 1976, and the strength of the Individual Ready Reserve fell from 355,100 to 217,600. These large losses were due primarily to the release of personnel whose service obligations had been completed. As a result of the continuing rapid decline in Army Reserve strength, the Army increased the number of recruiters and provided additional incentives for enlistment. In August 1976 the Vice Chief of Staff approved the first phase of the U.S. Army Reserve Recruiting Plan, prepared by the U.S. Army Forces Command, which reinforces the current recruiting force of 365 civilians with 654 soldiers in grade E-7. Another 349 military recruiters will be added in fiscal year 1977, and specific recommendations for solving the Individual Ready Reserve strength problem are also expected next year. Meanwhile, the Army staff, the Forces Command, and the Training and Doctrine
Command have been developing various enlistment incentives as part of the Reserve Component Readiness Improvement Package that is scheduled for fiscal year 1978.
Although total Army Reserve strength dropped sharply during fiscal year 1976, the number of enlisted women increased by 3,453 and the number of blacks by 6,065. In general, the Army Reserve made noticeable progress in the fields of race relations and equal opportunity; for instance, eighty-two troop unit members graduated from the Defense Race Relations Institute.
To provide fillers rapidly for active and reserve units scheduled for early deployment at a time of full mobilization, the Army this year adopted a voluntary mobilization preassignment program. Under this program, members of the Individual Ready Reserve and soldiers leaving active service have an opportunity to select a unit assignment in the event of mobilization. As of 30 September 1976, some 12,000 persons had volunteered under the program, and almost 8,900 of these had received preassignment orders informing them when and where to report following an announcement of full mobilization. Of the individuals leaving active service through transfer points, approximately 16 percent volunteered for preassignment. Comparisons of recruitment before and after the start of the program in March 1976 revealed no harmful effect on enlistments in other ARNG and USAR units.
During fiscal year 1976, the National Guard approved the Enlisted Objective Force Model, a management tool similar to the active Army’s Enlisted Force Management Plan, for projecting long-term quantitative and qualitative manpower objectives. Similarly, the Enlisted Personnel Management System was adopted for both the National Guard and the Army Reserve. Whenever possible, the system is being implemented in the reserve components in concert with the active Army.
The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve also adopted the concept of the Officer Personnel Management System. Because the two reserve components differ from each other and from the active Army, these systems will not be the same as the active Army’s Officer Personnel Management System, but they will be compatible with it. Both reserve components decided to concentrate on developing each officer in a single specialty. Only at the lieutenant colonel level will consideration be given to developing a second specialty, since by then the officer’s duties will probably require more diverse skills. In the meantime, all civilian skills and qualifications will be recorded for potential use by the Army. The Army Reserve’s Officer Personnel System, the test phase of the Officer Personnel Management System, proved highly successful, and it will be expanded starting in fiscal year 1977 to include the centralized manage-
ment of about 10,000 reserve officers. The effects of the two personnel management systems on the reserve components are difficult to evaluate at this time.
The conversion of Army Reserve personnel qualification records to new standard forms used by the active Army began during fiscal year 1976 and is scheduled for completion early next year. This conversion will facilitate personnel management in case of mobilization and will form the basis for future expansion into automated personnel systems support for the Army Reserve.
The Joint Uniform Military Pay System (JUMPS), which has been in effect for active duty personnel in the Army since 1971, has now been extended to include the reserve components. It is a computerized and centralized system that pays members of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve for inactive duty training. Between March and December 1975 the U.S. Army Finance and Accounting Center at Indianapolis, Indiana, converted the pay accounts of approximately 345,000 guardsmen and about 190,000 reservists located in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the District of Columbia to the new system.
The requirement for Army National Guard technicians increased from 32,098 positions on 30 June 1975 to 32,144 on 30 September 1976. The authorized technician ceiling for both fiscal year 1976 and the transition quarter, however, was only 28,892, or 89.7 percent of the requirement. Actual technician strength in the guard rose from 28,831 at the end of June 1975 to 28,892 a year later and to 28,919 by the end of September 1976. The result was an average man-year rate of 99.15 percent of the authorized level.
Meanwhile, the most critical problem facing the Army Reserve’s technician program continued to be inadequate funds and spaces. An Army study conducted this year to examine actual work loads in relation to the current technician force indicated that 9,998 technicians were needed for reserve units. This figure was well below the earlier Army requirement for 12,270 positions, but it was still much higher than the congressionally funded level of 8,335 man-years for fiscal year 1976 and 8,151 for fiscal year 1977. As of 30 September 1976, the actual technician strength in the Army Reserve was 8,068, as compared to 8,221 at the end of June 1975.
A special study group formed early in 1975 to analyze the ARNG and USAR officer selection and promotion systems this year recommended a substantial number of improvements. The changes proposed by the group included the installation of a selective retention program within the Army Reserve that would inhibit excessive tenure of service. A similar proposal was to limit tenure in certain USAR command and
staff positions to three years. Noting the undesirable effect of granting waivers of age requirements for initial appointments in the reserve components, the group advised that current appointment standards be maintained and that establishing more strict appointment criteria be considered. Also recommended were steps to eliminate separate selection standards for reserve component and Regular Army promotions. The group further proposed that “tombstone” promotions—those that occur immediately before retirement—be eliminated by allowing reserve component officers to be promoted only if they were able to serve at least two years before reaching mandatory removal dates. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs approved these and most of the other study group recommendations in November 1975. By the end of September 1976, the Army had carried out a number of the approved measures and was prepared to take the remaining steps in the near future.
Equipment and Maintenance
Despite continued equipment shortages in self-propelled artillery, tactical bridges, radar, tactical radios, and other communications items, issue of equipment and inventory levels of the reserve components again registered significant gains. The value of equipment issues rose to well over $400 million, and inventory assets climbed from $3.4 to $4.1 billion. The equipment status of the reserve components in billions of dollars at the close of the extended fiscal year was as follows:
Percent of all for training
After a low point in tank strength caused by withdrawals and diversions during the 1973 war in the Middle East, the reserve components began to receive significant quantities of rebuilt main battle tanks. Tanks on hand reached 57 percent of the authorized level, with 78 percent in the M60 series and the remainder in the M48 series. There were also marked increases in the reserve’s stocks of crew-served weapons, engineer equipment, and wheeled vehicles.
Available aviation materiel increased as well, with the combined number of aircraft in the possession of the reserve components totaling 3,128 by the end of the year. National Guard aircraft rose from 2,428 to 2,588 (2,438 rotary wing and 150 fixed wing), and Army Reserve aircraft increased from 536 to 540. Also, the National Guard was able to provide each state with a twin-engine fixed-wing aircraft.
With more spare parts and technicians available, and through better utilization, the readiness of reserve equipment and vehicles compared favorably with other Army units. Two hundred and fifty area maintenance activities supported Army Reserve units. During the year organizational maintenance for the Army Reserve was funded at $7.9 million, and through the depot overhaul program 500 items, including aircraft, were repaired and modernized at a cost of $8.1 million.
FacilitiesThe Army Reserve military construction program during the period amounted to $50.3 million, an increase of $6.6 million over the fiscal year 1975 budget. Part of the increase ($2.5 million) was due exclusively to additional funding for the transition quarter. An additional $20.7 million in carry-over funds from previous years raised the amount available to $70 million. The amount actually obligated during the period was $38.4 million, and a balance of $28.3 million was carried into fiscal year 1977.
Total construction requirements for the Army Reserve amounted to $516.3 million, an increase of over 50 percent from the figure of $338.4 million at the end of fiscal year 1971. The causes of this substantial growth include (1) continuing inflation, (2) the need for more facilities to support an expanded air fleet and improved equipment inventory, and (3) increases in construction costs produced by higher construction standards. As part of a general cost reduction effort, the Army Reserve has tried to control this growth by comparing its standards for facilities with those of the National Guard. One result of this comparison was a change in existing criteria for new reserve centers. Based on the experience of twenty-nine construction contracts awarded under the new standards, there is reason to believe that some cost reduction has been achieved. Concurrently, the Army Reserve has developed standard designs for thirteen different facilities used in annual training, including headquarters and administrative accommodations, dining halls, dispensaries, and barracks. Emphasis on austerity and standardization will presumably yield additional savings.
The Army National Guard military construction program received $62.7 million in new obligational authority, of which $1.5 million was received for the transition quarter. An additional $5.7 million in carryover funds from previous years raised the amount available to $68.4 million, an increase of $8.9 million over fiscal year 1975. The guard obligated $54.2 million over the fifteen-month period, and a balance of $11.9 million was carried into fiscal year 1977.
The guard still uses a number of armories and other facilities that are considered inadequate, chiefly because they are superannuated. The
oldest armory in service was built in 1842. Eleven percent (294) of the total were built more than half a century ago, and 33 percent (901) are more than twenty-five years old. Of the 2,740 armories, 658 are considered deficient, and replacement will cost an estimated $328 million. During the past fiscal year the guard awarded construction contracts for fifty-four new armories at a cost of $22.6 million. Contracts were also let for thirty-two administrative and logistical structures and twenty projects at field training sites at costs of $9.8 million and $15.7 million, respectively.
The National Guard Intrusion Detection System Program, begun in 1971 with a goal of protecting 4,250 arms vaults and ammunition storage facilities, is nearly complete. Installation has been started or completed at 4,015 (94.4 percent) of the vaults, at a cost of $3.7 million, and work on the remaining facilities will proceed apace.
Training and Readiness
Innovation and remedial action marked the individual and unit training of the reserve components this year. To reduce a backlog of ARNG and USAR recruits awaiting active duty to receive basic and advanced individual training, the Army in May 1976 started what was called REPTRAIN 76 at eleven Forces Command and Training and Doctrine Command installations and in thirteen military occupational specialities. For the first time in the recent past, Army Reserve training divisions joined forces with active Army units to instruct several thousand ARNG and USAR members who otherwise would not have received initial training this year. The involvement of the USAR divisions, particularly in training center management, gave them a side benefit of valuable mobilization training.
In the regular program of scheduled recruit training, the Army Reserve succeeded in training 70 percent in the first twelve months of fiscal year 1976 and 82 percent in the transitional quarter. Comparable National Guard results were 103 percent and 94 percent, respectively.
The National Guard individual training program for noncommissioned officers (NCO’s) this year marked the Army’s return to decentralization through what was called exported training. Under this concept, the Army canceled basic NCO courses at the service schools and established programs of instruction at various NCO academies. The National Guard received significantly larger quotas for officers attending the senior service colleges, and, for the first time, USAR officers attended resident courses of the National Defense University. Enrollment in USAR schools reached 51,483, which included 29,441 Army Reserve, 20,228 National Guard, and 1,814 active duty personnel. The total enrollment represented an increase of almost 4,000 over last year’s. Most students,
about 30,800, were enrolled in Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) qualification courses, and their training helped to reduce an MOS mismatch problem in the reserve components.
Aviation training within the National Guard moved forward during the reporting period. The number of aviators qualified in terrain flying (nap-of-the-earth) techniques rose, as did the number of aviators who received an initial instrument qualification. The ARNG aircraft accident rate during the year was the lowest of any major Department of Defense component—2.79 accidents per 100,000 flying hours.
Significant activities contributing to the improved training of some reserve component units included the continuation of their affiliation for training with active Army units. In February 1976 Congress lifted the ban, imposed the year before, that restricted reserve component units with foreign area contingency missions from taking part in overseas training exercises. Though removal of the restriction occurred late in the training year, several units performed their annual training in Europe and in the Pacific. For the first time, on a very small scale, USAR units also participated in the annual REFORGER exercise.
In the United States, reserve component units and over a hundred individual reservists joined active Army units in Logex 76, a joint, two-week command post exercise conducted at Fort Pickett, Virginia, in June. Training in the fundamentals of combat support and combat service support was the objective of the exercise. The scenario of the exercise was a conventional, limited war in the Republic of Korea that involved a joint task force and included an independent U.S. corps of three divisions and a separate infantry brigade. Stressed during the exercise were command and staff procedures and joint operations conducted according to the latest logistic doctrine.
Both the National Guard and the Army Reserve began to employ a new training and evaluation guide for units. This guide, called the Army Training and Evaluation Program, makes it possible to measure unit performance against unit mission with some precision. Its partial use this year indicated its value in giving commanders thorough evaluations of their units.
Working against any great improvement in the readiness of reserve component units this year was a general decline in manpower as men who had enlisted during the war in Vietnam, some to avoid the draft, completed their service obligations. The personnel strength of the National Guard moved upward during the last two months of the period, but it was uncertain if this experience indicated a reversal of the downward trend.
Faced with a decrease in the readiness of the three major Army Reserve combat units—the separate infantry brigades—because of a lack
of qualified personnel, the Army put a brigade improvement plan into force to arrest the decline. The purpose was to reduce the recruiting competition in the geographic areas occupied by the brigades. The Army accomplished this by inactivating or relocating other units and by enlarging the recruiting areas of the brigades. At year’s end, the results of these changes were incomplete.
During the year the National Guard and the Forces Command, which has authority over USAR units through the United States armies, continued a program to redistribute materiel on hand to achieve the highest possible level of logistic readiness, particularly among units earmarked for early deployment in an emergency. Yet, as of 30 September 1976, scarcely more than half of these units possessed their authorized equipment, and the serviceability rating of materiel on hand stood at 67 percent. In sum, while the logistic readiness of reserve component units advanced during the year, much more improvement was required.
To improve the state of reserve component preparedness, the Army developed a Readiness Improvement Package that addressed readiness problems requiring both one-time and sustained remedies. Particular attention fell on personnel strength and training. Recommended measures will receive further study next year, and those approved will be funded beginning in fiscal year 1978.
Support to Civil AuthoritiesThe Army National Guard, as the state militia, has the additional mission of protecting life and property and preserving peace and order when serving under federal or state authorities. During the reporting period, more than 21,600 guardsmen responded to 232 emergencies, all in a state status.
The main National Guard involvement in these emergencies was to provide assistance to civil authorities in natural disasters and lesser situations of distress. During the fiscal year for these two categories, there were 216 call-ups in forty-seven states involving 14,605 guardsmen. Natural disasters required 102 call-ups, including 37 forest fires, 25 floods, and 19 tornadoes and hurricanes. The remaining responses were to alleviate damage from snow, ice, windstorms, and fire. Included in the 114 other emergencies were searches and rescues, traffic safety, and miscellaneous missions.
In the remaining sixteen emergencies, National Guardsmen were placed on state active duty to assist in controlling either civil disturbances or situations that could lead to civil disturbances, but in only eight instances were they committed. Of these 16, 2 were public employee
strikes, 2 were prison disorders, 2 were school busing problems, and 1 was to assist law enforcement authorities. The remainder were potential civil disturbances.
Army National Guard units with assigned civil disturbance control missions conducted annual refresher training in control operations and training evaluation. Also, 105 senior Army National Guard officers completed the civil disturbance orientation course at the U.S. Army Military Police School at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
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Last updated 7 September 2004