Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1976


Support Services

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. These include such activities and services as housing, food service, recreation, education, and medical affairs. The activities themselves reflect the increased emphasis placed on improving the quality of Army life, both to attract young Americans into the ranks and to retain competent and experienced soldiers.


In common with other members of the Army community, chaplains move regularly from one assignment to another. The typical chaplain is reassigned every three years, and each time he may encounter difficulties in organizing his new pastorate. To help combat this problem the U.S. Army Chaplain Board joined with the Alban Institute, Washington, D.C., in the spring of 1976 to sponsor research projects at two Army posts. The results of these studies will presumably disclose the best methods for beginning a new ministry in a new parish assignment.

During the past year the Chaplain Parish Organization Development Network continued to expand. Begun in 1971 as a means of organizing chapel programs responsive to community needs, the network relies on a group of chaplains who have been trained in consulting skills. In addition to performing their normal pastoral duties, these members of the clergy respond to requests for assistance from installation and post chaplains. Presently there are fourteen trained and experienced chaplain consultants. Seven others are currently training as interns and will be available for consultation within a year.

During the past fiscal year the Army chaplaincy studied the processes used for its chaplains’ professional development. This study resulted in planned changes to the education and training program that will reduce the time spent in residence at the U.S. Army Chaplain School and transfer significant portions of training to the field. The Army will introduce these changes during fiscal year 1977.

Housing and Homeowners Assistance

The approved fiscal year 1976 Army Military Construction Program provided $219.2 million for construction of 17,455 new troop housing


spaces and $48.7 million to modernize 9,062 existing spaces. Except for 2,544 spaces in Korea, all new construction will take place within the United States. The Army Military Construction Program for the upcoming fiscal year, by contrast, includes $123.7 million for a total of 9,317 spaces. This funding will permit construction of 5,208 new spaces and modernization of 1,492 billets in the United States; troops in Korea will get 2,559 spaces, of which all but 192 will be new, and 58 new billets will also be built in Germany.

With the exception of the fifty-eight spaces scheduled for Germany, construction costs for troop housing in that country are covered by offset agreements. At the end of the 1976 fiscal year, 6 barracks and housing at 11 remote sites were completed under the fiscal year 1974-75 agreement, and work was under way at 19 barracks and 3 remote sites. Work at fifty-three barracks and all remote sites undertaken pursuant to the fiscal year 1972 offset agreement was approximately 99 percent complete at the end of the report year.

One of the Army’s goals continues to be to program enough troop spaces to properly house all bachelor soldiers by 1980. In 1976, as a result of programmed construction and a Defense decision to stop programming bachelor housing in the United States for “geographic bachelors”—married persons temporarily separated from their families—the Army moved substantially closer to that goal. Present trends indicate that the target will be reached in all areas except Korea, where an additional two years may be required.

Housing built in recent years on major installations throughout the continental United States has followed two standard architectural designs. In May 1976 a team representing the Corps of Engineers, the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and the U.S. Army Forces Command visited a number of bases where housing built according to the standard designs had been in use for more than a year. The team used questionnaires to interview occupants, commanders, and facilities engineers and concluded that the designs were both suitable to Army needs and well received by soldiers who lived in the buildings.

Based on long-range strength and deployment estimates, the Army has requirements for 342,000 family housing units. Military-controlled housing and suitable off-post housing total 310,000 units, and a deficit of 32,000 units remains. During fiscal year 1976 the Army gained 5,497 family housing units, including 2,546 by construction, 2,559 by lease, and 392 by conversion or transfer. Deducting losses by disposal, conversion, transfer, and lease termination, there was a net gain of 3,778 units.

The Army awarded contracts for construction of 2,457 family housing units during the past year, while contracts for construction of


3,600 units authorized in fiscal year 1976 and prior years remained to be awarded. The fiscal year 1977 budget request submitted to Congress included $25.5 million for construction of new units, $17.8 million for improvements, and $2.2 million for minor construction and planning. The financial program for fiscal year 1977 through fiscal year 1982 includes $201 million for construction of 3,450 new units, $84 million for improvements, and $17 million for minor construction and planning. Operation and maintenance support was provided for an average of 141.184 family dwelling units and supporting facilities. During the year the deferred maintenance backlog was reduced from $162 million to $153 million; present plans are to reduce the backlog to $110 million by the end of fiscal year 1982.

The fiscal year 1977 budget request submitted to Congress includes $61.5 million for leasing 13,096 family housing units, of which 9,078 would be located in Germany. During the last year the number of leased family quarters in Germany rose from 2,819 to 3,811 units, but continuing shortages called for further expansion of the number of units leased. The budget request also includes $21 million for furniture and equipment, $377.4 million for operation and maintenance, and $25 million to reduce deferred maintenance. The financial program for fiscal year 1977 through fiscal year 1982 includes $323 million for support of the 13,096 leased units, $126 million for furniture and equipment, $2,679 million for operation and maintenance, and $62 million for reduction of the backlog of deferred maintenance.

During the last year the policy for assigning family housing was changed to permit dependents to retain government quarters when the sponsor is assigned to an unaccompanied tour of from twelve to thirteen months overseas, provided the sponsor has advanced assignment instructions directing his return to his old duty station or to another location in the continental United States or Hawaii. The best present estimate is that this new policy alleviates some of the individual hardship in changes of station without significantly affecting the overall housing situation.

During fiscal year 1976, Housing and Referral offices at 151 Army installations obtained private housing for 125,645 persons in the military. These offices also handled 116 complaints of discrimination and 25,503 disputes between tenants and landlords. Over 100,000 facilities with approximately 1,000,000 housing units were listed with these offices.

The Army, as executive agent for all military services, paid $1.8 million under the Homeowners Assistance Program to 495 applicants during the past year. In addition, mortgage assumptions on 126 properties acquired under the program totaled $2.4 million for the year. Congress last year approved the troop housing section of the Army Military Construction Program for both fiscal year 1976 and 1977. The


new barracks will support the sixteen-division Army as well as the One-Station Training Program. Approved funding is as follows.

(a) Three new division stations for the sixteen-division Army:


Fiscal Year 1976

Fiscal Year 1977






Fort Ord


$22.8 million

Fort Polk


38.1 million


$33.8 million

Fort Stewart


33.3 million


32.9 million

Except at Fort Ord, where existing barracks will be modernized, all expenditures are for new construction. These expenditures will complete programmed requirements for barracks at the three installations.

(b) Trainee barracks for one-station training:


Fiscal Year 1976




Fort Benning


$28.4 million

Fort McClellan


21.6 million

Fort Sill


15.8 million

No funds are programmed for trainee barracks at these installations during the upcoming fiscal year.

The troops of Brigade 76 have been permanently housed in the Wiesbaden area in former Air Force barracks at no major cost. Brigade 75 is using temporary barracks and other facilities. The Federal Republic of Germany is financing and building new barracks for the unit in the Garlstedt-Bremerhaven area.

In response to a Senate Appropriations Committee and a House Appropriations Committee Joint Conference Report, the Army is conducting a review of its plans for stationing divisions and brigades. The objective is to determine the most efficient way to station the units. A report of findings is to be submitted to both committees before February 1977. The study will concentrate on (1) stationing of major combat units, training centers, schools, and logistic activities; (2) recommending home stations for forward deployed brigades and divisions; (3) determining the types of forces that individual installations are best suited to house; and (4) determining the cost of construction necessary for initial occupancy and for permanent facilities for specific types of forces. The study will also include recommendations on the most cost-efficient plans for stationing major combat units.

Food Services

In May 1976 the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Practices, Efficiency, and Open Government conducted hearings on Department of Defense meat procurement practices. The subcommittee uncovered evidence of improprieties in that activity, and the Secretary of the Army responded by establishing an ad hoc committee of general


officers to investigate the causes of the problem and to recommend remedial action. As a result of the ad hoc committee’s review, completed in August 1976, the Army has taken a number of actions to improve procurement and quality control of military food supplies and has moved to enhance the morale and welfare of Veterinary Service personnel by establishing minimum grade requirements and authorizing government-leased housing for married and bachelor enlisted people. Housing is considered especially important because most of the food vendors who supply Department of Defense requirements are located in metropolitan areas where the cost of housing is particularly high. Additionally, the Army’s Academy of Health Sciences has sought to meet the need for more specific training in the inspection of fabricated beef by operating a series of two-week courses on the subject. Finally, supervision of inspectors will now receive close attention at all levels.

The number and type of food service facilities supporting the Army Food Service Program, as of 30 September 1976, were as follows:





Dining facilities




Garrison bread bakeries




Central pastry kitchens




Army dining facilities served 310,713,083 meals valued at $292,000,672 during fiscal year 1976; garrison bread bakeries produced 1,245,000 pounds of bread; and central pastry kitchens made 5,142,900 pastry servings.

Research and development for food services is primarily directed at improving the delivery of food in the field while reducing the number of personnel required to provide it. One such effort, under the direction of the Natick Research and Development Command, involves the organization of a food service company, operating battalion messes, that will use new equipment and disposable supplies to provide food service support on an area basis. The first test of the unit was conducted in August 1975 at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, using National Guard units. The outcome demonstrated that this consolidated feeding system requires only about half the cooks and kitchen police now employed in company field kitchens. A second test, using Marine units at Camp Pendleton, California, concentrated on the new equipment the food service company would use. This exercise showed that two new systems, the multiple mobile field kitchen trailers (XM76) and a new tent system (XM75) were both superior to items presently in military inventories. The Natick Research and Development Command believes the tent system is the better of the two. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command has been at work on the same question, but its studies have concentrated on reducing the number of personnel needed for food service without acquiring new equipment or making more than minimal changes in cur-


rent operations. The field test of this concept was conducted at Fort Hood, Texas, during April 1976, and results of the study will be available next year.

Major commands are responsible for developing food service management plans, which must be submitted to the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency. The agency uses the plans to help determine which dining facilities should be retained or converted to other uses, to identify places where new dining facilities should be built, and to project the resources needed for modernization and new construction. As of September 1976, permanent dining facilities to be modernized had been identified at eighty-two Army installations in the continental United States and the Panama Canal Zone. Installation food service management plans for Korea, Japan, Okinawa, and Europe are in varying stages of completion.

The purpose of the Dining Facility Modernization Program, begun in July 1974, is to renovate those existing dining facilities that are worth retaining. Projects are funded through the Military Construction, Army (MCA), appropriation. Complete modernization includes providing an attractive dining area decor, a well-designed self-service area, separate short order and regular meal serving lines, modern equipment, and adequate restroom and locker facilities. A total of 441 dining facilities have been selected for modernization. Of these, 75 were scheduled for renovation during fiscal year 1976, at an estimated cost of $25.5 million, and contracts for 71 of the facilities were actually awarded; 239 are to be modernized through fiscal year 1978, with the remainder scheduled for fiscal year 1979 and beyond.

The MCA appropriation for last year also included money for the construction of fifteen new dining facilities at nine installations at an estimated cost of $21 million. As of 30 September 1976, contracts had been awarded for the construction of all fifteen of the facilities.

As noted in the fiscal year 1975 report, work on the central kitchen of the interim central food preparation facility at Fort Lee, Virginia, was halted because unexpected problems pushed the cost of the kitchen beyond the limit authorized by law for urgent minor construction projects. Last year, however, the Army received approval for spending additional money on the project, and construction of the central kitchen got under way in June 1976.

During the last year the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency maintained four Food Management Assistance teams, whose purpose is to offer dining facility management and technical assistance to Army food service people. The teams visited fifty-nine installations and 1,460 dining facilities, offering help to 7,761 Army food service personnel. The Troop Support Agency teams also visited 450 dining facilities under the control


of the Army Reserve and National Guard, where 2,440 persons working in the food service field received the benefit of professional advice.

The annual Philip A. Connelly Award Program for Excellence in Army Food Service recognizes unit eminence in the preparation and serving of food in Army troop dining facilities and provides additional incentive to the food service competition program of the major field commands of the Army. The eighth winner in this program in the Small Dining Facility category was the 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The winning unit in the Large Dining Facility category was the Special Troops Consolidated Dining Facility Number 3, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

Commissaries and Subsistence Supplies

The Army commissary system currently includes 109 main stores, 34 branch stores, and 45 annexes. Annual sales for fiscal year 1976 exceeded one billion dollars ($1,028,925,076). In accordance with Defense instructions, the Army last year moved to centralize the management of this huge operation. Under the new arrangement, responsibility for command and control of commissaries has been transferred from major commands and installations to the U.S. Army Troop Support Agency, an operational element of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. Troop issue, however, has been separated from commissary operations and will remain a responsibility of major commands. The Troop Support Agency has established five field offices to manage commissaries in various regions. The offices are located at Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Lewis, Washington; Fort Meade, Maryland; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and Zweibruecken, Germany. At the end of the fiscal year all field offices were operational. If the new system is a success, it should produce savings of 793 personnel spaces in its first full year of operation and an additional 45 spaces by the end of fiscal year 1977. The dollar value of these spaces is about $6.5 million annually.

In February 1976 the Army put into effect its legal authority to raise the commissary surcharge rate. The increase was 1 percent in the continental United States and Hawaii and 1 ½ percent in Alaska and overseas areas, so that the rate everywhere is now uniform at 4 percent. The additional money the surcharge will produce, estimated at $12 million annually, is to be used for the construction and improvement of commissary facilities in the United States. During fiscal years 1977 and 1978 these funds will be used to build new stores at Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort McClellan, Alabama; Fort Stewart, Georgia; and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. The Army will continue to program for money (Military Construction, Army) to finance


construction of commissaries outside the United States. Excess surcharge funds will augment such appropriated funds.

The Automated System for Army Commissaries (ASAC 360E+) has been installed in the southeast region and will be extended to the northeast, midwest, and western regions early in fiscal year 1977. The automated system is essentially an inventory control program, but improvements now under development will enable it, at least temporarily, to support the new central management organization in such areas as requirements, determination, cataloging, and management information reporting.

Laundry and Dry Cleaning

The recent adoption of the polyester uniform for all military personnel and a continuing scarcity of unskilled labor have combined to create new demands for more sophisticated laundry processing equipment. Conventional machinery does not clean synthetic materials well, and manpower shortages would have been acute had Army laundry facilities not purchased new equipment that cleans better and greatly reduces labor requirements in the washroom and the garment finishing process. Almost all Army facilities now have these machines.

During the fiscal year the concept of hanger service was expanded, so that now almost all patrons receive their cleaned outer garments on hangers rather than in folded, wrapped bundles. Facilities which have converted to this system have discovered that costs are similar to those involved in folding and wrapping garments.

The Army has also improved the organization of its laundry system. The elimination of manually prepared monthly laundry rosters of unit personnel has simplified the job of sending soiled apparel to the laundry. These rosters may now be prepared by automation; each month a computer prints the roster, based on the number of participating patrons enrolled the previous month. Only new starts and quits must be added to the automatic system. The change has been especially helpful to units that have lost their supply clerks, whose job had included preparation of the roster. Additionally, all laundry facilities have been authorized to establish pickup stations located at appropriate points around the installation, generally near large troop concentrations or areas remote from the central laundry facility. The additional convenience to customers of dropping off or picking up bundles without visiting the central laundry has improved service and increased participation among eligible patrons.

Clothing and Personal Equipment

The durable press tan uniform, under development since 1967, replaced the cotton khaki uniform in the men’s initial issue clothing allowance at the end of fiscal year 1976. Limited stocks of khaki uniforms


remaining in the supply system will be issued along with the durable press tan uniforms. The Army also has plans to introduce durable press fatigues and a women’s summer uniform during the next two fiscal years. Because the role of women in the military is steadily expanding and encompassing many of the jobs traditionally filled by men, women will now receive more of the items of clothing long issued to their male counterparts, such as fatigues and combat boots.

During fiscal year 1975 the Army examined the possibility of transferring Army clothing sales stores to the Army-Air Force Exchange Service but concluded that no advantage would be gained. During the last fiscal year, however, the Comptroller of the Army suggested that the subject be reopened for review and study in an effort to make better use of existing personnel spaces. Responses from Department of the Army staff sections and major commands indicate that the transfer may be feasible after all.

Heraldic Activities

The work of the Institute of Heraldry during fiscal year 1976 included the design of 501 heraldic emblems, the creation of 3,315 drawings and paintings, and the completion of 316 sculptured items and displays. Additionally, 217,638 heraldic quality control actions were taken and 5,110 development, research, and engineering support actions were performed.

Employees of the Institute of Heraldry also designed or helped develop the Secretary of the Army’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Materiel Acquisition, the Department of the Army Civilian Service Commander’s Award, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Air Force Air Traffic Controller badge, the U.S. Coast Guard Command Ashore insignia, a badge for the U.S. Postal Service, the seal, wall plaque, and flag for the Supreme Court, and the flag of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Since World War II, the Army’s heraldic activity has provided advice and services in heraldic matters to the president and vice president. After an executive order directed changes in the vice presidential coat of arms, seal, and flag, the Institute of Heraldry helped develop new items. The change in design also brought about a new badge for vice presidential aides, which is currently under development.

Morale, Recreation, and Welfare

Based in part on a U.S. Army Audit Agency report and a perception that distributing money from the Army Morale Support Fund on a per capita basis led to inequities, the system of allocation was changed and is now based on the financial requirements of individual commands.


Major commands now prepare their morale and recreation budgets to show what resources are available to them from appropriated and local nonappropriated funds and then state their requirements for additional money from the support fund. Disbursements may then be made on the basis of need. This procedure produced a total allocation of $21.5 million from the Army Morale Support Fund in fiscal year 1976.

During the last fifteen months the Army won ten of fourteen interservice sports competitions. By providing 50 percent of the athletes on the armed forces teams the Army was a key contributor to the success achieved in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) competition. Participating in 12 events, the American teams won 6 CISM championships, 1 second place, and 1 third place. Soldiers also took part in thirteen national competitions either as members of armed forces teams or by entering as all-Army squads. In basketball, the armed forces team was runner-up in the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) National Tournament, and all-Army teams took second place in women’s national softball competition as well as third places in boxing and team handball.

The 14th Army Band, heretofore an all-woman organization with the parenthetical designation as the Women’s Army Corps Band, was redesignated as a standard Army separate band and received its first male members. At the same time, female personnel joined the U.S. Military Academy Band for the first time in its 163-year history. The Continental Army Band at Fort Monroe, Virginia, became the first separate band authorized a captain in command as the bandmaster.

The Department of the Army, in cooperation with the National Federation of Music Clubs, has participated in the Parade of American Music for a number of years. The annual event is part of a nationwide effort to promote American music and to improve musical programming and planning. During the 1976 Parade of American Music, Army installations, activities, and individuals won 541 Awards of Excellence, the highest the Army has ever achieved. Of the total number of prizes earned by Army entries, the U.S. Army Forces Command won 163; the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command 138; U.S. Army, Japan, 99; Eighth Army 70; U.S. Army, Europe, 36; and U.S. Army Communications Command 35.

During the last fiscal year the Army undertook a comprehensive study of its library systems. The purpose of the study was to identify library missions, resources, service functions, fund support, and problem areas, and to recommend policies for improved management of the libraries. The final report recommended a central management office and identified areas for cooperative library activities. Fulfillment of the study recommendations is contingent upon obtaining concurrence from those


Army staff agencies and major commands that have operational control over the various libraries.

During fiscal year 1976 the Army closed all club operations in Thailand and at two installations in the United States. Normal dissolution procedures, including disposition of assets and performance of terminal audits, were conducted. The Army Club Fund, as successor-in-interest, received assets worth $770,963 from the clubs closed in Thailand, $17,098 from the inactivated Safeguard Missile Site in North Dakota, and $11,935 from the Savanna Army Depot in Illinois.

The grand opening of the Hale Koa Armed Forces Hotel at Fort DeRussey, Hawaii, took place in October 1975. The purpose of the hotel is to offer recreational facilities in a highly desirable area at prices that soldiers can afford. The complex includes quality hotel rooms as well as a number of restaurants, bars, and specialty shops. The recreational program is extensive and includes organized sports, bathing, tours, and other entertainment. Regulations are structured to give priority to enlisted personnel. Built and operated with Army nonappropriated funds, the facility may be used by active and retired service personnel. The beach area is open to the public.

As a result of a realignment within Headquarters, Department of the Army, the Retired Activities Division has been taken from the Military Personnel Center and returned to the Personnel Affairs Directorate of The Adjutant General Center. The Retired Activities Division provides a single point of contact for retired soldiers and their families and is responsible for the Retirement Services Program.

The United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home was established in 1851 to provide comfortable living for old, invalid, and disabled enlisted and warrant officer members of the Regular Army and, since 1947, the Air Force. It has consistently accomplished its purpose without any expenditure of taxpayer funds. Instead, its income has traditionally come from monthly payroll deductions of twenty-five cents from active duty Regular soldiers and airmen, from fines and forfeitures imposed by courts-martial, and from the interest paid on a permanent trust fund maintained by the U.S. Treasury. Since 1971, however, the home has experienced the strain of rising costs and constant or decreasing revenues. To meet the problem Congress enacted legislation in September 1976 to improve the financial base of the home. In the future, all residents of the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home will be charged a user fee of at least 12.5 percent of their federal-source annuity or retirement income, and the services now have the authority to double the monthly payroll deduction to fifty cents. The Comptroller General of the United States will review the immediate and long-range financial requirements of the home and will report its findings to Congress in the upcoming fiscal year.



The value of the Army’s long-standing commitment to educational programs is demonstrated by a series of surveys showing that the opportunity to acquire skills useful in the civilian community, to continue formal education while in service, and to earn the GI Bill educational benefits are attractive enlistment incentives. In fact, a survey recently prepared for the Department of Defense concluded that the Army is the service that does the most to help young Americans get college educations. In recognition of this interest, the Army expanded and refined the services offered through its network of 331 education centers. As a result, participation and accomplishments in voluntary educational programs continued to increase in fiscal year 1976.


Fiscal Years

Course Completions




High school level




College (undergraduate)




College (graduate)








Foreign language


76 833

97 547

Tests administered




a Drop in activity caused by closing the United States Armed Forces Institute, 31 May 1974.
b Overseas high school general education development and college-level examination program testing reinstituted through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Support.

During the past year Congress made several efforts to alter existing educational benefits under the GI Bill, and ultimately an amendment to the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act accomplished that end. The amendment provides for a voluntary program, wherein the service member contributes between $50 and $75 per month to an educational fund maintained by the Veterans Administration, and that agency matches each dollar of the individual’s contribution with two dollars of federal money. The Secretary of Defense is authorized to augment this amount to encourage persons to enter the armed forces. The maximum amount that can accumulate from individual and Veterans Administration contributions is $8,100. Once a soldier has completed his first obligated enlistment, he may draw on these funds to further his education.

Project AHEAD (Army Help for Education and Development), whose purpose is to help young men and women enlist in the Army and pursue an education at the same time, grew substantially in the last year. Presently more than 1,400 colleges and educational institutions support this educational concept, and Army participation is approximately 6 percent of all Army enlistees with no former service. Comparable figures for fiscal year 1975 were 1,200 educational institutions and a participation rate of 5 percent. As a means of encouraging greater use of Project AHEAD the U.S. Army Recruiting Command has prepared brochures and flyers describing the program. In conjunction with The


Adjutant General Center, the command has also published a Catalog of Army Education Centers and a Catalog of Project AHEAD Participating Schools. All Army education centers, as well as high school and college counselors, received copies of these catalogs.

As a means of easing the transition into a different society, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, Europe, asked that soldiers and spouses assigned to Germany acquire some familiarity with the host country’s language and culture before their arrival in Europe. The Department of the Army responded by developing a program calling for the mandatory enrollment of battalion and brigade commanders in a six-week German course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. Other soldiers and dependents are encouraged to participate in a forty-hour Headstart program, using course materials available at fifty-six installation Army education centers throughout the United States.

In April 1975 The Adjutant General undertook a study of the feasibility of extending tuition assistance and other educational services to the National Guard and the Army Reserve. The purpose of the study was to learn what the attitudes of guardsmen and reservists were toward reserve service, to determine the effects education benefits would have upon retention of personnel without previous service, and to compile other information upon which recommendations about educational programs could be made. The results of the study were published in April 1976. The Adjutant General concluded that a program of tuition assistance would have a positive effect on National Guard and Army Reserve recruiting and retention. The study also included cost estimates. Subsequently, this cost data was incorporated in a proposed Air Force report to Congress on legislation dealing with a tuition assistance program for the reserve components.

In fiscal year 1976 the Army and the Department of Labor took the first formal steps to establish an Army job recognition program (JOBREC) that would officially acknowledge the skills soldiers acquire in the course of performing their military duty. Such recognition will presumably help soldiers returning to civilian society to find jobs commensurate with the talents they developed in the Army. The first program to be registered with the Bureau of Appenticeship and Training in the Department of Labor was the Engineer School’s course of instruction for military equipment operators and mechanics. Thereafter, the Chief of Staff ordered The Adjutant General to expedite development of JOBREC programs and expand consideration to all Army personnel. The Adjutant General, in turn, formed a study group charged with proposing procedures and priorities for development of JOBREC programs for officers and enlisted personnel in all specialties. As a result of


this increased interest, a variety of programs were registered with the Department of Labor from July to September 1976. These included programs for cooks and bakers, aircraft electricians, airframe repairmen, marine engineers, marine hull repairmen, motor transport and marine craft operators, terminal operations personnel, central office telephone installers, and radio communications technicians.

Health and Medical Affairs

Total Army expenditures for medical services for all appropriations amounted to $1,243 million in fiscal year 1976, an increase of $98 million from the previous year. The additional disbursements were primarily the product of salary increases and the continued rise in the cost of providing health services in both Army and civilian facilities. The increased expenditure would have been greater if there had not been a reduction in research and development in the field of drug abuse.

A distribution by appropriations was as follows:


(In millions of dollars)

Military Personnel, Army


operation and Maintenance, Army


Research and Development, Army


Military Construction, Army


Other Procurement, Army


Reserve Personnel, Army




The trend toward more extensive use of outpatient services continued in fiscal year 1976, with a 3 percent increase in clinic visits and a 3 percent decrease in bed occupancy. The strength of the Army, by contrast, decreased 0.5 percent. The primary cause of the lower rate of bed occupancy was a reduction in the average length of stay for all patients from 7.8 days to 7.4 days. The average length of stay of active duty Army personnel decreased from 9.9 days to 9.1 days, while the total number of admissions for such patients remained virtually constant.

At the beginning of the year the actual and authorized strengths of the Army Nurse Corps were both 3,706. At year’s end the actual strength was down to 3,510 nurses, and authorized strength was 3,535. To augment this professional nursing staff, the Army also employed 2,187 civilian nurses. Seventy-seven percent of Army Nurse Corps officers were in company grades and the remainder in field grades. The number of Regular Army officers decreased during the year from 989 to 973. As of the end of June 1976, 25 percent of the Nurse Corps personnel was male.

Legislation that became effective in February 1976 contains an important change in the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS). As a means of reducing CHAMPUS costs and insuring better use of uniformed services medical treatment


facilities, Congress has directed that CHAMPUS funds may not be used to pay claims for routine inpatient hospital care if such care is available at a military hospital within forty miles of the patient’s residence. If a particular form of care cannot be provided at a military facility, the hospital commander will issue a nonavailability statement that will allow the patient to seek authorized care in a civilian hospital.

Within the limits of its resources, the Army has sought to extend the benefits of dental care to the maximum number of eligible personnel. A system of professional review and accountability has been adopted, wherein each installation in the United States will have a director of dental services accountable to the installation commander. The director will also have an officer of the Dental Corps in his chain of command at major command level. To insure that a good professional example is set for junior Dental Corps officers, the director of Dental Services will devote part of his duty hours to direct patient care. Within the limits of Army policy, dental programs at individual installations will be tailored to meet the particular needs of that segment of the Army community. The success of this program, based on efficiently using available resources rather than increasing expenditures, is demonstrated by a 26 percent rise is productivity between fiscal years 1975 and 1976, a period marked by a 3 percent decline in dental staffing.

At the end of 1976 the U.S. Army Veterinary Service consisted of 397 officers, 1,167 veterinary specialists, and 281 animal specialists. Of the career officers, approximately 45 percent have board certifications in one of the recognized veterinary medical specialities, a figure that compares favorably with the national average of 5 percent. Apart from other duties, members of the Veterinary Service inspected approximately 15.6 billion pounds of food, of which 560 million pounds were inspected at contractors’ plants.

In June 1976 the Department of Defense put into operation the TriService Medical Information System (TRIMIS), whose purpose is to make use of existing automatic data processing technology to improve the efficiency of health care delivery in the armed forces. Using standard equipment and programs adaptable to medical facilities of varying sizes and types, this system will help accomplish three crucial tasks: (1) the transmission of more timely and reliable health care information; (2) improvement of medical training and professional development through accurate documentation of clinical decision processes; and (3) provision of better support for clinical and epidemiological research. The various TRIMIS subsystems will contribute to the achievement of those goals by handling patient records and using the records to build a data base, improving procedures for putting patients in touch with the medical persons


most qualified to help them, providing more efficient ward support for professional personnel, improving pharmaceutical services, making possible more rapid health and nutritional analyses of hospital food selection, producing greater efficiency in clinical laboratory and radiological work, and scheduling all logistic support for health care facilities.

The U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency was activated in September 1975. Composed of health facilities planners, architects, engineers, and a system analyst, this agency is responsible for planning, programming, budgeting, and supervising the construction of all Army health and dental facilities. The director of the agency also serves as manager of the Army Health Facility Program, which is responsible for the medical portion of the Army military construction program. The most important activity supervised by these institutions and individuals is the Health Facilities Modernization Program, established to provide new or renovated treatment facilities at military installations. This program has begun to make a measurable impact on the quality of Army medical and dental services. Since the start of the program in 1974, funds have been made available for twelve hospitals and fifteen dental clinics, which are now in varying stages of completion. The present estimated cost of the program over its ten-year life is $1.3 billion. The benefits of replacing decrepit facilities and modernizing serviceable ones have been felt in improved methods of care, accommodation of increased work loads, and compliance with stringent professional and hospital accreditation requirements and life safety codes.

Perhaps the most critical requirement for the next few years will be the replacement of the outdated, deteriorated buildings that presently house many of the Army’s dental clinics. Even after completion of the fifteen clinics presently under construction, almost half of the remaining clinics will still be in temporary facilities. To alleviate this situation, and to make better use of dentists and their assistants, the Assistant Surgeon General for Dental Services has developed a plan to build central dental clinics of appropriate size on each installation, consolidating the resources of smaller, more dispersed clinics. This plan and the programmed concentration on dental facilities in fiscal years 1978 and 1979 should significantly improve the level of care provided by the Army’s scarce dental resources.

In February 1976, U.S. Army Medical support units went to Guatemala to help care for the victims of the earthquake that had struck that country. The units dispatched included the 47th Field Hospital, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; the 105th Medical Detachment, Fort Dix, New Jersey; the 155th Medical Detachment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; members


of the 36th Medical Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas; and a composite laboratory augmentation team. Soldiers of these units were active in the rescue effort during the hectic days that followed the catastrophe. When the immediate medical crisis had subsided, two weeks after the earthquake occurred, the units began to return to the United States.

Memorial Affairs

The bodies of nine soldiers and airmen from World War II were discovered and identified during the fiscal year. Five were recovered from a plane crash in the Zuider Zee, Holland, two from France, and two from Germany. Individual disposition of the bodies took place in accordance with requests from next of kin. Two soldiers from the Korean War were also discovered, individually identified, and returned to their homeland of Puerto Rico. The Central Identification Laboratory, Thailand (later moved to Hawaii), was able to identify the bodies of fifteen servicemen previously recovered from Southeast Asia, They include Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Merchant Marine personnel, and in each case the parent service took responsibility for disposition.

Resolution of the status of soldiers listed as prisoners of war or missing in Southeast Asia continued to be a matter of general concern. As of 30 September 1976, 217 men were still listed as missing, 161 of whom were missing in action. Another twelve were listed as captured. On 11 September 1975 the House of Representatives established a select committee, chaired by Congressman C. V. Montgomery, to investigate the issue of captured and missing soldiers. The Army provided technical assistance to the committee. At the urging of the National League of Families, the committee’s original one-year tenure was extended to 3 January 1977, when it will complete its work and render a final report.

In response to a 1974 federal district court decision in McDonald v. McLucas, the services modified their procedures for reviewing the status of captured and missing soldiers to conform with legal due process requirements. The services also suspended status reviews pending the final report of the House of Representatives select committee, except where such reviews were requested by the primary next of kin. The Army conducted, thirty-one requested status reviews, three of which were prompted by the recovery of more bodies.

As a result of the political situation in Thailand, the Central Identification Laboratory, Thailand, was transferred to Kapalama Military Reservation, Hawaii. The transfer and concurrent discontinuance of the parent unit (U.S. MACTHAI Support Group) made necessary a resubordination of the laboratory to The Adjutant General Center, where it is under


the administrative and operational supervision of the Memorial Affairs Division.

Since approval of the master plan for Arlington National Cemetery in 1967, Congress has appropriated $20.3 million for its completion. The plan includes twenty-four major construction projects, of which twenty had been completed by 30 September 1976. During the fiscal year more than $738,000 was spent on landscaping, a boundary wall and fence, road repair, designs for a 50,000-niche modular columbarium, and surveys and designs for a permanent visitors’ center and parking structure. While work on the master plan was going forward, the White House proposed that space for parking 6,000 cars be made available at South Post, Fort Myer, for the Bicentennial events in the Washington area. Because South Post is an integral part of the planned expansion of Arlington National Cemetery, the Army was concerned that a large parking lot might set back implementation of the master plan. Eventually, forty acres of South Post with a capacity of 4,000 cars was made available, with the understanding that the land would be restored as nearly as possible to its original state and returned to Army control not later than 31 March 1977, so that work on the master plan could continue.

The criteria for interment in Arlington National Cemetery, adopted in 1967, limit burial to Medal of Honor recipients, active duty and retired members of the armed forces, veterans who have served in major posts in the federal government, and the spouses and dependent children of such persons. At the time these restrictive standards were adopted space in Arlington was nearly exhausted. The criteria, however, have not been universally popular, and during the fiscal year the Department of the Army opposed a bill that would have opened the cemetery to all veterans and their survivors. The Army pointed out that an open eligibility policy would mean approximately sixty burials per day, a rate that would conflict with the requirements of serving tourists and supporting ceremonies and would create impossible strains on Arlington’s traffic pattern and manpower resources. Moreover, open eligibility would exhaust the cemetery’s expanded burial space by 1985, whereas the current policy is expected to keep Arlington open until about 2028.

In response to congressional interest in the matter, the Secretary of the Army reviewed the existing criteria to see if the expansion of the cemetery’s grounds that has taken place since 1967 made some changes possible. The review produced a conclusion that some expansion of the criteria was in order. The Department of the Army therefore proposed that eligibility also be extended to medically discharged veterans (30 percent disability or greater) and recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, and the Purple


Heart. Upon approval by the Secretary of Defense, the relevant regulations will be changed accordingly.

During the last fiscal year the Army revised its regulation governing the processing of casualties. The revision adds instructions on processing U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard death cases, refines casualty procedures, and makes a noteworthy change requiring personal notification of parents who are secondary next of kin to a deceased service member. The Casualty Services Division, Personal Affairs Directorate of The Adjutant General Center, processed 2,008 active duty cases, 6,922 retiree cases, and 1,509 very seriously ill and seriously ill cases from overseas commands. It also processed 1,050,298 records of emergency data.



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