Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1980


Manning the Army

In his State of the Union address, delivered before a joint session of Congress on 23 January 1980, shortly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter announced his decision to reinstate registration for the draft. The President’s registration plan, issued on 8 February 1980, included women as well as men. While calling for resumption of registration in order to save critical time in the event of mobilization, President Carter reiterated his position in support of the All-Volunteer Force and in opposition to a peacetime draft.

The President had the authority to resume registration of men, but legislation was required to authorize registration of women. Congress also had to provide the funds needed to revitalize the Selective Service System and finance the registration program. Whereas last year the House of Representatives had defeated a draft registration proposal by a wide margin, this year the funding request was passed 58-34 in the Senate and 234-168 in the House. Congress, however, declined to grant authority for registration of women.

In accordance with a presidential proclamation signed on 2 July 1980, men born in 1960 were required to register during the week of 21 July 1980 and registration of males born in 1961 began on 28 July 1980. Registrants reported to post offices in the United States and U.S. embassies or consulates overseas to fill out a form with their name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. No classification or physical examination was made at the time of registration, and no draft cards were issued. Each registrant was required to keep the Selective Service System informed of any subsequent change of address.

Although opponents of peacetime draft registration mounted a well-organized campaign and the constitutionality of males-only registration was challenged in the courts, the registration proceeded smoothly. On 4 September 1980, the Director of Selective Service announced that 87 percent of the eligible population had registered on time and another 6 percent had registered by 22 August, for a compliance rate of 93 percent and a total of 3,593,187 registrations, and still counting as late registrations continued. Registration of males born in 1962 was scheduled to take place the week of 5 January 1981. Thereafter, young men will be required to register upon reaching their 18th birthday.


Registration clearly improved the Army’s capacity for rapid personnel mobilization in a future emergency, but it provided no manpower for today’s Army. According to the Chief of Staff of the Army, “manning the total force is the major challenge the Army faces today.” In his white paper of 25 February 1980, General Meyer also stated:

In the near term we must focus our attention on the special problems of recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of qualified personnel to meet our immediate needs. In the longer term we must develop a more effective personnel management strategy, one which more accurately identifies requirements and better articulates resources necessary to satisfy those requirements. We must recruit and retain those personnel who possess the motivation and qualifications necessary to make a positive contribution to the Total Force. And we must recruit and retain them in the numbers necessary to man the structure required in the 80s and 90s.

Military Strength

On 30 September 1979 the strength of the active Army was 758,356, more than 15,400 short of the congressional authorization; on 30 September 1980 it was 776,536, only 500 below the strength authorized by Congress. This gain of 18,180 represented a major recovery from last year’s large recruiting shortfall and was achieved by substantial increases in both enlistments and reenlistments. Full recovery, however, is not anticipated until 1981, when this year’s new recruits complete their training and enter Army units. During fiscal year 1980, the force structure was manned on the average at 97.5 percent of authorizations, with an average undermanning of 17,000 for the year. The following table provides a breakdown of active military strength as of 30 September 1980.


Authorized Strength

Actual Strength




Enlisted Personnel



United States Military Academy Cadets






Enlisted Personnel

Although more than a million volunteers have enlisted in the active Army since the draft ended on 30 June 1973, recruiting has become increasingly more difficult. Last year, enlistments fell about 17,000 or 10.7 percent short of the objective. The other military services also experienced recruiting problems. In fact, none of the serv-


ices was able to meet its accession goals in fiscal year 1979. The Army, however, had the largest recruiting shortfall.

Several factors contributed to the Army’s recruiting problems. The combined impact of inflation, repeated pay caps, and loss of the G.I. bill reduced the competitiveness of military service in the labor market. Meanwhile, the number of those eligible to serve continued to decline. At the same time that competition from colleges and the private sector for the shrinking pool of young people of ages 18 to 22 increased, the resources devoted to the recruiting effort decreased. In constant dollars, the Army’s recruiting budget for fiscal year 1979 was 28 percent below the 1974 level.

In an effort to reverse the negative recruiting trends, the Army submitted an amendment and two reprogrammings to this year’s budget requesting additional recruiting funds. The following table shows actual Total Army recruiting resources, in millions of dollars, for fiscal year 1980, including those provided by the budget amendment and reprogrammings.


Active Army

Army National Guard

Army Reserve


Military Pay





Civilian Pay





Enlistment Bonus










Recruiter Aides





Recruiter Support





Total Dollars





a Includes man-day spaces of part-time recruiter aides; excludes retention NCOs.
b Includes enlistment bonus and educational assistance.
c Does not include telecommunications; includes vehicle leases.
d Includes telecommunications.

With these additional resources, the Army was able to exceed its overall enlisted accession objectives for the fiscal year, (see table on p. 77). The active Army recruited 173,228 men and women, over 31,000 more than last year. Despite the large gain in total enlistments, the number of recruits with high school diplomas fell about 13,000 short of the target. This year only 54.3 percent of enlisted accessions with no prior service were high school graduates, compared to 64.1 percent in fiscal year 1979. Congress, however, has stipulated that 65 percent of next year’s non-prior service accessions must have high school diplomas. Therefore, increasing enlistments of high school



Non-Prior Service (NPS) Accessions

NPS High  School Diploma Graduates*

Prior   Service (PS) Accessions


Active Army


FY 80 Program





Actual Achievement





% of Program Achieved





Army National Guard**


FY 80 Program





Actual Achievement





% of Program Achieved





Army Reserve**


FY 80 Program





Actual Achievement





% of Program Achieved





* Figures for the reserve components include individuals with General Educational Development (GED) equivalency certificates and high school seniors.
** Achievement figures for the reserve components reflect preliminary data and may vary somewhat from official figures when they become available.

diploma graduates has been established as the primary recruiting objective for fiscal year 1981. Congress has also imposed limitations on future recruitment of Category IV personnel—individuals who score in the lowest acceptable category on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT).

During fiscal year 1980, the Army’s recruiting program focused on quantitative rather than qualitative goals in order to compensate for the large 1979 shortfall. Enlistment criteria were adjusted to accept a larger portion of the available market. There was a special effort to improve recruiting of individuals with prior military service. Extending enlistment bonus eligibility and reducing enlistment tours from four to three years resulted in 15,049 prior service accessions, a gain of 2,177 over the previous year.

Because of the increasing difficulty in recruiting women during fiscal years 1978 and 1979, the Army equalized the enlistment eligibility standards for men and women effective 1 October 1979. This change significantly enlarged the female market, and recruiting results for the first quarter of the fiscal year exceeded the objective by 32.5 percent. After the initial surge in female enlistments, however, recruiting once again became difficult. By the end of the year, female accessions were approximately 1,000 below the objective, although more women enlisted in the active Army than ever before.

In addition to changing the entry standards, the Army took a


number of other actions to increase female enlistments. For example, more women participated in the hometown recruiter aides program, under which outstanding young soldiers are assigned on temporary duty to their hometowns to assist local Army recruiters. There was a review of advanced individual training programs to identify training opportunities that women desire. The Army also allocated $1,166,000 for advertising specifically designed to appeal to women, with particular emphasis on nontraditional skills. This figure was almost double the $599,000 allocated for female oriented ads in fiscal year 1979. Most recruiting ads, however, had a combined appeal to men and women.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Command gained a total of 845 military manpower spaces this year. The budget amendment increased the number of recruiters by 570. Subsequently, Congress authorized another 271 NCOs (one for each recruiting area) and also added 24 officers to USAREC’s Programs, Analysis and Evaluation Directorate in order to expand its market analysis capability. Furthermore, the entire Army actively supported the recruiting effort. Personnel from other commands conducted displays, answered questions, provided speakers, and furnished assistance to USAREC as requested. This outpouring of help greatly improved the overall effort and contributed to the success of this year’s recruiting program.

Recruiting objectives for fiscal year 1980 were approved in three separate accession structure plans: for the active Army in August 1979, for the Army Reserve in October 1979, and for the Army National Guard in January 1980. Starting next year, however, there will be a single accession structure plan for the Total Army, which will set quantity and quality goals, establish enlistment controls, coordinate recruiting strategy, and consolidate resource planning. This new approach should help all components to work together more effectively in a declining recruiting market.

An important recruiting incentive is the Enlistment Bonus Program, authorized by Congress in 1972 to encourage enlistments in critical military occupational specialties. The Army has proposed a legislative change that would raise the maximum bonus from $3,000 to $5,000, allow payment of bonuses for initial periods of active duty shorter than four years, and make permanent the authority to award enlistment bonuses on a selective basis. By the end of the fiscal year, Congress had not completed action on this proposal. As of 30 September 1980, the Army offered enlistment bonuses in 35 military occupational specialties: 11 at the $3,000 level, 11 at the $2,500 level, 12 at the $1,500 level, and 1 at the $1,000 level. Enlisted bonus payments for the year totaled $39.8 million for the active Army,


$11.2 million for the Army National Guard, and $4.3 million for the Army Reserve.

At the request of Congress, the Army tested a two-year enlistment option last year. Because the results were inconclusive, a modified test was designed to better determine the effectiveness of this option. Beginning on 4 December 1979 and running for one calendar year, the revised test encompasses 92 percent of the country—excluding only the geographic areas serviced by Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Stations in Seattle, Spokane, Little Rock, Shreveport, Milwaukee, Albany, Manchester, and Portland—which serve as the test control group. During the test period, the two-year enlistment option will be available to 12,500 applicants.

The Recruiting Command’s Special Investigation Task Force—organized last year to conduct a full-scale, command-wide investigation into recruiting malpractice—completed its work and was disbanded on 28 December 1979. The USAREC Enlistment Standards Directorate assumed full responsibility for any further investigation of recruiting irregularities and for the administrative processing of the task force’s relief cases. As a result of the special investigation, 5 officers and 388 noncommissioned officers were relieved from recruiting duty, including 165 individuals who held supervisory positions. Not all of those relieved were directly involved in malpractice; some were relieved for failure in leadership. By the end of fiscal year 1980, the USAREC commander had reviewed 355 of the 393 cases and reinstated 95 persons. Eighty of the 260 recruiters whose relief was upheld by the commander have petitioned the Army Board for Correction of Military Records to further review their cases. Although the Army took prompt corrective action, the widespread recruiting malpractice generated unfavorable publicity and serious criticism of the recruiting program.

Another problem that received a great deal of attention this year was the controversy surrounding the tests used to measure the mental ability and trainability of potential recruits. During congressional hearings on military posture, Robert B. Pirie, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics, expressed doubts about the validity of the norms used in the thirteen tests constituting the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). He raised particular questions about the three tests, known collectively as the Armed Forces Qualification Test, by which prospective enlistees were placed in one of five mental categories to provide a measure of their aptitude for success as soldiers. There was accumulating evidence, Mr. Pirie reported, that the AFQT used since 1976 was “misnormed” or imperfectly calibrated and, as a result, was


producing inflated scores at the lower ability levels. Thus the armed forces were inadvertently enlisting considerably more persons belonging in the lowest acceptable mental category (Category IV) than intended or, of course, reported. Later, when the test scores were properly normed, they showed that 46 percent of Army recruits in fiscal year 1979 and 52 percent in fiscal year 1980 belonged in Category IV. The Department of Defense totals for the same years were 30 and 33 percent, respectively. The extent of the problem prompted Congress to pass legislation restricting the percentage of Category IV enlistees the military services could accept in the future. The number of Category IV recruits will be limited to an all-service average of 25 percent in fiscal year 1981. The following year it will be restricted to no more than 25 percent for each service, and will be reduced to 20 percent in fiscal year 1983.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) had undertaken the development of a new ASVAB that would provide valid aptitude measurements. Handling the project was a working group composed of policy experts from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel of each service, test psychologists from the Service Research Laboratories, and members of the Military Enlistment Processing Command (MEPCOM). Policy guidance was provided by an OSD Steering Committee, chaired by the OSD Director of Accession Policy and composed of the Directors of Military Policy/Personnel Management of the four services and the MEPCOM commander.

The Army’s view of the ASVAB, as indicated by the congressional testimony of Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander, was that all thirteen tests should be used to measure prospective performance to help put recruits in the right military specialties, and that the AFQT not be the determinant of whether a person was or was not intelligent and a qualified soldier. Placing a person in a “mental category” on the basis of a single score made on the AFQT was considered an injustice to the individual. Therefore, in June 1980, the Army ordered that the AFQT scores of all soldiers enlisted since 1974 be removed from unit personnel files.

In March 1980, both to influence the development of the new ASVAB along the lines of the Army viewpoint—in particular to ensure that the aptitude areas developed in the new battery had a valid correlation with job-related requirements—and to review and improve other performance indicators, the Chief of Staff established a Skill Requirements for MOS Working Group. Chaired by an officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the group included representatives from other Army staff agencies, Materiel Development and Readiness Command, Training and Doctrine Command, the Military Personnel Center, Recruiting Command,


and the Army Research Institute. By year’s end, the group had largely achieved its objectives. It was the Army’s assessment that the new ASVAB and the aptitude areas that would be derived from it were valid, and the new test battery was set for introduction in October 1980. The working group also had under development a Performance Indicator Model for tying job performance to aptitude areas and thus identifying the performance potential of persons seeking entry into the Army. To continue the work of improving testing and the use of test results, and thus institutionalize the concept of the Skill Requirements for MOS Working Group, manpower spaces for that function were allotted to ODCSPER on a temporary basis, effective 1 October 1980.

Although recruitment has been the greatest challenge since the end of the draft, another key aspect in manning the all-volunteer Army is retaining sufficient qualified soldiers to support the enlisted career force (soldiers with more than three years of service). The Army’s reenlistment program is oriented toward this end with specific objectives by skill and year of service.

In fiscal year 1980, the active Army surpassed its aggregate reenlistment objectives by 3 percent as a result of achieving 112.6 percent of the first term objective and 99.6 percent of the career objective. This was the third consecutive year that the Army exceeded its reenlistment goals. The total number of reenlistments, 82,186, and the first term reenlistment rate of 50.6 percent surpassed any given year since the beginning of the volunteer era and contributed to an increase in the career force of about 10,000 soldiers since the previous year.

Reasons given for the success of the reenlistment program included command emphasis and involvement, the state of the national economy, the Selective Reenlistment Bonus Program, the expansion of RETAIN (the automated reenlistment and assignment system) to Europe, and the implementation of the CONUS-to-CONUS reenlistment option. This popular option, which had been tested last year, was reinstated, effective 1 November 1979, after a four-year absence. It allows a first term soldier stationed in the CONUS to reenlist for another CONUS station of his choice, provided a vacancy exists at that post in the appropriate grade and MOS. Soldiers are guaranteed at least twelve months in their new assignment. The Army will break the option contract only if a soldier changes his primary MOS or is promoted before arrival at the new station.

Although this year’s reenlistments were sufficient to meet aggregate career force needs, some retention problems persisted. For example, the steady decline in retention of middle-grade, mid-career NCOs, primarily E-5s and E-6s with five to twelve years of service,


has not been reversed. Nor has the Army been able to retain enough soldiers in certain critical skills, particularly in the combat arms. To counter these problems, the Army developed several changes in the reenlistment program for planned implementation starting in fiscal year 1981.

The proposed changes included extension of the CONUS-to-CONUS reenlistment option to E-6s and below with fourteen or less years of service for selected locations, revision of the Selective Reenlistment Bonus Program to encourage retention of middle grade NCOs, especially in the combat arms, and expansion of the reenlistment NCO force. Also, the reenlistment objective system was revised to increase emphasis on mid-career NCO retention. Under the new system, the Army will move from two categories—first term and career—to three categories—first term, midterm (career soldiers with ten or less years of service), and career (soldiers with over ten years of service). A test of the three-part reenlistment objective system, including the new midterm category, began on 1 July 1980.

This year the Army completely revised its Enlisted Force Management Plan (EFMP) as it projected force requirements into the decade of the 1980s. For the first time, the plan addressed the Total Army, projecting the needs of the active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve out to 1987 and outlining the management strategies necessary to sustain the objective force. The plan emphasized the career force of the active Army, projecting a Top 5 grade content of 273,500 to lead an enlisted force of 680,000. The Top 5 figure represented an increase of 14,500, which was projected because of the requirements needs generated by force modernization and improved retention rates among career personnel. The objective set for the Army National Guard was a fully manned force at the authorized peacetime level of 390,000. This level represented an increase of 71,000 over the fiscal year 1980 end strength and included a Top 5 grade increase of 5,000. For the Army Reserve, the objective was a fully manned peacetime force of 226,000, an increase of 60,000 that included a Top 5 grade increase of 25,000. In addressing Total Army needs, the plan stressed retention beyond reenlistment and included transfer to the Army Reserve as part of a soldier’s life cycle. The table below gives the enlisted strength by grade as it stood at the end of this fiscal year.


























In the recent past, an increasing number of commanders expressed dissatisfaction with the regulation requiring E-5 personnel serving enlistments for which grade and service waivers had been granted by local commanders to submit requests for subsequent waivers to the Commander, Military Personnel Center, for approval. They considered this requirement a burden on themselves and the soldiers concerned. This year, General Court-Martial Convening Authorities received the right to approve waivers for reenlistments of three years each to permit soldiers in grade E-5 a maximum of twenty years service. They also received access to a soldier’s official military personnel file as a means of reviewing past and current performance in determining whether retention was warranted.

The Army made several changes in its enlisted promotion and reduction policy during the year. It revised the method of computing E-4 promotion capability, not only to simplify the method, but also to provide more equitable opportunity for promotions to grade E-4 among units and to increase the Army’s E-4 strength. Under the new rules, only soldiers in grades E-3 and E-4 with fifteen or more months of service are included in the computations used to determine the number of E-4s allowed in each unit. Under the present system for promotions to grades E-5 and E-6, the Army uses a standardized 1,000-point promotion worksheet to measure a soldier’s qualifications. As a result of the elimination of evaluation reports for E-4s, commanders are now authorized to grant up to 150 promotion points for a soldier’s job performance, which enlarges the role of the commander in the promotion system.

The changes in the Army’s reduction policy all involved reductions for civil convictions. Under the new provisions, an individual sentenced to death or to confinement for one year or more is automatically reduced to grade E-1. Persons sentenced to confinement for more than thirty days but less than a year and those who receive suspended sentences to confinement for one year or more will be considered for reduction. Soldiers convicted of less severe offenses who receive lesser sentences may also be considered for reduction. Reduction boards are required in all cases except those involving mandatory reductions, although the boards may be waived by individuals in grades E-5 and above.

A historical analysis of first term attrition data has revealed the


key influence of education levels of soldiers at their time of entry into the Army. The attrition rates for soldiers with high school diplomas tend to be much lower than the rates for those without them. Because the Army, in order to meet manpower requirements, accepted a greater proportion of non-high school diploma graduates among its male accessions in fiscal years 1979 and 1980, it now projects a slight increase in the male attrition rate. The attrition rate for first term female soldiers, which in the past has stood from 5 to 20 percentage points higher than that of equally educated males, is also expected to rise further because of the acceptance of non-high school diploma graduates in substantial numbers during fiscal year 1980. The table below shows past and projected three-year first term attrition rates (as percent of accessions) by education level and sex among the enlisted accessions for fiscal year 1976 through 1980.


Accession Year


Education Level

FY 76

FY 771

FY 781

FY 791

FY 801




















































1 Forecasts based on current data (as of 30 September 1980).
2 High School Diploma Graduates.
3 Non-High School Diploma Graduates.
4 Basic Army policy denied enlistments to NHSDGs; a small percentage of GED certificate holders were enlisted (10% of female accessions during FY 76 and FY 77 and 5% and 1%, respectively, during FY 78 and FY 79).

Because of a critical need to increase the size of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), the Army last year developed criteria for transferring certain enlisted first term attrition losses to the IRR instead of discharging them. Such transfers would retain in the Total Army all individuals of potentially useful service under conditions of full mobilization. The Army implemented the new transfer policy effective 1 October 1979.

Officer Personnel

Both the authorized and the actual officer strength of the active Army increased during fiscal year 1980. The congressional authorization rose from 96,290 to 98,717 while the actual number of officers on


active duty grew from 96,889 to 98,218. The following table breaks down the actual officer strength on 30 September 1980.

Commissioned Officers


General Officer




Lieutenant Colonel






First Lieutenant


Second Lieutenant





Warrant Officers












Grand Total


The Army’s general officer strength, which reached a post-World War II high of 521 in 1968, had declined since then to 432, as shown in the table above. The reduction in the early 1970s reflected the decrease in total officer strength because, by law, the authorized number of general officer spaces is related to the number of commissioned officers on active duty. More recently, however, the general officer ceiling has been reduced even further, at first through OSD policy and then by action of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as expressed in successive Defense Appropriation Acts.

The Fiscal Year 1978 Defense Appropriation Authorization Act required DOD to reduce general officer authorizations by 6 percent, from 1,141 to 1,073, by the end of fiscal year 1980. The services absorbed a 2 percent cut in fiscal year 1978, down to a total of 1,119 (432 for the Army). Further reductions were postponed while the department conducted a general officer requirements review, which validated the need for more, not fewer, general officers. The Senate Armed Services Committee nevertheless insisted on the additional 4 percent reduction, although it agreed to defer the effective date of the cut. On 8 September 1980, President Carter signed the Fiscal Year 1981 DOD Authorization Bill, which postponed until 30 September 1981 the remaining 4 percent reduction in general officers of all services, including the Army.

This year active Army officer accessions totaled 10,874, com-


pared to 9,662 in fiscal year 1979. There was a substantial increase in warrant officer procurement, which rose from 1,130 to 1,879. Once again, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)—with 4,077 accessions—was by far the largest source of new Army officers. The following table breaks down fiscal year 1980 officer accessions by source.



United States Military Academy


Reserve Officers’ Training Corps


Officer Candidate School


Voluntary Active Duty


Direct Appointment


Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Corps


Nurses and Medical Specialists


Warrant Officers






* Includes administrative gains such as recall from retired list and interservice transfer.

For the sixth consecutive year, ROTC enrollment increased. The opening Army Senior ROTC enrollment for school year 1979-80 was 63,667 (47,736 men and 15,931 women). A total of 6,527 Army ROTC scholarships were in effect during the year: 2,346 four-year, 2,573 three-year, 1,475 two-year, and 133 one-year scholarships (the 27 scholarships over the legal number were allowed only because of previously authorized leaves of absence). On 24 September 1980, the President signed legislation increasing the number of Army ROTC scholarships from 6,500 to 12,000. The additional scholarships, which will be phased in gradually, should attract large numbers of highly qualified applicants, thus increasing the quantity and improving the quality of future Army officers.

The same legislation included several other important provisions. It authorized scholarship recipients to serve their obligated tour of duty in the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve; provided ten scholarships annually for each of the six military junior colleges hosting Army ROTC; extended the scholarship eligibility age for persons who had served on active duty for the period served, but not to exceed four years; removed the limitation on the number of scholarships for two-year ROTC program cadets; and required reimbursement from scholarship recipients who voluntarily terminated their involvement in the ROTC program.

In an effort to attract more college students to the program, the Army allotted $4.9 million to ROTC advertising this year. ROTC ads stressed the benefits of the program: leadership and management ex-


perience, physical and intellectual challenge, financial assistance, scholarship opportunities, and the prestige of serving the country as an Army officer. The ads depicted ROTC as an integral part of the total campus experience, emphasized service in the reserve components as an important role for newly commissioned officers, and promoted the Simultaneous Membership Program. This voluntary program, initiated last year, permits eligible enlisted personnel assigned to a troop program unit of the Army National Guard or Army Reserve to enter the advanced course of the ROTC program and eligible ROTC advanced course cadets to enlist in and serve as officer trainees with ARNG and USAR units. Approximately 1,800 ROTC cadets were enrolled under the Simultaneous Membership Program during fiscal year 1980. It is estimated that about 350 of these would not have otherwise enrolled in ROTC. Once the program stabilizes, about 900 students who would not otherwise enter Army ROTC are expected to enroll each year, and some 750 additional officer accessions per year are projected starting with fiscal year 1983.

Because of the great importance of ROTC in providing new Army officers, the Chief of Staff, on 18 October 1979, approved a concept to expand the ROTC production base. The plan was designed to eliminate the critical and growing shortage of reserve component officers, to increase officer accessions for the Total Army, and to reduce the vulnerability of the ROTC program to the adverse trends projected for the 1980s. The trends included a 15 percent decline in the college-age population; a significant population shift out of the eastern and central states where Army ROTC is strongly concentrated; and the closing of 300 to 500 schools of the approximately 2,000 accredited undergraduate institutions due to the combined effects of the shrinking and shifting manpower pool, diminishing enrollments, rising costs, and inflation.

The five-phase plan, scheduled to begin in school year 1980-81, envisioned opening a series of extension centers (small ROTC instructional units with three officers and one NCO) and elevating the most productive centers to full host detachment status (five officers, four NCOs, and one civilian) when they demonstrated their potential for increased officer production. Forty-one extension centers were opened in fiscal year 1980. According to the plan, the sixteen most productive units will be expanded to host status in 1982 and additional extension centers will be established at new schools and the most successful of these eventually will also become host detachments. At the same time, nonproductive ROTC units will be disestablished. An important feature is the assignment of one USAR or ARNG officer to each of the Army’s current 279 host detachments as well as the new detachments generated by the expansion program. These officers


should significantly assist the professor of military science in his mission of recruiting, training, and commissioning officers for the reserve components. This major expansion of the Army ROTC program, and other approved initiatives, should increase ROTC production from the present level of 6,500 officers annually to 10,500 by 1985, with most of the 4,000 additional officers going to troop program units of the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

In a continuing effort to improve the professional development of commissioned officers, the Army made several changes in its Officer Personnel Management System (OPMS) during fiscal year 1980. One specialty was added, another deleted, and nine specialties were revised. There were major revisions in the aviation, communications-electronics, personnel, and automatic data processing specialties. In addition, plans were approved for changes to be implemented next year involving OPMS specialties in the fields of engineering, intelligence, atomic energy, transportation, and maintenance.

A special task force reviewed the policy issues that were impeding the implementation of the revised career pattern for commissioned aviators. It conducted a complete review of aviation requirements and authorizations, identified Army staff elements responsible for monitoring operational and nonoperational flying positions, revised the accessions policy for the aviation and aviation materiel management specialties, and incorporated the provisions of the Aviation Career Incentive Act into the Army’s aviation management program.

In order to manage the officer force within the end strength and resource constraints projected for the 1980s, the Director of Military Personnel Management, ODCSPER, directed the Officer Strength Management Branch to develop an Officer Force Management Plan by the end of fiscal year 1981. The objectives of the plan are to determine the strength and composition (by grade and skill) of the officer force for Total Army manpower requirements and to establish appropriate personnel policies that will enable the Army to fill these requirements. A more specific goal is to develop an officer corps that exists to lead and manage the Army in time of war and to prepare the Army during peacetime for that eventuality. The branch was also given the mission of formally studying officer retention in order to improve retention management and to determine if there is, in fact, an officer retention problem. The study was limited to Army officers managed by the Officer Personnel Management Directorate (OPMD) of the Military Personnel Center (OPMD manages all officers except those in the Army Medical Department, the Chaplains Branch, and the Judge Advocate General’s Corps). A review of fiscal years 1977 to 1979 showed that the loss rate for OPMD commissioned officers has leveled off since 1977 and has remained steady at about 9.6 percent


for the past three years. An examination of attrition at traditional career milestones—completion of initial obligation, ten years active commissioned service, and twenty years active federal service—did not indicate a general exodus of highly qualified personnel. Although a shortage of captains was projected, this was a result of the reduction in accessions during the 1973-76 period and was not a retention shortfall. Attrition of aviation warrant officers, however, was identified as a serious retention problem. That problem lies primarily in reduced retention among initial obligation aviators. A comparison of fiscal year 1976 and 1979 statistics revealed that losses among aviation warrant officers with less than three years of service more than doubled. There was also a significant increase in the losses of aviators with six to ten years of service. The Warrant Officer Division of OPMD has taken numerous actions to retain quality warrant officer aviators and to ameliorate their losses.

Actions to improve officer retention in general include greater stability, increased compensation, counseling by the chain of command, and an improved officer personnel management system. Army officer retention is subject to continuous evaluation. During fiscal year 1981, for example, the Army plans to analyze retention of officers in underaligned specialties at the ten- and twenty-year points in their careers as well as retention trends among minority and female officers. In addition, the Army Research Institute will conduct a study on officer retention objectives.

As of 30 September 1980, the active Army had a shortage of 3,740 OPMD captains. This figure was much lower than the original projection of 5,900. The gap was narrowed because of several initiatives undertaken in 1980, including the Recall to Active Duty Program, the Selective Continuation Program and, most important of all, the decision to reduce the time-in-service requirement for promotion to captain to four years. The Army expects to eliminate the shortage of captains in the near future by projected accessions from recall and by floating the promotion point to captain as necessary to achieve and maintain the authorized strength level.

In January 1980 MILPERCEN decided that a program for the voluntary call to active duty of reserve officers would be required to meet yearend active duty commissioned officer strength levels. Initial estimates were that the active Army would need to access or retain 687 company grade officers during fiscal year 1980; half of this total was to come from the Recall to Active Duty Program. A message announcing the program was dispatched to all Army units on 8 February, and another message was sent to all public affairs officers and editors of Army newspapers and journals on 20 February. Meanwhile, on 13 February, 48,000 letters were mailed to individual


reservists. By the end of the fiscal year, the Reserve Components Personnel and Administration Center had processed 1,004 applications. Of this total, 535 officers were selected and 486 actually reported for active duty. An additional 561 applications were on hand for processing to fill accessioning requirements for fiscal year 1981.

Approximately 400 reserve component majors, captains, and warrant officers were retained on active duty this year as a result of the newly implemented Selective Continuation Program. Initiation of this program constituted a significant change in the Army’s “up-or-out” temporary promotion policy. Provisions of the voluntary program allow selected reservists who possess skills in specialties with shortages to be retained in grade even though they have twice failed promotion selection and would normally be involuntarily separated from active duty. Selected officers are continued for a period of three years or until they are eligible for retirement, whichever comes first. They are also considered for promotion during the period of continuation; if they are promoted, all terms of the continuation agreement become void. The Selective Continuation Program does not apply to Regular Army officers, since their separation after twice failing permanent promotion selection is mandated by law. Provisions contained in the proposed Defense Officer Personnel Management Act would eliminate the current dual promotion system and make the Selective Continuation Program available to all Army officers, regardless of component.

The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act (DOPMA) is the result of a 15-year joint effort by DOD and Congress to update laws pertaining to the appointment, promotion, separation, and retirement of commissioned officers of all the military services. In both the 94th and 95th Congress, the House of Representatives passed a bill which essentially expressed the officer management concept proposed by DOD. In November 1979, however, the Senate passed a radically different version of the bill, one totally incompatible with DOD goals. It reduced the field grade officer strength by 20 to 30 percent, established an inflexible grade table for general officers, and outlined a program that offered a rather pessimistic future for junior officers. The Military Compensation Sub-Committee of the House Armed Services Committee held hearings on the Senate proposal in April and May 1980. Army leaders and other Defense officials testified that the Senate version of DOPMA would have an adverse impact on readiness and stated that having no DOPMA at all would be better than coping with the restraints of the Senate bill. In September 1980 Senate and House staffers, working with representatives from DOD, finally reached a compromise. The Office of the Secretary of Defense and all the services, including the Army, expressed their support of the DOP-


MA compromise bill and their hope for its passage before the end of the 96th Congress.

Medical Personnel

The authorized officer end strength of the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) for fiscal year 1980 was 15,657, compared to 15,223 for fiscal year 1979. Most of the increase was in the Medical Corps authorization, which rose from 4,201 to 4,402. The actual AMEDD officer strength increased during the year from 15,729 to 16,035, with the largest gain in the Medical Corps. Although the number of Medical Corps officers rose from 4,403 to 4,627, at the end of the year there still was a shortage of 646 physicians, or 12 percent of the Army’s minimum peacetime objective of 5,273. The following table compares the authorized and actual AMEDD officer strength by corps on 30 September 1980.

Authorized Strength

Actual Strength

Medical Corps



Dental Corps



Veterinary Corps



Medical Service Corps



Army Nurse Corps



Army Medical Specialist Corps






In its continuing efforts to improve recruitment and retention of medical personnel and reduce the critical shortage of physicians, the Army supported legislative proposals which resulted in stabilized and improved compensation for health professionals. Effective 1 October 1979, Public Law 96-107 authorized significant changes in the Variable Incentive Pay Program for physicians, and on 1 July 1980, Public Law 96-284 completely restructured the Special Pay Program for medical officers. In addition, a DOD directive expanded the scope of the Continuation Pay Program for dentists.

Legislation enacted this year also increased the monthly stipend for participants in the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) from $400 to $485. This 21 percent increase represented a substantial financial benefit to HPSP students, making the program more competitive with those offered by other federal agencies. Future stipend increases will be on an annual basis, comparable to the present system of annual pay raises for civilian employees of the federal government. Throughout the year, the


Army continued its effort to obtain permanent tax exemptions for HPSP scholarship stipends.

Since the end of the draft, HPSP has been a major procurement source of Army physicians. This year 1,761 students participated in the program. There were 504 graduates, including 383 physicians, 61 dentists, 31 veterinarians, 22 optometrists, and 7 psychologists. The Army selected 778 new scholarship recipients out of 1,356 applicants. By the end of the fiscal year, all of the Army’s 1,850 HPSP positions were fully committed. This was the first total fill in the history of the program.

About half of this year’s 763 Medical Corps accessions were HPSP graduates. The corps’ procurement effort was successful, although the number of physician volunteers dropped below 300 for the first time in three years. Over one-third of the 294 volunteers entered active duty graduate medical education programs and will serve as fully qualified Medical Corps officers when their training is completed. These graduate programs provided essential internship and specialty training to physicians entering military service directly from medical school and are attractive recruiting and retention incentives. During fiscal year 1980, the Army filled 401 out of 408 internship spaces in its First Year Graduate Medical Education Program.

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, graduated its first class from the School of Medicine in June 1980. Fourteen members of the Class of 1980 entered Army graduate medical education programs in July. Meanwhile, fifty new students who are obligated to serve in the Army after graduation entered the university. As of 30 September 1980, the university had a total of 416 students, 161 of whom were designated as Army participants. Next year, the university will provide 24 physicians for the Army, and that number will increase to 60 per year by fiscal year 1985.

The physicians’ assistant training program at the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, accepted two classes of 60 each this year. The first group will enter active duty in fiscal year 1981. Beginning in 1982, this program will produce 120 warrant officer physicians’ assistants a year. Recruitment of civilian-trained volunteers, however, will continue until the military training program can meet the need. In fiscal year 1980, the Army recruited 18 civilian-trained physicians’ assistants and also 15 biomedical equipment repair technicians, for a total of 33 warrant officer accessions.

The Dental Corps acquired 197 new officers in fiscal year 1980. Of these, 117 were direct volunteers and 64 entered through HPSP. The Veterinary Corps, with a total of 54 officer accessions, ex-


perienced a high degree of success in procuring volunteer veterinarians, as a result of an aggressive recruitment effort by special counselors. The Army Medical Specialist Corps—which consists of occupational therapists, physical therapists, and dietitians—met all of its procurement objectives for the year, acquiring a total of 38 officers.

A vigorous recruiting effort resulted in 425 accessions for the Army Nurse Corps (ANC). This accomplishment was particularly noteworthy, because increased competition from the civilian sector has made recruitment of nurses more challenging. An accelerated accession program, which allowed a graduate nurse to enter the Army after writing the state board examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse but before receiving the results, produced 178 accessions this year. ROTC provided 35 officers in this category. The number of nursing students enrolled in ROTC programs continues to grow, and new initiatives to encourage greater participation in ROTC are being developed. Therefore, the ANC expects a significant increase in ROTC accessions in the next five years.

USAR nurse strength was only 56.4 percent of the requirement at the end of the fiscal year. On the other hand, nurse strength in the Army National Guard stood at 90 percent of the requirement. In the active Army, ANC strength decreased slightly during the fiscal year from 3,907 to 3,894. It surpassed the authorized strength of 3,801, but remained far below the recognized requirement for active duty nurses, which has been estimated at about 6,000. As of 30 September 1980, only 4 percent of ANC officers had less than a baccalaureate degree, 81 percent of the corps had bachelor’s degrees, and the remaining 15 percent had a masters or higher degree.

During fiscal year 1980, the Army established a nationwide recruiting network to aid procurement of USAR AMEDD officers other than nurses. Initially staffed with 23 USAR officers on special active duty tours, the network will be expanded to almost twice that size in fiscal year 1981. By the close of the reporting period a significant upward trend in net USAR physician strength had been attained.

This year the Army Medical Department initiated a number of actions to alleviate specialty shortages in the Medical Service Corps (MSC), particularly in the fields of optometry, clinical psychology, nuclear medical science, and sanitary engineering. A significant change was the enlargement of the AMEDD personnel procurement officer network, which permitted selected officers to concentrate their recruitment efforts on the needs of the MSC. More than half of the 424 MSC accessions came from the ROTC and another 35 percent from volunteer applications.


There was also an important change in the MSC command policy. In the past, command of field hospital units was limited to lieutenant colonels and promotable majors who were in the health care administration career field or who were graduates of command and staff level training. As of 4 June 1980, all MSC officers in the administrative specialities, who are in the grade of major (promotable) or lieutenant colonel, are eligible to compete for command of field hospital units. Officers in the allied science specialties may request to be considered for command. This change in eligibility criteria will give the MSC Command Selection Board a significantly larger population from which to select the best qualified officers. Furthermore, it will provide an opportunity to enhance the professionalism and knowledge of the best officers within the corps who, later in their careers, may be assigned to the highest positions within the Army Medical Department but who, without this change, would be denied the opportunity to command. Improved personnel management practices that provide opportunities for continued professional growth are among the most effective initiatives undertaken by the Army to attract and retain physicians and other health professionals.

Women in the Army

Fiscal year 1980 was a significant year for women in the Army. For the first time enlisted men and women had the same entry standards, and the first group of women graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff reported in their joint posture statement to Congress: “Women have taken their rightful place alongside men in what were once considered non-traditional skill fields and share increasingly in the Army’s leadership.”

The debate over the proper role of women in the military services continued and became more heated when President Carter included women as well as men in his plan for peacetime draft registration. Both houses of congress rejected registration of women, but the constitutionality of the all-male draft registration program has been challenged in the courts. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision on this controversial issue in the near future.

The number of women in the active Army increased during the year from 62,017 to 69,338. Of these, 7,496 were commissioned officers, 113 warrant officers, 61,351 enlisted women, and 378 cadets. As of 30 September 1980, women comprised 8.9 percent of active Army strength. In addition there were 16,740 women in the Army National Guard and 29,131 women in the Army Reserve.

Women were permitted to serve in 94 percent of all specialties and


in any unit except battalion-sized or smaller units of infantry, armor, cannon field artillery, low altitude air defense artillery, and combat engineers. Approximately 59 percent of the spaces in the force structure could be filled by either men or women; the remaining 41 percent were open to men only. The restrictions on assignments for women reflected the Army’s policy against using women in positions that were likely to involve direct combat.

Female participation in the Army’s precommissioning programs continued to increase. ROTC enrollment rose to 15,931 in the 1979-1980 academic year, and 1974 women received commissions through ROTC in fiscal year 1980, an increase of 157 since last year. Officer Candidate Schools commissioned 126 women this year, compared to 103 in fiscal year 1979.

The United States Military Academy graduated 62 women with the class of 1980. Andrea Hollen, who was first among the graduating women, ranked tenth in her class of 905 cadets and was selected as a Rhodes scholar. The graduating female cadets were assigned to various specialties, including field artillery, air defense artillery, engineers, aviation, signal, quartermaster, ordnance, transportation, military intelligence, and military police. With the exception of infantry and armor, the women were integrated into the various branches of the army roughly in the same proportion as the men. At the end of fiscal year 1980, there were 378 female cadets at West Point, representing about 8.5 percent of the cadet corps.

In 1977 OSD directed the Army to increase the number of women on active duty to 80,000 by fiscal year 1985 and then changed again to 87,500 by fiscal year 1986. These decisions were based on the knowledge that the population of males eligible for military service would be declining during the 1980s and on the assumption that it would be easier to recruit women then men, a theory supported by the relative ease with which female recruitment goals were achieved in the early years of the all-volunteer force. In 1978 and 1979, however, the combined effect of increasing annual female recruiting objectives, denying enlistments to women without high school diplomas, and requiring women to enlist into nontraditional skills as well as a tougher recruiting environment created unexpected difficulties. Although the Secretary of the Army lowered the minimum score required on the Armed Forces Women’s Selection Test first from 59 to 50 and then from 50 to 31, recruiting of women became increasingly more difficult. In fiscal year 1978 the active Army reached 99.5 percent of the female recruiting objective, but the following year it was able to achieve only 91.5 percent of the goal.

As a result, enlistment eligibility criteria for men and women were standardized effective 1 October 1979. Thus female high school


diploma graduates may enlist if they score 16 or higher on the entrance test; women without a diploma must score 31 or higher. This change produced a substantial initial surge in female enlistments, but later in the year recruiting again became difficult and female active duty accessions fell about 1,000 short of the goal. Nevertheless, this year more women joined the Army than ever before.

Although female soldiers have made and are making many meaningful contributions, there are issues and problems associated with women in the Army. A major problem is the rising attrition rate among enlisted women. Statistics show that the three-year attrition rate of first term female soldiers is 5 to 20 percent higher than for their male counterparts. Female attrition rates have increased over the past two years and are expected to increase further because of the acceptance of non-high school diploma graduates, who were not enlisted in large numbers until fiscal year 1980. Several studies are under way to determine causes for attrition among first term soldiers, including an examination of attrition by military occupational specialty and by installation.

Another issue of deep concern to the Army is sexual harassment. The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff, in a joint message sent to the field on 4 January 1980, reaffirmed the Army’s full commitment to a policy that upholds the human dignity of all military and civilian personnel. The Chief of Staff also directed the Inspector General to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women. The Army’s policy makes it clear that improper sexual treatment should be dealt with swiftly and fairly. Commanders are responsible for educating and informing their soldiers and for enforcing Army policy.

The Vice Chief of Staff issued a talking paper on treatment of women in the Army, which was discussed during a conference with all major commanders. The Chief of Staff’s weekly summary to commanders and staff officers also covered this subject. Pre-command courses for brigade and battalion commanders include briefings on sexual harassment, and TRADOC has been requested to integrate educational material on improper sexual treatment into existing blocks of instruction for officers and enlisted personnel. The Office of the Inspector General has investigated incidents of sexual harassment on a number of Army posts and will continue to make inquiries during routine worldwide inspections. Trend data on improper sexual treatment of women will be collected over an eighteen-month period beginning in October 1980 and will be thoroughly analyzed. Such actions indicate that the Army is making every effort to overcome, minimize, and solve this problem.


Although current issues naturally have top priority, there is also a continuing effort to give official recognition to women who have served in the past without receiving proper credit. The Department of Defense Civilian/Military Service Review Board, which is responsible for determining what organizations will receive retroactive credit for active military service, is one medium through which this is being done. Each of the services, including the Army, has review boards to determine whether individuals claiming membership in these organizations are entitled to honorable discharges and veterans’ benefits. Last year the Army’s Individual Service Review Board approved the applications of thirty-five former telephone operators who served with the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I as civilian employees of the Signal Corps. This year the board recognized another fifteen women from the same group.

The DOD review board considered the case of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) of World War II. This organization was the predecessor of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), but because it was an auxiliary rather then a component of the Army, it did not have full military status. On 6 March 1980 the board decided that women who served in the corps between May 1942 and September 1943 were entitled to credit for active military service. By the end of the fiscal year, the Army, received 1,378 applications from former WAAC members. Thirteen separate boards convened and approved 679 applications. The requests received so far, however, represent only a fraction of the estimated population of 20,000 potential WAAC applicants.

Military Manpower and Personnel Management

Among the Army’s efforts to improve unit cohesion and stability, one manpower management proposal was to eliminate directed military overstrengths, which are manpower authorizations within the Department of the Army staff, staff support agencies, and field operating agencies to meet requirements for which no spaces are budgeted or documented in The Army Authorization Documents System. Because most of this overstrength manning is provided by officers and noncommissioned officers, eliminating the practice would return needed leadership as well as a large number of soldiers to troop units. The decision, however, was only to reduce the practice, not eliminate it, since the Army had to retain some flexibility to respond rapidly to unprogrammed manpower requirements.

During fiscal year 1980, the Systems Affordability, Analysis and Review Team in ODCSPER evaluated the manpower implications associated with the new materiel, weapons systems, and organizations


resulting from the Army’s modernization program. The team also performed manpower and personnel affordability analyses and participated in the Army System Acquisition Review Council’s decisions for the Patriot, M1 Abrams Tank, Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Cavalry Fighting Vehicle, Black Hawk Helicopter, Multiple Launched Rocket System, Cannon Launched Guided Projectile, Army Scout Helicopter Improvement Program, Joint Tactical Communications Program, and Mobile Subscriber Equipment.

In an effort to improve military personnel management, TRADOC last year developed a new training course for battalion adjutants (S-1s) and a pilot program for testing the augmentation of the S-1 with a battalion administrative officer (BAO). The training of battalion S-1s, and brigade adjutants as well, began in November 1979, and the field test to determine the desirability of a BAO began in January 1980. The BAO concept will be evaluated during the coming fiscal year, and contingent upon supportive findings, the Army will attempt to obtain sufficient spaces over a five-year period to provide a battalion administrative officer for every TOE battalion. Plans have also been made to expand personnel management training at the Soldier Support Center to include Directors of Personnel and Community Activities and Assistant Chiefs of Staff, G-1, Personnel, starting early in fiscal year 1981. All of these efforts are part of the Army’s plan for the institutionalization of the broad concept of personnel management.

Last year, the Army developed a new definition for borrowed military manpower (BMM), which in the past has been described as soldiers who perform recurring or constant work in a unit other than that to which assigned. Now more narrowly defined, BMM is “the use of military manpower from a TOE unit to perform duties within a TDA (tables of distribution and allowances) activity where a MACOM approved manpower requirement exists but for which no manpower space has been authorized. Additionally, BMM may be employed in those cases where manpower spaces have been authorized but the positions are unencumbered.” A Department of the Army message transmitted the new definition to the field in January of this year. The more narrow definition should reduce the use of borrowed military manpower, which in recent years has averaged between 14,000 and 16,000 man-year equivalents, or a division’s worth of soldiers. The Office of the Inspector General has accepted BMM as a special item of interest for the fiscal year 1981 inspection schedule.

An enlisted military occupational speciality is considered space imbalanced when overseas authorizations exceed 55 percent of the total number of spaces in the MOS. Soldiers holding space imbalanced MOSs tend to have much shorter CONUS tours between


overseas assignments than the Army average. Since frequent overseas tours are a major reason for leaving the service, the retention rate for soldiers with space imbalanced specialties is among the lowest of any group in the Army. In an effort to alleviate both cause and effect of the problem, the Army last year prepared a program offering incentives to soldiers with space imbalanced MOSs to extend their overseas tours, which, in turn, would decrease overseas replacement demands and permit longer CONUS tours. While enabling legislation for the program was being staffed within DOD, the House Armed Services Committee added the same incentive provisions to another bill, the Military Pay Allowances Benefits Act of 1980, also known as the Fair Benefits Package. At the end of the fiscal year, the legislation had been passed by the House and was pending in the Senate.

Continuing last year’s review of the pros and cons of reducing overseas tours for all first term, three-year enlistees to eighteen months, the Army placed the first phase of the tour reduction into effect at the beginning of fiscal year 1980 by introducing an enlistment option that guaranteed an eighteen-month tour in Europe. It was estimated that full implementation of the eighteen-month tour concept would cost $51.6 million a year. In considering the impact of full implementation on personnel turbulence, morale and discipline, unit cohesion and stability, first term attrition, and reenlistments—as well as costs—the decision was that the gains would decidedly outweigh the losses. The second phase of the overseas tour reduction will begin on 1 October 1980.

Until this year, a soldier planning to retire could submit his retirement application no sooner than six months before the requested retirement date. Since the normal requisition cycle for overseas assignment is beyond six months, many soldiers planning to retire were sent overseas before they could apply and had to complete their overseas tours before they could retire. A change introduced this year allows the submission of a retirement application up to thirteen months before the requested retirement date. The additional time gives MILPERCEN sufficient advance notice to prevent applicants from being selected for overseas duty.

For some time, Congress has expressed concern about the number of military dependents overseas. Evacuation of dependents, especially from Europe, in case of an emergency has been of particular concern. The Army’s position has been, and continues to be, that dependents should be permitted to accompany active duty military personnel to all stations where environmental and strategic conditions are suitable. In an attempt to allay congressional concern, USAREUR, in January 1979 began an exercise program for dependents that included evacuation rehearsals. Nevertheless, in this year’s Defense


Authorization Act, Congress established a worldwide ceiling of 325,000 command-sponsored military dependents overseas for the entire DOD, effective as of 30 September 1980 (the act neither limited nor withdrew support from unsponsored dependents). The Army’s worldwide ceiling was 168,000, of which 159,000 applied to dependents in Europe. Although opposed to any ceiling, the Army, as required, reduced the number of dependents to these totals by the end of the fiscal year.

Civilian Personnel

The civilian work force is an integral part of the Total Army. Although civilians do not participate in the combat role, they perform a wide range of functions that are essential to the readiness of the Army. Civilians have specialized knowledge, skills, and experience that are not available in the uniformed force, provide continuity of administration and operations, and do many jobs more economically than they could be done by military personnel. In short, civilians free soldiers to be soldiers by performing nonmilitary tasks necessary to support combat forces. At the present time, the Army has one civilian employee for every two soldiers in the active force.

At the annual Army Commanders’ Conference held in October 1979, the Chief of Staff of the Army directed all commanders to give special attention to the civilian work force, and in his white paper of 25 February 1980, he urged each military manager to take an active interest in the professional development of civilian personnel. Furthermore, the joint statement of the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff on the posture of the Army included the following comment: “We must recognize that our civilian workforce is a critical element in the readiness equation and it must be adequately supported as such.”

The Army’s civilian strength decreased slightly during fiscal year 1980, from 359,100 to 358,900. The yearend strength excludes employees hired in support of Cuban refugees who do not perform Army functions and whose pay is reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Actual civilian end strength chargeable against the Department of the Army, including employees in support of Cuban refugees, was 360,500.

The OSD required the Army to convert 3,200 full-time permanent civilian positions to temporary in fiscal year 1980 and an additional 2,500 in fiscal year 1981, for a total of 5,700. The Army accomplished this primarily by changing the employment category of dependent hires occupying indirect hire positions from full-time permanent to temporary. Reasons for this categorical change included the temporary nature of such appointments and the high


turnover rate of dependent personnel. The Federal Employees Part Time Career Employment Act of 1978 requires another personnel accounting change. Starting in fiscal year 1981, for strength ceiling purposes, civilians on permanent appointment who work part time will be counted as fractions of full-time positions, based on the number of hours they are scheduled to work. Currently, each part-time employee is counted in the same manner as full-time employees. This change should make more jobs available to people who are unable to work full time.

The Department of Defense Appropriation Authorization Act for 1978 required a six percent reduction in the number of civilian employees at grades GS-13 and above by the end of fiscal year 1980. The Department of Defense Authorization Act for 1981 (signed on 8 September 1980) amended the 1978 Act, requiring a four percent reduction by 30 September 1982. OSD, however, advised that the full six percent cut will be completed by 30 September 1981. The Army was successful in its fiscal year 1980 reduction program, being 220 positions below its assigned ceiling of 18,891. Nevertheless, another 200 positions will have to be cut by the end of the next fiscal year.

The Army seeks to control personnel costs by preventing any increase in the average grade of GS-7.56. The importance of this achievement is apparent when one realizes that each one-tenth grade increase costs the Army an estimated $48 million annually. The Army has the lowest average civilian employee grade among the military departments.

The Army also continued its efforts to expand opportunities for women and minority groups in the civilian work force. During fiscal year 1980, women rose from 35.4 to 36.8 percent of total civilian strength, while minorities rose form 18.1 to 18.8 percent. At the GS-13 level and above, minorities increased by 5.7 percent and women by 13.3 percent, even though the total number of employees in these grades increased by only 1.4 percent. Whereas last year the Army met five of its ten affirmative action goals, this year it reached seven of the ten goals. Nevertheless, the number of discrimination complaints continued to increase. In order to curb the drain on staff time and resources caused by increasing complaints, especially legal class actions, emphasis was placed on early settlement of grievances and preventive measures through affirmative action initiatives.

The new special programs—the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP) and the Severely Handicapped Recruitment Program (SHARP)—were implemented this year as part of the Army’s Affirmative Action Program Plan. The former is a government-wide effort to increase representation of minority groups and women in all occupations and grade levels so that their percent-


age among the employees of an organization at least equals their representation in the nationwide central labor force (the central labor force consists of all persons 16 years of age and older, except those in the armed forces, who are employed or are seeking work). The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) is responsible for carrying out this program throughout the Army. He has directed each command and activity to prepare its own FEORP plan and to designate a responsible official at an organizational level sufficient to assure full management support for the program.

The purpose of the SHARP plan is to increase the number of employees with severe handicaps (for example, blind, deaf, and amputees). Because there are so few severely handicapped persons in the federal work force, the initial objective is to increase that number rather than to achieve full representation in all occupations and grades. The Army’s goal for fiscal year 1980 was to hire three severely handicapped individuals for every two hundred new employees.

The Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) of 1978 introduced numerous changes in civilian personnel management. One major change was the creation of the Senior Executive Service (SES) to replace virtually all “supergrade” positions (GS-16, 17 and 18) in the federal government. Although the Army was authorized 356 SES positions, only 257 were filled when conversion to SES took place on 13 July 1979. Two hundred fifty-four executives opted to convert.

The Department of the Army Performance Review Board convened on 15 September 1980 to review the personnel files of highly rated SES employees for bonuses of up to 20 percent of base pay which are provided for in the Civil Service Reform Act. As a result of the restrictions, only 52 SES members were eligible to receive bonuses. No awards, however, had been announced by the end of the fiscal year.

In addition to annual bonus payments, SES members may receive Presidential Rank Awards for sustained exceptional performance. The statute provides that one percent of SES employees would be eligible for Distinguished Presidential Ranks (cash awards of $20,000 each) and five percent for Meritorious Presidential Ranks (cash awards of $10,000). Presidential ranks were awarded for the first time in fiscal year 1980. Of the twenty-six nominations submitted by the Army, OSD forwarded twenty-two to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for review. OPM, however, indicated that only about 60 percent of the nominations would be forwarded to the President recomending approval. Finally, three Distinguished and twelve Meritorious nominations were approved. The winners of the Distinguished Rank Awards were honored at a White House ceremony on 9 September 1980, and on 25 September 1980 the


Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) presented the Meritorious Rank Awards at a ceremony in the Pentagon.

Last year the OSD restricted the upward adjustment of senior executive base pay above the Executive Schedule (ES)-4 level. A memo transmitted for comment on 25 July 1980 stated that the authority to set the initial salary or any subsequent upward adjustment to the ES-5 or ES-6 level would remain with OSD. The Army raised objections in its reply, but under current policy OSD retains this authority. A related problem is the legislative ceiling on executive base pay. The ES-5 level compensation ceiling will remain at $50,112.50 annually, even though General Schedule salaries will increase by 9.11 percent at the beginning of the first pay period in October 1980.

Continuing pay ceilings which prevented SES salaries from keeping pace with the rest of the work force and limitations on the number of performance-based bonuses and cash awards promised when federal executives joined the SES undermined confidence in the new system and made retirement more attractive. Fifty-five Army SES members retired during fiscal year 1980. This unusually large number of retirements among the Army’s top civil servants was, in the words of the Director of Civilian Personnel, “a staggering loss of talent and experience.”

Another important feature of the Civil Service Reform Act is merit pay for supervisors and managers in grades GS-13 through GS-15. The OSD approved the Army’s merit pay plan in May 1980, but OPM withheld approval because the plan assured full comparability with General Schedule pay increases to all employees rated “fully successful.” After removal of this provision, OPM approved the Army plan in August 1980. The revised plan and advance copies of a forthcoming Army regulation on merit pay have been distributed to commands and activities throughout the Army.

The Civil Service Reform Act also provided for a general performance appraisal system (GPAS) covering General Schedule and Wage System employees who are not in the SES or under the merit pay system. When fully implemented, it will involve four basic processes: preplanning performance objectives, in-progress review, annual performance appraisals, and linking performance appraisal to other personnel decisions. The OPM formally approved the Army’s GPAS plan on 5 September 1980. By the end of the fiscal year, a GPAS regulation had been coordinated with the Army staff, major commands, and unions with national consultation rights, and had been forwarded to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) for approval. The basic concepts in the regulation were subjected to an administrative test involving approximately


1,800 military and civilian personnel at four major commands, representing a cross section of the employees and supervisors who will be affected by the new system.

Preimplementation training will be conducted in two phases. Training for military and civilian supervisors in the identification of major and critical job elements, development of performance standards, and counseling of employees began in December 1979. After the regulation is approved, training and orientation will begin for all covered employees and their supervisors. The GPAS is scheduled for Army-wide implementation by 1 May 1981.

The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), created under the Civil Service Reform Act, took an expansive view of the scope of bargaining, handing down decisions which increased the area in which agencies were required to negotiate. For example, PX privileges, day care centers, and performance standards were declared negotiable. Unfair labor practice charges also increased as a result of the reform act. Unions filed over 2,200 unfair labor practice charges in the first nine months of operation under the act, as compared to a fraction of that number before. The trend continued in 1980.

The Army faced a major problem with the composition of union bargaining units under the reform act. The statutory definitions of supervisors and management officials, who may not be included in bargaining units, are basically the same as before, but they are now also used as criteria for inclusion in the merit pay system. Therefore, the Army had to file petitions to exclude a large number of managers and supervisors who had previously been included in bargaining. This resulted in charges of “union busting” and was expected to require months of costly hearings.

The number of Army employees in bargaining units declined for the fourth consecutive year—from 222,543 in 674 units to 218,882 in 673 units. This decrease was apparently caused by continuing reductions in civilian strength rather than by any trend away from labor union representation. The Army again presented four courses in labor relations for executives, each attended by about forty persons. The purpose of these courses was to provide commanders and other top managers with the goals and objectives of the Army labor relations program, to examine the labor relations process and associated responsibilities of the commander, and to develop awareness of current future trends in the program.

During fiscal year 1980, Army personnel improved the efficiency of operations by their numerous suggestions and achievements, which resulted in benefits to the government in excess of $74.3 million. Of this total, $48.8 million was savings from adopted suggestions of


military and civilian personnel. Under a special program established by President Carter in October 1977, a presidential letter of recognition is presented to government employees for suggestions or special acts which result in savings of $5,000 or more. This year 492 Army personnel (61 soldiers and 431 civilians) were recognized under that program. Their combined efforts produced savings of over $22.5 million. Two of the individuals (a sergeant serving in an ordnance company in Germany and a DARCOM civilian employee also received Presidential Management Improvement Awards for suggestions resulting in savings of over $2.8 million.



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