Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1989
Quality of Life Issues
As the Army's demographic composition changed during the 1970s and 1980s, so too did its quality of life (QOL) issues. The Army was one of the most socially integrated organizations in the United States; women and minorities, defined by race, constituted important segments of its strength, with minorities often exceeding their representation in society. Despite slight declines in Army strength since 1987, female and minority representation rose among new officers and enlisted personnel. This representation, however, did not always translate into full equality or satisfaction with Army policies and practices. Quality of life issues rooted in minority and gender rights and changing lifestyles were prominent in the Army of FY 1989, along with the special needs of families. Drug abuse and AIDS propelled QOL issues beyond the traditional concerns of pay, housing, medical services, and benefits. The Army believed that the attention it devoted to QOL issues improved unit stability and cohesion, personnel retention and recruitment, training, individual job satisfaction, and readiness. QOL efforts embraced policies, programs, facilities, and services that influenced the living and working environment of soldiers and their dependents. In FY 1989 there were 991,035 dependents of soldiers, and the majority of them, 794,912, resided in the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. The dependents of Army civilian personnel stationed overseas raised this figure to 1,006,726.
In January 1989 all active component personnel received a pay raise of 4.1 percent along with increases in subsistence and housing allowances; the basic allowance for quarters (BAQ) increase averaged 7 percent. Combined pay and allowances increases averaged about 4.3 percent. While the 1989 pay increase narrowed the difference between military and private sector pay, military salaries still averaged 10.1 percent less. A recommendation of the President's Quadrennial Commission on Executive, Legislative, and
Judicial Salaries proposed that general officers, whose basic pay had been capped at $75,000 annually, should get raises as high as 30 percent starting in 1989. The increases did not materialize because Congress rejected legislation to raise its own salaries in February 1989. Soldiers stationed overseas also received cost of living allowances (COLAs) to offset the American dollar's declining value relative to local currency. It helped soldiers and command-sponsored, or authorized, dependents maintain a standard of living comparable to residing in the United States. Dependents who did not enjoy command sponsorship lived on the local economy and did not get the COLA. They sometimes lived in costly substandard housing and endured high prices for subsistence. The number of Army command-sponsored dependents at the end of FY 1989 was 216,937; 171,136 were in Western Europe, with 162,894 of that number in West Germany. Army non-command-sponsored dependents totaled 11,991. Some members of Congress sought to restructure military pay to simplify an overly complex system and make military pay more comparable with private sector pay. While such sentiments were not new, the basic structure of military pay and compensation remained intact during FY 1989.
Housing was a major item in the Army's budget, a significant expense for many Army members, and a leading QOL issue. The Army's FY 1989 family housing budget, including the cost of new housing construction, amounted to $1.528 billion. A major portion of the FY 1989 housing budget, $597.1 million, was devoted to maintenance and renovation of existing on-post family quarters. Congress questioned the priority accorded this effort in relation to new construction and was also disturbed by what it perceived as a lack of uniform quarters rehabilitation standards among all of the armed services. Congress instructed DOD to develop common standards and a schedule for refurbishing existing housing. Army family housing strategy, in order of priority, was to partially refund basic operations and maintenance costs and reduce deferred maintenance and repairs for on-post housing, occupy additional foreign and Section 801 leases, and build more housing.
Several DOD programs helped defray housing costs for Army personnel. On the average, the BAQ paid for 61 percent of the total housing costs for all pay grades. Housing costs for some lower ranking enlisted personnel rose to almost 50 percent of their incomes in FY 1989, well above DOD's goal of limiting the cost to 30 percent. DOD's FY 1989 goal was to cover 80 percent of housing costs with a combination of the BAQ and the Variable Housing Allowance (VHA). The VHA applied in cases where base housing was scarce and off-base housing costs were high. Indexed to annual surveys of local housing costs and substantiated by actual housing expenses, the VHA helped equalize housing costs for all military personnel in the same grade throughout the United States.
In some areas with scarce family quarters and steep private housing costs some married enlisted personnel and junior officers were forced into marginally standard private dwellings. Some relief was provided in FY 1989 when Congress increased BAQ by an average of 7 percent and appropriated $114.3 million for the construction of 1,121 new family housing units at several posts that included Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Fort Irwin, California; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort D rum, New York; Helemano and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and Hohenfels, West Germany. Estimates of the unit cost for new housing varied from a high of $180,000 in Alaska to $73,500 at Fort Leavenworth.
While it is DOD and Army policy that off-post housing is the primary source of housing, shortages of off-post and on-post housing in several locations resulted in long delays for available housing for newly assigned personnel. To reduce waiting time and to monitor vacancies and occupancy in FY 1989, the Army expanded its use of the Housing Operations Management System (HOMES), an automated system to manage the utilization rate of base housing more efficiently. HOMES was especially valuable in Europe in identifying vacated rental units. The Installment Purchase (IP) Program, a DOD pilot program, encouraged third-party developers to construct family housing. DOD in turn would pay for the dwellings in a manner akin to a home mortgage. Congress reacted favorably to the IP Program because it encouraged private sector participation, which would compensate for decreasing military construction appropriations.
Other housing programs specifically addressed the acute housing shortage in USAREUR. Although it had a need to house about one hundred thousand families, USAREUR could accommodate only about forty thousand in on-post quarters. About twenty thousand families lived off-post in government leased quarters, some built expressly to house American dependents by German entrepreneurs. The remaining forty thousand lived in local housing. Because of shortfalls in military construction funds, the Army gave greater consideration to local housing, but the German housing market was contracting in the Frankfurt and Stuttgart areas where many Army families were concentrated. The scarcity of base and off-base housing compelled USAREUR to prohibit families from accompanying soldiers to West Germany unless housing was available. Delays in securing approved family housing sometimes caused long family separations. The Government Rental Housing Program (GRHP), the Army's first major overseas housing initiative since the build-to-lease program in the mid-1970s, sought to alleviate this situation. Under the GRHP the Army leased off-post housing for families assigned to Germany. USAREUR negotiated and managed housing contracts and assumed all costs associated with the lease. Soldiers who volunteered for the program
forfeited all housing allowances and agreed to live off-post in GRHP housing for an entire tour. In FY 1989 the Army leased more than ten thousand housing units in Germany under the GRHP and expected to lease nineteen thousand by FY 1991, or enough to house 20 percent of all Army families in Europe. As FY 1989 ended the Army studied the feasibility of expanding the GRHP to other overseas theaters and the continental United States.
USAREUR also tested an elective program that aimed to facilitate access to housing and reduce the cost of permanent change of station (PCS) movement overseas. Military personnel who participated in that program were limited to either bringing 25 percent of the allowable weight of household goods based on grade or a total of two thousand pounds, whichever was greater, and USAREUR would provide additional household furnishings and appliances. To support implementation of the program, Congress included additional money in the FY 1990 budget to increase the stocks of government-owned furniture and raised the allowable weight of household goods that Army families could ship to Europe. The Quarters Cleaning Initiative (QCI) was a worldwide DOD program for which Congress authorized $30 million in FY 1989; nearly half was allocated to the Army. The funds enabled the Army to hire contractors to clean and restore vacated quarters to good order before the arrival of new occupants. Although the program contributed to the speed with which vacated housing could be reoccupied, Congress limited the QCI to $220 per unit in FY 1989. It considered the program wasteful and contemplated reducing or eliminating the program.
In FY 1989 the Army inaugurated a major initiative, the Army Communities of Excellence program, to improve facilities and services for soldiers and their families at Army installations. When the ACOE was launched in October 1988, General Vuono highlighted its significant features. The program should foster community involvement by harnessing civilian and military resources alike to carry out local improvements largely through self-help and other low-budget approaches. A second significant aspect was to improve services. An underlying assumption of the ACOE program was that excellence throughout the total Army community work, home, and recreation bolstered individual morale and unit esprit and contributed to better recruitment and retention, training, productivity, and combat readiness.
Under ACOE, MACOM and installation commanders had considerable latitude in selecting projects; in setting standards for rehabilitating living, work, recreational, and other community areas; and for controlling
the delivery of services. In addition to appropriated funds from construction or maintenance accounts, ACOE projects could be supported with private sector funds, conducted as self-help programs, or achieved by the use of troop labor. The Army intended to publicize successful ACOE projects as models for other Army posts, and highly successful ones would compete for special recognition by the Chief of Staff. The first ACOE awards were bestowed to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; Fort Rucker, Alabama; the Sacramento Army Depot, California; the 20th Support Group, Taegu, South Korea; Seventh Army Training Command, West Germany; and Camp Zama, Japan.
Environmental issues that affected the safety and health of Army personnel and their families, as well as the communities around Army installations, emerged in FY 1989 as a significant QOL concern. The Army complied with an increasing number of federal, state, and local environmental laws, but it also experienced a rise in environmental violations, litigation, and adverse publicity that sometimes affected missions. Commanders could solicit technical assistance from Army agencies such as the Corps of Engineers and the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency to improve compliance. Underscoring this concern was the conviction on 23 February 1989 of three highly regarded Army civilian employees from Aberdeen Proving Ground for violating the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. During FY 1989 the Army enlarged the responsibilities for environmental matters assigned to the Office of the Chief of Engineers and also established an Environmental Law Division in the Off ice of The Judge Advocate General. The Army encouraged incentive programs such as the Secretary of the Army Environmental Quality Awards. To carry out its environmental program in FY 1989, the Army budgeted approximately $323 million.
The Army's major environmental protection initiative continued to be the Installation Restoration Program that supported the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The Army was increasingly concerned in FY 1989 about the contamination of soil and ground and surface water around previous dump sites and old industrial facilities. The Army was experimenting with incineration and composting to treat contaminated soil and launched two experiments involving the biological degradation of explosives in the soil during FY 1988 and FY 1989. At the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant contaminated soil was mixed with horse manure, straw, alfalfa, and other compostable matter to biodegrade the residue of chemical explosives. A second experimental decontamination program was carried out at the Badger Army
Ammunition Plant in Wisconsin. At other Army sites efforts centered on detection and monitoring, control and abatement, and hazardous waste disposal. In addition, the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency and the Army Medical Research and Development Command evaluated health risks at numerous Army hazardous waste sites to establish a priority list for future clean-up programs.
As public concern mounted over the dangers of exposure to the radioactive gas radon, the Army began monitoring radon levels at its facilities in response to a DOD directive. Performed by the Chief of Engineers and the Surgeon General, the Army radon measurement and mitigation program focused on family quarters, troop billets, schools, and child care and medical facilities. DOD also instructed the armed services to establish procedures to eliminate unnecessary release of ozone-depleting substances as a result of American endorsement of the Montreal Protocol of September 1987, by which many nations agreed to take measures to protect the Earth's ozone layer. The Army responded by planning a program in March 1989 to reduce its use of chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) and halons. The Army used CFCs primarily as refrigerants and solvents, while halons were employed as firefighting agents.
The Army provided medical services to active duty soldiers, dependents, retirees, and the reserve components. This included balancing readiness for wartime requirements with a peacetime medical practice that supported the quality of life of the Total Army Family. Balancing resources for these dual requirements was difficult in a climate of tight budgets and competition for experienced medical practitioners from the private sector, where doctors and nurses commanded higher salaries. At the start of FY 1989 the Army lacked significant numbers of doctors and nurses throughout its active and reserve medical structure. It had total peacetime requirements for 13,529 Medical Corps (MC) officers. The requirement for the active component was 5,371 MC officers to man the Army health care system, to respond to contingencies short of mobilization, and to provide an orderly transition to mobilization. With 5,248 MC officers, the active component lacked 123 officers or 2.3 percent. The reserve components needed 8,158 MC officers but had only 5,502 spread between USAR troop units, the ARNG, and the IRR and Standby Reserves. This caused a short fall of 2,656, or 33 percent. Approximately one-third of the requirement consisted of specialists in the fields of anesthesiology, orthopedic surgery, and general surgery. The Army Nurse Corps required 30,041 in both components. Among enlisted medical specialists, shortages were compounded by the presence of unqualified personnel.
Surveying the state of Army medical force structure at the start of FY 1989, the Surgeon General considered the disparity in pay between the military and private sectors as the foremost cause for the shortages of medical personnel. Some medical practitioners declined military service because military pay was too low to maintain expensive malpractice insurance to cover their earlier civilian practice. The FY 1989 Defense Authorization Act directed DOD to study ways to make military service more attractive for doctors. The resulting Health Profession Special Pay Steering Committee recommended higher pay and bonuses to doctors who served in the armed forces. The Army pursued this goal by increasing the number of recruiters, offering educational guarantees, and employing pay differentials such as board certified, variable, and special pay incentives. Despite these incentives, the recruitment and retention of Army doctors in FY 1989 remained far below required levels. Early in FY 1989 DOD submitted to Congress proposals similar to the committee's findings that offered bonuses in amounts that varied according to specialty and length of reenlistment. DOD sought to compensate military doctors in understaffed specialties at incomes more competitive with those of doctors in private practice and also recommended higher bonuses for multiyear reenlistments in lieu of incentive pay. DOD's recommendations were incorporated into DOD's 1989 Medical Officer Retention Bonus Plan, and Congress subsequently approved many of them.
A subsequent DOD report completed later in FY 1989 dealt with the problem of attracting and retaining qualified nurses. The Army, for the first time, failed to meet its active component nurse recruiting goal in FY 1988. It mustered only 4,542, or 91.5 percent, of its authorized 4,903 active component nurse positions. The USAR recruited 520 nurses in FY 1989 and exceeded its goal, but the USAR nurse attrition rate also increased as private sector salaries became more attractive. Recruiting and retaining nurses was more difficult for the active components than for the reserves because of the absence of bonuses and special pay. DOD proposed giving active component nurses a variety of incentives similar to those afforded doctors and considered opening a uniformed services nursing school as a means of alleviating the shortage of military nurses in all the armed services. The House Armed Services Committee considered legislation to lower the educational standards of DOD nurses. The Chief of the Army Nurse Corps opposed lowering the current requirement that all active component nurses have a baccalaureate degree to one that allowed nurses with two- or three-year degrees to serve as active component warrant officers or as lieutenants and captains. Nurses lacking a four-year degree could still serve in the reserve components. Retaining sufficient medical specialists on active duty, the Surgeon General noted, improved readiness and contributed to more responsive
The Army had difficulty staffing its major medical centers and smaller community hospitals with doctors in such civilian specialties as pediatrics, family medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. At many posts the Army resorted to contracting civilian physicians or relying on CHAMPUS for such specialties. Contracting for higher-paid civilian physicians to work side by side with military doctors, however, had a depressing effect on the morale of some military doctors. The Surgeon General noted that family medical specialties were essential to maintaining a high quality of life for soldiers and their families, especially female soldiers. He also believed that the general medical skills of such practitioners would be significant in wartime. Obstetricians were expert abdominal surgeons, and general practitioners and pediatricians were versed in treating diseases, internal medicine, epidemiology, and related fields.
Starting in 1988 each armed service assumed responsibility for disbursing its CHAMPUS funds. Among its efforts to curb peacetime health care costs generated by CHAMPUS payments to civilian specialists, the Army began an experimental program, "Catchment Area Management" (CAM), at Fort Carson, Colorado, and Fort Bliss, Texas, in early FY 1989. A common feature of all the test programs was giving hospital commanders more direct control over their medical budgets. Under CAM, a hospital commander could use CHAMPUS funds to refer a patient to a local civilian provider or to contract for a civilian provider to deliver services at the military facility, whichever was determined to be the less costly.
All medical treatment facility commanders also could use the Military-Civilian Health Services Partnership Program to help in controlling access to, the quality of, and the cost of health care services obtained from CHAMPUS providers. Under this program, commanders negotiated memoranda of understanding with CHAMPUS providers in the local community that allowed them to provide their services on the premises of the military facility at a reduced reimbursement rate, generally 30 percent or more off the then prevailing fees. Additional savings accrued through avoidance of civilian source ancillary services and civilian institutional charges for inpatient services. At the beginning of FY 1989, six Army medical centers and twenty-four Army community hospitals had agree-
ments with 256 individual physicians and nonphysician providers and provider groups.
Another innovation in FY 1989 was the establishment of low-cost clinics with the Primary Care to Uniformed Services (PRIMUS) program. PRIMUS was a system of outpatient clinics, owned and operated by private medical contractors, that treated minor illness and offered emergency treatment to eligible beneficiaries. The clinics were located near large military installations to relieve pressure on military hospitals. Ten clinics were operating in FY 1989 Fairfax, Burke, and Woodbridge, Virginia; Savannah and Columbus, Georgia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Salinas and Monterey, California; and Copperas Cove and Harker Heights, Texas. A total of twenty-six clinics was planned by FY 1992.
Health care costs were increasing in both the military and civilian sectors faster than the rate of inflation. The DOD FY 1989 budget for health care was $2.449 billion, compared to $2.267 billion in FY 1988, and the entire increase went for improving direct care programs. Rising costs led the Bush administration in FY 1989 to reconsider imposing user fees on military dependents and retirees who sought care at military health facilities, a proposal that had proved highly unpopular in the past. The Off ice of Management and Budget, however, asked DOD to incorporate such fees in its budget estimates for FY 1990. In addition, the Army and its sister services, the Veterans Administration, and the Public Health Service formed a clearinghouse, the Federal Healthcare Innovation Network, to share innovative practices and new technologies and to participate in cooperative cost-cutting measures. Although a GAO survey of nine military hospitals found inpatient satisfaction good and outpatient satisfaction slightly lower, Congress took action to remedy certain deficiencies. GAO auditors found that many military doctors, even though competent, were practicing without a state license. Congress required all military physicians to obtain a state license during FY 1989. Inspections of several Army hospitals by DOD and GAO auditors indicated that the Army was successful in staffing emergency rooms at base hospitals with doctors certified in emergency services.
Despite screening of recruits for the AIDS virus, the Army has identified about eighteen hundred soldiers in the active and reserve components, a rate of less than 1 per 1,000, who have tested positive for HIV since testing began in February 1986. Approximately seven hundred of the HIV-infected soldiers were on active duty in FY 1989. Retesting for HIV infection was required at least every twenty-four months, but could be done more frequently for such reasons as assignment to an overseas theater, blood donation, diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease, or as part of admission procedures at Army hospitals or substance abuse rehabilitation programs. The Army began retesting the active component in FY
1988, and by mid-FY 1989 identified 581 HIV-positive soldiers on active duty. The ARNG and the USAR also began retesting their members in FY 1989. Civilian contractors conducted the tests for reasons of economy, better quality control, confidentiality, and avoidance of interference with other patient care at military medical facilities. Testing since 1986 has revealed a higher incidence of positive HIV among blacks and Hispanics in the Army than among the two groups in the general population. Constituting 27.1 percent (12 percent of the general population) and 3.7 percent (8 percent of the general population) of the Army population respectively, black and Hispanic soldiers accounted for 54.7 (26.7) and 15.1 (6.4) percent of all HIV-positive identifications. The infection rate among men was twice that for women, although women under the age of twenty also displayed a high incidence of HIV infection.
Disposition of HIV-infected soldiers was a controversial and costly issue for the Army. Some favored immediate discharge, but DOD policy permitted infected individuals to remain on active duty as long as they could perform their work. Restrictions on soldiers who tested HIV-positive included assignments to units likely to deploy overseas and to ranger and special forces, COHORT units, military-sponsored education programs that resulted in an additional service obligation, and assignment to the Army Recruiting and Cadet Commands. HIV-positive soldiers have been healthy enough to work productively for several years, but they must undergo medical evaluation every six months and inform sexual partners or spouses of their condition. DOD policy provided that ROTC and USMA cadets could be disenrolled if they tested HIV-positive. Army civilian employees could be tested for HIV when working overseas if required by the host country.
Army policy had required involuntary transfer of infected ARNG and USAR soldiers from troop units to the Standby Reserves. At the request of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, the Army began addressing HIV- positive RC personnel on a case-by-case basis in FY 1989. Infected RC personnel could continue to serve in the reserve components, but they had to pay the cost to prove their medical fitness for duty. Upon presentation of such proof, RC personnel could serve in no deployable billets in the Selected Reserve for which they qualified. If medical fitness was not proven, RC personnel would be mandatory transferred to the Standby Reserve unless they elected to retire (if eligible) or requested discharge under the plenary authority of the Secretary of the Army.
Because of the opportunities for long-term monitoring and treatment of AIDS patients, the Army conducted one of the nation's most advanced AIDS research programs. The expense for testing, treatment, education, and research associated with AIDS was approximately $80 to 85 million in FY 1989; the retesting program alone cost $8 million.
The tragedy of a soldier's suicide affects not only close associates, it resonates throughout a unit or command. Suicide prevention often demanded the personal attention and intervention of leaders at all levels and utilization of all available individual and family support systems. Army policy on this issue was defined in AR 600-63, Army Health Promotion. In 1987 the Army experienced its lowest suicide rate in many years. For undetermined reasons, suicides increased in FY 1988 and rose to ninety-three in FY 1989. The typical Army suicide victim was a white male, age 19 to 29, in the grade of staff sergeant or below. The majority of suicide victims were estranged from their spouse or girl friend, often because of financial problems. The Army's goal was to prevent all suicides, but a more immediate effort centered on reducing their number during the peak periods of January and July/August.
Many QOL issues entailed reconciling the unique responsibilities of military service with family obligations and civilian lifestyles. The stresses engendered by a military career the risk of combat, frequent moves, separation from family often disrupt family life. These stresses can negatively affect morale and efficiency and ultimately unit readiness. Not only did family support programs raise morale, they also influenced retention, which affected the cost of recruiting and training. During FY 1989 the Army strove to ascertain the QOL concerns and needs of soldiers, their families, civilian employees, and retirees. The effort varied from formal conferences sponsored by the Army leadership, to surveys, to sensing sessions conducted by the Inspector General Assistance Division, to Unit Ministry Teams led by chaplains. The Army Family Action Planning Conference was the Army's principal forum for addressing family support programs. The keynote speaker in October 1988, General Vuono, assured every soldier that the Army's goal was to have a combat-ready force supported by families whose quality of life equaled that of the citizens of the nation they defended. Leadership training throughout the Army, Vuono insisted, must be sensitive to soldier and family issues.
Since the mid-1970s the Army has become largely a married soldier's Army. In FY 1989 nearly 75 percent of officers and 52 percent of enlisted members were married, and 60 percent of all married members had dependent children. These changes put family matters at the forefront of QOL issues in FY 1989. The Army Family Program consisted of a broad array of services that included Army Community Services, Family Employment Assistance, Exceptional Family Member Assistance , Financial Planning and Assistance, Child Development Services, Home D ay Care, and programs that addressed specific educational and medical
needs. Approximately $72.7 million was applied in FY 1989 to support the Army Family Program, a decrease from the $78.2 million in FY 1988. Participants in the October 1988 Army Family Action Planning Conference VI identified fifty-six issues and highlighted five of them financial hardship of service members and their families when relocating and inadequate assistance by post sponsors; the lack of uniformly high quality health care at all Army posts and displeasure with certain CHAMPUS policies; the need for more and better programs for exceptional family members; higher VHA compensation for off-post housing; and an erosion of educational programs for dependents and educational benefits for service members. General Vuono cautioned the conferees that practical solutions had to be balanced against limited financial resources and accented the importance of the Army Communities of Excellence program.
Relocation assistance was the top priority at the Army Family Action Planning Conference. The conferees believed that relocation could be less stressful with more informative orientations about schools, daycare, family housing, and employment for spouses. Dissatisfaction with the relocation process by Army families was substantiated in surveys and sensing sessions. Discontent centered on the shortage of on-post housing and affordable off-post housing and the stress associated with living in temporary accommodations while waiting for post housing. The transition between posts traditionally was left to volunteer sponsors and depended on the active support of local commanders. Army leaders also hoped lengthening the three-year tour to four years would alleviate some of the dissatisfaction. Relocation assistance and unit sponsorship programs emerged as an area of congressional interest in FY 1989.
In May 1989 Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder introduced H.R. 2508, the Military Family Relocation Bill of 1989, framed to assist military personnel during official moves. A prominent feature of the bill was establishment of relocation assistance centers at major installations. An experimental computer network established by the Army to exchange housing information between Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Benning, Georgia, ended in FY 1989 because of its high cost. Nevertheless, Congress urged the services to establish family relocation assistance centers on bases with an active duty population of 500 or more, staffed by trained counselors and equipped with computer information retrieval systems. During the year the Army independently instituted several measures included in the proposed bill. In early 1989 the Army expanded its Housing Referral Services to include solicitation of home-finding assistance packages from local real estate companies. The Army revitalized two traditional programs, the Army Sponsorship Program and the Army Community Service Relocation Assistance Program, which helped
departing families prepare for relocation. As unit- or post-based sponsorship programs, they were almost without cost to the Army and depended on the spirit of caring and helping among members of the Army family.
Helping Army families in financial distress was also a major concern in FY 1989. Through its Family Member Employment Program, the Army provided preferential federal government employment to spouses of service members who relocated on a permanent change of station. In FY 1989 the Army automated and centralized its placement program , which made it compatible with DOD's Priority Placement Program. T h e Army employed about 22,000 Army family members; 5,000 military spouses were hired in the first three quarters of FY 1989. Another program encouraged Army spouses to open businesses in their homes, such as childcare services.
A survey conducted by the Army's Community Family Support Center, the Army Research Institute, the Soldier Support Center for the National Capital Region, and Triangle Research Institute, a nonprofit research organization, found that spousal employment opportunities influenced the attitudes of spouses toward their mates' decisions to reenlist in the Army. About 19 percent of Army spouses who were unemployed were actively seeking work, the percentage being higher for spouses of enlisted personnel whose lower income often necessitated a second income. The survey suggested that families of soldiers in the four lowest enlisted grades had the least satisfaction with the quality of life in the Army, and 33 percent of the spouses surveyed felt that their mates should leave the Army. DOD policy affirmed the right of spouses to hold jobs and prohibited commanders from discouraging or impeding this right. During FY 1989, however, military family advisory groups continued to receive complaints from Army wives critical of command pressures to conform to the traditional view of the Army wife whose aspirations were subordinate to the career of her husband. Although there was a significant undercurrent for change, 70 percent of the spouses in one survey of 12,000 service wives expressed satisfaction with Army life.
The availability of both post-sponsored and private daycare programs was another pressing concern for many Army families. Long waiting lists for a limited number of spaces were common. Both on- and off- post centers had inflexible hours of operation that did not accommodate unit training and operations conducted beyond normal duty hours. During FY 1989 the Army stressed the importance of family care contingency plans and compliance with Army regulations that required single parents and dual-service couples to designate caretakers for dependent children. Daycare was a necessity for single soldiers with children, soldiers married to soldiers, and soldiers with working spouses and children, and that need inevitably raised the question of whether the large number
of single parents and military couples on active duty impaired readiness. In July 1989 the House Armed Services Committee asked DOD to examine this problem.
Families with disabled children had unique daycare problems, and assistance was provided to them by the Army Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). That program conducted its first summer camp for disabled children at Fort Gordon, Georgia, in FY 1989. Twenty-five children who were autistic or suffered from cerebral palsy and other dysfunctional ailments attended the camp.
To ease the chronic shortage of daycare workers, Congress authorized higher pay for childcare workers employed by the Army. The pay increase was funded by charging higher fees for daycare. In March 1989 Congresswoman Beverly Byron introduced H.R. 1277, the Military Child Care Bill of 1989, to improve the quality and availability of childcare centers for all the armed services. The proposed legislation would provide additional funds for on-post facilities only; establish uniform standards for safety, staffing, and inspections; and give priority placement to children of single parents. Passage of Congresswoman Byron's bill was still pending at the end of FY 1989.
The Army participated in other programs that nurtured strong family values. The Army Troop Support Agency negotiated with many states to allow commissaries to accept state-issued vouchers for the Department of Agriculture's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. WIC sought to improve the health and nutrition of pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women and children under the age of five who were at nutritional risk. Eligibility for WIC was based on family income, family size, and a determination of nutritional risk that varied from state to state. At the start of 1989, fifty-three of the Army 's seventy-seven stateside commissaries accepted WIC vouchers. While WIC helped provide a nutritionally adequate diet for Army families, its growing use by Army families indicated that some of them had marginal incomes. Other family programs included reimbursement of Army families for certain expenses incurred in adopting children and free yearly roundtrip flights to allow children attending stateside colleges to visit parents who were serving in overseas assignments.
In FY 1989 the Army became increasingly concerned about child abuse and family violence among service members. The Army Community and Family Support Center looked to strengthen its Army Family Advocacy Program specified in AR 608-18 by the same name. The center maintained an Army central registry to collect and analyze data on family violence, trained interdisciplinary case management teams that reviewed family violence and child neglect, and sponsored medical treatment when necessary. The Health Services Command prepared a protocol
for medical documentation of child abuse or neglect, and the 7th Medical Command in USAREUR devised a package to aid teams in identifying children at risk to allow early intervention. Child sexual abuse was a growing problem in the Army as it was in society. In 1988 the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) investigated more than 860 child sexual abuse cases on Army installations. The number of reported cases during recent years did not account for cases that involved Army members who lived off post. The increase reflected heightened awareness of the problem and pointed to the need for more Army preventive and treatment programs.
Single soldiers, female soldiers, and members of minority ethnic and racial groups have registered grievances and pressed for reforms regarding perceived inequities in their treatment by the Army. Single soldiers complained about the treatment of single soldiers who lived on base compared to married soldiers who lived off base. They pointed to a greater loss of privacy, more harassment from inspections, and more frequent assignment to details and extra duties. Army leaders responded that identical treatment would be given to single and married soldiers in assignments. The Army agreed to minimize barracks inspections and to emphasize programs that were applicable to all soldiers regardless of marital status. Single soldiers sought improvements in morale and welfare services, club operations, opportunities for self-improvement, and more coed activities. The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) initiative was launched by the Army's Community and Family Support Center at seven test sites: Forts Myer and Belvoir, Virginia; Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; and Forts Benning and Stewart, Georgia. At these installations BOSS committees prepared action plans to remedy specific grievances identified during workshops.
Single parents were unable to enlist in the Army unless they gave custody of their dependent children to a legal guardian, but single soldiers who became parents while on active duty could not be barred from serving or reenlisting nor restricted in their assignments. Army Regulation 600-20, Army Command Policy, required single parents, pregnant soldiers, and dual military spouses with children to file a Family Care Plan (FCP) that provided for the care of their children in the event of mobilization or deployment. This policy was challenged in FY 1989 when an enlisted woman, separated from her husband, sought to block her transfer to South Korea on an unaccompanied one-year tour and sued for a hardship discharge rather than leave behind her six-month-old infant. In sup-
porting her commanding officer's decision to deny a discharge, the Army noted that the child's father, although estranged from its mother, could care for the child. Pending a ruling by a federal court, the enlisted woman's transfer to Korea was stayed.
The Army's policy toward homosexual soldiers did not change in FY 1989, but the issue of homosexuals in the uniformed services remained lively and contentious. Homosexual behavior was a bar to enlistment, and male or female soldiers who exhibited homosexual behavior were liable for dismissal from the service. DOD policy came under renewed scrutiny and was challenged by Congress, the courts, and groups that advocated nondiscriminatory treatment of homosexuals in the armed services. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California, on 3 May 1989, ordered the Army to reinstate a soldier discharged in 1984 for being homosexual although he had an unblemished service record. The court ruled that the Army could not enforce its ban against homosexuals in this instance because it had repeatedly reenlisted the plaintiff despite knowledge of his homosexuality. The court left moot the constitutionality of barring homosexuals from military service.
Contrastingly, the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals barred an avowed lesbian from reenlisting in the Army Reserve. The court discounted the argument that the plaintiff had a right to be in the Army because she did not display homosexual behavior while on duty and rejected arguments that the Army denied the plaintiff 's constitutional rights of free speech and equal protection. DOD and the Army regarded homosexual behavior as incompatible with military service because it had potentially adverse effects on discipline, morale, and security. Congress made public two DOD studies; one of them discounted the alleged security risk posed by homosexual soldiers, and the other one suggested that homosexuals adjusted to military service on a par with heterosexuals. Despite these studies, DOD reaffirmed existing policy toward homosexuals.
The Army 's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Program has served as a means to improve the QOL of soldiers and their families and to lower the incidence of crime and disciplinary actions. The MWR Program reflected the changing values of American society as they were manifested in the lifestyles of Army members. During the late 1980s these changes were apparent in the declining use of post recreational services for more appealing off-post recreational alternatives. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs noted that the Army did not provide the MWR products, services, and activities that today 's sophisticated soldier demanded. Military recreational facilities,
he added, were struggling to maintain a dying traditional lifestyle. Clubs, arts and crafts centers, libraries, and similar facilities have closed or curtailed their hours of operation for lack of patronage and funds. He questioned the increasingly expensive practice of subsidizing three separate clubs enlisted, NCO, and officer and he argued that MWR programs should pay for themselves.
Funding for the MWR Program derived from two sources. The first was appropriated funds (APF) budgeted for operation and maintenance, personnel, and military construction accounts. The second major source of funding was nonappropriated funds (NAF) generated from sales, charges, and user fees paid by those who use the MWR activities (included are Army-Air Force Exchange Service [AAFES] operations and AAFES fast food and pay telephone concessions). AAFES profits, for example, were used to help support NAF construction projects. In FY 1988 and FY 1989 Congress enacted several measures that affected the MWR Program and reinforced DOD's efforts to manage them more like businesses. Congress imposed a ceiling on the use of APF, exclusive of military construction funds to support MWR activities. It prohibited, effective FY 1990, the use of APF to reimburse NAF for employee payroll expenses when NAF employees were doing bona fide APF functions and filling APF positions. Except to support certain MWR services at remote sites and overseas, Congress curtailed the use of APF for underwriting military guest houses, golf clubs, marinas, bowling alleys, and similar activities.
Approximately $329 million in APF (including $29.4 million in military construction funds) was designated to support Army Community and Soldier Support services-- libraries, recreation centers, and sports programs. Congress stipulated, however, that in the future funds for such activities would have to come from increased user fees or larger subsidies from more profitable MWR enterprises. The Army's costs for transporting merchandise to exchanges throughout the world exceeded the service's FY 1989 estimate of $64.3 million. Unanticipated increases in commercial maritime transport costs, unprogrammed transit costs in Europe, and a weakened US dollar created a shortfall of $95.4 million in the AAFES transportation account. The resultant deficit in the Army's MWR account threatened to curtail other MWR activities. The situation was eased when Congress passed the $3.5 billion Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act in the summer of 1989, which enabled DOD to transfer money from its accounts to the Army MWR accounts.
Congress devoted special attention to the construction of MWR facilities using NAF in FY 1989. In reviewing those projects, Congress eliminated several that it believed had unlikely prospects of recovering the cost of construction. Of the 106 MWR projects proposed by DOD for all the armed services in FY 1989, Congress approved 44 at a cost of about $400
million. A project deleted by Congress was expansion of winter recreational facilities at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, while Congress approved the expenditure of $65 million to construct an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) at Garmisch, West Germany. In response to congressional guidance to implement business practices at AFRCs in FY 1988, the Army transferred responsibility for the operational control of three AFRCs in West Germany from USAREUR to the US Army Community and Family Support Center (USACFSC). During FY 1989, following a favorable congressional review of this management change, HQDA directed USACFSC to execute its plan for a reorganization of the AFRCs in USAREUR that would reduce management staff positions and reassess line positions to increase efficiency.
While it praised the Army for savings realized from the redesign of some MWR construction projects and for innovative financing of others, Congress criticized the Army for its $300 million backlog for nonappropriated fund construction projects. Ninety percent of them had not been designed, and Congress questioned the Army's almost total reliance on the Corps of Engineers as the construction agent for NAF projects. This practice, Congress purported, also raised construction costs by as much as 20 percent. Congress directed the Army to determine whether alternative construction procedures would cost less and to report its findings by 1 June 1989. Funds were also included in the Military Construction, Army (MCA), appropriations for FY 1989 to construct MWR facilities. The Army emphasized the construction of MWR community support facilities and projects to support force structure and restationing initiatives, especially child development centers (CDCs) and physical fitness training centers. Congress appropriated $34.5 million in FY 1989 MCA funds for the construction of thirteen CDCs and $5.8 million for a physical fitness training center. Congress agreed that these projects supported readiness and fully endorsed them. Congress added funds to the Army's FY 1989 MCA budget to construct a CDC at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, which the Army had not requested, and advanced funds for the construction of a chapel at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Army commissaries provided a major compensation to military personnel. Military patrons received an average savings of 25 percent over comparable purchases in the private sector, with savings being generally greater in high-cost urban areas. Many military personnel and their dependents considered this benefit second only to medical benefits. Commissary privileges were extended to the RC in FY 1987. To increase RC patronage of commissaries, RC personnel were authorized twelve dis-
cretionary shopping days per year as well as shopping privileges during periods of active duty in FY 1989. Nevertheless, some patrons found the system wanting. Soldiers serving overseas complained of inferior quality and high prices at many of the 102 Army commissaries outside the continental United States. One survey indicated that as many as 25 percent of Army spouses who used post exchanges and commissaries were dissatisfied with them. Congress directed DOD to conduct a comprehensive survey of the military commissary system; representatives from ODCSLOG, the Troop Support Agency (TSA), and the Military Traffic Management Command participated.
The Army opposed any change in the commissary system that would increase its operating costs or decrease benefits, but the $223.8 million appropriated by Congress in FY 1989 for the operation of Army commissaries was $6 million below the amounts provided in FY 1987 and FY 1988. In addition, the 1989 Defense Authorization Bill barred the Army from testing whether private sector operation of commissaries would cut costs. TSA, however, realized a 30 percent reduction by using a commercial contractor to build a commissary at Fort Sheridan and expected to award commercial contracts for new facilities at Forts Leonard Wood and Devens.
Army discipline indicators generally showed a slight improvement but not a pronounced trend in FY 1989. Crimes of violence increased to a rate of 2.65 per 1,000 military personnel from 2.41 in FY 1988. Crimes against property declined from a rate of 8.52 to 7.66 per 1,000. The rates for courts-martial and nonjudicial punishments declined in FY 1989 from 5.14 to 4.91 per 1,000 and from 114.42 to 103.13 per 1,000 respectively. Other indicators separations other than honorable, AWOL, desertion, and drunk driving all declined slightly in FY 1989. Minorities generally received a larger share of disciplinary actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) than their majority cohorts despite a steady decline in UCMJ disciplinary actions in the Army. Blacks were overly represented in special and general courts-martial. Although the number of complaints of racial discrimination and sexual harassment increased in FY 1989, the number of substantiated reports of such charges declined for the third straight year. Increased complaints reflected greater awareness of the issues, improved reporting, and the increase of ethnic and racial minorities and women in the Army. One soldier was sentenced to death in FY 1989 for a murder conviction. The prison population of the US Detention Barracks at Fort Leavenworth averaged around fifteen hundred in FY 1989, close to operational capacity.
Peak use of marijuana in the Army occurred in 1981, and its frequency has markedly declined since then. The rate for marijuana use in FY 1989 was nearly 50 percent lower than the rate five years earlier, but the rate of disciplinary actions for the possession or use of marijuana increased in FY 1989 from the previous year. The possession and use of cocaine, on the other hand, grew steadily after 1979. The increased use of cocaine was not consistent with the general decline in drug use in the service, but it was consistent with the increased use of cocaine in society. Other drug offenses increased steadily from FY 1987 to a rate of 4.44 per 1,000 in FY 1989. Army-wide discipline indicators for FY 1989 are shown in Table 8.
|Crimes of Violence
|Crimes Against Property
|Marijuana Use or Possession
|Other Drug Offenses
|Separations Other Than Honorable
|Absence Without Leave
|Driving Under the Influence
Source: Army Information Book, 20 April 1990
In its 1988 Worldwide Drug Threat Assessment, USACIDC concluded that drugs would pose a growing threat within the Army during the next several years. The USACIDC stressed a proactive approach aimed at reducing supply and demand. The Criminal Investigation Command found that the widest use of drugs in the Army occurred after normal duty hours, with the most common source being the surrounding civilian population. The typical Army drug user was a lower grade male enlistee, age 17 to 21, who usually had experimented with more than one substance.
The Army resorted to a variety of measures to combat drugs. The Army 's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program (ADAPCP), with a staff of 1,100, was the largest substance abuse program in the world and had served more than one million persons active duty personnel, their families, retirees, Army civilian employees, and reservists when on active duty. Although drug testing had been extended to the reserve components, full implementation of the ADAPCP for members of
the ARNG and USAR while not on active duty was hampered by a lack of AGR personnel. By deferring drug testing from preinduction to basic training, first-time drug offenders among new enlistees could also partake of ADAPCP's treatment and counseling programs.
To deter and detect illicit drug use, the Army relied on urinalysis, intelligence operations, and aggressive information and education programs. Although generally a reliable means of detection and an effective deterrent, urinalysis could be compromised by the predictability of test schedules because of the speed with which cocaine dissipates in the body after ingestion and also by administrative errors. The USACIDC found indications of underreporting of cocaine-positive test results derived from urinalysis to appropriate investigative agencies. During the first quarter of FY 1989, for example, the USACIDC initiated 545 cocaine-related investigations, whereas the Army Drug and Alcohol Operations Agency recorded 1,816 cocaine-positive tests during the same period. As FY 1989 ended the Army prepared to test for anabolic steroids in accord with a new DOD policy issued 31 August 1989. The target population in the Army was soldiers suspected of steroid abuse for athletic competitions. While the use of steroids is not illegal in the Army, the Army intended to stress education and require treatment for soldiers who initially tested positive. Punitive action would be limited to distribution or possession with the intent to distribute anabolic steroids, offenses that violated federal statute.
Following a DOD survey of military correction facilities, the Secretary of Defense designated the Army as executive agent to develop a plan for operating a consolidated DOD correctional program. The Army planned to convene a four-service task force, under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, to carry out DOD's mandate.
Providing members of the service with the highest quality of life was a major goal of the Army's leadership during FY 1989. In addition to supporting higher pay and housing benefits, the most basic quality of life issues, Army leaders sought to enhance other aspects of Army service. Together with morale, welfare, and recreational programs, some of which were revamped to reflect changes in leisure activities, initiatives such as the Army Communities of Excellence sought to improve both a soldier's workplace and living conditions with the goals of enhancing morale and readiness. Special programs sought to better the quality of health care, especially for female soldiers and dependents, while recruiting and retaining medical personnel to meet the Army's operational needs. The Army, moreover, increasingly addressed the particular needs of the diverse con-
stituencies that comprised the Army community. The status of women in the Army, the quality of life enjoyed by Army families, the availability of day care for single-parent soldiers and working spouses, and the special needs of unmarried service members were among the array of issues that concerned Army leaders in FY 1989. Such matters reflected similar concerns prevalent in the larger society that the Army served, as did the service's efforts to cope with such vexing issues as substance abuse, AIDS, and homosexuality. Unable to completely insulate the Army from society, Army leaders during FY 1989, by both action and words, reemphasized that the Army takes care of its own.
Page Last Updated 13 June 2003