SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10641]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001H.R. 4205
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
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TITLE IVPERSONNEL AUTHORIZATIONS
TITLE VMILITARY PERSONNEL POLICY
TITLE VICOMPENSATION AND OTHER PERSONNEL BENEFITS
TITLE VIIHEALTH CARE PROVISIONS
FEBRUARY 25, 28, MARCH 8, 15, AND 17, 2000
MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE
STEVE BUYER, Indiana, Chairman
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
J.C. WATTS, Jr., Oklahoma
MAC THORNBERRY, Texas
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMARY BONO, California
JOSEPH PITTS, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
STEVEN KUYKENDALL, California
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
MARTIN T. MEEHAN, Massachusetts
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ELLEN O. TAUSCHER, California
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
John D. Chapla, Professional Staff Member
Thomas E. Hawley, Professional Staff Member
Michael R. Higgins, Professional Staff Member
Edward P. Wyatt, Professional Staff Member
Debra S. Wada, Professional Staff Member
Nancy M. Warner, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
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Wednesday, March 8, 2000, Fiscal Year 2001 National Defense Authorization ActSustaining the all Volunteer Force and Reserve Component Issues
Wednesday, March 8, 2000
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2000
FISCAL YEAR 2001 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSUSTAINING THE ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE AND RESERVE COMPONENT ISSUES
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Buyer, Hon. Steve, a Representative from Indiana, Chairman, Military Personnel Subcommittee
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Cragin, Hon. Charles L., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Reserve Affairs, Department of Defense
Davis, Lt. Gen. Russell, U.S. Air Force, Chief, National Guard Bureau
de Leon, Hon. Rudy, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense
Klimp, Lt. Gen. Jack W., U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy Chief of Staff For Manpower and Reserve Affairs
Mize, Maj. Gen. David M., U.S. Marine Corps, Commander, Marine Forces Reserve
Ohle, Lt. Gen. David H., U.S. Army, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel
Peterson, Lt. Gen. Donald L., U.S. Air Force, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel
Plewes, Maj. Gen. Thomas J., U.S. Army, Chief, U.S. Army Reserve
Rabkin, Norman J., Director, National Security and Preparedness Issues, General Accounting Office; accompanied by William Beusse, Assistant Director, National Security and Preparedness Issues, General Accounting Office; John Pendleton, Senior Evaluator, General Accounting Office
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Ryan, Vice Adm. Norbert R. Jr., U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Personnel and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, (Manpower & Personnel)
Schultz, Maj. Gen. Roger C., Director, Army National Guard
Sherrard, Maj. Gen. James E., III, U.S. Air Force, Chief, Air Force Reserve
Sirois, Rear Adm. D. Dennis, U.S. Coast Guard, Director, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve
Totushek, Rear Adm. John B., U.S. Navy, Director, U.S. Naval Reserve
Weaver, Maj. Gen. Paul A., U.S. Air Force, Director, Air National Guard
[The Prepared Statements submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Abercrombie, Hon. Neil
Buyer, Hon. Steve
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Davis, Lt. Gen. Russell C.
de Leon, Hon. Rudy
Gaddis, Maj. Gen. Evan R., Commander, U.S. Army Recruiting Command
Klimp, Lt. Gen. Jack W. and Maj. Gen. Garry L. Parks, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command
Lokovic, James E., Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Deputy Executive Director and Director, Military and Government Relations, Air Force Sergeants Association
Mize, Maj. Gen. David M.
Ohle, Lt. Gen. David H.
Peterson, Lt. Gen. Donald L.
Plewes, Maj. Gen. Thomas J.
Rabkin, Norman J.
Ryan, Vice Adm. Norbert R., Jr.
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Schultz, Maj. Gen. Roger C.
Sherrard, Maj. Gen. James E.
Sirois, Rear Adm. R. Dennis
Spiegel, Jayson L., Executive Director, Reserve Officers Association of the United States
Staton, James D., Chief Master Sergeant, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), Executive Director, Air Force Sergeants Association
Totushek, Rear Adm. John B.
Weaver, Maj. Gen. Paul A., Jr.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents Submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Statement of The Military Coalition
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers are pending.]
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FISCAL YEAR 2001 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTSUSTAINING THE ALL VOLUNTEER FORCE AND RESERVE COMPONENT ISSUES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Personnel Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 8, 2000.
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 1:35 p.m. in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Steve Buyer [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. STEVE BUYER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM INDIANA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. BUYER. Today the Subcommittee on Military Personnel comes to order, the House Armed Services Committee.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have by way of housekeeping, Mr. Abercrombie is on his way, so we are going to go ahead and get started because I have some opening comments I would like to make, and they may be rather lengthy.
At 2:00 they are anticipating votes. How many? One 15 minutes and two five minute votes at 2:00 is what they are anticipating. To further complicate matters, I have to manage a bill on the Floor today with regard to commemoration activities on the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War, and so that will be taking place today approximately 3:30 to 4:00, so we are going to try to make all this work.
I thank all of you. I know we were supposed to have done part of this on Friday. Schedules around the House change. Mr. Secretary, I appreciate you accommodating us to come back here today.
I also have done my share of traveling and my studies with regard to recruiting and retention, and I have some comments I would also like to make by way of opening, so you all can just relax for a moment. It may be a while before you testify. There are some things that I want to also get on the record.
Today the Subcommittee turns its attention to two major areas of interest. The first two witness panels will provide us with an opportunity to better understand the significant challenge that the Nation faces in sustaining the all volunteer force.
I would like to give my present assessment of the current active duty problems in recruiting and retention, to also include the Reserve components, and I would welcome any of you to take notes of this, and when you come forward and testify if there is something that I say that you disagree with I want to hear what you disagree with. If something needs to be clarified, now is your opportunity to clarify what I view as my present assessment.
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I will start with the Army. The Army, traditionally the first service to feel the pressure from downturns in recruiting, took an extraordinary action to reprogram $112 million during fiscal year 1997 to increase enlistment incentive programs and increase the number of field recruiters by over 300.
The Army subsequently reevaluated its quality requirements and determined that it would reduce its goal for diploma high school graduates from 95 percent to 90 percent of the new recruits. In the end, the Army only avoided a failed recruiting year in fiscal year 1997 by reducing the recruiting objective for the year by 7,700 in the final quarter.
During the fiscal year 1998, the Army missed its recruiting goal by 800, notwithstanding the lower recruiting quality goals and the addition of $64.6 million in recruiting advertising, incentives and operations.
At the end of fiscal year 1998, the Army failed to meet the Congressionally set minimum troop strength of 487,575 by 2,375 and carried a manning deficit in combat units throughout the year that ran as high as 7,000 vacancies. During the fiscal year 1999, Army recruiting fell 6,291, which is about 8.4 percent short of the accession goal, and the Army fell short of the end strength floor of 480,000 for fiscal year 1999.
The number of recruits awaiting accession in the delayed entry enlisted program, the reserve stockpile of recruits, continued to fall to 19.4 percent of the recruiting objective in fiscal year 2000, well below the desired level of 35 percent. The Army recruiting model projects an accession shortfall of over 5,000 in fiscal year 2000.
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With regard to the Navy, during the fiscal year 1998, Navy recruiters missed their recruiting goal by over 7,000, which is 13 percent, notwithstanding the Navy's addition of $33 million to recruiting advertising and incentives.
During fiscal year 1998, the Navy failed to meet the Congressionally set minimum troop strength of 386,894 by 4,556. During fiscal year 1998, the Navy calculated that there were 22,000 vacant positions throughout the Navy of which 18,000 were seagoing billets.
On January 15, 1999, the Navy announced that it would follow the Army's lead by reducing its goal for diploma high school graduates from 95 percent to 90 percent of the new recruits. Following the decision to reduce recruit quality, the Navy achieved its accession objectives for fiscal year 1999 and met the end strength goal of fiscal year 1999.
However, the Navy recruited eight percent less than their objective and was not able to improve the status of the delayed entry program that remained at 28 percent at the beginning of fiscal year 2000, well below the desired level of 40 percent.
The Navy expects to continue to reduce shortages in the fleet manning from 15,000 in fiscal year 1999 to 9,000 in fiscal year 2000. However, the Navy will show a decrease in the investment per recruit during fiscal year 2001 to $8,230 from $8,970 projected for fiscal year 2000.
With regard to the Air Force, prior to the fiscal year 1999, the Air Force recruiting problems had been limited to missing its goal for adding recruits to the delayed entry program, experiencing difficulty in maintaining its all volunteer recruiter force and sustaining a reduction in the percentage of recruits from the upper half of the mental categories from 84 percent in 1995 to under 80 percent.
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However, during fiscal year 1999, the Air Force missed its accessions objective by 1,732, which is about five percent. This recruiting failure contributed to the Air Force missing its Congressional end strength of 370,833 by 10,292. This shortage occurred notwithstanding an additional investment of $83 million in recruiting programs, to include $53 million additional to begin TV advertising.
Now, I would give you a side note by way of a footnote with an asterisk. I recognize that when you make the investments in the advertising programs that you do not see the payoff until many months down the road, so I will not hold that direct correlation as an accountable or responsible inaction because I think you did the right thing.
At the beginning of the fiscal year 2000, the delayed enlistment program level had fallen to 32 percent against a goal of 43 percent, and the percentage of high quality recruits had dropped to 75 percent, the lowest level since 1986. Although the Air Force had planned to increase total funding in recruiting accounts by $62 million, the advertising account was reduced by $12 million.
Accordingly, the first quarter of the fiscal year 2000 has yielded a recruiting shortage of 1,700. Hopefully when the Air Force testifies they will address why they anticipate not meeting their goals, yet they cut their recruiting advertising accounts.
The Air Force expects another poor recruiting year to contribute to a 3,000 shortfall in end strength in fiscal year 2000. The Air Force acknowledges its recruiting troubles, and, notwithstanding a projected 100 percent increase in the number of recruiters to 2,000 in the field during fiscal year 2001, has taken an unprecedented action of planning for a 2000 shortfall in end strength in the budget request for fiscal year 2001.
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With regard to the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps met its recruiting goals for fiscal year 1998 and fiscal year 1999. Presently I believe it is on track to meet its goals again for fiscal year 2000. However, the Marine Corps only achieved their recruiting goals in fiscal year 1999 after adding $29 million to the recruiting advertising, incentives and operations over levels requested in fiscal year 1999.
The Marine Corps also spent $25 million, about 12 percent more overall, to recruit the same number of recruits as the Air Force in fiscal year 1999. The Marine Corps has also accessed increasing numbers of recruits with test scores from the lowest mental category eligible for enlistment, the Mental Category 4. The Marine Corps accessed one percent in Mental Category 4 recruits in 1999, which is up from zero in 1995.
In addition, the Marine Corps continues to lead all services in stress on recruiters with 80 percent of the recruiters reporting that they work over 60 hours a week and 69 percent reporting that they voluntarily decline to take leave.
During the fiscal year 2001, the Marine Corps will show a decrease in the investment per recruit of $6,640 from an investment per recruit of $6,890 projected for fiscal year 2000.
With regard to the Reserve components, the Army National Guard met its accession goals in fiscal year 1999 and is on track to meet accession goals in fiscal year 2000. More importantly, the Army National Guard reversed the trend of steady erosion of recruit quality by achieving the Department of Defense (DOD) goal of 60 percent of recruits in above average mental categories for the first time since 1993 and increasing the percentage of high school diploma graduates from 85 percent to 87 percent, just below the DOD goal.
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I also recognize in Army Guard recruiting that there are many different state incentives. They can have packages that you would only dream that you would have in DOD.
With regard to the Army Reserve, the Army Reserve missed its recruiting objective of 52,084 by 10,302, which is 19.8 percent in fiscal year 1999. That is pitifully poor, so I anticipate the Army, the active Army, to state why that is so. If you are going to foster the integration, the seamless integration, with the Reserve components, we are looking for a clear and concise explanation.
Improved retention during the fiscal year 1999 assisted in keeping the shortfall end strength to 1,164. However, the fiscal year 2000 Army Reserve recruiting program is projected to be short 5,000 recruits. If you disagree with that, please let me know.
With regard to the Naval Reserve, the Naval Reserve missed its recruiting objective of 20,455 by 4,828, which is 23.6 percent in fiscal year 1999. The Naval Reserve recruiting program is 1,616 accessions short in the fiscal year 2000 and is projected to sustain the same level of recruiting shortfall experienced in fiscal year 1999. Good retention will allow end strength to improve from the two percent below the authorized strength to one percent below the authorized strength.
Also with regard to the Naval Reserve components, I would like someone to explain to the committee why Naval Reserve continuously does not fund their Annual Training (AT), and it becomes short in the final quarter, so I am looking for a good, concise explanation from the active duty testimony.
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With regard to the Air National Guard, although the Air National Guard was only 122 or one percent below its recruiting objective for fiscal year 1999, the fiscal year 2000 program is already 400 short. If the accession shortage continues to grow, the shortage in end strength will fall below the 1,276 which was sustained in fiscal year 1999.
With regard to the Air Force Reserve, the Air Force Reserve is projected to miss its recruiting goal by 2,000 in fiscal year 2000. A 2,000 shortage will be the fourth consecutive year of missed recruiting goals and is a 2,095 or an 18.6 percent shortfall in recruits experienced in fiscal year 1999. The recruiting shortfall will cause an end strength shortfall of 2,500 for the second consecutive year.
With regard to the Marine Corps Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve met its recruiting objective and its authorized end strength during fiscal year 1999. Although the Marine Corps Reserve is confident that their recruiting objective for fiscal year 2000 can be achieved, they acknowledge that there is a $2 million shortfall in its recruiting advertising. That is recruiting. That was not a very pretty picture.
We move to the current status of retention from my perspective. With regard to the Army, the Army enjoyed excellent retention during fiscal year 1999 and achieved 109 percent of their retention objective. Although retention trends for fiscal year 2000 are good, the Army will be required to reenlist a larger percentage of the force to match the fiscal year 1999 retention rates.
Lagging captain and lieutenant retention rates continue to create company grade officer shortages, particularly in the combat support skills. The use of aviation career pay has proven to be effective in increasing Apache helicopter pilot retention. If you disagree, please let me know.
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I also in my travels have noticed the continued shortfall of experienced Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs), and I am very concerned about it, and I look forward to your testimony as to what we are doing to shore that up.
With regard to the Navy, lagging enlisted retention in the Navy, which has been in decline since fiscal year 1996, resulted in retention rates well below steady state objectives for all segments of the force during fiscal year 1999. Although the first quarter of fiscal year 2000 has indicated an upturn in retention, the rates remain below Navy objectives.
For fiscal year 2000 first term objectives, it is presently 30 percent. The objective is 38 percent. Second term, 46.4 percent, objective of 54 percent; third term, 57.3 percent, with the objective of 62 percent.
While it is still too early to tell conclusively, initial fiscal year 2000 officer retention rates indicate that retention of nuclear trained officers, surface warfare officers, special warfare officers and aviators are responding to the new retention bonuses included in last year's bill. However, projected rates of 27 percent for surface warfare officers and 30 percent for submarine nuclear officers still lag far behind the objective retention rates of 38 percent and 34 percent respectively.
For the Air Force, the lagging enlisted retention in the Air Force, which is still in decline since fiscal year 1995, resulted in retention rates well below the steady state objectives for all segments of the force during fiscal year 1999.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Although the first quarter of fiscal year 2000 has indicated a slight increase in the first term in career retention, the rates remain below Air Force objectives. This one I will read just like I did for the Navy. For fiscal year 2000 first term, 50.3 percent, the objective is 55 percent. Second term, 68.9 percent. The objective is 75 percent. Career is 91.5 percent. The objective is 95.
While it is still too early to tell conclusively, again aviator retention rates appear to be responding to the aviation career pay improvements included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000.
A promising overall 53 percent Aviator Continuation Pay (ACP), take rate in fiscal year 2000 is dampened by a relatively low 29 percent take rate for long-term ACP contracts. However, the Air Force is still projecting a reduction in pilot shortage from 1,200 to 600 at the end of fiscal year 2001.
With regard to the Marine Corps, the Marine Corps remains confident again that their retention rates will be met in fiscal year 2000, although the rates across the force in the first quarter are lagging behind the rates achieved in fiscal year 1999 and the number of first term reenlistments required in the fiscal year 2000 is 300 larger than the required number in 1999.
Fixed wing pilot retention remains a concern, although the number of projected separation requests of 60 pilots in the fiscal year 2000 is well below the average of 94 experienced during fiscal years 1996 to 1998 and an improvement over the 68 experienced in fiscal year 1999.
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Perhaps of greater concern is the increase in the officer attrition that reached 10.1 percent during fiscal year 1999; and a 17 year high of the drawdown years of fiscal years 1992 to 1994 is excluded. The rate was only 9.3 percent during the fiscal year 1998.
With regard to the current status of Reserve component retention, the Army National Guard was projecting a shift in retention with higher numbers of separation than was programmed in fiscal year 2000. Enlisted separations are projected to be 4,231 higher, which is eight percent. Officer separations are projected at 543 higher, which is an 18 percent number.
With regard to the Army Reserve, attrition improved during fiscal year 1999, down to 28.6 percent from the 37.5 percent during fiscal year 1997. I believe new emphasis on retention by commanders has proven highly effective, General.
Naval Reserve attrition rates remain below historical levels during fiscal year 1999. Initial trends during the fiscal year 2000 suggest continued improvement. Historically, enlisted is approximately 34.8 percent. Fiscal year 1999 it was 31.9 percent. Fiscal year 2000 is 28.8 percent. With regard to the Officer Corps, historically it is 24.2 percent. Fiscal year 1999 it was 18.3 percent and for fiscal year 2000 13.2 percent.
For the Air National Guard, mid-career retention is a growing concern with the attrition rate at 17 percent in fiscal year 1999. The mid career retention rate has been in steady decline since 1996. Aviator retention is good, although the number of separations in fiscal year 2000 is larger than fiscal year 1999, particularly among full-time pilots.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With regard to the Air Force Reserve, Air Force retention is healthy except that full-time pilot retention is trending down from 86 percent in fiscal year 1998 to 83 percent in fiscal year 1999.
With regard to the Marine Corps Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve experienced a 30.2 percent enlisted attrition rate during fiscal year 1999, and the objective is to reduce the enlisted attrition to below 30 percent in the fiscal year 2000.
In the third panel of today's witnesses, the Subcommittee will change the focus somewhat to hear directly from senior Reserve component leadership regarding their priorities and concerns for fiscal year 2001.
In my view, sustaining the all volunteer military is truly a national challenge, and that is why I took the time to read all of that into the record. Given the failing or near failing recruiting and retention track record of the armed services over the last five years, it appears to me that we have a great deal to learn about making the all volunteer force work.
It is true that the challenges to recruiting and retention are immense. Both employment opportunity and college attendance are at record levels. It will be difficult to compete, but our first priority must be to ensure that our attitudes and actions are not adding to the problem.
I think Secretary of Defense (William) Cohen made a point of visiting the advertising agencies used by the services because he thought recruiting advertising was off track. He came away from those meetings so uncomfortable with the structure of those contracts and the process behind the advertising campaigns that he directed an outside review of military advertising.
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He hired two marketing professionals, Mike Murphy and Carter Eskew, to conduct the review. The review revealed that Secretary Cohen's concerns were justified. Number one, the services do not have the marketing expertise needed to operate an efficient campaign and in the end end up being ''intellectual captives'' of the advertising agencies.
Number two, service ad campaigns need to emphasize the intangible benefits and traditional patriotic themes. Number three, instead of being the national leader in youth research, DOD's knowledge on how to recruit candidates was limited and outdated.
Number four, the services' inconsistent funding of recruiting accounts was yielding inefficient advertising strategies and wasting marketing dollars. The Subcommittee concluded last year that there is a direct link between recruiting and retention failure and the inability of the services to adequately fund and recruit retention accounts in a timely manner.
I even had an opportunity and spoke at a symposium regarding my views on the issues, and then when the Murphy-Eskew review came out and supported the findings of the Subcommittee and of my gut, I am hopeful that you all are looking at it seriously.
Additionally, Secretary Cohen stated that he supports advertising themes that focused on intangible benefits. Here is his reaction to my statement advocating traditional advertising themes during the February 9 hearing before the full House Armed Services Committee.
''What we have to do is to appeal to a greater sense of patriotism of can-do, of really self-fulfillment, and, yes, we have to say that there are material benefits that come from this, but basically it has got to go to the heart and soul of saying that you need to reach for the stars, and our military can help you arrive there.'' Secretary Cohen, that is as on-the-cuff/off-the-cuff gut, his years of looking of these issues.
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Notwithstanding the support of two independent reviews and the Secretary of Defense for a return to patriotic and self-improvement advertising themes, it still bothers me that the Army would seem to be prepared to drop the second most recognizable advertising slogan of ''Be All You Can Be.'' If you believe that today's youth will respond to advertising messages that emphasize intangible benefits, why would you abandon one of the advertising themes that sends a most powerful message about self-fulfillment?
Regarding the finding by the Murphy-Eskew review about the problems associated with inconsistent and uncertain funding, the Subcommittee concluded last year that there is a direct link.
It is also apparent that personnel authorities in the armed services have difficulty winning budget battles on recruiting and retention. There is not a single service, active or as a Reserve component, that does not have an example of recruiting account that is funded in the fiscal year 2001 budget request at less than what the service is expecting to execute in the account during fiscal year 2000. Secretary de Leon, we are quite interested in your view.
These reductions are all coming at a time when every recruiting manager I have talked with is very clear that fiscal year 2001 is expected to be every bit as difficult a recruiting year as the past, and this year has every potential to be a repeat of the recruiting failures experienced in fiscal year 1999.
As further evidence of budget battles lost, I can show you the services list of unfunded recruiting and retention requirements for fiscal year 2001. Ladies and gentlemen, that total list is $547 million. Our task here today is to understand the scope of the recruiting concerns and how we intend to put them back on track.
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This is the first time I have ever taken 20 minutes to open up, and I did not mean to do it by way of lecture because our goals are the same. This Subcommittee is very concerned. We will authorize and do what is necessary for you to accomplish your goals, but when you have genuine concerns, we have to know about them.
Please do not testify that what you asked for is executable when in fact it does not meet the goals that you need. Let us know what those requirements are up front today, and then we can work with the appropriators to make it happen.
I hate to have been as extensive, but all of this needs to go on the record. Again, if you want to clarify anything that I have placed on the record, please challenge the words.
I would like to welcome our first witness.
Do any of my colleagues have any comments?
I would like to welcome our first witness, Mr. Norman Rabkin. He is the Director of the National Security Preparedness Issues of the General Accounting Office.
Sir, you are accompanied by several individuals, and I will permit you to introduce them and their titles.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Buyer can be found in the Appendix.]
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STATEMENT OF NORMAN J. RABKIN, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AND PREPAREDNESS ISSUES, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIAM BEUSSE, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY AND PREPAREDNESS ISSUES, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE; JOHN PENDLETON, SENIOR EVALUATOR, GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Mr. RABKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be here this afternoon.
With me are Bill Beusse, who is an assistant director in our group that handles all of the military personnel issues that we look into, and on my left is John Pendleton, who is from our Atlanta office that was responsible for the analysis that we have been doing so far on the military survey.
We are pleased to be here this afternoon to talk about our preliminary results of that analysis, of that 1999 survey. As you are probably aware, the survey was conducted for three general reasons. First of all, so DOD could learn a little bit more about how service members feel about military life; second, to learn about their views on their satisfaction with pay and benefits; and, third, to learn a little bit more about their intentions of staying in the service or leaving and the factors that are driving that. I might add that the last survey that DOD did along these lines was in 1992.
In September, DOD mailed that survey to about 66,000 active duty service members. By the end of November, they had received about a 50 percent response rate. They gave us the data set from that response at the end of November, and we have used that data set to conduct our analysis.
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From the time they gave it to us until the time they closed the survey, they got a few more responses. They had about a 56 percent response rate. We feel that the data set that we used for our analysis will give us a very good view and will be very comparable to the analysis for the full set.
Our analysis focused on three areas. First of all, we looked at the satisfaction with military life and the aspects of military life that influence decisions to stay or leave; second, we looked at the extent to which the service members were working long hours and spending a lot of time away from home; and, third, we looked at their views on personal financial conditions.
My prepared statement has a number of graphs that cover the results of our analysis, and what I would like to do is take some of those graphs, and I think you have a separate grouping of them, and just focus on some of them this afternoon and work through them.
The first graph, which is Figure 1 in my statement, talks about the overall satisfaction with the military way of life, and it shows that for the entire force, about 50 percent of the entire force were satisfied with military life, while 29 percent reported that they were dissatisfied, and 22 percent did not have an opinion.
The officers were generally more satisfied than the enlisted personnel. The military service members who were satisfied had a tendency to also want to stay in the service. There was a direct correlation there.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I would like to turn next to Figures 4 and 5, which talk about the reasons why the military service members gave for staying or considering staying in the military or for leaving or considering leaving. The way the question was asked, each person had about 37 different choices that they could pick from, and what we have here is the top choice that each of the respondents gave.
When talking about the reasons for staying or for considering staying, the top choice was basic pay. Nineteen percent of the respondents picked that as their top choice. You can see the other categories. Job security was the second most popular response, retirement pay, followed by job enjoyment, and family medical care.
I might add that the basic pay and job enjoyment categories were not only on the top five list of the reasons to stay, but they were also on the top five list of the reasons to leave. Figure 5 shows that 28 percent of the respondents that were considering leaving cited basic pay as the top reason why they were considering leaving, and it was by far the top reason.
Mr. BUYER. I have been told the heat is not on. The air conditioning is not. The windows will not open. I suggest if I take my jacket off, you guys can take your jackets off. I am serious. Leave your ties on, but loosen the button. No. Really. Feel free. This is a pretty hot room right now.
Mr. RABKIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am comfortable.
Mr. BUYER. All right.
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Mr. RABKIN. Thank you. That really is all I wanted to say right now about the overall satisfaction and what is driving people's decisions to stay or to leave the military.
The next area that we get into is the workload, the hours that they were working and their time away from home and some analysis that we have done of that data, Figure 7. I would like to go through that with you. The bars at the bottom show the responses of how many hours in the last full work week people reported working. As you can see, 15 percent of the respondents reported working 40 hours or less, which we might consider the typical work week.
Thirty-seven percent reported working between 41 and 50 hours. Twenty-five percent reported working between 51 and 60 hours during that week. To the right of that, about 25 percent of the respondents reported that they worked 60 or more hours in the last work week.
The red line on top was the percentage that replied that they were satisfied with military life. As you can see, for the first three bars there the people that are working up to 60 hours, their percentage of satisfaction was between 51 percent and 53 percent, which is about what the overall satisfaction rate was. After working 60 hours a week, though, that satisfaction drops off.
We looked at the reasons that the respondents were giving for why they were working more than 40 hours a week. The top reason was because the job required it. It was part of the mission. Some of the other reasons were that there was a high workload for their unit, that there was inadequate manning in their units and they had to work extra to make up for that, or that there was no or poor planning, and that is why they had to work so many hours.
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Figures 9 and 10 get at a couple of specific issues on manning and parts, the availability of parts and equipment, the adequacy of that and how that relates to satisfaction. Figure 9 talks about the manning, and at the bottom it shows the results of people that were asked how well they thought their unit was manned, and then we looked at how well they were satisfied with military life.
For the seven percent of the respondents who felt that their units were very well manned, 63 percent of them were satisfied. Twenty-eight percent felt that the unit was well manned, and about 60 percent of them were satisfied with military life.
As you can see on the far right-hand side of that, there are about 37 percent that felt that the units were poorly or very poorly manned, and their satisfaction level was well below the average, 43 percent for the poorly manned and 30 percent only for the very poorly manned, people in very poorly manned units.
Figure 10 is the same sort of an analysis, but focuses on their views on the adequacy of parts and equipment. They felt that their unit had adequate parts and equipment. Only seven percent felt that the units were very well stocked with parts and equipment. Twenty-nine percent felt that they were well stocked, and those satisfaction rates were again in the sixty percents, which are well above the average.
Similarly, those that felt that their units were poorly stocked with parts and equipment were less satisfied and more dissatisfied with military life.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We also looked at the amount of time that people were away from their home, the deployment issue, and amount of time away from home includes not only out on deployments, but also away from home for training or away from home for attending conferences, things like that. We tied that into satisfaction.
As you can see from Figure 11, 45 percent of the respondents reported that in the past year they were away from home less than one month during the whole year, and their satisfaction rate was 52 percent, which is about what the average was. We found that to be a little surprising that the satisfaction rate stayed fairly high for those people that were deployed and away from home up to five months. After that, it dropped down to 41 percent and 38 percent.
The remaining few figures get into the personal financial condition. Overall, 19 percent of the respondents said that they were having a tough time financially. The enlisted personnel, about 22 percent of them reported they were having a tough time; openly about five percent of the officers.
We looked at one of the reasons might have been the debt problems as compared to their savings, and we looked at the questions that were asked about that. Figure 14 shows for the officers on the left-hand side about 67 percent of the officers reported have $10,000 or more in savings, and only 27 percent of them reported having $10,000 or more in unsecured debt, which includes credit cards, things like that, not home mortgages or car loans.
The enlisted, only 13 percent of them reported having $10,000 or more in savings, and 19 percent of them reported having $10,000 or more in debt. In fact, among the enlisted, it was a little more than half reporting that they had less than $1,000 in savings.
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Another area of interest is the extent to which service members are on government assistance programs, and we provided some analysis of the questions there. Figure 16 shows that about ten percent of the respondents reported receiving government assistance in the past year from the WIC Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
It is our understanding that on some basis DOD actually encourages service members to partake of this program because it offers counseling and other services for pregnant women or women right after delivery and for children, for young children under the age of five, so that might be one of the reasons why that is so widely used in the service. That ten percent represents about 117,000 people. One point two percent reported using food stamps, and that is about 13,500.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rabkin can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. All right. We are going to need to stand in recess for three votes, and we are going to see if we can get somebody to open the windows.
Mr. BARTLETT. [Presiding] The Subcommittee will come to order. We are leaving the doors open, I understand, to try and equalize the temperature somewhat between here and the hallway.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you very much for your testimony. We now turn to questions. Let me recognize Mr. Thornberry for any questions or comments he cares to make.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you. I may be way over my head in polling kinds of questions here, but when you ask people what is their top reason for staying or going, did you just say you can only pick one? A lot of times they say your top three. What is your second choice? What is your third choice? Did you look at that?
As we try to grapple with why people make the decisions that they do, just limiting them to the top choice that, you know, they may be a little self-conscious about making, maybe that does not give us the best information.
Mr. RABKIN. The answer to the question is that the respondents were asked for just their top choice.
I might add that the DOD really managed the survey. We had some input to how to design the questions and some of the questions to ask, but it was DOD that put it all together, did the mailing, got the data back and then gave us a data set.
We are very appreciative. We wanted to thank the DOD for allowing us to participate in the process and for giving us the data in such a timely way that we are able to analyze it, but that is the way that they had asked that question.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Do you all have concerns about that?
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BEUSSE. The survey did give them an opportunity to give the top two. It was one question said, ''What is your top one, what is your next important?'' and then the same thing with regard to leaving or thinking about leaving.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Well, I know when you are asking people what is the top issue they are concerned about in the industry they do not just sayyou know, mostly they at least get down to three.
Mr. BEUSSE. Right.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Do you have before you what the question was or what the option was when you asked people their top reason for leaving? There is a category that says quality of leadership? What was the question exactly?
Mr. BEUSSE. That is actually the text of the item. It was a set of items that were pretty much small phrases such as basic pay, medical care for you, job security and so on.
Mr. THORNBERRY. So there was no further explanation other than quality of leadership?
Mr. BEUSSE. Right.
Mr. THORNBERRY. That is all I have right now, Mr. Chairman.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. The top five reasons why service members stay in the military are, as you indicated, basic pay, job security, retirement pay, job enjoyment and family medical care. The top five reasons why service members leave the military are basic pay, amount of personal and family time, quality of leadership, job enjoyment and, number five, deployments. Mr. Rabkin, how do the five reasons to stay, these top five reasons to stay and to leave change if you cut the data by officers and enlisted? Are they the same, or does the ranking change?
Mr. RABKIN. I will ask Mr. Beusse. They have a lot of the specific data.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Mr. BEUSSE. The ranking pretty much stays the same. There is some differences. For officers, pay is less important than other issues, particularly the amount of enjoyment they get from the job, but pay is still either the top one or top two even for officers.
Mr. BARTLETT. How can pay be the best reason for staying and the best reason for leaving?
Mr. RABKIN. Well, one thing to keep in mind, the survey was mailed out in September. At that point in time, Congress was passing the pay raise and increasing the pay raise that the Administration had asked for, so this was an issue that was on a lot of people's minds at the time.
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Mr. BARTLETT. But how do you account for the fact that it is both the best reason for staying and the best reason for leaving?
Mr. BEUSSE. It is probably of all of the aspects of military life that were listed, it is the most flexible in the sense if they have additional money in their pocket, they can buy additional child care, health care, whatever it is that they might need, so I think it does work back to the point about asking just the top two.
If you had to choose a top one, you were probably going to go with money because that is the more flexible one, but pay is very important to people. I think they see in the general economy the impression that everybody is making a lot of money, so it is a lot on their minds.
Mr. BARTLETT. As I remember, it was a higher percentage reason for leaving than it was for staying?
Mr. RABKIN. Right.
Mr. BARTLETT. Twenty-eight percent of the respondents said that that was their number one reason for leaving. Nineteen percent said it was their number one reason for staying.
The second reason in terms of staying, which was job security, was 14 percent, but in terms of leaving the amount of personal and family time was only nine percent, so it was clearly the top reason given for considering leaving.
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Mr. BEUSSE. Now, for enlisted for considering leaving, about 31 percent of the enlisted force listed that as their top item versus the 15 percent of the officers. It was still the number one item for both groups, but by far more interest to the enlisted.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Rabkin, your data on the financial security of military personnel is very interesting. Can you give us some comparisons to the financial security of the general population?
Mr. RABKIN. That is really difficult to do because of the differences in the way that the compensation packages are put together, the kinds of allowances that are included in military pay.
There have been some studies done from time to time on that. I think CBO has done one quite recently. Do you have it, John? Bill?
Mr. BEUSSE. No.
Mr. RABKIN. It is just very difficult to do off the cuff.
Mr. PENDLETON. We did look at a Federal Reserve Board report that indicated that Americans are holding historically high debt levels, if you look at that compared, but it is very difficult, as Norm said, to make a precise comparison because
Mr. BARTLETT. It should be possible to
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Mr. PENDLETON. Yes.
Mr. BARTLETT. put a dollar figure on the benefits, what you have to pay for those if you were not in the military.
Having done that, we then ought to be able to compare how our people in the military are doing relative to their counterparts in the private sector.
Mr. RABKIN. If you make a number of assumptions, you can do it. Of course, the more assumptions you make, the less credible sum of the analysis is.
For example, the kind of retirement pay and retirement benefits that in the civilian sector might be more for people who are not going to stay the full term, there might be some value to that. In the military, of course, you do not vest until you have 20 years in, so it is more difficult to assign a value to that.
Mr. BEUSSE. The key thing that we have to keep in mind is that we are dealing with the perceptions of the personnel who filled out the surveys.
If they believe that they are underpaid, all of the studies that we could do to show them that they are getting about as much as civilian counterparts is still not going to make them feel much better, so a lot of this is that you are dealing with people's perceptions.
It may or may not be accurate, but that is what really controls their behavior and directs their behavior is what they believe.
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Mr. BARTLETT. My grandmother used to say that a living wage was ten percent more than you made.
I am sure that all of our people feel underpaid, but we ought to have some quantitative analysis of where our military people are relative to that kind of job in the private sector.
In reaching their feelings, they need some guidance, and we need to provide that for them. Will we have this kind of information in the future?
Mr. RABKIN. We could look into that certainly, Mr. Chairman.
I think that if you take specific occupations where there is good comparability and look at it a little more narrowly, I think you can make some of those comparisons. You do not find many tank drivers in the private sector, but if you look at other occupations I think you can reach some conclusions, and we would be glad to pursue that with you and the staff.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. Short of those kinds of analyses, how do we decide they need a pay raise? When we cannot keep them, and they are complaining? Is that how we decide?
Mr. RABKIN. Well, I think it is the Congress that decides that.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BARTLETT. Yes, I know we did, but we need to have some basis in fact for making those kinds of decisions. If our people are underpaid, they need to be adequately paid. If they are adequately paid, then we need the data to substantiate that because there are a lot of stresses in the military, and we do not want pay being a stressor when it does not need to be a stressor.
Mr. RABKIN. One of the issues that we have been trying to deal with is whether you can make across-the-board assumptions and deal with broad conclusions about pay or it should be looked at a little more narrowly.
I think there are clear examples in the military compensation where you are talking about pilots, for example. You know, there are opportunities to pay them more than their colleagues in other specialties because of the value they bring to the military or because of the need to retain them, to pay them more. You know, I think that that is a good way to approach the question.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Rabkin, were you surprised that leadership appeared so prominently on the list of reasons to leave the military, and would you rate leadership as a significant factor affecting career decisions in the military?
Mr. RABKIN. I cannot honestly say that I was surprised. I do not have a good basis for that. I think one way to compare it is to if there had been similar surveys like this in the past and, you know, two or three percent of the force had cited leadership as a reason to considering leaving and then all of a sudden it jumps to eight percent as it is in this survey, I think that would be a basis for being concerned.
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The fact that eight percent put this down, it really does not tell us a lot about how the service members are viewing leadership. There are other specific questions that you could ask, and you could get more direct as to what kind of leadership you are talking about, what level of leadership you are talking about.
The survey did not ask those questions, so the amount of analysis you can do and the amount of conclusions you can draw is limited.
Mr. BARTLETT. You have no idea what level of leadership they were concerned about?
Mr. RABKIN. No. The survey justyou know, as Mr. Thornberry asked, it just said, you know, is the quality of leadership one of the reasons
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes.
Mr. RABKIN. or the top reason for leaving, or are you satisfied with it, and it was yes or no.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you not think it is important that we learn what level of leadership they are unhappy with?
Mr. RABKIN. Well, I think as rich as the data are that were collected for the survey, if you could have more specific information about that I think it could provide other leaders in the military an opportunity to focus on where there seem to be problems; if it is at the unit level, if it is at the company or service level.
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You know, you are not going to be able to identify specific leaders that are having problems, but you can certainly identify areas, you know, where perhaps some services are doing better at training leaders than others, and that data, the data might reflect that if it were asked.
Mr. BARTLETT. Clearly this is a problem that needs fixing, but until we know where the problem is we really cannot go about fixing it. Do you have plans for determining at what level they have concerns about leadership?
Mr. RABKIN. We do not have any plans to do that. We had proposed to DOD that they ask more specific questions in this current survey, and they chose not to. This kind of a survey was very expensive to do, and that is why we are glad that DOD did it.
I mean, if GAO had to do that that would be very taxing on our budget, but, you know, perhaps with your encouragement the next time that they have this kind of a survey they could ask and include these kinds of questions.
The services have a lot of surveys, too. DOD does a lot of surveying, and it might be possible to work this into some of their other surveys service by service.
Mr. BARTLETT. How many items did your people have to pick from, and where was leadership located on that list?
Mr. RABKIN. There were 37 items that the respondents could choose from when identifying the reasons that they wanted to stay or the reasons they were considering leaving, and the reason
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Mr. BEUSSE. Leadership was number 24 on that list.
Mr. BARTLETT. It was number 24?
Mr. BEUSSE. Right.
Mr. BARTLETT. So they had to go down the list to find that. They just could not pick. They were asked to pick how many? One?
Mr. RABKIN. Well, they were asked twice to do it, but each time
Mr. PENDLETON. Yes. One, the most important, and then their next most important, so ultimately they were asked for two.
Mr. BARTLETT. Okay. So they had to go down, way down that list to find this one, so it was important enough to them that they had to go way down the list to find it.
Mr. BEUSSE. Right. Yes.
Mr. RABKIN. I guess the assumption was that they would read the whole list, consider it and then pick the one thatalthough I have to say that basic pay, which was the top, was the first choice that was offered.
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Mr. BARTLETT. And that ended up at the top? Okay. Okay. I understand that DOD refused to include questions on leadership that you desired that further explained the leadership factor. Can you provide us now and what can be provided in the future with an analysis? I think we have talked about that question. You have indicated that you cannot make all the conclusions you would like to from the present data; that you hope that future surveys will include questions that will allow you to pursue this more definitively. What would you have added? What questions did you suggest that were not included?
Mr. RABKIN. We have a set of questions on leadership. I would be glad to provide them to you. We could read a couple of them. There were about seven subquestions. We were suggesting that they ask each respondent to rate both their immediate supervisor, their unit commander and the DOD and service leadership level on these seven issues. If you would like, I can read them here, or we could just provide it for the record.
Mr. BARTLETT. Well, why do you not provide them for the record? Thank you.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. Rabkin, the survey results indicate that 82 percent of the force were deployed less than five months, and 45 percent of the force were deployed for less than one month. This would suggest that the issue of deployed personnel TEMPO is a problem for a relatively small segment of the force. On the other hand, the number of members working over 50 hours a week presents a different perspective. A relatively large percentage of the force, 48 percent, work over 50 hours a week.
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What is your view of these results, and would you agree that working hours may be in greater need of management attention than deployment? I noticed that those who worked less than a 40 hour week had less satisfaction than those that worked a 40 hour week.
Mr. RABKIN. Slightly.
Mr. BARTLETT. The percent went up a bit, did it not?
Mr. RABKIN. Yes, slightly. Slightly.
Mr. BARTLETT. Working is good for people, as long as it is not too much.
Mr. RABKIN. Well, you know, the number one reason they gave for working more than 40 hours a week was because the job required it, and that suggests to me that they are dedicated. They understand why it is necessary to work more than the normal work week to get the job done, and they are willing to do it. They are satisfied if that is the case.
Mr. BEUSSE. I think they were also asked what was the main reason, or actually they could choose more than one reason, for situations in which they had to work longer than normal, and the job choice there was demanded by the mission, and those people who selected that were actually more satisfied than the force in general.
There were other options; for example, poor planning or lack of planning and a demanding supervisor, which if those were the reason that they saw for the extra hours that were required of them, their satisfaction was considerably lower. It gets a little bit at that aspect of leadership that you were talking about. If they view themselves as having to work long hours to make up for some leadership failure such as poor planning or being overly demanding, then that is going to dissatisfy them to a much greater extent than if they see this as just this is part of the job.
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I think on balance, they are looking at it that they are not looking for a 9:00 to 5:00 job. Their satisfaction is still reasonably high, even though they are working much longer hours than say a civilian job, but they recognize that that is the demand of the profession that they are in. They did not come in for an easy time. They do not expect an easy time, but there are some finite limits.
Mr. BARTLETT. When I was working for the military, one of my best bosses had two philosophies. One was that busy people are happy people. The second was you could get more work out of one person overworked than two people underworked. The military seems to be following these two stratagems.
Mr. Hayes has joined us. I wonder if he has questions or comments for this panel before we move to the next panel?
Mr. HAYES. I think I will pass.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. BARTLETT. I want to thank the panel very much. Oh, I am sorry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Are you all going to look at cross tabs by service when you get the full data?
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Mr. RABKIN. I think our plan is to work with the Committee and the staff to try to identify areas, you know, the kind of analysis that you all would like. Because we will have the data set and we will have access to it, it will be easy for us to extract that information and to do the analyses for you, so there are a lot of different ways that this can be analyzed, and we would be glad to work with you to meet your needs.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Great. Thank you.
Mr. RABKIN. You are quite welcome.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. I would like to thank this panel very much for your informative testimony and your answers to our questions. Thank you.
Mr. RABKIN. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. We will convene our second panel now.
Mr. BARTLETT. I would like to welcome the witnesses to our second panel, the Honorable Rudy de Leon, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC This will likely be the last time Secretary de Leon will testify before this Subcommittee in his present capacity. On behalf of the Subcommittee, I congratulate you on your promotion to Deputy Secretary of Defense. We wish you all the best in your new position.
Secretary DE LEON. Thank you very much.
Mr. BARTLETT. On a personal note, sir, I have enjoyed very much my working relationship with you, and I cannot imagine a better public servant. Thank you very much for your service to your country and to the military.
Secretary DE LEON. Thank you very much.
Mr. BARTLETT. Lieutenant General David H. Ohle, Deputy Secretary of Staff for Personnel U.S. Army; Vice Admiral Norbert Ryan, Chief of Naval Personnel; Lieutenant General Donald L. Peterson, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; and Lieutenant General Jack W. Klimp, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, U.S. Marine Corps.
Thank you all very much for being here, and the floor is yours, Mr. de Leon.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. RUDY DE LEON, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR PERSONNEL AND READINESS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Secretary DE LEON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and other members of the Subcommittee. I appreciate the chance, along with the Personnel Chiefs, to be here today and to testify. Uniquely, where I can see, I can also see Mr. Buyer there on the TV engaged in the Floor debate.
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The Chairman had in his opening statement a rather comprehensive series of issues that he raised. I would like to briefly cover some of them, and then obviously we look forward to the questions with the Subcommittee.
I need to start, though, by thanking the Subcommittee for their work last year in terms of pay, the retirement fixes, the pay table reform and the special pays that the Department (of Defense) requested. Those are truly having an impact, and we are very appreciative of the hard work of the Subcommittee in that regard.
I would also like, I think, to address one of the issues that the Chairman raised in his opening statement in terms of whether I believe the personnel world is getting its fair share of the budget increases. I hope that that is a reflection on part of my skills to be the advocate of the gentlemen that are here at the table, as well as the senior enlisted advisor.
Just a few numbers. In terms of the overall budget plus up of $112 billion; $40 billion went to personnel accounts, pay, retirement fix; an additional $3.2 billion is now embodied in Secretary Cohen's Basic Allowance for Housing initiative.
On medical, we have just added another $1 billion to the 20002001 budget, and this afternoon we will be meeting with the Vice Chiefs where we will be looking at our out-year projections where we are likely to be adding another $4 billion to $5 billion in terms of the 20022007 out-years in terms of medical, so from a budgetary point of view I think that the personnel accounts are receiving significant attention in terms of the increases that are part of the budget.
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Additionally, each of the services has moved vigorously to use the authorities that you gave us prior to fully fund the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), programs. Mr. Bartlett, also we are in your debt. We have worked with some of the young people in your district. Clearly, finding the good, capable kids that are out there is a leading challenge that we all face right now, but we are putting a very vigorous effort into the recruiting side right now.
Additionally, on the enlisted recruiting resources last year, for example, the Army spent $931 million, this year $1.59 billion. The Navy indeed, as the Chairman said, is slightly down; last year, $515 million; this year, $487 million. The Marine Corps, very much a model of success, $230 million last year; $233 million this year. Then the Air Force: $279 million last year; $289 million this year. Again, these are the aggregate recruiting resources going into the enlisted side.
Additionally, at the direction of Secretary Cohen we did undertake a major review of military advertising. We wanted to look at it in terms of both the business practiceswere we being smart as we spent almost $300 million in advertising dollars that is very much part of the recruiting effort? Were we as smart as we should be?
Then additionally, did we have the right message? I think here working with the Murphy Eskew group that Chairman Buyer spoke to, indeed they helped us frame in that we really needed to focus on patriotic values, the intangibles of military service. When we meet with recruiters, the intangibles are clearly the strongest point that they discuss in their recruiting message with young people.
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And then third, we need to give our recruiters the tools to deliver the message, which means better data in the marketplace in terms of what young people are looking for, what are their objectives, and, finally, how do we deliver a message? How do we deliver the right incentives to make recruiting attractive to young people that have more economic opportunities than they have ever had in the past?
So I think with recruiting we are moving out smartly. We are making sure that the resources are there for each of the services to take the steps that they need to in this environment.
The second point is retention. Alan Greenspan (Chairman of the Federal Reserve System) would say one of the top issues facing the economy still today is the shortage of skilled young workers, and the military is looking for those exact kind workers, people that have high school diplomas, people that are drug free and have demonstrated responsibility in terms of being at the right place on time, staying until the job is done. What our information technology industries are looking for is precisely the same kind of young man or woman that our armed forces is looking for, so we are in direct competition with the economy in ways that we never have had to before.
Second, college, which was once a gold standard of military recruiting in terms of the GI bill, today many of our 50 states have a guaranteed college program for high school grads. It may be a community college, it might be the state university, but for young high school grads that want to go to college, almost each of our 50 states now has a program that gets them started. Again, that makes our recruiting hurdles even higher.
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And then finally, in meeting with census officials, as well as Labor Department officials, there are 5,000,000 fewer 18 to 22-year-olds in this sort of time frame than there were in 1985, the height of the Reagan build up, or as there will be by 2007 when essentially this current young baby boom reaches those critical ages of 18 to 22 years old, so this is a very challenging environment because of the economy, because of college, because of the demographics.
We have also then very vigorously worked the retention of our existing force, and there I think that based on many of the tools that the Committee gave us last year, again pay, fixing retirement, the specialty pays, I think that, and I will let the Army speak in greater detail, but Army retention right now is very solid.
Using these tools, Navy retention across all three major categories on the enlisted side is improving and growing stronger. Marine Corps retention is strong, and I know the Air Force is working very, very hard to improve its retention numbers, as well as its recruiting effort.
Mr. Chairman, we are working across a variety of means. I think we are trying to resource these critical accounts, but we are operating in a very challenging environment. I think each of the people here would tell you that they accept the challenge and responsibility of recruiting in this and are doing all within their capabilities to make sure that we track, recruit and retain the most capable young men and women that our country can offer.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for this chance to testify and look forward to the chance to respond to your questions.
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[The prepared statement of Secretary de Leon can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. General Ohle.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. DAVID H. OHLE, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PERSONNEL, U.S. ARMY
General OHLE. Sir, Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, it is truly an honor to be back this year to testify before the Committee and talk about how the Army plans to sustain the all volunteer force, the exact topic we should be talking about. I, like the Secretary, would like to thank you also for the many things that you did for us last year, most important the triad. We worked very hard with you, and the soldiers of the United States Army thank you for that.
The leadership of the Army this year is engaged in the sustainment of the all volunteer force. In fact, the Chief of Staff of the Army declared his number one Mission Essential Task List (METL), which is his priority, his number one METL task to be recruiting, recruiting the force. If we cannot recruit a force, we cannot man an Army. That is his saying, and everybody from bottom to top is committed to manning the force.
This year, we plan to make our end strength within the congressional limits, just like we did last year. We have had a very hard year. We have worked hard at putting together the variables that contribute to making up the end strength, and I would like to walk down very quickly the Chairman's description of the status of the Army. He was right on, and I compliment the Chairman for his portrayal of the issues of the Army.
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The active force did make its end strength last year within the Congressional limits. It was just barely below the 480,000, but we made it. We made it through a lot of hard work by a lot of people who at the very end turned the trends in the right direction. We turned up recruiting, we lowered attrition, and we continued to surge, like the Secretary said, in the reenlistment of the force. We made that.
We were handicapped when we started last year, 1999, by the low delayed entry program. My figures show a 23 percent delayed entry program for 1999. The Chairman spoke of a 19 percent. We will correct the record, and I will go back and check my figures, but that is still well below the 35 percent.
What we are seeing this year as we get into recruiting is that perhaps the 35 percent delayed entry program goal is too high. What we are doing this year is we are bringing in more graduates out of high school than we are recruiting seniors, so we are switching that mix as we are heading into the hard months.
We have to go back and assess and come up with a new formula for our delayed entry program. Our recruiting command is working that, and we will be more than happy to provide that to the Committee.
This year we are on track, I believe, to make our end strength. We project that recruiting will make its mission. Right now our models show 4,500 short, and I would like to say this for the record, we have made the recruiting mission to date this year. We did not do that last year. This year we have made the first quarter. We made January. We made February. The three hard months are ahead of us, March, April, May, as we all know. That will tell the tale whether we will be able to make this. My prediction on the record is that the United States Army active force will make its recruiting mission.
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Let me talk about the Army National Guard. The Army National Guard made it across the board in end strength and, just as the Chairman said, they did a good job.
The Army Reserve fell short in recruiting. The Chairman was exactly right; a little over 10,000. That is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to the United States Army. It is unacceptable to the next panel that you will talk to, the Commander of the United States Army Reserves.
What are we doing about it? You directed in your authorization bill last year that we provide a report on how to fix the Reserve recruiting. That will be turned in to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M and RA), on 1 April and will come over here on time 1 July. That will present the fixes that we are going to do, but let me give you a short glimpse of what that is going to say.
Number one, we are putting recruiters in the field to recruit the United States Army Reserve recruits. We did not have a full house, and we were short. That is mainly the reason why we did not recruit enough in the United States Army Reserves.
Those that were there were not all in the right position, so we are repositioning recruiters across the force. Working with General Plewes, we have started an effort where we are having the United States Army Reserve unit commanders buy into the recruiting objective for the Reserves, so it is not just my recruiting command. It is a shared responsibility between the active and the Reserve.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, resources. We all need the right resources. We all need the right resources, the money. Just as Secretary de Leon talked, the Army is putting the money behind the effort. We have briefed your staff, and we will continue to provide the numbers for the recruiting.
So this year what has happened? We are short in Army Reserve recruiting, but the trend is up. We project that we will be less than 5,000 short, between 4,000 and 5,000 short. That is still not acceptable. We do not have all the recruiters. We are doing better. This last month, in February, we missed the mark by only 100. That is the closest we have been in over two years, so the trends are in the right direction.
We will give you the study. We will continue to press on, and I think by next year in the hearings, we will correct that.
Now let me talk briefly about reenlistment. Just like Secretary de Leon also said, the Army has had a terrific record. Last year we reenlisted 109 percent. We did that to offset the shortage in recruiting. We had to make our end strength, so we offset recruiting with increased missions for our reenlistment.
We cannot continue to do that over and over, so we have to make our recruiting objectives, but we ended up with 109 percent. This year our objective is less than last year, but we are reenlisting soldiers at 103 percent rate this year, and most of them are waiting until you kick the final bonus in on 1 July where we will see another surge in reenlistment, so we are on track there.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Reserve component for the second quarter of 1999 ended at 122.5 percent, and finished the year at 108.8 percent. Terrific. That again offset their recruiting shortage, and they are doing extremely well again this year.
The Guard, because they were short last year in reenlistmentthey were at 89 percentit was not as much of a concern because they made their end strength. Their recruiting was going, and they were managing all the variables of the force, so it was totally under control.
Finally, attrition. Just as the Chairman spoke, the attrition trends in the Army are coming down. We are doing much better. We are holding for the enlisted force those in basic and advanced individual training at rates that we have not seen in over two years. They are down. The attrition rate now is down to 13.4 percent. It was as high a year ago, when I testified, up to 18.9 percent. Every soldier we save there is another soldier that we do not have to go out and recruit, so that is a plus for us.
The attrition in the units has also gone down. It is down below seven percent, which is our band of excellence. We are operating completely within that. Finally, the attrition for the Guard and Reserve have been stated by the Chairman correctly, and we support that. They continue to be at acceptable levels.
The one worrisome problem for the United States Army, as the Chairman indicated, is the attrition of junior company grade officers; lieutenants and captains. They are getting out at higher numbers, 10.84 percent. It is up from the average that I would like to see, up above nine percent, so anything above nine percent is too much. We are still within operational tolerance, but it is not good. We have to reverse that trend.
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Just like the first panel said, the problem is leadership, We have got to engage the leaders with the junior officers just like we engage the leaders with the NCOs. If we could reenlist at 109 percent, we feel we can keep the lieutenants and captains in at the acceptable level, so we will work hard on that this year and report back to the Committee.
Finally, I offer to the Committee for the record the funding levels and the unfinanced requirements of the Army. Secretary de Leon properly stated it, and we will provide the breakdown by category by active, Guard and Reserve and the components thereof for the Committee for the record.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you. You have done great service for the personnel community of the United States Army, and I can tell you the soldiers really appreciate it. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of General Ohle can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. Admiral Ryan.
STATEMENT OF VICE ADM. NORBERT R. RYAN JR., U.S. NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL PERSONNEL AND DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS (MANPOWER & PERSONNEL)
Admiral RYAN. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Representative Thornberry, Representative Hayes, Representative Sanchez. Thank you all for being here. You really do make a difference for us in uniform, and we are grateful for that.
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I will be as brief as possible. I have submitted a very detailed statement for the record. I would like to just talk about some Navy specific issues. I have been in this job for three months and been out traveling, meeting with our commanding officers and command master chiefs about what we need to do to continue to move forward. First and foremost, they told me that they recognized they have a big burden here, and they intend to fulfill it.
They asked for Navy leadership to take on some of the key issues, and I would agree with the Chairman that the major challenge is for us in the military as leaders is to continue to keep the press on to improve retention and recruiting, and we intend to do that.
To briefly summarize, in the retention area I think the Secretary has accurately described it, as has the Chairman. The Navy had its lowest retention in 20 years last year for first term reenlistment. It was 28 percent. We are up about two and a half percentage points as of the end of February. We are encouraged. We are up in second and third term as well, in those areas, so we think we are moving in the right direction.
What our leadership has told us is we are working on the right things. When our sailors come home from deployment, they still think they are working too hard. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), has worked very hard on the deployment training initiatives. We think that is taking traction.
We also know that education will pay off, and so we have started a Navy college program within the service so that people can continue to serve and get their degree, and we think that is very exciting for us as well.
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I think the other issue that will help us is continued advancements. We are really increasing the opportunity for advancement for our young petty officers and our senior petty officers and our chief petty officers. I think that will pay off richly for us.
I think what they have told us and where we need to continue to work Navy specific programs, in addition to the programs the Secretary mentioned, in the health care area not only for our active duty members and their families, but for our retired members. We need to work the Secretary's initiative on getting the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), payments right for all our military members.
Specific to the Navy there are two things, and I would add one thing to what the Secretary mentioned for all of our services, and that is the thrift savings plan. This is very important for all our members to be able to have an opportunity for a thrift savings plan. They tell us that loud and clear.
Specifically to the Navy, how we can help improve retention more and address the issue that the Chairman addressed of getting our gap billets at sea down? We need authorization for career sea pay this year to allow us to get that under the Secretary's control where we can pay our young petty officers for the hardships that they endure while they are at sea.
The other thing we would like to do is get authorization to get our young petty officers off the ships when they come home from six month deployments, much as we have for our senior petty officers. If you can help us with that authorization, I think those two things would really help us in the retention area and, more specifically, in getting the gaps at sea down.
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On the recruiting area, I think the Chairman hit it on the nail. We missed by 7,000 in 1998. Last year was a big come back year for us. We worked very hard. We plussed up the number of recruiters by 35 percent to 5,000. We opened 200 new stations. A lot of exciting initiatives are underway.
He is right. We underestimated the number of recruiters that we would need this year, thinking that our productivity of recruiters would go up and thinking that the market would not stay as tough as the Secretary has described, so we are short of what we would like programmatically. We still have 5,000 recruiters out there. It is just that 500 of them should still be at sea. We have taken them off of sea, and we have not paid for them.
That issue is number one on the CNO's plus up list of unfunded items to fund those 500 recruiters and keep it at 5,000, so the people at sea are not paying the bill for us as we keep them on recruiting duty.
We have also asked for $30 million more in advertising, even though we have kept and increased our advertising from last year. That is basically to take advantage of the Murphy Eskew recommendations to go local, get on the Internet, do a lot of print and radio stuff blitzing in the local market. We think we could use that $30 million.
We acknowledge what the Chairman said, and with your help we think we can continue what we are doing in recruiting, which is meeting our goal 17 months in a row for new accessions.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our big problem, as he described, is our delayed entry program. We have not made any strides there. It is going to be a two or three year struggle for us to get our delayed program up, but we have some exciting initiatives underway. One of them is a complete revampment of our training program, a very similar program to what the Marines are doing. We have instituted that.
In the middle of this year, we have taken $500 million of our own money and reprogrammed it. We think that is going to help our recruiters. We have got more young recruiters out there. They are doing a good job. Our recruiters are now volunteers. A lot of initiatives I could talk about, but we are optimistic that we are turning the corner on the recruiting area.
And then finally I would just say the bottom line is what I got from our Commanding Officers (COs), and master chiefs out there is we are on the right track, but your help has been pivotal and will continue to be pivotal if we are going to continue the progress we have made, so I thank you.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Ryan can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. And now General Peterson.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. DONALD L. PETERSON, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF, PERSONNEL, U.S. AIR FORCE
General PETERSON. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, it is an honor again to appear before this Committee once again and represent the men and women of our Air Force. I would like to start off as the previous speakers have by saying thank you very much for the great support that we had last year for men and women and acknowledge their importance to the Nation. It is important to them.
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I have traveled this last few months to over 19 different countries, overseas bases, met with thousands of our people. They are working very hard. They are tired. They are stressed and strained, but they are proud of their Air Force and proud of their performance. They appreciate the signal that you sent them this last year and the support that you have given them.
In regard to funding for our Air Force, people are our number one priority in our Air Force budgeting, so we have been supported as we have asked with funding to support this.
Earlier on the Chairman mentioned a couple of areas that he wanted us to address. One of them in our case was missing our recruiting goal in 1999. In fact, we did enter that year with less than a full number of volunteer recruiters. That was intentional.
Through 1998, we had been able to meet our goals. We entered fiscal year 1999 with a goal of 31,500 recruiters, increased that to 32,800 as we began to see declining retention, and finally to 33,800 as a goal. For the first time in 20 years, we missed our recruiting goal by about 1,700 people. Nonetheless, we recruited 2,000 people more than we had since 1991, so what we see here is a rising bar for our recruiters because of retention challenges. We are committed to making those goals.
The disconnect on our recruiting money in the 1999 year and 2000 year, we actually had less money in 1999 applied to 1999. We had put $37 million in 1999 to buy advanced advertising, TV advertising for 2000, and that caused the bump or disconnect between the two years. Actually, we have a building program from 1999 to 2000 in real dollars by year.
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Despite our efforts in recruiting and retention, we did miss our end strength last year, as the Chairman stated, by almost 10,000, a little over 10,000 people. This year we expect to be short as well.
We appreciate the Committee's support. As Secretary de Leon said earlier, we appreciate the great support in providing us funding for bonuses, which have been very helpful. We have taken those dollars and that manpower count and turned them in in the shortfall of manning back in to recruiting and retention initiatives.
They have allowed us to decrease the losses in our force, but we still find the strong pull of the economy today and the push factors that our people endure in our mission to be a very difficult retention environment.
We appreciate the support there, and we have told the Committee that we will most likely be short about 3,000 this year as well, but we are asking for your support to let us reprogram that money back into initiatives to help us build and sustain that end strength. In fact, it has been very helpful in 1999, and we hope 2000 will close the gap.
Finally, in our recruiting this last month we closed out with 52 percent retention in our first term airmen, about the same, at around 71 percent, for second term and 91 percent for our career. That represents a slight increase over the year end total, but at a point in time against last year we are significantly better, 52 percent versus 45 percent on retention of our first termers.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are encouraged by that, but we are certainly not satisfied with that. We have a long way to go yet. We intend to continue to apply our efforts to increase retention because we think retaining is more important than retraining, and so we are going to put our effort in retention. That is what is driving our recruiting problem today.
As far as the recommendations by the Murphy Eskew panel, we think those were excellent recommendations and have taken them very seriously. We have established a marketing office with a designated marketing officer, who will be from the outside.
We brought in our footprint, both in junior ROTC by fully funding throughout the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), our junior ROTC program. We have increased the prime time TV advertising, as I mentioned earlier before, and we have improved the capability of our electronic advertising; that is website, web based advertising for our young people with a much improved website, and a site that provides feedback to our recruiters in the field much more quickly.
We see this as being a challenging year once again, again because of not just the economy this year and last year, but because it is sustained. This is the longest sustained growth we have had in the history of our Air Force. It is also the longest sustained high TEMPO and other challenging factors for our young men and women as we operate.
The force is 65 percent reduced from its overseas basing and 25 percent from its home basing. As a result, our TEMPO is high because we are doing 400 percent more operations overseas than we did in the Cold War trying to stabilize or attribute to the stabilization of those countries that are trying to establish democratic governments and free enterprise.
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We think that is in part part of the reason this economy is strong. We are proud of that, but it also causes a great challenge. Our people are working very hard to meet that challenge. They are committed. We will be asking for some assistance as we did last year during this session. We appreciate the continued support. It is very significant to our people.
One thing that you can help us with I think most importantly in our recruiting challenge is to speak when you are out visiting your communities about the importance of national service and particularly military service. Quite honestly, the footprint, as you know, is much smaller than it was before today. It you take the veterans from World War II out of the equation, only about six percent of our society has served in the military, so we do not have those teachers, aunts, uncles, school masters, guidance counselors, coaches, scout masters that can influence our children to tell them what the military is like and what the sense of service is from the military.
We think as a Nation our leadership, including our military, should be more active in speaking before our citizens. We are our Nation's Air Force, our Nation's military, and we think that would be probably the most important thing that you and the Committee members, as well as our Members of Congress and our Administration and the military, can do is to begin to move out and talk to our communities often.
We appreciate your support and the opportunity to provide the answers to your questions on this committee.
[The prepared statement of General Peterson can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you, General Peterson. We now turn to General Klimp.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. JACK W. KLIMP, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General KLIMP. Mr. Chairman, after listening to General Peterson here, I am not sure how close I want to get to this microphone.
As my fellow panel members have said, it is an honor to be here appearing before you again today and representing the Marines from across the Corps. I, too, would like to include my thanks for all that you and this committee have done to care for those Marines and to assist us in caring for those Marines.
I would tell you that as the Chairman pointed out at the beginning of this hearing, I personally believe that the greatest challenge we will face to sustaining or we will face within the Department of Defense will be in fact the sustaining of the all volunteer force over probably the next ten years in terms of recruiting and retention.
You can have the greatest strategy in the world. You can have the best doctrine for the execution of that strategy. You can man that doctrine with the finest equipment in the world, but if you do not have the right kinds of people and the right numbers of people, you are standing on a foundation of sand.
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It is also, as the Chairman pointed out and as Secretary de Leon has pointed out and as all my predecessors here at this table pointed out, becoming increasingly difficult to do that.
Having said that, there is good news out there. The Marine Corps recruiting command has in fact accomplished its recruiting goals and its objectives for the last 56 consecutive months, and they tell me they are going to do it for a fifty-seventh. I gave them at the beginning of this year a goal of building their delayed entry pool to a pool of 55 percent by fiscal year 2002. They started at 50 percent this year. Their pool currently rests at about 53 percent, so the pool, the delayed entry pool, is growing.
Within that pool, pool attrition, those youngsters that we discharge from the pool for one reason or another, either they no longer want to be Marines or they are no longer qualified to become Marines, has decreased from a historic average of about 24 percent to somewhere around 18 percent, which means we are keeping more kids in the pool. We will send them to recruit training. In the long run, that should mean that we will have to charge our recruiters to find fewer people in the coming years.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), attrition, that attrition that we experience at the recruit depots, is also down from an historic average of somewhere between 13 and 15 percent to about ten percent. It, too, will have the same impact over the long run.
Our first term non-Exploration of Active Service (EAS), attrition, those young people we lose from the time they graduate from recruit training and before the end of their first term of enlistment, is down by some 22 percent. In the long term, that will have an impact. In the short term, it will have an impact.
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I will tell you that we are confident that we will make our recruiting missions and we will accomplish our recruiting missions again this year. We will accomplish our assigned and requested end strength. We are guardedly confident that we will accomplish our retention goals, but getting there will be a real fight for talent.
Mr. Chairman, I stand ready to try to answer any of the questions that you and the members of the Committee may have. Thank you, sir.
[The prepared statement of General Klimp can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, and my thanks to all the members of the panel. We will turn now to questioning. Let me first recognize Mr. Thornberry.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, I want to join in welcoming you. I personally think it is, among other reasons, it is a good thing to have somebody with your personnel background to go to be Deputy Secretary because of the challenge we have been talking about. We really are going to have to do more focusing on those personnel challenges to be where we need to be.
Let me ask you first. You were here during the first panel and heard about the survey analysis from the GAO. What role is that survey going to play, do you think, in decisions that we make and what we do to try to get and keep top quality people?
Secretary DE LEON. I think the survey gives us an indication of what people are thinking about, and as a consequence it is very important in looking at the survey both when I was briefed about two weeks ago and then looking through it again, some interesting trends.
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Job satisfaction seems to be very important, and so as was said from the Chair, if you are working less than 40 hours a week or you do not feel challenged, you are frustrated. At the other extreme, if you are working too hard, if you are deployed and there is a group that is deployed more than any of us would want, then there are real pressures there.
I think that the survey is important in the sense that it gives us a snapshot of what is on people's minds. The difficulty with the surveys is that they can tell you things that are often in conflict. On the one hand, pay is the biggest status factor issue, and it is the most negative issue, so it is finding out what the particular elements are, but I think the surveys are worthwhile to do.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Well, I think all of us have some appreciation for what you can find out and what you cannot find out by those kinds of surveys, and we grappled, as you know, last year in looking at pay raise and so forth with trying to figure out exactly why people make the decisions they do. It is a hard thing to get to the bottom of. For example, why do people have satisfaction? Is it just because they work a number of hours, or are there other factors going on?
Let me ask this. Do you think that we are putting enough time and effort and focus on longer term planning for getting and keeping people in the future? You mentioned Mr. Greenspan. I know that some private industry is really looking ahead at demographics, at changes that are occurring trying to figure out how are we going to recruit the kind of people that Microsoft has, that we have to have.
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are going to have to do the same thing. We cannot just put more money into an advertising budget and assume that the people are going to come streaming in. Are we doing enough not just looking at marketing strategies that work, but that kind of long-range planning that we are going to have to do?
Secretary DE LEON. That is a very good and it is also a very precise question. We have to take a strategic approach to recruiting because our economy has changed dramatically, and the possibilities that young people have are increasing.
Education turns out to be very, very important because the top jobs in the private sector go to young people with education, and I think that is one of the great selling points of the armed forces; not education in the classic sense, ''We will pay for you to go to college,'' but education in terms of what is the skill that you can learn in a job, and we are going to hope that a lot of the folks that we teach will serve 20 years.
At the same time, we are going to have to change our mind set that some of those kids are going to want to serve four and six years and then move on, which means the pipeline has to be constantly replenished.
There is a lot of focus right now on information security. How do we protect our computers and our computer communications? Last Thursday in the Pentagon I sort of tracked a message. Secretary Cohen's computer has a lot of security built into it, but we walked through all of the young people that work on our information backbone, and the most interesting conversation was a young Air Force lieutenant.
Page 70 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC He had been an ROTC student. Computer science was his major. He had served four years to the day, and then was essentially moving to take a job in the private sector. What he said, though, was ''What makes me valuable to the private sector is not what I learned in college. It is what I have learned in the military.''
He was a computer programmer in college, and what he did in the military was integrate the satellites to the ground systems and then connecting all of these systems together. It is almost like a classic trades kind of ayou go through a journeyman phase and an apprentice phase, and then you are a master.
I think what that tells me is that we are going to need to be focusing as much on our training programs to make sure that we have a pipeline of capable young people and that we are going to need to focus on that person that will serve for 20 years and have a good career, but that also we are going to have to learn how to maximize the participation of the person who may want to serve four or six years and make sure that as we train this person to take on these incredible skills that when they acquire those skills they are training the next generation to come through. I think in many of our high technology fields, that is one lesson.
The Congress has given us great tools in terms of recruiting doctors and nurses through scholarship programs. The doctors that are serving in the armed forces today that are coming out of the best medical schools that our country has are just spectacular, and so I think looking at some of those models, how that worked and how we are able to recruit kids who are smart enough to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School, but might not have the financial wherewithal, that looking at that I think is also, but looking more than just how am I going to get my numbers this year, but starting to look at demographic trends and working with the Census Bureau and the Labor Department in terms of where is the labor going to come from. I did not mean to monopolize the time, but it was a good question.
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Mr. THORNBERRY. Let me ask about just one other thing, and you may want to refer it to someone else, but the announcement was leaked Sunday and made Monday that in the future, Guard deployments overseas are going to be reduced to no more than six months.
There is a concern that was expressed to me yesterday in Bosnia that VA benefits are earned only after you have served 180 days and training does not count for that, and so Guard people are asking well, you know, have they cut me down just to where I miss by a few days being able to earn VA benefits? Do you know anything about that?
Secretary DE LEON. I do not. I will be happy to look into that. The decision that was made by the Army Chief was one to deal with OPTEMPO, and the people in the Texas 49th that are serving deserve the full amount of financial compensation.
Mr. THORNBERRY. And, of course, it does not apply to them because they are staying there
Secretary DE LEON. Right.
Mr. THORNBERRY. for eight months, but, General Ohle, I think we need some assurance out there for recruiting and retention purposes really.
General OHLE. Yes, sir. We agree, and we are preparing the reply for the record, but one of the benefits is just in pay alone. If the soldier is less than 179 or 180 deployed in the area, then he or she gets paid on temporary duty (TDY), basis, which is more than the money that he or she would make if they are on an extended tour, so we thought it was of benefit.
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We will go back, and we will look at the VA benefits, the medical benefits. We are putting a whole matrix together to come over and brief you on.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. Ms. Sanchez, we were going to turn to you next for questioning, and you can make a decision. We have probably about four or five minutes before we must recess for two votes. We will be happy to take your question and comments when we return, or if they are short you may choose to make them now. Your decision.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, I think they are short, so why do I not just go ahead
Mr. BARTLETT. Okay.
Ms. SANCHEZ. and do it, and then we will take off to do some votes.
First of all, I want to thank all the gentlemen for being before us today and testifying before us and giving us the written back-up of the information that we have.
Of course, to Secretary de Leon I think you have been doing a really good job and congratulate you on that. I know that you all worked very hard with my staff and with me and with this Committee, also with Chairman Buyer of this Committee, with respect to the domestic violence initiatives that we put in the bill last year.
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I actually just wanted to get an update on what is happening with respect to the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence and the interaction that you are seeing with local community agencies.
Secretary DE LEON. I think we are very close to having a final announcement on all of the membership of the panel for the Department of Defense. Lieutenant General Klimp will be the co-chair of it. He has indicated that this will be one of his top priorities.
We have worked with our counterparts elsewhere in the Federal Government to make sure that we have all of the appropriate sectors represented. We would like to thank you, Congresswoman Sanchez, for your work on this, particularly in helping us in conference because we think we have a better provision because of the input of you and the other members of this Subcommittee. Secretary Cohen now has the final package appointing all of the Department of Defense representatives, but I think we are ready to move out smartly.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Great. We will continue to work with you. I am real anxious to see some results out of that program.
Then my second question really has to do with this whole issue of recruiting and retention because as we all know, we are in a tight labor market. We just lifted the caps on Social Security so we could insure that those older workers who wanted to work in the private sector or I guess, public sector, could do it without being dinged on the tax return.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My question is I am very interested in how or what program we have in place that talks to active personnel about not only their current benefits, but their benefits once they retire from the service.
Secretary DE LEON. We have a number of mechanisms in place, including each of the services have websites. I know in the Department of Defense, Admiral (Patricia) Tracey in my organization has a website where we are trying to stay current with the legislation to let our military men and women know all of the benefits that they have, how Congress has helped us improve those benefits, but largely we are using information technology.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Okay. Great. I would like to work with you on that because I have met several service members who sometimes do not even know what is really happening and what they are going to get if they stay in or they stay out.
I know that when we have a sign up for them to re-sign that sometimes we go over that, but I think we need to be better about talking to them because I think the overall package is a very good package. As the young gentleman mentioned to you, it is what you learn in the military that makes you so valuable. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Those are all the question I have.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. Mr. Hayes indicated he had a short comment if we had time. We have about five minutes until the vote, so Mr. Hayes?
Mr. HAYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here. I have traveled to a number of basesNavy Norfolk, Marine Corps Beauford, Fort Bragg in my district. Over and over again, you know, what I see is we need an attitude adjustment in this Congress.
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Now, we have had it in the Armed Services Committee; this year is the year of the troops. We need to carry that across the board in Congress because these young men and women are looking for the support. There is no finer career than serving U.S. military. You pick your service. That is what I have heard. If we fly the flag high, where else is an 18 or 19-year-old going to get the responsibility and the training they are going to get in the military?
I say to our Congress let us get out here and do things that provide leadership. Fly the flag that backs up the advertising, things we talk about. TRICARE? We can fix it. We talked about that last week, technical difficulties with the providers. They are there. We have to have the will and the commitment to do it. Basic housing allowance. We can fix that. Persuasive in peace. Invincible in war. Not politically correct. That is what we need to do for you here behind these microphones.
The more I see of what you are doing, the more I like it. We need your cooperation so the American people know their tax dollars are being spent for security and not for other things. As we do that, I feel very encouraged about what is going to happen in the year of the troops when the troops come. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. I want to thank the panel very much. I had some questions, but I do not want to hold you, and so we will dismiss this panel now. We have two votes coming up. Thank you very much for your testimony.
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Mr. BUYER. [Presiding] The Subcommittee on Military Personnel will now come to order.
We will now turn our attention to the Reserve components. They have become an essential and integral part of this Nation's ability to carry out both its peacetime and wartime national military strategy. Now, annually members of the Reserve components are providing 13 million man hours of service, estimated, the equivalent of 35,000 active duty personnel. That is at least a twelvefold increase in the amount of Reserve component support to the active forces that was provided during the early 1980s, the height of the Cold War.
Given the crucial importance of the Reserve components today, this third panel is designed to provide the senior, civilian and military leaders of the National Guard and the Reserves the opportunity to present an overview of the Reserve components with a focus on the high priority fiscal, personnel, force structure, end strength and policy issues related to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001.
Our witnesses today are the Honorable Charles L. Cragin, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, and the Chiefs and Directors of the Reserve components.
I will open and permit you to address the Subcommittee on any statements you may have. Secretary Cragin?
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STATEMENT OF THE HON. CHARLES L. CRAGIN, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR RESERVE AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Mr. CRAGIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me say on behalf of myself and my colleagues that we are most appreciative for your leadership, both as the Chairman of the Subcommittee, but equally appreciative of your leadership and preparement of the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus, for what you and your colleagues on the Committee do for us in supporting the men and women who serve in America's Guard and Reserve. We are honored to be here with you today.
As you have just observed, our Reserve forces are truly in the midst of a profound transformation. They are no longer the force of last resort. They are no longer merely held in waiting for the advent of some cataclysmic military event, such as the Russians coming through, to fill the gap, the old slogan that we always had as we sat in our drill halls and our armories.
They are now serving side by side with their active duty counterparts, and, frankly, the American people can be and should be very proud of America's military, but they can be particularly proud of the men and women who serve in the National Guard and the Reserve.
Today's Reservists and Guardsmen are serving with pride and professionalism, and, as you have observed correctly, they are an integral part of our total force. Indeed, one of Secretary Cohen's primary objectives during the past three years has been to integrate the force and identify and remove barriers to integration.
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I am very pleased to report that we are making significant progress in this regard. My colleagues who have joined me here today have been working tirelessly and in close coordination with the active military and the other leadership in the Department to insure that total force integration is a reality and not just a slogan.
Little known to the American public, Mr. Chairman, we are currently calling Reservists to active duty under three separate Presidential Executive Orders for Bosnia, Southwest Asia and Kosovo. The one thing we have learned during the past decade is that we cannot undertake sustained operations anywhere in the world without calling on the Guard and Reserve. From aerial refueling to medical expertise, from public affairs to heavy lift, from psychological operations to military police, the Guard and Reserve provide in many cases the bulk of our capabilities, and we are calling on that expertise and on the patriotism and selfless sacrifice of our Reservists and their families and their employers to an unprecedented extent.
In Bosnia, more than 33,000 Reservists have served and will continue to serve. Just yesterday, the Texas Army National Guard's 49th Division, the Lone Star Division, took command of the American sector in Bosnia. This high profile deployment is one of many of its kind, and there are more to come.
These deployments clearly indicate not only increased reliance on our Guard and Reserve forces, but also increased trust between the active and Reserve components, as well as marking significant strides towards integration. Integration is a reality on the ground in Bosnia. It is also a reality in Kosovo, where more than 10,000 Reservists have served, and in Southwest Asia, where nearly 20,000 have served in the past two years.
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As we move toward building an ever more integrated and seamless total force, we must insure that we take care of our people, and we must insure that the relief they provide to the active components does not come at too high a price for our Reservists. To insure that we take care of our people as we increasingly rely upon them, Secretary Cohen and the leadership of the total force are committed to finding new ways to recruit and retain them in the force and to take care of their families and employers.
My formal statement covers these initiatives in greater detail, but let me say that despite the challenges in the recruiting and retention realm and the challenges we face with employers of Reservists, the state of our Reserve forces is sound.
With that, Mr. Chairman, let me say that we look forward to your questions, and I know that my colleagues have several very important points that they would like to make as well.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Cragin can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. General Davis.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. RUSSELL C. DAVIS, CHIEF, NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU
General DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. We appreciate having the opportunity to come before you and to, number one, thank you for the support you have given us in the appropriations bill in the year 2000.
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We have a number of new initiatives which have been instituted in that Act, and we do not have full funding for all of those. As we have gone through the process, some priorities have to be made and choices have to be made, but we have instituted a number of new programs as part of recruiting and retention because we know that strength is one of the major and key factors, the people piece of our readiness. We understand that, and we are focusing on it.
I will not get into the detail of some of the programs because both the Director of the Army Guard and the Director of the Air Guard will get into some detail on those, sir, and will be prepared to answer and address any questions you might have, but certainly full-time support is one issue, and we want to thank you for the help we got last year on full-time support.
It is one of the limiting factors, though, we feel in terms of improving our readiness significantly in the future. We can give you a detailed explanation of what we have done with all of the additional resources that you provided to us.
Family support and employer support become very challenging in the arena as we take on new missions. We understand those challenges, and we are working them very hard. We have some new initiatives in both of those arenas, and we can get into more detail on that later.
The last item I want to talk to you about since we are limited in time with such a large panel, Mr. Chairman, is quality of life. When we talk quality of life in the National Guard, we are talking quality of life where the soldiers and where the airmen work, the workplace. We are talking about the facilities. We are talking about the shops where they work.
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We are talking about those kinds of things, so we understand that, a different Committee in terms of facilities and Military Construction (MILCON). I understand that, sir, but those are kind of our main focal areas. We understand that if we do not do the people piece right, the subject of this Committee, we will not get it right.
We understand that, and we have undertaken some new initiatives, but with the full-time force to help stabilize that. General Weaver will talk about some of the things that we have done with pilots to stabilize that full-time cadre of pilots, and General Schultz will talk about some new initiatives we have in the recruiting and retention area.
We think we understand what is going on. We made end strength in the Army Guard, but we know we need some new initiatives, and we need to continue to pursue those.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and I will stand by to answer any questions you might have, sir.
[The prepared statement of General Davis can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. I am rather personally challenged by not having been here for really the first and second panel. Let me ask you, Secretary Cragin, before everyone else makes their comments. Since you were here from the beginning and I opened with a 20 or 25 minute discussion, did Secretary de Leon and the personnel Chiefs address any of the matters that I brought up?
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CRAGIN. Yes, Mr. Chairman. As a matter of fact, they did
Mr. BUYER. Okay.
Mr. CRAGIN. to a great extent. They corroborated the data that you had provided in your opening statement. I think there was a very comprehensive explanation of the efforts that both the active and Reserve components have been taking with respect to both the retention issues, as well as the recruiting issues.
I know that my colleagues want to address Reserve component specific activities with respect to those issues, but I think you will find an ample record to assist you in your deliberations as a result of that panel.
Mr. BUYER. All right. All right. Would you also please take back to Secretary de Leon our great concern on recruiting? You know the commercial sector. We can learn from them. When they have a theme and it is clicking and product is moving out the door, they do not back off from advertising. They pour it on, yet when we look at our budget cycles when you hit the market then in budget fights they back off.
Hopefully this issue of the inconsistent funding year in and year out, and I do not know if Secretary de Leon covered that or not, but that is a very real issue, and it is a thorn in my side as much as the modeling for the health care issues, so please convey that.
Mr. CRAGIN. I believe that the Secretary was here when you made that observation initially, and I will be happy to
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Mr. BUYER. All right.
Mr. CRAGIN. take it back for emphasis.
Mr. BUYER. All right. Thank you. General Schultz.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. ROGER C. SCHULTZ, DIRECTOR, ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
General SCHULTZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. Mr. Chairman, the priority in the Army National Guard is our soldiers, and to you and members of the Committee I extend to you our appreciation for making in the Army Guard a condition that this year is better than in past years.
We see in our personnel accounts, readiness has improved over time. Military Occupational Speciality (MOS), qualification has stayed approximately the same in many of the lower priority units, but in the first-to-deploy units our qualification is in fact higher. I think what that speaks to is where we apply the investment of the readiness of our unit, personnel accounts also respond.
I want to say, Mr. Chairman, integration in the Army is real. General Plewes and I just returned from Bosnia last night, where we had transfer of authority to a National Guard general officer from Texas assuming responsibility for Task Force Eagle, so we look at both the Guard, Reserve, and active rotation, and that is exciting for us.
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As we think about the future of the Army and the transformation, it brings new roles and responsibilities, new priorities. As I talk to you about the TEMPO in our units, I am interested, concerned about our employers and the pace and the likes of what we are asking our soldiers.
Day-to-day, Mr. Chairman, we have passed this detail to your Committee staff members, but our full-time staffing levels just do not correspond with the level of the activity that we have experienced in our units across the country, so our later-to-deploy units in a war fighting sense are units in Bosnia and Kosovo and Southwest Asia today, so we have concern about that.
From a soldier point of view, you are correct with your opening comments about our numbers. We will meet this year's end strength. We have also been declining in end strength, so at 350,000 we expect to stabilize, and you will see in our specific budget line request we are going to plus up our recruiters a little bit, we are going to plus up our incentive accounts a little bit, advertising we will plus up a little bit as well, so both recruiting, retention and our overall focus on attrition management relates to our priorities for fiscal year's 2001 request.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of General Schultz can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. I hate to interrupt.
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General SCHULTZ. Sure.
Mr. BUYER. You are going to plus up. Is that over and above what has presently been submitted to us?
General SCHULTZ. No. What you have in terms of our staff coordination is all we are asking for. What I want you to know is that
Mr. BUYER. Are you referring to a plus up
General SCHULTZ. I am referring to our staff working with your staff.
Mr. BUYER. or what is alreadyall right. That is what we need to know. These are discussions about your shortfall requirements?
General SCHULTZ. Correct. Unfunded requirements. That is correct.
Mr. BUYER. All right.
General SCHULTZ. We have answered the committee staff questions regarding what is in 2001 that you have some concern about, and I can isolate those details for you, but it reaches across recruiting, retention, incentives, as well as some advertising.
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Mr. BUYER. What is your total number?
General SCHULTZ. $72 million, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. [Whistles.]
General SCHULTZ. That includes 246 recruiters, as well as the other incentive programs broken down.
Mr. BUYER. Break it out. Tell me what it is.
General SCHULTZ. For recruiting and retention expense, $19 million; recruiting and retention General Services Administration (GSA), vehicle fleet, $8 million; recruiting, retention and advertising is $17 million; a plus up to the Montgomery GI bill is $10 million; tuition assistance is $4 million; our student loan program is short $2 million; our bonus program is short $12.8 million; and our recruiting and retention non-commissioned officers, 264 members, so that is the total package for fiscal year 2001.
Mr. BUYER. Secretary Cragin, are you familiar with this, these numbers are shortfall?
Mr. CRAGIN. We are aware of their unfunded requirements, yes.
Mr. BUYER. All right. All right. Thank you. Have you also worked this through Secretary Cragin's office?
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General SCHULTZ. Yes. Our staff works all of these details before we come here. That is correct.
Mr. BUYER. All right. All right. Do you have anything further?
General SCHULTZ. I do not, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. THOMAS J. PLEWES, CHIEF, U.S. ARMY RESERVE
General PLEWES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Army Reserve, and thank you for your continued strong support for our soldiers.
We are very busy today in the Army Reserve and the Army Guard. We are transforming our force in line to support the Chief of Staff of the Army's vision. Our task over the next decade I think is to remain flexible and responsive to the needs of our Army.
If you look at that for the future, I think you can project the future by looking at just what we have done over the past year, supporting over 4,000 Kosovo refugees at our installation at Fort Dix, New Jersey, rebuilding roads in Guatemala and El Salvador, basic medical care throughout Central America, continued presence and support in Bosnia and Kosovo to the tune right now where we have 1,100 Army Reservists over there, and even Army Reserve civil affairs and logistical soldiers supporting the U.S mission in East Timor.
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The Army Reserve did this at a time when it achieved its highest readiness status in its history, as measured by the Army's readiness status that applies to both the active and Reserve components. To continue in this manner, we need your continued support in providing critical resources, we must have for full-time support recruiting and advertising and retention incentives.
Let me highlight two areas of concern. In the last session, Congress provided funding required to field an additional 1,000 active, Guard and Reserve soldiers authorized in the 1999 Authorization Act. Our validated support requirements for 1,800 more at a rate of 300 per year will, I believe, assure a better and more ready force.
Another area of high importance to the Army Reserve is recruiting and retention. The current Army Reserve recruiting environment remains difficult, and I fully concur in your assessment. However, I believe that the Army Reserve this year will meet its fiscal year 2000 end strength requirement by continuation of our successful retention initiatives. Those at this point are on target.
We will also address these studies and these concerns in a recruiting study that we are preparing in response to the request in last year's Authorization Act, and we are going to provide you that study this summer.
In summary, we are grateful for your support for the Army Reserve and will continue to deliver on the support you provide. Thank you.
Page 89 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The prepared statement of General Plewes can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. General Plewes, just so I keep on track here,
General PLEWES. Sure.
Mr. BUYER. my mental track, when I thought that you were going to be 5,000 short, you disagree?
General PLEWES. We will be 5,000 short if the current projections as to the recruiting take are correct, but I expect that we will continue to improve our retention and make up that deficit in the recruiting end, so that end strength will be
Mr. BUYER. How are you going to do that if the active Army does not support you?
General PLEWES. I am doing a lot myself with my own commander, sir. This is an internal get-well program. Last year we
Mr. BUYER. You are having to do it yourself?
General PLEWES. Last year we improved our retention by 4.8 percent and saved well over 8,000 soldiers. This year I expect that we are going to improve our retention by another three percent and save close to 5,000 perhaps. We are on target for the first four months of the year to do that.
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Mr. BUYER. Admiral.
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. JOHN B. TOTUSHEK, U.S. NAVAL RESERVE, COMMANDER NAVAL RESERVE FORCE
Admiral TOTUSHEK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is an honor and my pleasure to appear before this Committee representing the 89,000 men and women affiliated with the Naval Reserve today.
Every single day of the year, the United States Naval Reservists are hard at work serving alongside their active duty brothers and sisters around the world in doing the Navy's day-to-day operations. In fact, we are so seamlessly integrated that you cannot tell the difference between the Naval Reservists and the active component members.
As you know, this has not always been the case. However, the transformation the past few years has taken us from a force-on-call, as Mr. Cragin says, to a total force performing day-to-day forward deployed missions to relieve OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO.
It is widely acknowledged within the Department of Navy and Department of Defense that today's Naval Reserve helps the active Navy accomplish its missions, which clearly demonstrates our relevance in meeting today's national military strategy. My formal statement provided for the record provides current examples of the Navy missions that are entrusted either entirely or partially to the Naval Reserve. The taxpayers of America are the true beneficiaries of the relevant and effective Naval Reserve force that provides 20 percent of Navy's total manpower and equipment, yet makes up only four percent of its budget.
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I would like to just for a minute address a couple of the items that you brought up in your opening remarks, which I think were in fact right on target. The first is recruiting and retention. Recruiting and retention are our number one goal. We will in fact come in short, we believe, of our recruiting goals, as you said, although we are hopeful that due to the same kinds of leadership initiatives, letting our commanders be in charge of retention, that we will come in much closer to the goal than what you estimated.
The way we are attacking our recruiting is, with the Committee's help, we did get a plus up this year and we have obtained more recruiters, but that is in fact my biggest problem. I am at about 605 recruiters today. I need to be up at about 725. We are adding 45 recruiters to our inventory this year, and I have additionally detailed 35 full-time support people away from other jobs to help with recruiting in the short term just for one tour until I can get the plus up to where it needs to be.
Additionally, we got recruiting advertising money this year, about $5 million, and we have gotten a help from Navy, an increase over the last year's budget in 2001, of $3.1 million. We will still be short approximately $7 million, however, of what we will need to stay at 2000 levels.
Mr. BUYER. In your advertising budget?
Admiral TOTUSHEK. No. That is total recruiting. That is advertisement of about $3.5 million will get us back up where we are, where we are this year.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. What is the other?
Admiral TOTUSHEK. The balance is operation support.
Additionally, we are working very closely with Navy on something we are calling fleet concentration area recruiting, and that is the ability to get face-to-face with people that are leaving active duty. The numbers boil down so that if I recruit every person that walks off the gangplank that is eligible to come into the Naval Reserve, I miss goal. Having said that, however, we are only picking up about 25 percent of those people, and we think we can do a better job. The Navy is agreeing and helping us get to those people before they leave active duty, and we are really excited about that program.
Third, we are the only service or component that does not recruit in the 17 to 25-year-old market at present. We are looking at a pilot program where we would pick up primarily people that were leaving the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), through attrition and offering them an opportunity to come straight into the Naval Reserve after going to boot camp and an A school, so we are starting to look at that market as a way to make our numbers.
As I said before, the retention figures are saving us, as they are some of the other Reserve components, but we have a plan, and we are aggressively pursuing it to try and make our end strength and our recruiting numbers.
Additionally, you had brought up the factor of Naval Reserve tending to run out of money in the fourth quarter for annual training. I believe this stems from the fact that we were probably the worst priced of all in the rates of all the services for the past few years. We have worked very hard with our programmers in Navy over the last two years to get those rates correct, and we believe in 2001 the rate itself is correct.
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Having said that, we are looking now at double digit inflation in travel cost, meal cost, hotel cost. We are going to renegotiate the airline contract here shortly, and we expect that is going to go up as well because of fuel cost, so, having tried to fix the rates, we think we are still going to be looking at a shortfall because of inflation over the next year.
Mr. Chairman, unless there are any other questions directly at this time, I would just like to thank you and the committee for all your support in the past. We look forward to taking questions.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Totushek can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
General Plewes, we are going to come back to you at the end because you did not itemize unfunded requirements, and I would like for each of you in your statements to mention what are some of the unfunded requirements and itemize and let us know exactly what they are.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. PAUL A. WEAVER JR., DIRECTOR, AIR NATIONAL GUARD
General WEAVER. Mr. Chairman, good afternoon. It is always a pleasure to appear before you.
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Last year was a wake up call for the Air National Guard. We took great pride of having the best retention rate of all the Reserve components, and now last year we started to see a crack in that.
You were right on in your beginning remarks by saying that mid-career we had problems. When we looked at surveying that mid-career part of our Air National Guard family, we found some things that were very interesting, that people were leaving, lack of promotions, stress on the family and stress on the employer, not so much because of Operations or PERSTEMPO because it shows that the PERSTEMPO surveys of the units that had the higher PERSTEMPO had the best retention rates, but the information concerning the welfare of the family, the welfare of the employer, that drove a heavy burden on our Guardsmen and-women.
Mr. BUYER. You should be sitting there with the biggest smile of all.
General WEAVER. Yes, sir. I am.
Mr. BUYER. Most of those dollars out of last year's budget poured right
General WEAVER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. The supplemental and the budget poured right into you.
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General WEAVER. I am having a hard time trying to be humble, sir.
Mr. BUYER. That is not what your buddies are saying.
Mr. BUYER. Go ahead. I am sorry.
General WEAVER. Full-time pilots. On the Active Guard and Reserve (AGR), side, both General Sherrard and myself and the Air National Guard, our full-time AGR pilots come under the Aviation Continuation Pay (ACP), program with the Air Force, a great total force initiative.
Our technicians are really the bulk of our full-time instructor pilots. We have put together another total force package that will help our technician pilots and right now a special salary rate for them. That program package is right now in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), waiting to go to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and we expect approval all up and down the line for our technician pilots as well.
When we looked at other issues concerning the problems with promotionsomething that certainly the Committee cannot do but I can do internally. Last year during our year of the enlisted force, we added 25,000 enlisted grades to our manning documents, meaning that staff sergeant would be the lowest document, the lowest grade, on our manning document for our enlisted force.
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We also included that on the officer side that major would be the lowest grade on our documents. That is to be able to take in a more mature officer coming off of active duty or an older officer coming in off of active duty and being able to stay in the Air National Guard longer.
One thing that also came out of our survey, we traditionally have our enlisted force stay in about 30 years. What we are finding now at 20 years they are deciding to get out, and it started happening last year, another reason for not making the end strength.
Our recruiting has had to change this year. I mean, it was truly a wake up call. We have always had the door swinging in. Now our recruiters have to go out into the field, into the street, into the cities, into the inner cities and truly recruit like we have not done before, so we have had a major paradigm shift.
Thanks to you and your Committee for providing some of that resourcing money for things that we have never done in the past in a big environment as far as advertising. We have certainly changed that this year with your help.
What we are looking at as far as additional needs that we are working on also is for 2001 $4.7 million in incentives; $14.3 million in advertising; $2.7 million half-year funding for 100 additional recruiters for a total of about $22 million. That is for 2001. It has been a wake up call for the Air National Guard.
[The prepared statement of General Weaver can be found in the Appendix.]
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Mr. BUYER. Your colleagues are probably saying under their breath, ''Have you no shame?''
General WEAVER. No, sir, I have not.
Mr. CRAGIN. We are not saying that, Mr. Chairman. We know he has no shame.
Mr. BUYER. They are kicking you under the table.
General WEAVER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. All that money you got last year, and you are asking for more.
General WEAVER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. No. Thank you. I am just
General WEAVER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. trying to add humor.
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General WEAVER. I cannot wait to get in the hallway.
Mr. BUYER. I am sure. Take the stairs.
General WEAVER. Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. General Sherrard.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. JAMES E. SHERRARD, III, CHIEF, AIR FORCE RESERVE
General SHERRARD. Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for the opportunity to address the needs and represent the men and women of Air Force Reserve Command to you today. As you know, our force is, we believe, very strong and continuing to grow in capability, but, as you so eloquently stated in your opening remarks, we have some challenges.
Our recruiters in fact assessed more last year than they had since fiscal year 1995. That being said, we stayed almost flat line, and in fact there was about a 200 person decrease in our total manning numbers, so while we are achieving recruits at a recruiting level that we would desire, we are not achieving our recruiting goals because of some retention issues on the other side. We are working on that, working very hard. We have taken some initiative to step out forward. You were very gracious in your Committee in the support of this body to give us some plus ups in this year's budget of 30 additional recruiters. We are out recruiting and bringing those people on board as we speak.
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I likewise have stepped forward with a Montgomery GI Bill kicker initiative. We are taking ourselves, initiating that in this year with funding out of our current account that we have, as well as tuition assistance, and you so graciously gave us some extra advertising dollars to help us in that really, really critical need area.
Our 2001 shortfalls have been addressed by all my colleagues. Ours mirror those, and I can give you a breakdown by numbers I think we have already passed to your staff, but we are really talking, we are needing an additional 50 recruiters. I feel like a pauper here as I have heard the numbers up and down of the number of recruiters they have for their force. We have, I believe, maybe the smaller number short of maybe my colleague sitting to my left here.
Three hundred and forty-eight on board today are our number of authorizations, and in our 2002 plan we are going to come forward with an additional 50. We would like to start that to press it on forward if we could in the 2001 time frame.
Mr. BUYER. Is it proper to have that discussion now and not wait? The Chief (General Michael Ryan, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force) testified to a budget that almost assumes failure. I have great respect for General Ryan, and that was probably the most bothersome thing to me that we are assuming that the Air Force is not going to meet its goals.
I can understand when he testified before the full Committee that he probably walked away from the table sort of bewildered by saying, ''Gosh, why is Steve Buyer beating up on me because I did not meet my goals when in fact I am not the one who short-circuited the system. I did not cut back on quality. I am making my efforts to maintain quality, and I am not meeting my goals, but at the same time things are not getting funded.''
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If you are uncomfortable in the number of recruiters and you say, ''Well, we will get it in for next year,'' I am more than prepared to have that discussion now about your present needs and requirements so we get ahead of the ball in 18 months. Get it in now.
General SHERRARD. Yes, sir. I could not agree more, but the issue being and the reason of getting it in now because as you build that force, you are not going to instantaneously have a viable additional 50 recruiters that are functioning today. You have to bring them on, training them.
Mr. BUYER. Right.
General SHERRARD. It will take you that lead time. That is what we are looking at with the 30 that you have already given us.
Mr. BUYER. Be bold.
General SHERRARD. We are going to continue to press on through with that.
Mr. BUYER. Be bold.
General SHERRARD. I will try to be bold.
Mr. BUYER. What do you need?
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General SHERRARD. Well, right now that is what I am trying to finish up here.
About $6.5 million in Operations and Maintenance (O&M), money and about $20 million in Reserve Personnel Account (RPA), or $25 million, excuse me, in RPA to take care of the things that Paul (General Weaver) talked about in terms of Aviator Continuation Pay (ACP), for our active, Guard and Reserve full-time pilots because that is an issue we want to make certain that we fund because they are out there working side-by-side their active duty counterparts.
Paul and I both stood forward, came forward with an initiative to do a bonus program for our Air Reserve technicians. We are limited in terms of by law as to what we can go do, but we stepped up to that and have an initiative also going over to OPM at this time to establish a new salary rate for those.
We are both very concerned with that full-time force. I particularly am, as you mentioned. My force, while it has only dropped to 83 percent, any one of those members that is not there is a member that puts me in jeopardy of being able to continue to provide the proper training and oversight and protection and coverage for my traditional Reservists, so I have to make sure I keep that force manned to the max extent possible.
Those are the things that we are after. As I said earlier, our recruiters, I am very proud of what they do, and I certainly do not want anyone to lambast that they in fact are not carrying their load because I think if you go check statistically the number of accessions per recruiter, we may in fact be the number one in DOD. My folks tell me that we are, but I will not be quite that bold because I am sure my colleagues can get a pencil and paper and say, ''Well, how are you figuring?''
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The important thing to be is for all of us to make note of, as I said earlier, that they achieved and assessed more recruits than we had since fiscal year 1995, which I think is remarkable in today's market and the environment, and the avenues that they are having to go down are absolutely mind boggling in terms of what is out there because we need to have education benefits to provide, which you have given us the authority to go do, and now we have to figure out how to implement it and fund it.
I look forward to being able to do that because I am comfortable that with the support of this Committee and the leadership that I have in my field commanders, as has been mentioned by my other colleagues, that we in fact will be able to stem the tide and do our darnedest to make that end strength.
I am proud to say that even though we were short in end strength last year, 98 percent of our wartime billets were in fact filled with skilled members of the skill that they should be having to be capable of deploying, and that is important as we do our business when you take the seamless integration of the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and active force to put the Air Force story and the mission areas that we are asked to meet around the world.
I thank you for your attention and look forward to other questions that you may have, sir.
[The prepared statement of General Sherrard can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. I do real quick. If you could set the numberdo not worry about resourcing. If you could set the number of your need right now on the recruiters, what would it be? Do not say what is in 2002 and 2003. What do you need right now?
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General SHERRARD. Right now with the numbers going, we say 398, sir. To be candid with you, I need to do that because I am concerned. I would be concerned if I went much greater than that that I would be getting a number that I may not
Mr. BUYER. What are you at right now?
General SHERRARD. I have 348. Growing to 348, yes, sir, with the 30 that you gave us last year, but if we could go to the 398 my dilemma would be getting the candidates, getting them trained and getting them out there.
Mr. BUYER. And the number for 2002 is what?
General SHERRARD. The 2002 number, that is where the 398 is based on.
Mr. BUYER. That is the 398?
General SHERRARD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. I have to push numbers, too.
General SHERRARD. Okay.
Mr. BUYER. But if I could get you to 398 a year earlier, then I take the smile off General Weaver, and I put it on your face.
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General SHERRARD. Well, that is probably an appropriate place for it to be placed, but, yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. All right.
General SHERRARD. I think there is ample room for both of us to share, the key point being that we need to get out there and find that force.
Mr. BUYER. Can we carry on that discussion?
General SHERRARD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. You push the pen on that one, and I will, too. I will see what I can do
General SHERRARD. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. to help accommodate.
General SHERRARD. I would be happy to.
Mr. BUYER. All right. Thank you.
General SHERRARD. Thank you.
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Mr. BUYER. General Mize.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. DAVID M. MIZE, COMMANDER, MARINE FORCES RESERVE
General MIZE. Mr. Chairman, thank you for your continuing interest in the Marine Corps Reserve.
I am honored to testify for you today. I'm very proud to represent Marines and sailors. The Marine Corps Reserves continue to make an extraordinary contribution1999 was very indicative of the recent paradigm of a variety of missions, which included providing civil affairs expertise in the Balkans, aviation support in Southwest Asia and logistics support in Central America. They participated in joint exercises around the globe in Norway, Romania, Egypt, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Australia, and back home they trained hard to maintain readiness for mobilization.
At a time when a Presidential Selected Reserve call up is more likely than ever, the overall readiness posture of our Marine Corps Reserve is very high. With one notable exception, which I will address shortly, the Reserves are equipped as well as the active component.
Sustaining this level of readiness, however, has a price tag. Three major concerns present our greatest readiness challenge. First and foremost are 48 F18A aircraft, which comprise four squadrons, are becoming quickly obsolete. We need these aircraft to last until the joint strike fighter comes on line in the 2015 to 2020 time frame.
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They are early deployers in Commander in Chief (CINC), war plans, but without modernizations, U.S. CINCs and NATO will probably not allow the fighters in the theater. They need ECP583 to be compatible with the F18C and D models, both operationally and logistically, and, most importantly, to employ precision guided munitions.
The Reserve F18As have extended life left in the air frame, and for $4.6 million per copy we can bring the planes to the latest capabilities. The program is about 40 percent funded, but we need the rest.
Our second priority is Reserve manpower augmentation, specifically additional active duty special work days and postponing a small percentage of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), cuts in our active Reserve program. We have been a daily use force, but our current Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW), budget does not meet the increasing operational demands placed on the Reserves.
We require ADSW augmentation primarily to plan for and provide OPTEMPO relief for the active component and to maintain our readiness. We need Congressional help to meet these total force obligations.
The QDR reductions in the active Reserve program are also threatening the readiness of our units. One of the major factors facilitating Reserve readiness is a significant investment of active duty manpower in full-time support of the Reserves.
QDR cuts were directed at a time when OPTEMPO relief and overall employment of the Reserves were not as high as they are now. We need to postpone a portion of the remaining QDR cuts to our active Reserves to maintain our readiness.
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Our third readiness priority is the maintenance of aging equipment. Just as a car requires more maintenance if it is driven more and kept longer than anticipated, military equipment that has been operated more often and replaced less frequently than planned requires more maintenance than was originally planned for. With daily use, maintenance funding increases are necessary to keep the equipment operating in a safe and reliable manner.
The Marine Corps Reserve is ready today, but to be ready tomorrow and to continue to provide the daily OPTEMPO relief benefits to the total force Marine Corps they have come to depend on, we need your help in maintaining a level of funding and manning to sustain our invaluable Reserve contributions.
The fiscal year 2001 budget and the Administration's budgetary planning guidance are a step in the right direction, but your help and ability to fund this commitment is crucial. The consistent, steadfast and unfailing support of the Congress has preserved our ability to answer the call as America's force in readiness.
We appreciate your continued support and collaboration in making the Marine Corps and its Reserves a DOD model for total force integration and exhibitionary capability. Thank you, and I stand ready to answer any questions you have.
[The prepared statement of General Mize can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. Do you have an unfunded requirement?
Page 108 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MIZE. We do. Of particular interest in the readiness would be $3 million for active duty special work; $1.9 million for the postponement of some of our active Reserve QDR cuts; and then, of interest to you, $2 million in the O&M for recruit advertising. Those are the ones that are particularly in your purview in the Military Personnel Subcommittee.
Mr. BUYER. What is this $2 million enlistment bonus, $4 million GI Bill college fund? Is that on your list or not on your list?
General MIZE. Are you talking about
Mr. BUYER. On recruiting and retention unfunded requirements. This is the active side?
General MIZE. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. I am sorry. I got the wrong list. My bad.
General MIZE. We would be happy for you to add those to our list.
Mr. BUYER. Actually, your testimony is useful. The only thing I have on yours is just $2 million on the advertising. You have now added another $4 million, right?
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General MIZE. $3.0 million for active duty special work and $1.9 for a postponement of 58, four officers and 54 enlisted, in our active Reserve full-time support component.
Mr. BUYER. You are asking to increase the head room?
General MIZE. We are asking to reduce the level of reductions. We are still taking our QDR cuts as planned, and we are asking to postpone that level of the cut. We took a
Mr. BUYER. You took a chapter from the Guard?
General MIZE. We did. We did. We initially in our QDR
Mr. CRAGIN. That was the Army, not just the Guard.
Mr. BUYER. It was the Army?
Mr. CRAGIN. It was a 25K deferral that
Mr. BUYER. So it was applied to
Mr. CRAGIN. It was applied within the Reserve components of the Army, not specifically directed at the Guard because we had never reached a conclusion as to how we would have apportioned that 25K drawdown since Secretary Cohen decided to incur that drawdown.
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Mr. BUYER. General Mize.
General MIZE. We had over a 20 percent cut in our active Reserve manpower counts based on the QDR again at the time when the anticipation of a level of effort we are providing today was not conceived.
Mr. BUYER. Is anyone else in the same position as the Marine Corps Reserve? Anyone else? No? All right. Thank you. I will have to look at that one.
General MIZE. We would be happy to provide you additional information
Mr. BUYER. I am sure you would.
General MIZE. as necessary, sir.
Mr. BUYER. I am sure you would. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. D. DENNIS SIROIS, DIRECTOR, U.S. COAST GUARD RESERVE
Admiral SIROIS. Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to appear before you today. At this time, I wish to thank the members of the Subcommittee for their longstanding support of the Coast Guard Reserve, which is having a direct and positive effect on our ability to carry out our many diverse missions that contribute daily to maritime safety and national security.
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I also wish to express my personal gratitude to all our Coast Guard Reservists who take time away from their families, employers, businesses and professions to serve their country.
Every day, every where the Coast Guard is found, at small boats stations and marine safety offices, aboard cutters and deployed overseas in support of the regional CINCs, our Reservists, although small in number, stand the watch with professionalism and exceptional dedication.
Like the Reserve components of our sister services, our Reservists are called increasingly to help shoulder the growing operations TEMPO burden facing the active forces. Coast Guard Reserve is no longer simply a contingency resource for military operations. It has a much broader mission and has evolved into a work force that provides measurable support for day-to-day operations of the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard Reserve has assumed the full spectrum of Coast Guard mission responsibilities. This augmentation has become even more critical since the Coast Guard has become a streamlined organization. For instance, in fiscal year 1999, Coast Guard Reservists contributed nearly 500 work years to daily Coast Guard operations, including interdicting illegal narcotics and migrants, prosecuting search and rescue cases and protecting the environment.
Reservists also contributed over 45 work years for contingency and surge operations, such as the Hurricane Floyd recovery effort and the John F. Kennedy, Jr., search and recovery effort. Last year, Reservists contributed almost 1,050 work years of support to the Coast Guard, ranging from unit, small boat, cutter and aircraft maintenance to electronic equipment repair and logistics.
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In the aggregate, this represents a contribution to Coast Guard mission accomplishment in active component personnel TEMPO relief of nearly 1,600 work years in fiscal year 1999, up over 25 percent from just two years earlier.
The data demonstrate the growing importance of the Reserve component in the execution of present and future Coast Guard missions. Indeed, the unique value of the Coast Guard Reserve was demonstrated last year on two occasions when the Secretary of Transportation exercised his authority under Title 14, U.S. Code (USC), section 712 to authorize the involuntary recall of Reservists for Hurricane Floyd recovery efforts and possible Y2K related contingencies.
Again I wish to express my appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the Subcommittee for your outstanding understanding of the challenges facing the Coast Guard and its Reserve component. We will be providing a written statement for the record and will be pleased to answer any questions.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Sirois can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
General Plewes, your unfunded requirements?
General PLEWES. Yes, sir. This is going to be rough. It is not as good as the President's budget as before you because in a way we do not know what we do not know. For example, the Army is changing the way in which it is going to do its recruit advertising. It has a new
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Mr. BUYER. I am sorry. I was looking
General PLEWES. The Army is changing the way it will do its recruit advertising. It is going to bring on a new advertising agency and will have a new marketing director, but if we are going to do next year as we did last year
Mr. BUYER. Time out.
General PLEWES. Yes.
Mr. BUYER. Have you been told that?
General PLEWES. Yes.
Mr. BUYER. That they are going to bring on a new agency?
General PLEWES. That is correct.
Mr. BUYER. I thought it was going to be a bid contract, Mr. Secretary.
General PLEWES. Well, it is recompeted.
Mr. BUYER. Okay. It is recompeted.
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General PLEWES. If the old agency wins it, it is going to be different than was presently
Mr. BUYER. Right. It means who is presently there can openly compete.
General PLEWES. That is correct.
Mr. BUYER. Okay.
General PLEWES. But we are going to have a different way of doing the advertising business, I believe, even if the old agency gets the contract.
Last year the Committee gave us an additional $18 million for advertising, and I can tell you it was effective. For the first time, I saw Army Reserve advertisements on TV before two o'clock in the morning, so I believe that we know what we need to do. We are bold enough to say that our shortfall, if we do business like we did last year, would be $24 million in recruit advertising. We are short on incentives. We just do not have enough money to pay the increased incentives that were added, about $12 million in enlisted incentives, and for the Montgomery GI Bill, both the basic and kicker, amounts to about $10 million.
We have entered into a new test this year of contract recruiting. We have a private company out there with 85 contract recruiters. Their average cost per recruit is coming in at about $2,500. I do not know how much we would expand that, but next year's cost at this year's effort would be about $6 million out for that and about $2 million to continue a medical recruiting initiative we have also on the private side.
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Finally, I mentioned full-time support. Full-time support is not necessarily associated with the recruiting effort, but it is a readiness indicator. Our overall shortfall as recognized by the Army is 1,800 military and about 1,400 civilians. We would stage that over years if we had the option and ask for about 300 military and a less number of military technicians. The cost of that would be about $10 million first year.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
Secretary Cragin, first I would like to extend to you my compliments and gratitude for your leadership and your efforts on total force integration. I think we have come a long way since Secretary Cohen's leadership and yours. I am really appreciative. I think and believe that the Chiefs on your left and right would concur. Now that I have given you the compliments, let me
Mr. CRAGIN. Can I use that in a job reference or anything?
Mr. BUYER. Sure. Here is what is really concerning me. Despite the absolute certainty of continuing recruiting difficulties, each of the Reserve Chiefs of whom just testified really took some budget hits, so even though publicly it appears that the President sent to Congress this huge plus up, the Army National Guard, the enlistment bonuses were cut $12 million; the Army Reserve, advertising was cut $13 million; Naval Reserve, advertising cut $4 million; Air National Guard, advertising cut $7 million; Air Force Reserve, advertising and recruiting operations cut $4 million; Marine Corps Reserve, advertising cut $1 million; Coast Guard Reserve, you are so short of money that you suspended paying enlistment bonuses in fiscal year 2000, effectively shutting down your recruiting program almost.
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That makes the total requests of all Reserve components for fiscal year 2001 unfunded recruiting requirements at $168.1 million. Secretary Cragin?
Mr. CRAGIN. Mr. Buyer, as you know, all of the resource managers try their very best within the development of the budgets within the services and within the Department of Defense to take the resources available and spread them as best they can.
There is no question that the Reserve recruiting issues are very important issues, but also are other issues such as Army division, redesign, General Mize's FA18 upgrades and things of that nature. I think what we have tried to do with the resources that have been available to us as shepherds is to provide those resources.
This Committee was very, very helpful last year in plussing up the recruiting budgets. There is no question that in the budget that was sent to the Hill this year we did not revert to the budget levels that were submitted a year ago, so there has been progress within the President's budget, but obviously you have made the point that there are deficits. We understand that.
Frankly, that is why the Chiefs have been here with you today expressing from their candid perspectives what they feel they require. We all understand, and I think Secretary de Leon said it very eloquently, the dynamics of this environment in which we have to all recruit and retain, and they are really both sides of the same coin.
We need to modernize the equipment to give the men and women of the force that are there the equipment they need to do their jobs. That is a retention issue, and so you are constantly having to balance these competing interests with the limited resources that we have.
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Mr. BUYER. Part of the reason that I have extended the compliments to you is I note that as we try to bridge any cultural gaps in Reserve components and also active duty that for whether it is the Reserve component Chiefs or associations in the town having to come to Capitol Hill to fulfill their needs and requirements, and when that happens such leverage only widens the gap.
Mr. CRAGIN. I agree.
Mr. BUYER. You took that on, and it is best seen perhaps in the Guard and Reserve equipment accounts. You have gotten the active duty counterpart on board, but it goes beyond just procurement.
Mr. CRAGIN. I agree with you, and I think, frankly, Secretary Cohen agrees with you.
Mr. BUYER. If we do not, it fosters
Mr. CRAGIN. You are absolutely right, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. all your good work.
Mr. CRAGIN. His entire approach and the Chiefs that sit with me today and some of their predecessors I know would confirm it.
Page 118 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC When he came to the Department of Defense, the Reserve Chiefs really did not have any opportunity to participate in the resource decision making process, and he opened up the doors of the Program Review Group and the Defense Resources Board within the Department of Defense and invited them in and asked them to participate and by doing that sent a message to the services that they needed to be participants at the service level in the development of the budget. They were and they are, so we have made that sort of progress.
As I say, there are going to be difficult issues that need to be addressed in the resourcing area, but we have made substantial progress, and I will not say we have arrived until we stop having to use the word integration.
Mr. BUYER. That is true.
Mr. CRAGIN. But the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA), from Secretary Cohen's perspective was somewhat antithetical to an integrated force. If you had two different budgetary approaches, you really did not have everybody sitting in the room together discussing how they were going to fund the Army or the Navy or the Marine Corps or the Air Force.
I think we have made substantial progress, and I know you have made the observation that as the NGREA account has declined, the active duty accounts have increased so that we certainly have remained at worst a parody and perhaps have made a little progress as well.
Mr. BUYER. Gentlemen, tonight (Representative) Gene Taylor and I get to sit down and put together that account, so here I am having to address not only your recruiting and retention concerns and shortfalls, and I will do what I can with those dollars, and then I am going to turn around here in a couple hours at seven o'clock tonight, and we are going to address your equipment account shortfalls.
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I have an excellent working relationship this year with (Representative) Jerry Lewis and with (Representative) Duncan Hunter, and we are all square this year. Oh, sure, there will be outward pressures, and things will still emerge, but it is challenging over here sitting in this chair to do that.
So now I am going to ask each of you. I am going to go right down the line, each of you. If you got zero, if you only could utilize what you got in your budget and you did not get your plus up, tell me what does that do to you? We will do it briefly right down the line.
General SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, in the Army Guard we need to enlist 6,000 more soldiers next year than we have this year because we are still on that ramp getting a little smaller, so we would miss our targets by approximately 6,000 soldiers in the Army Guard for fiscal year 2001.
Mr. BUYER. Wow. General Plewes.
General PLEWES. To me, the requirement for advertising and the enlisted incentives that we know we are going to have to pay, we are clearly going to have to go into the OPTEMPO accounts, it seems to me, and transfer those monies from working with training and providing the support we need to the units into these other accounts so that we can continue at least to have the level of recruiting we are getting now and satisfactory as it is.
Mr. BUYER. And when you dip into the OPTEMPO accounts, then what effect does that have?
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General PLEWES. Then that has an effect on reducing our training readiness for the force.
Mr. BUYER. That does not sound like a good equation, but that
General PLEWES. That is the only source we have.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. Admiral.
Admiral TOTUSHEK. As I stated before, one of the things we really need to fix is our Annual Training (AT), account to get it up because of the situation of sending more people overseas. We are trying to, and it is on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO's), unfunded list, $23 million to get us up to 15 days programmed AT for each reservist. That will allow us to give the Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS), kind of support that we
Mr. BUYER. But if you got zero.
Admiral TOTUSHEK. If we got zero
Mr. BUYER. If I had no money to plus up.
Admiral TOTUSHEK. If we got zero, the waivers are going to have to go up or we are going to continue to do 12 day AT periods and probably run out of money in the fourth quarter like we have in the past.
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Mr. BUYER. And did you take that out of hide last year and not go to that?
Admiral TOTUSHEK. Last year we got record plus ups from you all. We got $48 million total
Mr. BUYER. Right.
Admiral TOTUSHEK. plus up in the Reserve Personnel Navy (RPN), account, which allowed us to give record amounts of service to the fleet CINCs and, boy, they are asking for it again. They cannot understand why we do not have it again this year.
Mr. BUYER. Admiral Ryan is sitting right behind you. Have you two met on this issue?
Admiral TOTUSHEK. Yes. We have discussed it. As I said, it is on CNO's unfunded list.
Admiral RYAN. One of the things to
Mr. BUYER. It is on my list, too. Admiral Ryan.
Admiral RYAN. One of the things, Mr. Chairman, that Admiral Totushek has pointed out to me is that since we have done those rates, the amount of overseas duty has gone up five percent in just one year, so that is one of the big problems we are having this year. We want to do even more overseas with the inflation, so that is why we are in the predicament we are in.
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Mr. BUYER. All right. Thank you. General Weaver. You do not mind, General Davis? I will hit each one of them.
General WEAVER. Sir, the challenge of meeting the end strength would be very tough. We would have to look at a reprogramming possibly in some of the schools account, and that again goes to readiness.
There is something that we will be working, though, with your Committee that can help out greatly also on the retention issue is Active Guard Reserve (AGR), grade relief, an AGR program that has been around for 20 years, and it is reaching maturity with some of our people coming into slots.
We need to be looking at some AGR grade relief to fix the program once and for all and get it off your docket and the plate of the staff. That would help out greatly as well, but that does not cost money.
Mr. BUYER. But if you get zero, what happens to you; if I could not give you your unfunded requirements?
General WEAVER. It is going to be tough making end strength, but I would have to look at the reprogramming of some of the schools that we are sending kids to and possibly look at pumping that into advertising.
Mr. BUYER. Which means you are delaying
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General WEAVER. Yes, sir. Upgrades, skill levels, which goes to combat readiness, combat capability.
Mr. BUYER. All right. General Sherrard.
Major General SHERRARD. If we got zero, the option that I would have, my belief would be that, first of all, my end strength would continue to decline, as you addressed in your earlier statement, probably by the same amount, roughly 2,000 people, about 2,000 short, which would drop me probably to about a 92 or 93 percent manning rate. That then would start to get to the point where readiness is going to be impacted fairly significantly in certain weapon systems. There is no doubt about it. We have got some things that we are working.
Obviously some of the initiatives that we would be talking about for tuition assistance, things of that type, if you do not have the manpower there and you have your same budget that you were going to get, you would have some dollars there, but if you were to be successful and recruit the member, you then are going to have to make the hard decision can I pay the benefit, or can I pay the member? I know what I am going to do. I am going to pay the member. There is no doubt in my mind.
The benefit is most important, but the person that is there is entitled to and we owe it to he or she that we give them every possible option we can to be properly trained, prepared to go do their wartime mission, of which we and the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard ask them to do almost on every mission that we go do because we are so integrated inside the total Air Force mission.
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Mr. BUYER. General Mize.
General MIZE. Sir, I have been able to maintain my units this past year in the mid-to-high 70 percent, C1 and C2 readiness categories. I have also been able to give a record amount of OPTEMPO relief to the active duty.
If I got zero from you, it would mean I did not get the Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW), or the AGR continuation there. I would have a very measurable decrease in the readiness of my units, in other words C-1 and C-2, and I would also have to curtail somewhat significantly the OPTEMPO relief I would give to the active.
On the ECP-583, to keep beating that horse, I have some squadrons that are slated to go well inside the first month over to Korea in the old plan that if we do not get the modernization done, they would be expecting a full up squadron that I cannot deliver.
Mr. BUYER. That timeliness you just asked about, that sounds like a discussion you should have with the Appropriations Committee as we speak right now, who are working on the 2000 reprogramming and supplemental and recision. Are you having that discussion?
General MIZE. I have been trying to talk to anybody and everybody, as you know from hearing me talk about it for a couple of years now, but I have not talked to them personally and directly here recently. Through my service chain, we are
Mr. BUYER. Well, if you will put together a little memo for me and immediately get that to me, I will help you.
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General MIZE. We would be delighted, sir.
Mr. BUYER. All right. Admiral.
Admiral SIROIS. Sir, we would prefer to maintain our authorized force of 8,000 Reservists. With this year's funding levels and projected funding levels, we will be forced to cut our on-board strength by approximately an eighth.
Mr. BUYER. Wow. General Davis, do you have anything to add, based on the testimony?
General DAVIS. Yes, sir. A few years ago before you all got very actively involved in it and provided additional funding, an example in the Army Guard. We would allow people to go to annual training or to go to school.
That solves a problem in the sense of part of the training, but the upgrade and the skills and the additional leadership skills that we learned in our NCO courses and our officer courses, we would have to defer a lot of that because we would not have the ability to send people, so we would retrograde to where we were a couple years ago, which will ultimately impact on readiness. It may not happen immediately.
The other issues of not having sufficient funding, it would have some impactit is hard to measure in terms of numbersbecause we had anticipated having the ability to, as an example, increase tuition loan repayment from $100 to $200, those kinds of things. Those are the kinds of impacts it would have. That would have some impact, we know for certain, on readiness, on our ability to recruit and retain soldiers in the Army Guard and the Air Guard, so while I could not say how those particular things would impact, but I agree with General Weaver and General Schultz. It is going to have some impact because we are going to have to reprogram inside of that, and that has some impact immediately I think, on the number of people we are able to recruit, and we could reprogram some of that, but ultimately it is going to have a major impact on readiness, sir.
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Mr. BUYER. Secretary Cragin, I am interested in your comment on this observation. I wonder. This is just my gut check here. This is my eighth bill, and I wonder if in the building (Pentagon) when they make these crucial decisions, and I hope I am wrong, but I am just wondering. Even though each of the Reserve Chiefs here said, ''Well, if I do not get the unfunded requirement,'' they gave a pretty stark picture.
In the building if they go well, ''You know, Buyer over there with the Guard and Reserve Caucus and sitting in the chair where he sits and has contacts, he is going to take care of those Reserve components. He has done it year in and year out, and we do not have to worry about it. He gives big plus ups, and he will take care of their advertising. He will take care of their O&M. They will take care of training. He will even work on getting them the equipment that they need when they want it.''
Is my ambition to be helpful causing a divide rather than uniting? Do you see what I am saying? Now I find myself and my efforts completely across the budget for all the Reserve Chiefs when in fact they should be taken care of through the active components.
Mr. CRAGIN. Well, Mr. Chairman, they all speak very highly of you; let me say that at the outset, and they know that you are very, very concerned with the force, not just the Guard and Reserve, but you are concerned with the force.
I mean, I think if I can philosophize with you for a minute, I mean, I think that is exactly the dilemma that the Reserve Chiefs found themselves in with me early in our relationship because this was an organization in which the active component attitudinally did not budget for the Reserve components because they expected that the Congress was going to provide add ons and plus ups.
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So why as part of your pie would you carve out a piece of that pie for the Reserve components knowing in your heart of hearts that they were going to get these plus ups, and that is why walking away from the National Guard Reserve equipment appropriation or account has been very difficult for some of my colleagues because it is a question of who blinks first. They really almost have to blink together in the resource arena.
I would imagine there is probably still, Mr. Chairman, some of that attitude involved with some of the people who are engaged in this resourcing process. I mean, when we have a totally integrated force we may have one list of unfunded requirements, and you will have the force sitting here saying ''We have worked our budget as hard as we can. These are our unfunded requirements.''
We are not there yet, and obviously until we are there, there certainly needs to be Members of Congress such as yourself who understand how critically important the Guard and Reserve is to America today and how critically important it is to fund it appropriately, but we, as I say, have made phenomenal progress in the last few years, and some of it is culture. Some of it is attitudinal. Some of it is just the way the entire structure of the budgeting process has been instructed for so many, many years.
Mr. BUYER. If I ever perceived myself or this process as a barrier to that integration, I would end it immediately.
I guess that is why I am talking like I am right now because I find myself now having to interplay almost not at a micro level, but I will get you your requirements and what you need, but also, gentlemen, I want you to understand that this Committee also deals with the military health delivery system and the TRICARE regions and all of their problems that the modeling that just drives me nuts.
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We end up with these huge deficits, medical deficits, that we are going to have to take care of in the supplemental. You know, the testimony is, ''Oh, it is executable.'' I do not understand even what executable means anymore. I guess maybe there is a difference between executable and fully funded. There is a word game that goes on because I have to plus it up $300 plus million every year in a supplemental.
I am the third year into an endeavor of taking care of the over 65 military retirees in health care, and we are going to work very hard in delivering one of those components in this year's budget. It is going to take a lot of dollars to do that. That is why I had to ask you that question about what is the pain, okay, because I have to make a really tough decision here on limited resources.
I am fully aware of what the active counterpart is doing to you in your operations TEMPO and your demands. You just testified about your recentthe 49th in Kosovo. You went. Who else went?
General PLEWES. To Bosnia.
Mr. BUYER. Both of you went to Bosnia? Not Kosovo. Bosnia. I am sorry. I think all of you would also concur, though, that part of these judgements that we do owe not only gratitude, but an obligation to the military retiree. Do you all concur?
General PLEWES. Yes, sir.
Page 129 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. All right. I have just a couple more questions. Let me ask General Davis, and I would be interested also, General Schultz, in your comments. The discussion that brought the Guard, the National Guard, into the rotation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to say these six month rotations, six of them. What led to the decision of the Guard to do that? I just do not know.
Secretary Cragin, if you can add to that? Go ahead.
General DAVIS. Mr. Chairman, one of the key issues to what we have been trying to do in the Army, the Army active, Guard and Reserve, is work together in sharing the pain, work together in sharing the mission. The active component is stretched pretty thin, as you are aware, and running into some difficulty they suspect with retention as a result of the OPTEMPO and the PERSTEMPO and individual people.
As you take the ten divisions, and we have a couple of divisions we are doing some other things with in the Army, then all of a sudden you see the divisions rotating back again, back again, back again. The attempt was to allow some relief of that TEMPO by inserting a Guard division in so maybe every third or fourth rotation it could be a Guard division until we could ease some of the OPTEMPO.
The concern about the relevance and the tasking of Guard divisions was also a major issue, so this played into that same discussion. As we talked to the Guard in the field, they felt they could handle these rotations, and they could manage these with some difficulty, but as we looked at the number of people that are involved, the initial thinking was we would need around 1,000 folks. We had 1,500 folks volunteer in the 49th Division in Texas for that mission.
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It got further redefined down, so we had more than enough people to handle that because when we take the division headquarters this is not 100 percent division headquarters. It is a stylized or a tailored organization that goes into a particularly unique situation like Bosnia.
We felt we could do that, and we felt that it would be an important role for the Army Guard to play as part of the total Army. I believe back to Roger (General Schultz), he was actually intimately involved in the day-to-day discussions, but that is kind of the underlying philosophy of it, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, General Davis.
General SCHULTZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The question about the 270 day deployment, in my personal opinion, was just too long and so we asked for reconsideration, something less than 270 days. The 179 day rule, which was just announced, is favorable as far as we are concerned because it creates less pressure on employers.
Of course, the majority of the members in the Guard today are traditional. They do not serve full-time in uniform, so anything we can do to reduce that TEMPO and pace the deployments is really what we had hoped to do. We are actually looking at models that even in some cases for certain units that quality rotate for less than 179 days. The concern is employers back home in some reasonable amount seeking that balance across all our states that might be considered reasonable, and that is why we support a shorter rotation.
Page 131 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CRAGIN. Mr. Chairman, if I could add parenthetically that one of the reasons why I became involved with the Army and talking about this rotation duration was a sense of equity in perception and reality, and that was that we were sending active component units into the box in Bosnia for a six month period in the box, but we were in fact sending Reserve units for much longer duration. From my perspective, I felt that it was appropriate that we at least have people deployed into that arena for the same amount of time.
I think as you well know, the Army and all of the services are looking at the total force, and when you have 50 percent of America's military embedded in its Guard and Reserve components, you have to take advantage of this expertise.
We have cycled, as I mentioned in my opening comments, about 32,000 men and women from the Guard and Reserve through Bosnia to date. Many of them are in core competencies that are almost exclusively resident in the Guard or Reserve in General Plewes' arena, the civil affairs folks, the psychological operations, the public affairs, the Guard and Reserve with Military Police (MPs), and things of that nature, so if we are going to be involved in these types of small scale contingencies, we are going to constantly have to rely on this facet of the force where these core competencies exist.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Secretary, did you read the article I wrote for Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) magazine?
Mr. CRAGIN. As a matter of fact, I did. I happen to be a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, so I did read that.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. Well, then you know exactly how I feel about this issue.
Mr. CRAGIN. Yes, from a foreign policy perspective.
Mr. BUYER. Since the others cannot really touch the policy, I want to talk to you for a moment about policy because here I am concerned. The challenge that I have is that even though I do not agree with the Dayton Accords, I have to operate within the box that was constructed by someone other than myself.
The Congress overwhelmingly had said, ''Do not use ground troops as the predicate for peace.'' I wrote that. Three hundred and fifteen of my colleagues agreed with me. The President went ahead and signed the Dayton Accords. At the time I said that based on the Accords, we are going to be there for a generation. I do not believe very many people believed me at the time. The President of France says 25 years.
Now we have gotten ourselves even further in the Balkans, so we are now in this debate even among people across our own Nation about mission credibility. Mission credibility. All right. If it is in a peacekeeping role and you are trying to also protect the war fighting skills then of the active force, are we then saying that the Guard and Reserve really are to be the peacekeepers and not the war fighters by perception? I do not know. I am just throwing some things out here to you.
I am not making it up. They are talking about it out across the force. My concern is I wonder if individuals whom are being called up to serve in an active capacity become disgruntled or we have retention or recruiting concerns that may come from the scale of these deployments. I do not know. I am just trying to touch into the policy aspect trying to be forward looking here as to the judgement.
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Mr. CRAGIN. Well, I cannot speak for foreign policy aspects of how long we might be engaged in a particular operation. I can just tell you from having spent many weekends on the road talking to men and women of the Guard and Reserve and talking to them in Bosnia and Kosovo and Macedonia and places like that that they are very, very proud to serve.
We find in some of the high demand/low density units some retention challenges, but interestingly enough it is not retention challenge from the people who have gone, served and come home. It is in some instances people who are anticipating that they may have to go, so as one of my colleagues observed earlier this afternoon, there is a great sense of pride in performing this mission. How long can that go on? I have personal and institutional concerns. As you know, I am responsible for supervising the activities of the Reserve components, and family readiness is a substantial challenge for us. That is why we are putting out pamphlets such as this. Employer support, substantial.
We have not until now even been able to objectively measure the level of the tensile strength in the relationship between men and women of the Guard and the Reserve and their employers. We are just now coming out of the field with our first objective surveys so that we can establish a baseline from which we can take the temperature as we continue to utilize the men and women of this force.
I think also it is not just that we are using them as the ''peacekeepers'' as drawing a line of demarcation. As I mentioned, in many, many instances that is where the core competencies in these combat support/combat service support areas lie in the Guard and Reserve. If you are in a peacekeeping, non-combatant sort of activity, you have to go to them. They are your experts that you need.
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Now, I know that we are looking within the Army at the force mix with respect to civil affairs units, for example, because we clearly have been utilizing them significantly. I met a young officer in Kosovo on my last trip a few weekends ago. He is serving his fourth call up since Desert Storm. Haiti, Bosnia and now Kosovo.
Mr. BUYER. I just have two more questions to Generals Schultz, Plewes and Mize. I would like for you to explain the size of and the need for an increase in the numbers of full-time support personnel, the AGRs, the ARs and the technicians, beyond those requested in the President's budget for the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve.
General SCHULTZ. Mr. Chairman, with regard to full-time support, this is the team on a day-to-day basis that looks after our soldiers and our units. Twenty-six percent of the soldiers that leave the Guard today reflect quality of training as the reason that they leave the ranks and the Guard.
What I am offering is that one of the contributions to that outcome perhaps is that on a day-to-day basis we are not preparing for the training as we might, and that is where the AGR soldiers really fill the bill on a day-to-day basis, not only looking after the pay and administration and so on, but also preparing for training.
Today we have repair parts based on some increase in our TEMPO accounts that are available to put on the trucks, to put on the aircraft. We do not have the full-time employees to place those parts on our systems, so there is a relationship between readiness and our full-time staffing levels. Specifically in the case of our AGR shortage, these are critical shortages. One thousand fifty-two AGRs are required for our critical level and our technicians, 1,543.
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Mr. BUYER. That is for $76 million plus up?
General SCHULTZ. Yes. $76 million is the total. Now, Mr. Chairman, as we talk about these kind of figures, the reason I am asking and talking about this kind of requirement is that I have failedwe have failedinside of the budget review process in the Pentagon to justify those requirements. That is how the process works. It is a deliberation, as you know.
Mr. BUYER. General Plewes.
General PLEWES. In a way I should say ditto, but we have additional information. In my mind, the full-time manning is a readiness multiplier. I have increased the readiness of the force by about ten percent on average over the last two years. We are at about 75 percent deployable right now. Our goal is to get to 85 percent.
The studies we have show a direct relationship, a correlation, between the amount of full-time manning we have in the units and our ability to make a leap ahead in measured readiness. We see full-time manning, at least in the AGR force, as a readiness multiplier.
The validated requirement has finally come out of the Department of the Army, and that allows General Schultz and I finally to come before you and say a number. It has been gone through this year in great depth, and the Army says, ''Yes, that is the correct number. Plewes, you need 1,800 more AGRs to make the readiness of the force work,'' and so we are coming before you and saying that that is now a validated requirement. That is what we need. It is a bit too far to say we need 1,800 in one year, although Congress gave us 1,000 two years ago, your Committee, and we appreciate that, and so we would like to see if we cannot kind of stage that over a number of years.
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The military technicians are another matter. Like General Schultz, most of our military technicians are in either unit administration or maintenance. In our case, most of the military technicians are necessary in maintenance. We are doing about 50 percent of the maintenance that we now are required to do, and we seem to be falling behind every year. One of our answers is to put more of our equipment in controlled humidity storage. I think that eventually we will have about 30 percent of our equipment in long-term storage, but I still need more wrench turners, if you will, to keep up with the requirement. We had through cascading and through the support that the Committees gave us through NGREA over the years, we had a crop of fairly new equipment in the Army Reserve. That is starting to age now, and the problem will exacerbate over time.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. General Mize.
General MIZE. Sir, when you use the Reserves more, whether it be for OPTEMPO relief or contingency operations or for higher training levels, it takes more preparation of the Reserve unit, more support in terms of maintenance, as well as for the admin side.
On the admin side, though, that may seem superfluous on the surface. We talked about retention earlier today. We do not have our service members who are paid, who we are taking care of with orders and have frustrations at that level. That helps them not stick with this because they think they are not appreciated and taken care of.
In our case, we are doing more. We started off before the QDR cuts with 2,559 active Reserves. We took a cut of over 500, again over 20 percent, as I mentioned. I took a 22 percent cut in my headquarters to try to absorb most of that. Eighty percent of my ARs are out at my 185 individual sites. I am now at the point where I am taking the cuts incrementally through 2003, that now somebody that now comes out of a site out there in the field, some set of nine. There are eight out there.
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We are at a point where we are asking them to do more than ever. I am taking away resources, so that is why, you know, the number may seem small, but it is so important because it is on the front lines of readiness and preparing and taking care of our folks.
Mr. BUYER. Which do you choose, hold the QDR numberdo you want the 54 individuals at $1.9 millionor add 58 ARs at $1.9 million? Which do you choose? Or, do I give you half and half? Give me an idea.
General MIZE. Okay. I am not
Mr. BUYER. I have to move to prioritizations here somehow.
General MIZE. Right.
Mr. BUYER. Help me in my judgement.
General MIZE. Okay. I am not sure I distinguish the first two choices you gave me.
Mr. BUYER. These are both the same? Did you not testify that you wanted to hold the line on a QDR cut? You wanted 54 personnel?
General MIZE. Four officers and 54 enlisted is what I am talking about here.
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Mr. BUYER. So it is the same. It is all the same.
General MIZE. So can I choose both doors?
Mr. BUYER. No.
Mr. BUYER. No. All right. Okay. These are not technicians. These are the same. Okay. All right.
General MIZE. As I testified
Mr. BUYER. It is my bad. I was
General MIZE. Yes, sir. I am working inside my service in 2002 to try to take on this issue in a slightly larger context here or a little larger number. You know, I may or may not succeed in that effort, but we are making our best case inside our system to postpone some of these cuts for all the reasons we have talked about today, myself and other briefers.
Mr. BUYER. Okay. All right. That is my bad.
I have one for the Coast Guard, and I would appreciate you enduring here, gentlemen. This is my only opportunity to get you. Otherwise I have to call you late tonight. It would appear that there is some disagreement among various elements of the Administration as to the proper size of the Coast Guard Reserve. Your authorized end strength is 8,000, yet fiscal year 2001 budget requests only provides funding for 7,300. In your personal professional view, what is the Coast Guard Reserve end strength needed to carry out both your wartime and peacetime missions?
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Admiral SIROIS. Sir, the Coast Guard has an operational need for our selected Reserve of 8,000 based upon field commander input, and they have identified additional requests that support at least that 8,000. The 1997 Coast Guard Reserves roles and mission study identified the need for approximately 12,300 Selected Reserve (SELRES) end strength based on national military contingencies, major domestic emergencies and certain Coast Guard mission critical tasks.
Mr. BUYER. So would it be accurate to say that OMB saying that they think the number should be 7,300 would not include the additional requirements for prevention and response to your ports, waterways, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and terrorist threats?
Admiral SIROIS. That it would not include, sir? Is that what you are saying?
Mr. BUYER. Right. It does not recognize that. Seven thousand three hundred does not recognize those requirements.
Admiral SIROIS. I am not sure if it does or it does not.
Mr. BUYER. Wow. I set a big pumpkin for you. All right. That was your testimony.
Anything left? Gentlemen, thank you very much for enduring. I know it has been a long afternoon, and I appreciate your testimony. Secretary Cragin, do you have any follow up for General Davis based on the testimonies today?
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Mr. CRAGIN. Thank you very much for taking the time to spend it with us. We appreciate it.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 6:00 p.m. the hearing in the above-entitled matter was concluded.]
A P P E N D I X
March 8, 2000
[This information is pending.]