SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 1066]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000H.R. 1401
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
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MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
TITLE IVPERSONNEL AUTHORIZATIONS
TITLE VMILITARY PERSONNEL POLICY
TITLE VICOMPENSATION AND OTHER PERSONNEL BENEFITS
TITLE VIIHEALTH CARE PROVISIONS
MARCH 17, 1999
REPORT OF THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMISSION ON MILITARY TRAINING AND GENDER-RELATED ISSUES
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Personnel Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 17, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 1:05 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
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Mr. BUYER. The military subcommittee hearing of the House Armed Services Committee will come to order and receive the report from the Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues. I apologize to the members for the delay of the hearing. I just returned from the House floor. We are debating a steel quota import bill and I participated in that debate. So I apologize to the members.
Until November 1996 when the Army revealed the shocking sexual misconduct by its drill instructors and cadre with recruits in basic and advanced individual training, not only at Aberdeen Proving Ground but at Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood and other bases, few people had reason to question the process by which the military services transformed their civilians into soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. The House Armed Services Committee was among the first in Congress to attempt to understand why Aberdeen had occurred and to define the potential corrective actions.
In November 1996 the committee began a bipartisan, systematic, methodical and thorough investigation of not only the Army's recruiting and training system but also those of other services. As with many things in life, sometimes when you go looking for one thing, you end up to your surprise finding another. What we on the committee found when we went looking for the causes and cures of the sexual misconduct by drill instructors was an enormously complex set of issues that did not lend itself to any magic silver bullet solution.
The surprise that we also found was the widespread assertions by officers and NCOs [Non-Commissioned Officers) in the services conducting gender-integrated basic training, by the trainees themselves and the leaders of operational units who were receiving the graduates of gender-integrated basic training was that, number one, basic training had lost its rigor; and that, number two, basic training was failing to transform civilians into the disciplined, physically fit, skilled soldiers, sailors and airmen who were prepared for the demands and the challenges of duty in the operational units.
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The import of these assertions led the committee and eventually the Congress to charter an independent commission, the Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, to examine, number one, whether the services' basic training programs produced graduates who are adequately trained to ensure that they report to operational units with an appropriate level of skills, physical conditioning, and military socialization to meet the unit requirements and operational readiness; also, to look into given the demographics, education, and background of the new recruits, whether gender-integrated basic training, whether it was the most efficient and effective method to produce graduates who meet the service's needs and requirements.
Today we will hear the report of the Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues on these two most basic questions, as well as other issues for which they were to examine and were congressionally chartered.
Ironically, exactly one year ago today this subcommittee received the report and testimony of the Kassebaum Baker panel which had been appointed by the Secretary of Defense to examine and make recommendations for improving the gender-integrated basic and advanced individual training systems of the armed services.
The Kassebaum Baker panel made 30 recommendations, most of which the services readily adopted. The most controversial reform recommended by the Kassebaum Baker panel was that the Army, Navy and Air Force should respectively organize gender-separate platoons, divisions and flights, but then to continue to conduct gender-integrated training by bringing these smaller units together as larger units for gender-integrated training during most of the basic training system.
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This reform, essentially the system that was used by the Air Force for more than 20 years to successfully implement gender integration, was now steadfastly rejected, something that still puzzles me today, and I am anxious to get into that issue with things you were able to examine. I suspect we will hear more about many of these issues, and I would like to get into some of the other things you have found from all of the witnesses. We look forward to your testimony.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Buyer can be found in the appendix.]
Before we begin, I would like to yield to the ranking member of this subcommittee, Mr. Abercrombie, for an opportunity to make opening remarks and any he may desire.
STATEMENT OF HON. NEIL ABERCROMBIE, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM HAWAII, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your giving a survey, if you will, of the situation up to and including today's hearing. I am very appreciative of the fact that you are calling this hearing under these circumstances.
I would like to add a very brief statement which I hope complements the commentary that you have just given to us. I want to begin by thanking all of the Commissioners for their hard work and dedication that they have shown while preparing this report. The scope of the Commission was broad and complex, so I am pleased to note that the Commission was able to finish its work in a timely fashion.
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I meant to say the scope of work of the Commission was broad and complex. How complex you were among yourselves, I am not going to comment on at the moment.
The unanimity of opinion in almost all the recommendations signals to me the Commission took its work seriously and took a detailed and rigorous look at basic training. However, there are questions raised by the recommendation not to change the guidance on adultery and fraternization. While the Commission provided an extensive explanation of how they reached their decision, they did not provide the reasons why, and I look forward to hearing the Commission's rationale on these subjects.
I am pleased to note the Commission endorsed the services' current methods of training by a vote of six to one with three abstentions, and I look forward to hearing from those who listed an abstention as their vote. I firmly believe that basic training needs to, one, ensure a core physical standard for military duty and, two, encourage teamwork regardless of gender. Those are the two basic premises, the prism through which I gauged in the report.
The services condemned the current methods of training that are designed to meet these two goals, as separating people during training from those with whom they will fight and preventing the opportunities for bonding at the earliest points, and also casting suspicion and doubt on another's capabilities. It is better to find out in a training environment if young men and women are not capable of the physical strain, the mental discipline or professional behavior that we require of them on a deployment or during a war.
The issue of gender-separate basic training has been controversial for the last several years, and I trust that this report helps us reach a consensus so we can ensure successful training for the men and women defending our Nation. I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses.
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Mr. Chairman, thank you very, very much.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Abercrombie.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Abercrombie can be found in the appendix.]
With the exception of Dr. Charles Moskos, all of the Commissioners are present today. Dr. Moskos has a prior commitment in Europe, as I understand it.
Ms. BLAIR. Correct.
Mr. BUYER. The witnesses present are Ms. Anita K. Blair, the Chairwoman, and Mr. Frederick Pang, the Vice Chairman of this panel. We have Dr. Nancy Cantor; Lieutenant General George R. Christmas, United States Marine Corps, Retired; Command Sergeant Major Robert A. Dare, Jr., United States Army, Retired; Lieutenant General William M. Keys, United States Marine Corps, Retired; Mr. Thomas Moore; Ms. Barbara S. Pope; and Dr. Mady Segal.
Ms. Blair, I understand you will have an opening statement to give in testimony, to be followed by the Vice Chair, Mr. Pang, to present an overview of the Commission's report. Following that overview, each Commissioner, we will go in your basic alphabetical order or any order which you recommend, Ms. Blair, following that overview, so each of you will have an opportunity to present some views in addition to the Chair and the Vice Chair.
To all the Commissioners, I want to acknowledge beforehand your commitment and dedication to the tasks set out before you by Congress. The volatility, the range and the number of issues we asked you to investigate were enormous. The rigorous standard of the investigation and research we demanded of you was unprecedented in my experience in dealing with Congressional Commissions. The time that we allowed you to complete the mission, we gave you, was exceedingly compressed. I know that none of this has been easy on any of you or your staff.
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Given this, I would like to publicly thank each of you for your efforts in this especially difficult task. There is a reason we have chosen a Commission with such volatility and spirit of opinion in each one of you, because each of you are a highly successful individual in your own right. In no way did we want to go out and have an independent Commission with a collective judgment.
So, I get to hear all the rumblings on how difficult it was to come to certain judgments, but it is your recommendations to Congress that are vitally important, and we look forward to your testimony.
Ms. Blair, you may begin.
STATEMENT OF ANITA K. BLAIR, CHAIRMAN, CONGRESSIONAL COMMISSION ON MILITARY TRAINING AND GENDER-RELATED ISSUES
Ms. BLAIR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members, good afternoon. Thank you very much for inviting us here today to present a status report on the work of the Congressional Commission on Military
Mr. BUYER. Would you pull that microphone much closer to you, please?
Ms. BLAIR. Thank you for inviting us here today to present a status report on the Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues. Our Commission met for the first time April 13th and 14th of last year, and, as you say, it has been a compressed schedule.
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We have analyzed the three major areas of the statute, the first of which is a review of adultery and fraternization or cross-gender issues; the second of which is a general review of basic training; and finally a review of gender-integrated and gender-segregated basic training.
The Commission has conducted inspection trips, we have engaged in scientific research, we have received briefings from the services, we have issued data calls and had written interrogatories and written answers with the services. We have also conducted a number of hearings in which we invited experts from various areas to come and educate us from their point of view about these issues.
The Commission has also engaged in a number of meetings. I won't go into all of the detail which is in our status report, but I do want to give you a flavor of the Commission's findings by simply reporting on the recommendations and conclusions that the Commission has voted on. All of these are unanimous, with one exception, and I will note that exception when I come towards it at the end.
Concerning the first subject of the statute, which was the adultery and fraternization issues, on the subject of adultery, the Commission unanimously resolved as follows: ''The proposed changes to the Manual for Courts Martial concerning the offense of adultery are unnecessary. The Secretary of Defense should not submit the proposed changes for inclusion in the Manual for Courts Martial.''
On the subject of fraternization, the Commission reached the unanimous recommendation: ''The Commission is not persuaded that the new changes to military fraternization rules developed by the Department of Defense 'Good Order and Discipline' Task Force are necessary or advisable. Service specific policies have been functional and suitable to meet the requirements of each service. Therefore, the services should be permitted to retain their prerogatives in this area.''
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The statute also posed a specific question about perceptions of inconsistent application of laws and rules. The Commission had three unanimous resolutions on that subject.
Number one: ''The Commission recommends that the Secretary of Defense take steps to cause the services to educate their members and to inform the public about the special considerations that affect the prosecution and punishment of offenses relating to sexual misconduct in the military.''
Number two: ''The Commission recommends that the services improve military justice data collection systems so that the services may better monitor the consistency of application of rules governing sexual conduct in the military and avoid or correct misperceptions.''
Number three: ''There is a need to increase leader training at all levels in knowledge and application of military law and to increase their participation in the military justice system.''
The next subject the Commission adopted a series of resolutions concerning was that of basic training generally, and we have altogether 15 resolutions. I will read them in order. They are all unanimously adopted by this Commission.
Number one: ''Where there is good leadership and a positive command climate, the training environment is healthy, appropriate, and accomplishing that which is expected. Commanders need to be allowed to do their jobs. Overly restrictive requirements take away the authority of Commanders to make sound judgments, something we trust them to do with the lives of their men and women, and act on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, the Commission recommends: Let the Commanders command.''
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Number two: ''Current armed services personnel shortages and increased OPTEMPO appear to be adversely impacting readiness, deployability and sustainability. Throughout our visits to both basic training organizations and the operating forces of all services, we heard about the adverse effects of personal shortages caused by downsizing and increased OPTEMPO. Personnel shortages in the noncommissioned officer ranks, E-5 to E-7, were noted by all. Attrition of these mid-level leaders results in more senior leaders assuming their duties, with the result that they have no time to guide, mentor or groom newly arrived trainees from Initial Entry Training into the operating forces organizations.''
Number three: ''Each service should maintain as much as feasible an active pre-training program that encourages the beginning of military socialization process for recruits in the Delayed Entry Programs,'' also called the DEP.
Number four: ''Recruiter assistance duty should not occur before a trainee has completed Initial Entry Training (IET) and should not extend beyond a 14-day period. Trainee participation in recruiter assistance programs should be monitored and regulated.''
Five: ''Provide career-enhancing incentives so that the best personnel seek a tour of duty in recruit training. Screen, select, train, and assign only outstanding enlisted personnel and Commissioned officers for this duty.''
Six: ''Recruit trainer continuity is considered essential. We recommend that the services give priority to full staffing of recruit trainer billets and to keeping the same trainers with the same unit from beginning to end of the training cycle. Additional duties and/or details that remove trainers from their units during the cycle should be minimized.''
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Seven: ''Initial Entry Training should emphasize military socialization and the inculcation of core values. Values training is very important to the trainees and must be sustained throughout the training continuum and in the operating forces. Today, as in the past, some recruits enter the military having had life experiences that may increase the challenge of transforming them into service members. Effective transformation can still take place if the Initial Entry Training strongly emphasizes military socialization and inculcation of core values.''
Number eight: ''It is important to continue 'military training'for example, physical training, military customs and courtesies, valuesthroughout the training continuum of each service from accession until delivery to the operating forces.''
Nine: ''Leader expectations are an issue across the services. The Commission recommends that each service should have formal systems through which the operational force can send feedback to schools and training programs on the quality of trainees they produce. Each service needs a 'leadership expectations' program that clearly tells all leaders what Initial Entry Training is supposed to accomplish and what standards recruits and new trainees must meet.''
Ten: ''Each service should establish an oversight program to ensure that recent improvements to recruit training will be sustained over time.''
Eleven: ''The services should continue to study and improve their physical fitness standards and programs. The services have come far in studying and incorporating improved fitness standards and better understanding of job performance requirements. These studies should be continued and fitness/performance programs should be continually reviewed and improved. There needs to be clearly stated objectives about physical fitness tests and physical performance standards.''
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''The services should take steps to educate service members about the meaning of 'physical fitness' and how it differs from job performance standards. There is a widespread misunderstanding about the purpose of the services' physical fitness tests. The tests are designed to measure physical health and well being. Measures of physical fitness must take account of age and gender, as the services' tests currently do. Physical fitness tests are not measures of job-specific skills. The services should maintain this distinction and should communicate it to all levels of personnel, including basic trainees.''
Number twelve: ''There is a need for a Department of Defense forum where all services periodically exchange ideas, concepts, et cetera, for sustaining and improving Initial Entry Training.''
Thirteen: ''Reasonable security measures for barracks are appropriate, but services should avoid creating the impression of a prison lock-up.''
Fourteen: ''The Commission recommends that the services develop longitudinal studies as part of their ongoing research programs. Such longitudinal data, recognized in social science research as the best way to measure change and its causes, would provide the services with valuable information.''
Fifteen: ''The Commission encourages the proper resourcing of the training establishment to enhance current improvements to basic training being implemented by the services.''
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, the Commission adopted a series of resolutions concerning gender-integrated military basic training. The first resolution that I will read was adopted by Commissioners Cantor, Christmas, Dare, Pang, Pope and Segal. It is as follows:
''The Commission concludes that the services are providing the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines required by the operating forces to carry out their assigned missions; therefore, each service should be allowed to continue to conduct basic training in accordance with its current policies. This includes the manner in which basic trainees are housed and organized into units. This conclusion does not imply the absence of challenges and issues associated with the dynamics found in a gender-integrated basic training environment. Therefore, improvements to Initial Entry Training that have been made by the services or are currently being considered must be sustained and continually reviewed.''
Commissioners Moskos, Blair, Keys and Moore filed separate statements which are included in the status report.
The next two resolutions were adopted unanimously by the Commission.
Number one: ''The services should review their regulations and policies concerning gender relations, to insure that they are clearly stated, and with the aim of achieving consistency in practice across their training bases and throughout the training continuum.''
Second: ''Initial Entry Training issues, to include gender, must continue to be discussed openly at all levels of the services' chains of command and legitimate feedback, both positive and negative, from trainers must be encouraged and acted upon.''
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Mr. Chairman, distinguished members, that concludes the resolutions that were voted on by the Commission, and we are very grateful to you for the opportunity to give brief individual statements.
I will now defer to Vice Chairman Pang, and thereafter we will continue with the Commissioners in alphabetical order, beginning with Commissioners Cantor, Christmas, Dare, Keys, Moore, Pope and Segal. And I will make, I promise, a very brief statement at the end of that individually.
Again, we thank you for the opportunity to come here today and we thank you for the opportunity to serve on this Commission.
[The Commission report can be found in the appendix]
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF FREDERICK F.Y. PANG, VICE CHAIRMAN, CONGRESSIONAL COMMISSION ON MILITARY TRAINING AND GENDER-RELATED ISSUES
Mr. PANG. Mr. Chairman, Congressman Abercrombie and members of the subcommittee, I welcome the opportunity to join our Chairman, Ms. Anita Blair, and the rest of the members of our Commission in appearing before you today. I come before you as requested by the letter dated the 5th of March that you sent to the chairman and myself, in that I am testifying in my official government capacity. I must say I have no personal agenda except to do what is right for our armed forces.
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As our written statement notes, we have essentially completed the substantive work that the Congress required of us and we are now this the process of writing a very comprehensive and richly documented report. We underscore a number of facts as we bring forward the results of our work.
It is a fact that substantial improvements have been made by all of the services in the way they conduct Initial Entry Training. This includes changes that have resulted from their reviews of physical fitness standards, values and military socialization standards, and culminating events in basic training that forge individuals into soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are ready to move through the rest of the training continuum and then on to our operational forces.
Frankly, Mr. Chairman, the reviews that led to these improvements were motivated, and we found this, in large part by the interests of this committee, and you in particular, on the rigor and standards that the services either had or did not have well before the Commission concluded its inquiry.
It is a fact that the Initial Entry Training regimes of each of the services have, by and large, produced and continue to produce quality personnel to our operational forces. We saw this in our field visits, including the joint operational environment in Bosnia. It is a fact that any significant changes to the way the services conduct Initial Entry Training would result in turbulence at a time when the services are just about stabilized in the way they conduct it, and at a time when the demands forced on our forces strain their capacity to fulfill them. The one consistent message we heard from those responsible for Initial Entry Training was that they had it about right, and to let them go about doing their jobs.
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It is a fact that the attention to the issues of fraternization, adultery, basic training generally, and gender-integrated and gender-segregated training grew out of individual instances of failure, there is no question about that, but not out of any fundamental systemic breakdown that we could find. I think it is fair to say that the Kelley Flynn incident provoked the review of good order and discipline rules, and the Aberdeen incident provoked the basic training and gender issues related review, even though the failures at Aberdeen were at an advanced individual training base.
It is a fact these issues are not high on the scope of the radar screen of our military leaders and in the ranks. They came forward because we brought them forward in an almost after-the-fact way following individual service reviews, the Department of Defense reviews, and then the Kassebaum Baker review. It is a fact nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, that the Congress indeed has the constitutional responsibility and indeed the right to be informed by a Commission such as ours on the state of good order and discipline in basic training and gender-related issues in our armed forces.
Against this backdrop, I think the Congress should find it comforting that this Commission in its rigorous examination of the issues identified no fundamental flaws in the fraternization and adultery policies and practices that need to be corrected, and found the basic training and gender-related policies and practices of the services to be fundamentally sound. That is not to say that there are no specific areas in which improvements could be made. The Commission will identify these areas and make specific recommendations on them in the report.
In this regard, I would like to note that our basic conclusions and recommendations reflected in our written statement, as the Chair noted, were made unanimously with one exception, that being our basic conclusion and recommendation on gender-integrated and gender-segregated basic training. There, as the Chair pointed out, the Commission voted six to one in support of the conclusion and recommendation, and three Commissioners abstained.
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The conclusion and recommendation reads, and I would like it read it again, because I think this is going to be the central focus perhaps of a lot of the questions that follow, reads: ''The Commission concludes that the services are providing the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines required by the operating forces to carry out their assigned missions; therefore, each service should be allowed to continue to conduct basic training in accordance with its current policies. This includes the manner in which basic trainees are housed and organized into units. This conclusion does not imply the absence of challenges and issues associated with the dynamics found in a gender-integrated basic training environment. Therefore, the improvements to Initial Entry Training that have been made by the services or are currently being considered must be sustained and continually reviewed.''
Mr. Chairman, I want to note that the three Commissioners who abstained and the one who objected to this conclusion and recommendation stated in their written views, included on pages 79 and 80 of our statement, that they ''do concur.'' I repeat, they ''do concur with the general finding that the services are, by and large, providing the trained personnel to carry out their assigned missions.'' But they go on to say that they are ''not in full accord with the overall tone of the recommendation as it implies there are no serious problems in IET beyond those identified by the services.''
I would also note that they make no recommendation for any change to the current system of basic training as conducted by each service, frankly because I believe they could find no compelling evidence to support any change.
Mr. Chairman, I find that view puzzling. It says to me that the training system is essentially sound, therefore no changes are recommended; and yet it suggests experimenting in the separation of genders in initial entry training, taking this whole issue back to the beginning because they are ''not in full accord with the tone'' of the outcome. What that does is kicks the can down the road by putting upon the backs of the military further studies and experiments, in my view, just to keep an agenda alive.
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Mr. Chairman, I believe we have collected all the facts and prepared all of the analysis that we need to bring this matter to a decisive conclusion. I know that there are those who would have wished us to conclude differently. They would have liked us to find fundamental flaws and recommend changes to the way our recruits are housed and trained by gender in basic training, and perhaps even in the way they are trained in basic training generally. But, frankly, the evidence which we shall provide indicates overwhelmingly otherwise.
So I suggest the burden is on those who would have preferred a different result to specify exactly what is broken that needs to be fixed, and to specify how the services would be harmed in accomplishing their mission if they continue to conduct initial entry training as suits their unique cultures and methods of operations. I am convinced, after the most comprehensive review that has ever been conducted in this matter that I know of, that they could not do so objectively.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for inviting us to testify. As you know, this has been a very challenging experience. I hope that the material we provide to the committee will assist you in making the correct decisions with regard to the armed forces.
Thank you very much. I am prepared to answer any questions.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF DR. NANCY CANTOR, COMMISSION MEMBER
Dr. CANTOR. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee, for the opportunity to come before you. I will be very brief as I concur strongly in the opinions and recommendations expressed in our report to you.
As you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, I comewe all cometo this Commission with a varied set of backgrounds and views. I come not at all as a military insider in any respect, as you know, but rather as an educator who makes policy on a daily basis for a large public university in this country. Therefore, I come at this really from the perspective of how one makes educational judgments, as I think we are talking here today about educational judgments, judgments about recruit training at its base.
I would like to simply underline the fact that from my experience, good educational judgments are made by taking into account on-the-spot observations; data to the extent one can get it, but not overly relying on data, since no piece of datum and as a social scientist, I can say this cleanly, no piece of datum can support anything in particular forever. We all know that. You can always run another experiment and find another view supported.
So in the end, at the end of the day, an educator must make policy judgments based on the responsibility one has to maintain stability in the training environment, and yet allow for adaptation and for change.
It seems to me that that is exactly what the services have been doing in the last 18 to 24 months. They have worked hard to make substantial changes in the basic training environment, including changes in values and human relations training, in the physical training regime, including defining events, which I think we all found to be extremely impressive. These changes have had both positive and negative effects that I think we need to take into account.
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The positive effect, I would argue, is that the military seems to be moving forward to great effect. That is, the needs of the operational forces seem to be satisfied. We have seen that on every front. In fact, the concerns of the operational forces have more to do with OPTEMPO and personnel shortages than with recruit training itself.
The negative changes, if you will, are changes that seem to come from the effect it has, the burden in effect it has on the trainers. I think we need to all take very seriously the burdens that have been placed on the trainers.
When listening to the trainers and in our surveys and in the focus groups, it seems to me that what really came forward most clearly was the sense of burden in trying to monitor and understand and incorporate an ever-changing recruit training environment; therefore, I feel very strongly, in accord with the recommendations, the majority recommendations of this Commission, that we must allow the services to continue in some environment of stability for some time to come.
Stability does not mean that they are entitled to not self-examine, and no good educator, and I believe the services are good educators, would put forth a training regime without looking at it on a daily basis, without examining it. I feel that we have seen much evidence of good faith in their ability to self-examine, and we indeed unanimously in this report argue for continued examination, but not for continued change for the sake of change.
I would simply say also that as an educator, it seems to me that it is very compelling that the argument is made by services who have substantially integrated operational forces, that is, cases where there are high percentages of positions open to women, the case is made quite compellingly that the challenges, and indeed there are challenges, of gender integration, are significantly better handled in a controlled environment in which the ratio of trainers to trainees is high. That, to me as an educator, was the most compelling piece of evidence that we have collected.
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In addition to that, there will be much support, I think, for what should I hope makes us all feel good about the training environment of our military services.
Mr. BUYER. We are going to stop here for a second, because we both are puzzled by your statement.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes, when you said the most important piece of evidence was the ratio. The most important piece of evidence, ratio to what?
Dr. CANTOR. What I was pointing to was many of the service chiefs and indeed many of people in leadership that we spoke with talked about how important it was to face the challenges of gender integration early in the recruit training process in a controlled training environment, when you have a high ratio of supervisor to trainee. And once you get out in the operational forces or even late in the initial entry training process, that is later on in terms of advanced training, you have a lower ratio of supervisor to trainee.
Mr. BUYER. All right. We understand now, because there in lies part of the problem early on in the program, was the ratios were completely out of whack at Aberdeen and others.
Dr. CANTOR. Exactly.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. Let me now yield to Lieutenant General Christmas.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. GEORGE R. CHRISTMAS, USMC (RET.), COMMISSION MEMBER
General CHRISTMAS. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Abercrombie, members of the subcommittee, I also would like to personally thank you for the opportunity to testify this afternoon.
The Commission represents a group of American citizens from very differing backgrounds and points of view tackling a very difficult task. I believe it is important to point out that of our 23 recommendations and conclusions, there is only one in which we did not have a unanimous ''aye'' vote.
Of the concerns noted by those that sustained, I note that in my judgment their concerns were addressed by the other recommendations and conclusions made unanimously by this Commission. As an example, we talked very strongly about the evaluation and continued evaluation of physical training. We talked very strongly about listening to the trainers. We talked very strongly about the continual review of the initial entry training process by commanders, doing what is right.
Sir, in my current line of work I have the opportunity to conduct training at the operational and tactical levels of war with all our armed services. Through this training and the visits and hearings of this Commission, I have concluded that each of the services' Initial Entry Training continuums which are described on that chartand I think important to look at because it is those continuums in each individual service that produce the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marinesthat these training continuums are providing the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to the operating forces that, with normal sustainment training, can and do accomplish the many diverse missions that our Nation currently requires our service men and women to perform.
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I therefore believe that each service should be allowed to continue to train as they currently do, contingent on sustaining the extensive improvements that each has made to their training continuums in the last 18 to 24 months and maintaining the current combat exclusion policies.
I believe of greater concern to your subcommittee are the personnel shortages being experienced by the armed forces and what appears to be an ever increasing operational tempo which seems to be stretching our forces perilously close to their limits.
That said, from what I have seen in my travels, we can all be very proud of what our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are accomplishing throughout the world.
I would be pleased to answer your questions.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, General Christmas.
Sergeant Major Dare.
STATEMENT OF COMMAND SGT. MAJ. ROBERT A. DARE, JR., USA (RET.), COMMISSION MEMBER
Sergeant Major DARE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members. I would first like to say and offer to you my profound thanks, not only for the ability to be here today but the experience of the last 12 months, which has been an absolutely incredible boon for myself, and I am sure for all the other members.
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I must say up front that my conclusions, findings and recommendations have been captured in Mr. Pang's statement and by the statements of the others that have gone before me so far. I thought it would be of interest to offer to you just a couple of points that I would like to make to support my beliefs.
The first thing that I would offer is that, as my bio denotes, I spent 28 years on active duty in the United States Army, trained as an infantry soldier and for the majority of my career served as a infantryman. More importantly, I served as a leader of men, and later on in my career, of women. So I like to think I know a little bit about the subject called leadership, and it is one of my deep passions.
So I would like to support my point of view and come to the subject of leadership, because fundamentally, fundamentally, Mr. Chairman, I think the problems of the past that were the catalyst for the establishment of this Commission were in fact serious failures in leadership and/or commissions of serious offenses by leaders. They clearly were not a result of men and women in a training environment. I cannot overemphasize that enough. People who would lessen to you the role and the importance of leadership, and the impact and the power that it has on the environment of the military community, in my opinion do not understand the profession of arms.
Secondly, to support my point of view I would like to talk about the changes very briefly that the services have made in 18 to 24 months, and they are profound and overarching. I think that the services got the message loud and clear. General Reimer admitted to us in testimony that they took their eyes off the ball for a period of time, and we had similar comments from other leaders in uniform. So it was open admission on their part that mistakes were made.
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But I must tell you what has been done in the last 24 months is such that I believe you can feel very, very comfortable, very comfortable that the leadership now realizes the awesome responsibility they have to this country, to the Congress, and more importantly, to the young men and women who choose to serve in the armed forces today, ensuring that they have a wholesome, healthy, safe and secure environment.
They have increased the staffing of trainers, they have increased the curriculums of basic training, they have established security procedures that in many cases go far beyond that which we felt were necessary, but nevertheless they defended as they would rather err on that side of judgment rather than on a lesser side. So those changes in fact indicate to me that the message was clearly received and appropriate action was taken.
Third, I would like to talk to you quickly about the hundreds of people of all ranks in all positions in the armed forces that we talked to during our travels. These men and women were as open and honest and candid as they could possibly have been. At no time did I sense on their part a reluctance to speak their mind. And, yes, we heard the good, bad and ugly.
We heard trainers who were opposed to the environment in which they were in. But, more importantly, the vast majority of those trainers indicated to us that the dilemma they were in was not necessarily associated with gender-integrated training, but rather the hours and the absolutely demanding job that they have in their services. That, Mr. Chairman, and the committee, I suggest to you has not changed.
I know it has not changed from 1974 to 1978 when I served as a drill sergeant in the Army, and I also know that the complaints that were made must be understood in the context in which they were made. Trainers who serve this country in that capacity today can be expected to be critical of the training environment, because they were all selected by their services above their peers and they have never functioned on a minimum standard level. In fact, if you trace their experience and their success, it is directly attributed to overachievement on a daily basis.
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These trainers have a conflict with their own personal standards, which are extremely high, and you would want them to be so, and the stated service-specific performance standards. We made mention of that in one of our recommendations, that the senior leadership has got to address that with the young trainers.
Finally, I would offer to you the ultimate question which I chose to ask at every visit, and that was the question that for me cemented my belief in my recommendation. And that is, ''Would you take these people to war with you?'' I can tell you in almost a majority, with the exception of one or two, without hesitation the answer was a resounding ''Yes''. So by their own admission, they were proud of their soldiers, proud of the training they had received to date, and willing to go into battle with them.
I am confident that we have been accurate in what we have provided to you and will provide you in the final report. My personal values and ethics prohibit me from giving testimony to something which I do not believe in. So I would not be here today stating these beliefs if I did not know for sure that it is in the best interests of the forces of the United States, and in a profession that was very good to me and that I take very seriously.
I thank you very much for the time.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Sergeant Major Dare.
Next we will hear from Lieutenant General William Keys, United States Marine Corps, Retired.
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STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. WILLIAM M. KEYS, USMC (RET.), COMMISSION MEMBER
General KEYS. Mr. Chairman, thank you for allowing me to be here today.
Prior to making my statement, I have a personal request I would like to make. There appears to be some inference, because I voted to abstain on the initial report, that I in fact concur with gender-integrated training. I would like to state for the record I do not, and I would like to, with your permission, be able to submit an addendum to the record where in fact I change my vote to ''no.''
Mr. BUYER. I believe you could take that up with the Chairman of your Commission. It can be so noted in the report. You could do that, could you not, Ms. Blair and Mr. Pang?
Mr. PANG. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUYER. I am sure they would be willing it make any accommodation for any members of the Commission in a final report that would be submitted to Congress. As I understand, the report that we have received is not a final report but we have asked for a status report. So, General Keys, I believe that request could be made. Thank you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. You have to understand, General, this is very unusual for us because nobody up here ever changes his or her mind about anything.
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General KEYS. Well, I appreciate your consideration. Everybody interprets data a different way, and I feel that in fact there are a lot of problems with gender-integrated basic training. I think the data that you will receive in the final report will show you some of these problems, primarily with the recruit trainers, who indicate without question that there is alot of unnecessary distraction when you bring these people together in basic training.
Now, I don't envision as a result of this Commission or even recommend that you direct the services to change their method of training, but I would hope that they would be visionary enough to in fact look at these problems and then not be locked into a system of training that they now have. At least it appeared to me, from the testimony of the service chiefs and everybody we had testify from the services, that they in fact felt that what they were doing was completely correct and they did not want to change, even though they made many good changes to the system they have.
As indicated earlier, this Commission visited many bases, talked to lots of people, and again the service chiefs were all very cooperative. I considered them all to be very professional and competent individuals. However, even with all the Commission's hard work, we really only got to talk to what I consider a small part of the military. We talked to probably, I don't know, 500 or 600 people, and had 2,000 or 3,000 replies from our data calls. When you put that into the grand scheme of things, there are a lot more people in the military than that.
I think before providing a rationale for my position, I would like to make it clear my interpretation of basic training. I would like to read the following:
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In my opinion, the purpose of basic training is not complicated. Most recruits can tell you in a sentence the experience is designed as a rite of passage to make them into real soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. What is most remembered about one's military service is time spent ''in basic'' and their initiation into combat, fortunate or unfortunate as the case may be.
Recruit training is the gateway from civilian identity to a professional identity that serves a higher good. It is a one-time opportunity that in my opinion cannot be duplicated anywhere else or ever truly made up for. Basic training does not teach recruits to fight and survive in combat. Basic training teaches basic military skills such as physical fitness, close order drill, marksmanship. It is a military socialization process. Civilians are transformed into soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
This training provides the recruits the basic military skills needed to integrate into an operational unit. It does not teach warfighting skills, nor should it be the staging ground for gender etiquette skills. I don't buy into the notion that the boys and girls have to learn to work together. These young people entering the military today in my opinion are more gender-integrated, gender-sensitive and gender-aware than anybody we have ever had before.
Basic training should, however, teach respect for authority, discipline, self-respect and self-confidence which transcend any notion of gender familiarity. The focus of basic training should be on the individual, to transform the civilian into a self-confident, disciplined person who is ready to proceed to additional training as a professional.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The slogan ''Train as you fight'' or any similar slogan in my opinion doesn't have anything to do with basic training. I think separating the sexes in basic training, and having instructors of the same sex, clearly provides strong positive figures and leadership of the same gender.
I think it goes without saying today almost 50 percent of the young people coming into the military today come from single-parent homes. I think the gender-segregated approach gives, in fact, these people a role model to look up to. Separate basic training allows women to realize early in training they can be strong, assertive leaders. This gender-segregated approach creates a secure environment, free from overt sexual pressures, thereby allowing new recruits the opportunity to focus and absorb their service's standard of behavior in all areas of military life.
But even without this kind of data assessment, I think common sense would tell any reasonable man or woman that it is counterproductive to mix these genders in this most unique and focused, stress-filled environment. I think the Commission's most comprehensive and extensive study measured some of these attitudes. The attitudes measured were commitment, respect for authority, and group service identity. I think the results speak for themselves. It was in fact the general security of the Marine Corps that produced the highest scores among these graduating recruits. In addition, Marine female recruits scored the very highest levels of all recruits measured.
I would make another point concerning the data. General Krulak alone among the service chiefs indicated his objection to mixing males and females in recruit training because it creates unnecessary distractions. I was, therefore, moved when we found that many of the military leaders in commands who answered our survey consistently indicated that mixing males and females together in basic training caused an unnecessary distraction to training, and this was particularly true of the recruit trainers of all four services. Of the 2,200 surveyed, 62 percent made this comment.
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I don't feel gender-integrated training is based on any arguable military necessity, at least not from the information provided the Commission. I believe from my interpretation the rationale was purely based on the end of the draft and the political environment at the time.
The contribution of women in the armed services has clearly been significant, and I don't think this gender-separate training detracts from that in any way. As a matter of fact, I think it prepares them better for their future roles in the military. I don't consider the armed forces of this country to be a platform for social engineering. Their job is too important. Clearly we must provide these young men and women who serve in the military the best possible military foundation from which to move forward into their military occupational specialties.
The only rationale I have consistently heard for those advocating gender-integrated training has been some variation of the one that men and women have to learn to work together from day one. Well, from my experience, which is considerable if you look at my biography, I think if basic training is done the right way, when men and women do come together they will be better behaved and better disciplined.
Finally, mixing males and females in basic trainingand I repeat again, basic training, we are only talking about an 8-to-12-week period when an individual first comes into his respective servicecauses a wholly unnecessary distraction, and at arguably the most crucial period of character formation in the entire military process.
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Mr. BUYER. Thank you, General Keys. Mr. Moore, you are now recognized.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS MOORE, COMMISSION MEMBER
Mr. MOORE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Abercrombie, distinguished members of the subcommittee, for having us here today.
I concur with much that has been said, and as you have already observed, there was a high degree of unanimity in our report findings. I agree with the vice chairman when he said that we found no fundamental systemic breakdown in training. However, since I was at one time the lone dissenter on the most controversial motion, which is the motion regarding gender-integrated training, I feel some obligation to explain my position for that dissent and to examine where I see some cracks in the foundation which could some day, under the stresses of sustained combat, lead to a fundamental systematic breakdown in the ability of the operational forces to prevail.
Mr. Pang said that the dissenters, or suggested at least that those who dissented from that motion could not do so objectively. I would simply like to say that it is clear that all of us bring certain presuppositions and predispositions to our role on this Commission. We all come from different backgrounds. That is to the good. Some of us are former career military personnel, some come from academia, some have been in fact in the government and responsible for making some of the policies that we were then asked by you to examine.
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So all of us have a certain amount of predispositions, and there is no way one can check one's life and world view and experience at the door. The best that we could hope to do was to acknowledge those predispositions up front and pledge to be open-minded. This is what I did.
Certainly I had a predisposition based upon 21 years as an Army Reserve officer in the combat arms. I helped to train Reserve component soldiers at Fort Jackson, where I observed the first gender-integrated experiment during the Carter years. I have a certain point of view based upon military history, and the lessons of history tell me that the principal purpose of basic training is to effect a military resocialization in which the civilian is transformed into a soldier.
To paraphrase General Keys, who frankly put all of this so much more eloquently than I could, it is to be a rite of passage, a transformation process, and that can only occur in a highly focused and rigorous environment in which that objective is clear and paramount above all else. If it does not occur in those first 6 to 9 weeks of basic training, or if it occurs only incompletely, then the further skills-oriented training and the full integration of the soldier or service member into operational units suffers because the proper foundation has not been laid. You cannot go back and redo basic training.
I also hold the premise, again derived from my study of history, that warfighting is principally a male occupation. Now, today's military women, the ones that we have met, were impressive and outstanding and they clearly make a valuable contribution to today's armed forces. But still history, common sense and the observable laws of nature tell me at least that women are not interchangeable with men. They have their strengths, weaknesses and particular characteristics, and so do men. But historically, armies have always conducted their training, whether for direct combat or support roles, with the principal focus on that male in the warfighting population.
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So in my mind there was a presumption based on all of this in favor of gender-separated basic training. But as I said, I was willing to be convinced of the value of gender integrated training if I could be shown that it was preferable to the way that armies have always trained their soldiers throughout recorded history. In the event, I did not discover it to be preferable.
Our Commission was presented with a motion which essentially preserved the status quo, and I think even some Commissioners who supported that motion were still concerned about some of the problems that mixed training has introduced into the forces, but they felt that the cost of rolling back the status quo would have imposed too much hardship, too much turbulence on the forces, and that the benefit would not be worth the cost of supporting the Kassebaum Baker Commission findings, which I do support and which in fact I recommend.
I had some sympathy for that view, having been in uniform in the past, being on the receiving end of the order, counter-order, disorder phenomenon. But I feel the cost of mixed training in the long run will outweigh the cost of undoing it. These are my principal reasons.
First, there is a loss of military effectiveness. I am persuaded, based on all of the work that we did on the Commission, that this military socialization or transformation process is not being carried out completely and sufficiently in mixed units.
The success of making mixed training work, the success of mixed training as a goal itself seems to have supplanted what should be the principal goal, which is to convert civilians into soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. The inevitable distractions inherent in mixed units degrades the quality, rigor and focus of basic training.
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The second cost or the second problem is the erosion of an essential military-institutional culture. Now, we heard from trainers, a significant number of trainers in all ranks and all services, that in order to make mixed training work and accommodate the large number of females alongside males, the traditional male-oriented culture of the military has to be scrapped, or at least fundamentally altered. This really should be self-evident, at least to any open-minded person.
Mr. BUYER. Who said that?
Mr. MOORE. Trainers that we met in all the services at all training bases, and frankly all ranks. These were noncommissioned officers, the first echelon trainers, and even some of the company grade officers that we met in all of the services.
Mr. BUYER. Is this an indoctrination or is this of their personal opinion?
Mr. MOORE. This was an opinion that was communicated to me on many occasions. They said basically in order to make this work, we have to change the institutional culture of the military, which is traditionally male-oriented. My concern is that no one really has asked or examined what the long-term effect of this fundamental cultural shift in the military is going to be. It is hardly even acknowledged.
What does it mean in terms of loss of cohesion, loss of aggressiveness, loss of an overarching sense of military purpose? What is the degree in this process of the general softening of the training and the socialization process? No one in the senior grades that I talked to seems willing to confront the steady erosion of the traditional military character of their institution and face what it might mean on the future battlefield.
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A third problem that I saw that sustained my dissent is the failure to achieve the stated goals of gender-integrated training. I support the stated goal, which is that we should bring men and women together at the earliest stages to foster the right professional attitudes of respect towards members of the opposite sex. That is a laudable and necessary goal.
However, point one, it supplants what should be the principal goal of the first 6 to 9 weeks of basic training, which is to effect that military transformation. And secondly, in order to make it work, the services have had to impose a draconian regime which is aimed at keeping men and women from interacting together after they have been brought together on the drill field and on the ranges.
In other words, to quote an Air Force trainer, interestingly enough at Lackland, and of course the Air Force has been doing this longer than anyone else, he said, ''We have to create a prison camp environment in order to make gender-integrated training work.'' Today's new story about the Army having to put surveillance cameras in recruit barracks further attests to the fact. And I hardly need point out that this sort of paradox and behavior and message sends a mixed message and does not support the stated rationale for gender-integrated training. Interestingly to me, the prison camp environment exists to one degree or other at every IET base we visited except Parris Island. The Marine Corps does not have this problem. It avoids the unnecessary distractions of gender-integrated training in the first stage of basic, and in my view produces a better product. And yet there doesn't appear from anything that I have observed to be any gross problem or lack of professional attitudes of conduct between men and women in the Marine Corps.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another problem I saw with gender-integrated training, and this to me is one of the most serious, and that is a growing loss of mutual trust and confidence. Now, it is true that many trainers are enthusiastic about mixed training, but still a significant number feel it is a mistake and yet they are not allowed to voice their observations or complaints. Many of them feel coerced by their superiors to assent to a policy they feel is not in the best interest of the services, and they observe those same superiors giving only praise to the policy and ignoring its flaws. In other words, they feel, frankly, that many of their superiorsand I hate to use the wordare lying about the success of mixed training. And this in turn is breeding a growing cynicism, contempt and distrust up and down the chain of command that to me is far more disturbing in its long-term effects than the impact of gender-integrated training itself.
The American military simply cannot remain healthy if this trend continues, but it appears to be increasing. A large number, as you well know, of midgrade and experienced personnel are leaving the service, and while certainly there are many reasons for this current retention crisis, one reason some of these people are leaving is because they sense a loss of integrity in the senior leaders of their respective institutions.
Finally, another thing that I observed in our commission experience is the erosion of physical preparedness and martial ethos of male trainees. Frankly, I think mixed training appears to benefit females more than males. Most of the women trainees I encountered were highly motivated, eager to make the transition to soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, and I was deeply impressed with the vast majority of those females I met.
But it appears to me at the same time that the benefits are not being equally distributed. The physical challenge to male trainees, especially in company runs or road marches, for example, that challenge is necessarily diminished in order to accommodate females alongside. Many males and mixed units appear, in my judgment, to lack the same intensity of motivation, although you certainly encounter those few who were highly motivated because they did not want to be outdone by females. So in a subtle and yet profound way, something seems to be happening to sap the self-confidence, assertiveness, and aggressiveness of many males in mixed training.
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Let me just close by saying that to the extent that basic training still is sound, we have the finest non-Commissioned officers in the world to thank for it. We cannot afford to lose them, and I fear that we are going to lose many of them if we continue to impose an agenda upon them which they see is inimical to the best interest of the services, which is based on no military imperative or military necessity, as General Keys has observed, but is frankly imposed from the top down as a politically-correct social dogma which they believe is hostile to the traditional military ethos.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Moore. Barbara Pope, you are now recognized.
STATEMENT OF BARBARA S. POPE, COMMISSION MEMBER
Mrs. POPE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee. I too want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you.
First I want to say that I believe our status report speaks for itself, but I have four very brief points I would like to make. First is, I came to this Commission with experience in military manpower. Second, I also came to the Commission with the perception that gender-integrated training had been a good idea on paper but that it just wasn't working in the military. I had great concerns about what was occurring in basic training across the services.
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Third, early in our process of reviewing basic training and gender-integrated training, we consulted with GAO (General Accounting Office) on the best manner to collect data and make credible observations. GAO recommended that a credible process would be one that was multifaceted. Our review included site visits, focus and discussion groups and surveys. They also cautioned us and they cautioned us several times on basing our conclusions from a single comment or single statement that an individual made to any of us, and encouraged us to make our summary on all of the data that we collected.
Mr. Chairman, the conclusions and recommendations in our status report are based on a multifaceted review of the continuum of training and not on a single observation or statement.
As I already mentioned, I came to this Commission with the perception that gender-integrated training was just too hard to implement. My last point is that after the last 10 months, and as you mentioned they were rigorous, what I found for the most part is that the transformation process from young kidsand most of these young men and women are just kidsto soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines is working. It is working as a result of the significant changes that have occurred in the last 24 months. Yes, there are challenges but where there is good leadership, the transformation process is working and the operational commanders are satisfied with the product of the young men and women that they are receiving.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mrs. Pope. Dr. Segal.
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STATEMENT OF DR. MADY WECHSLER SEGAL, COMMISSION MEMBER
Dr. SEGAL. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Abercrombie, distinguished members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to speak to you today and it has been an honor for me to serve on this Commission and I have learned a great deal from our work. I bring to this Commission the perspective of a social scientist. What determines my views on policy issues is primarily evidence and social scientific analysis of the kind that meets scientific standards. For 26 years I have worked on research on how to recruit, train, and retain the best people to maintain mission readiness. In Commission travel to bases in all four services, I have been impressed with the quality of recruits and the outcomes of basic training. Most newly-minted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have learned well the basic values, skills, and behaviors to succeed in the military.
Training recruits in initial entry training is difficult and stressful. Throughout my years of study, I have heard trainers complain about the quality of recruits. Today's trainers are more satisfied with recruits than those of earlier times.
I have also been impressed with the quality of gender-integrated training. Frankly, I expected to see more problems than we actually saw or than our research shows. I was especially struck by the cohesion in gender-integrated training units. The ability of our young men and women to work together was obvious on our site visits. For example, at Fort Jackson, we observed men and women going through a confidence course as a group getting everyone over a wall. The trainees displayed a sense of common purpose. What is being fostered among basic trainees in these settings is accomplishing a mission through teamwork where gender is not an issue.
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Data collected by the Commission directly measure the effect of gender integration on the degree to which graduating recruits express positive attitudes of commitment, teamwork, and group identity. In general, the data show that gender format does not affect these attitudes among men. There are no statistically significant differences between men and gender-integrated training units and those in all-male units in the same service. We cannot compare women in the same service in different formats because all women in the Army, Navy, and Air Force are in gender-integrated basic training and all women in the Marine Corps train separately.
The many differences among the services mean that comparing outcomes of one service's gender-integrated training with another segregated training would not be valid. However, research conducted by the Army from 1993 to 1995 on basic training for non-combat arms personnel shows that women's outcomes are better with the integrated format. Like the Commission's research, that earlier research showed little difference for men.
Commission research shows that most soldiers, sailors, and airmen with 1 to 8 years of service say that gender-integrated training makes it easier to adapt to a gender-integrated unit. Data analysis on actual outcomes confirms this. For example, those who work with the other gender more frequently during basic training reported being better prepared by basic for AIT (Advanced Individual Training) and their first assignment and better prepared for service in a gender-integrated unit.
In Commission research and group discussions, service members at all levels did not mention gender until specifically asked about it. This was despite the name of our Commission and all the repeated attention to gender issues in the military.
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In this era of recruiting challenges for our armed forces, Commission researchers decided to see if gender format and basic training has an effect on recruiting. Questions asked in the Youth Attitude Tracking Survey at the Commission's request revealed that propensity to enlist is either not affected or is positively affected by having gender-integrated basic training. The vast majority of young people say that gender format makes no difference to their investment decisions. The men for whom it might make a difference prefer the gender-integrated format.
The Commission's observations and research show ways in which training can be improved. Our status report identifies some of these and our final report will contain much more detail.
Our findings and the services' rationales for gender-integrated and gender segregated training are supported by what is known in social psychology regarding socialization to a role. New recruits are most effectively prepared for their roles as service members when they learn the norms for professional interaction early. For those who are likely to serve in gender-integrated units during their first term, it is especially important for them to train in gender-integrated units with drill instructors of both sexes.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you and I would be happy to answer your questions.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. Ms. Blair, you wanted to conclude.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. BLAIR. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Taylor from last year, and distinguished members of the subcommittee, I wanted to conclude because I wanted to be sure to say thank you to a few people. The first thank-you I would like to give is my husband and law partner Doug Welty and my friends and colleagues at the Independent Women's Forum who had to pitch in a lot more than any of them expected to free me to be able to serve on this Commission. I also want to thank our Commission's Executive Director, Steve Fogleman, and our excellent hardworking staff without whom we could not have accomplished so much in such a short time.
Mr. BUYER. Ms. Blair, is your staff here? Please identify them.
Ms. BLAIR. They are here, seated behind us.
Mr. BUYER. Would you have them identify themselves? I don't know who they all are. Stand up, folks.
Mr. FOGLEMAN. I am Steve Fogleman, the Executive Director.
Ms. DUKE. Carolyn Duke, fiscal and deputy.
Mr. RENNE. Jim Renne, counsel and secretary.
Colonel HARRIS. Lieutenant Colonel Brenda Harris, Army representative.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Captain SNYDER. Captain Jim Snyder, Navy representative.
Colonel STREET. Lieutenant Colonel Mary Street, Air Force representative.
Major LASHIER. Major Scott LaShier. That would make me the Marine representative, sir.
Ms. FRYE. Susan Frye, legislative assistant.
Mr. JOHNSON. Chuck Johnson, researcher.
Ms. WRIGHT. Kathy Wright, research director.
Ms. LAWRENCE. Janice Lawrence, researcher.
Ms. HANDY. Christina Handy, research staff.
Ms. SIPES. Sunny Sipes, research staff.
Mr. SCHRADER. Larry Schrader, research staff.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. You can continue.
Ms. BLAIR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. They truly deserve favorable recognition, perhaps more than some of us. Mr. Chairman, you have a prepared statement from me and I will not go into that because I want to be brief, but I would like to give you a very brief anecdote that I think pulls a lot of themes together.
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When I visited Lackland Air Force Base, I met a group of trainers, sergeants who run the defining event fair which is called the FTX (Field Training Exercise). The sergeants told me they started the FTX because they saw that the Air Force has changed. It is no longer an 8-to-5 job but an expeditionary force, when airmen get called to go halfway around the world, set up an airstrip in base camp, and then guard and operate that camp far away from home and comfort. The Air Force has changed and the sergeants thought it was important to give Air Force basic trainees a field training experience that reflects the current expeditionary nature of the Air Force.
This FTX came about as kind of a ''skunk works'' operation. These sergeants begged, borrowed and otherwise acquired tents and other equipment in a completely informal manner outside of regular channels. It was a very impressive job. They were very proud of it. They were also generous and gracious enough to say that they got their inspiration from the Marine Corps crucible. At that, I mentioned to them that the following week I expected to be at Parris Island. ''Wow, Parris Island,'' they said, in the same tone that I might say, ''Wow, Paris.'' They said that they would love to go to Parris Island and talk with the basic training pros. These Air Force sergeant trainers said the Marine Corps really thinks about basic training and makes it a big priority. They told me the Marine Corps has the best ideas. The Marine Corps does it right.
The Air Force sergeants who invented the FTX aren't the only ones who think the Marine Corps has good ideas about basic training. The Commission asked the Department of Defense in each service to come in in June, November, and January to update us about the progress of their implementation of the recommendations of the Kassebaum Baker report. Each time, the Army would come in and give us a long list of things that they were doing. The Navy would give us a long list. The Air Force would give us a long list. And the Marine Corps, in responding to almost every recommendation would say, Well, we didn't need to change anything there; we were already doing it.
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Now, the Army, Navy, and Air Force eagerly embraced almost all the recommendations of the Kassebaum Baker committee. In fact, representatives of those services were gracious enough to thank our Commission for helping them to focus on those improvements. I hope they have also thanked Senator Kassebaum Baker and her committee who, in fact, deserves the credit for that.
As we all know, however, there is one Kassebaum Baker recommendation that the Army, Navy, and Air Force have conspicuously refused to implement, and that is the recommendation to conduct basic training separately for men and women at the platoon division flight level. And it is significant because the Marine Corps, that research and development arm that gives us all these other great ideas, is adamant about separate basic training for men and women. The Marine Corps says it is integral. Their system can't work without it. And that only makes sense. The kids who come into basic training come from all over the United States, and even foreign countries, and they are assigned to live in a room with about 59 other complete strangers. Let those folks who live together train together. Let that little family that lives and trains together be the basic unit in which they are first introduced to military society. The Marine Corps says that is the only way you can capture their full attention and inculcate in them the habits of discipline that will be the foundation of their further growth and maturity in the service.
Sounds like a good idea. Sounds like common sense. But you, the Congress, need to know that the Army, Navy, and Air Force have closed the book on gender-integrated training. They say they have no programs and no plans even to collect data to evaluate whether gender-integrated training is effective. They say they will not consider even some limited tests to compare gender-integrated versus gender segregated training. They don't even want to ask. They don't want to know if another method of training would be better.
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I think the least they could do is ask. It worries me a lot that they don't even want to know and I hope it worries you too.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I thank you again for your invitation and we are ready to answer your questions.
Mr. BUYER. That does worry me.
Mr. Pang, you used a word called ''agenda.'' We recognize even stepping into this issue, there are many people that have different types of agendas. And there are many different influences in the building and those of whom seek to control that particular agenda.
I want to open with a question, because it is a criticism and I would like each of you to have the opportunity to clarify right now. Each of you are here testifying in your government capacity. Generally when we have witnesses testify before the House Armed Services Committee, they are to give public disclosures because they testify in another capacity.
Mr. Pang, you have done that very often in testifying here. So there are some who are saying that the reason you are getting a status quo report out of this Commission is that there are some who are on the Commission that have contacts and contracts and their associations and friendships within the building over in the Pentagon, and therefore those influences are real and it is profit and they are worried about themselves.
So I want you to clarify and have you publicly have an opportunity to make a comment on that. So number one, I want you to disclose, do you have any contracts with the Federal Government in your private capacity or does an entity for which you work have contracts with the Pentagon or receives grants from the Pentagon? So when you answer that question, you can answer yes, no. If you answer yes, tell me what they are and then I will give you an opportunity to respond to a criticism that I have already heard.
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I will go right down the line. Dr. Segal?
Dr. SEGAL. I work for the University of Maryland. They pay my salary. I have done research for military services. They do support some of the research. One of the reasons why I like being in a university is I know that I am free to do the kind of research that I think is important. I have objective standards of research that I use. If I had no support from the military tomorrow, my salary would be the same.
Mr. BUYER. You have an ongoing grant with the Pentagon?
Dr. SEGAL. There is a grant that supports some of the work of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. I think you would find if you talked to the people in the Pentagon, that they don't always agree with the results of the research and we often find research that is bad news; and we don't worry about being shot as the messengers because we just tell what we find.
My associations with the military, if anything, I think have helped my work on this Commission in terms of the experiences that I have had in past years. I certainly do not think that my judgment has been clouded by the services, my relationship with the services.
Sergeant Major DARE. Mr. Chairman, I work for a technology company that produces small arms training simulators called FATS Incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia. We do have a major contract with one of the services in the Pentagon. It is the United States Marine Corps. I deal with them quite often. I obviously have a lot of contacts in the Pentagon because of my previous life. At no time during this process have I felt pressured or have received any pressure to respond in any other way. Those that know me in the Pentagon would be quick to tell you it would have done them no good to try to persuade me one way or another.
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Mr. BUYER. General Christmas.
General CHRISTMAS. Since retirement, I am a private consultant. I do in fact have contracts first of all with the Marine Corps, where I am a senior mentor for the MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) Task Staff Training program which teaches both operational and tactical warfighting skills to the Marine expeditionary forces, the Marine forces and their components. I have several other contracts which are equally in the training requirements, both in Korea, in the Atlantic Command, and in the Joint Warfighting Center. I teach at the Marine Corps University from time to time. I am also a senior fellow for the Armed Forces Staff College. All of this is to hopefully share as a mentor my 35 years of warfighting experience with the young men and women who make up our armed forces.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Pang.
Mr. PANG. Mr. Chairman, I am a private consultant. I have no direct contracts with the Pentagon. I have contracts with companies that do business with the Pentagon. I have no personal agenda in this matter. I rely on my experience both working on the Hill, serving in the United States Air Force for 27 years, and having an appointed position in the Pentagon. Like General Christmas, I did talk to a whole host of people, but I was not influenced or pressured in any way by anyone in the Pentagon.
Mr. BUYER. Ms. Blair.
Ms. BLAIR. Mr. Chairman, the check that I receive in compensation for serving on this Commission is the very first check I have ever received from the government other than an income tax refund. I never had a government job and I have no government contracts, nor anybody that is associated with me. Indeed, the Independent Women's Forum, of which I am executive vice president, makes it an article of faith that we do not seek or accept government grants.
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Mr. BUYER. Mrs. Pope.
Mrs. POPE. I do serve with the Department of Defense as a civilian adviser to an SES (Senior Executive Service) program, that has nothing to do with the military.
Mr. BUYER. With pay or without pay?
Mrs. POPE. With pay. There are two courses that they do across the air. I have to say when I was on the payroll of the Pentagon, both with the Department of Defense and the Department of Navy, anyone who worked with me knew that there was no amount of pressure that would have impugned my integrity or my personal beliefs. Thank you.
Mr. BUYER. General Keys.
General KEYS. Mr. Chairman I serve on the board of two companies, one of which is Colt Manufacturing that provides artillery firearms to the military. I don't have a personal contract other than that. I do consult with one major company that is building a tactical vehicle for the Marine Corps.
Mr. BUYER. Dr. Cantor?
Dr. CANTOR. I have no personal contact, nor have I ever, with the military Pentagon. I am Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Michigan, and it is for sure the case that the University of Michigan has faculty members who have been supported by Federal research from the Pentagon.
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Mr. BUYER. Mr. Moore.
Mr. MOORE. Mr. Chairman, I am the Director of International Studies at the Heritage Foundation, which is a private non-profit public policy research organization. I have no direct contact with the Pentagon or the armed services; however, I do some small-scale outside consulting with a defense contractor, Fabrique Nationale Herstal Group, which builds small arms for the U.S. military and is a principal competitor for Colts. But General Keys and I otherwise agree on things.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you. I think it is important that each of you have an opportunity to respond to something like that. The charter that Congress gave you is very detailed. Under the section where you are to examine integrated training, there were 16 specific charges, so I am hopeful that when we get the report that you have documented, you have gone through each one of those.
Okay, I am getting all the nods of the head. Good. Let me yield to Mr. Abercrombie for his opening questions.
I have a whole host of questions but I am going to leave it to my colleagues and what they don't do, I will play catch-up, fill in the blanks.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Chairman, my understanding is there is a vote on two amendments and then a final passage vote. Three votes, 15, 5 and 5. Should we go
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. We can get 5 minutes of yours in.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. My 5 minutes. I would be happy to do that, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much. First may I say how impressed I was with all of the presentations. I am very, very grateful for them; obviously very thoughtful and well considered. In the interests of full disclosure, Mr. Chairman, I want to indicate that Mr. Pang is a good friend of mine. I don't know whether that is going to harm him now.
Mr. BUYER. Is he a paid friend? No, not paid friend.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The respect we have for him in Hawaii knows no bounds. I am sure Ms. Blair would agree that his association with the Commission was a net positive gain in every respect.
Sergeant Major Dare, I wasn't quite sure of the full meaning of your observation with respect to personal standards of the recruit trainers and the performance standards. Do you recall that phraseology in your presentation?
Sergeant Major DARE. Yes, I do.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Could you elaborate on that a little bit for our benefit, please?
Sergeant Major DARE. Yes, I will. Trainers in all the services are selected based upon an incredible amount of standards and background checks which normally marks them ahead of their peers. Now, the criteria used to select them is based upon their performance of service, and when you take a close look at these men and women, you immediately recognize that they are overachievers. Their standards far exceed the service specific standard.
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For example, in the Army, passing score on the PT test is 180 points. You would be hard-pressed to find a drill sergeant in the Army who is not scoring 250, 260 or above. Unfortunately, and what I try to communicate to the committee, is that there is a conflict between that personal standard that has caused those trainers such great success in their careers and the prescribed minimum standard of performance that each service has, rightfully so, for a young man or woman who is just walking in the door into training. So there is a conflict there.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That surely was not generated with the arrival of greater numbers of females.
Sergeant Major DARE. Absolutely not. As I tried to point out, that complaint is not new. I mean, I complained about it as a drill sergeant in 1974 through 1978. So it has been my experience always that the hardest basic training course, the hardest of any course is the one that took place last time. It clearly isn't the one that is in session now.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Would it be fair to say in relation to thatbecause this gets to other questions that I am going to havethat what comes up here then in this particular instance, and perhaps in other instances as well, is that the question isn't so much male or female or length of time or which particular service, but the quality of the recruit, period; the quality of the people being recruited. Will the trainers be able to count on having people they think are going to make it? Is my question clear?
Sergeant Major DARE. I understand your question.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Let me give you a little bit more preface why I am asking that question. One of the things that came up in some of our hearings and some of our discussions was the OPTEMPO question, the operations tempo, the number of hours, raised as issues for us to confront in terms of pay, in terms of benefits, in terms of whether people will be recruited, whether they will be retained, whether they want to go on to retirement and so on.
The only question, or the principal question that came up with respect to recruits, wasn't so much male and female or some of the other high-profile issues that the press zeroes in on a lot but, rather, the quality: Are they getting the kind of people that they want? And it didn't seem to be related to male and female?
Sergeant Major DARE. Congressman, I would tell you in all honesty in many cases I would be hard-pressed to compete with the young men and women that are coming into service today. I would also tell you that that quality complaint is not new either. It is years old. And I believe that you could poll just stacks of data that support my opinion on that. These young men and women are good people who come in to serve, who choose to serve. We heard trainers say time and time again how impressed they were in the end with these young kids. So I don't think it is a quality issue.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you. I know we have to go, Mr. Chairman. When we get back, I would like to pursue the question in relation to the quality of the people and the kinds of people coming in, the whole territory of single parent, the number of people that come from single-parent households; also the change in the nature of those who are coming in and staying in the service, i.e., now being married, having children, that kind of thing, with respect to some of these questions, if I might.
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Mr. BUYER. That would be permissible. We are going to take a break now. We have 40 minutes worth of voting. So we are going to be back here about 3:30. So the committee will stand in recess until 3:30 so you can grab a quick bite to eat.
Mr. BUYER. The personnel subcommittee will come back to order. We are receiving testimony from the Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues. We had left off with some questioning from Mr. Abercrombie. We will give him a chance to collect his thoughts after he returns from a vote, and I will open with a question.
During your opening comments and testimony, and without really much explanation, and even when you look at the report, the Commission's report unequivocally and unanimously rejects two major initiatives recently directed by the Secretary of Defense. Number one, the proposed change in the Manuals for Courts Martial concerning the offense of adultery, and the revised rules of fraternization developed by the services and the DOD Task Force on, quote, ''Good Order and Discipline,'' end quote.
Please explain to us why the Commission felt so strongly against these two proposals. And I am addressing this specifically to you, Ms. Blair, and to you, Mr. Pang. Also, why do you believe the impact on the services would bewhat do you believe the impact on the services would be if the two DOD proposals were put into effect? And third, would the Commission recommend that Congress take action to block the implementation of these two changes if DOD decides to go ahead with them?
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Ms. BLAIR. Mr. Chairman, I will start with that, being the only lawyer on the Commission, and I invite you as a lawyer who is a lot smarter in these things to interrupt me.
The proposal concerning adultery was to add a couple of pages of what I might describe as commentary to the manual for Courts Martial that would add discussion and additional definition limited to the crime of adultery under the UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice). One of the problems that we identified about this approach was that there are numerous, 85 or more, specific violations of the UCMJ that are enumerated in the Manual for Courts Martial. To add this commentary to the subject of adultery alone, we felt would cause undue attention to that specific type of offense without any reason to. As we asked around, we discovered that adultery is an offense that is sometimes, but more often than not, only brought up in the context of other offenses; that is, it is an added-on charge to somebody who has already done other bad things.
In addition, as we talked with people from the services, including both the members of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) and members of the ordinary operational services, we discovered there was no confusion whatsoever about what adultery is. No one felt that they needed additional guidance so that they would be able to discover when adultery had happened. So that was the thinking of the Commission on the subject of adultery.
I will turn quickly to fraternization. The proposal in that case was a proposal to conform the practices of all four services in terms of their definition of fraternization. And the excuse that was offered for this was that there are a lot of people in joint environments, and it was necessary to clarify whether, for example, an Army officer might be able to date an Air Force enlisted person or something like that. Once again, we did not find that there is a big problem out there in terms of the joint environments. We also found that all of the services felt that their existing policies on fraternization served their purposes, worked well for them, and in particular in the Army, the proposal to change and make the Army like the other services we thought would generate a lot of problems for the Army, and many people from the Army testified to that, that even though they understood the Secretary of Defense was poised to put this into effect, they were very worried about the results of it. We could foresee a lot of shotgun weddings as everybody in the Army rushes to get married before the due date, and it just didn't make a lot of sense to us.
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So our recommendation was that the Secretarywell, it was simply that the services be permitted to continue their historic practices and let them do what has previously worked for them. We found no evidence that there was anything from the outside that would dictate that this ought to be changed.
Fred, I would ask if you would talk about the policy side of it and whether the Commission feels Congress should take any action.
Mr. PANG. Mr. Chairman, I think the chair very eloquently addressed the rationale behind the actions we took. I might just add two things to it. With regard to the issue of adultery, a change in the Manual of Courts Martial would require an executive order and I have not seen that Executive Order and we have inquired about it and it has not been issued yet.
Mr. BUYER. What was the response to your inquiry if you asked if there was such an Executive Order?
Mr. PANG. It is somewhere in the Pentagon, or enroute.
Mr. BUYER. An Executive Order has been drafted?
Mr. PANG. I do not know that for a fact, sir. Madam Chair?
Ms. BLAIR. I was just looking to our counsel here for an answer. We understand that thethere is a drafta proposal is being formulated in the Pentagon, but it has not been drafted and it has not been sent over. That is the understanding we have from the officials over there.
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Mr. BUYER. Thank you. I am sorry; Mr. Pang?
Mr. PANG. Mr. Chairman, with regard to the issue of policy, generally policies are promulgated if there is a problem that needs to be corrected or something that needs to be improved. And the question that we had was are there problems in either area? Quite frankly, when you ask for the number of cases and examples, not many were brought forward. There were some highlight cases. I pointed out the Kelly Flynn case apparently drove that review, and I think we were concerned about how people are makinghow the Defense Department may be making policy. Policy ought to be based on principle and not on, maybe, politics. I don't know. I think that the effect on the Army of the change in fraternization policies will be harmful to the Army. I believe that. I have talked to a number of Army people.
With regard to the adultery issue, if an Executive Order is issued, it is issued. It is merely guidance, so that just falls into another category.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. May I follow up on that?
Mr. BUYER. Sure. I yield to you, Mr. Abercrombie.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Thank you. Mr. Pang and Ms. Blair, let me follow up on that a little bit. I have written down at the top of my notes here after listening to everybody, quality of leadership. I had to try and pick out what you were saying was the most important aspect of dealing with all of these various aspects that we are talking about here, from recruitment and training to adultery, fraternization, whatever it is, quality of leadership.
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If there was an Executive Order, it would simply be another order on top of the orders that already exist. Have I got this right?
And so it comes down to a question of whether people arelet me put it this way. I will draw an analogy or a parallel. One of the things I try to live by is that the Constitution does not guarantee us good government. It merely offers us the opportunity for it. It depends on the talent in the room. It is up to us to take advantage of the structure of thethe government is the instrument of our will. In this instance, I am trying to project onto the services, particularly in the services, whereas General Keys pointed out and General Christmas pointed out in particular, discipline, self-regard, a clear perception of your role, regard for authority. When those are not merely academic discussion points but are the sum and substance of how you are conducting yourself and how you make a judgment on yourself, you can give orders till you turn blue, or establish boundaries and parameters until you turn blue. It depends on whether or not people are going to live up to what is expected of them, particularly in the hierarchy of leadership. Is that a fair statement of why you concluded as you concluded?
Ms. BLAIR. I would say so, Mr. Abercrombie. I think you put it very well, in the sense that this would be superfluous. We found that the people in the military already have a very highly developed moral sense and they deplore this kind of conduct. They deplore it when it occasionally surfaces in their midst, and to add another piece of paper that tells them once again what to do does nothing. However, leadership is an example.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. On that point, you mentioned or Mr. Pang mentioned, I am not quite sure, a couple of high-profile or highlight cases that are out there. I am very suspicious of that kind of thing. You get the media, particularly the television media, who could care less about any of this until they find something that they think they can blow up into a scandal of some kind, and then all of a sudden they rush in and the next thing you have got one of these high-profile news readers, these overpaid people thatwell, okay, anyway, they are out thereall of a sudden pretending to give you some insight.
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What I am driving at there is that these highlight examples seem to me to focus on what, by definition, is a kind of serial predatory series of actions by an individual, or two or three individuals, as opposed to a condition of the human heart. That is to say, some genuine circumstance in which there has been a mistake made or an affair of the heart which has overcome even somebody's good sense and intellectual understanding of what they should be doing and not doing. And there, if I understand the admonitions with respect to fraternization and adultery, the crucial point here, the operative point is whether or not this activity affects the good order of the military service.
Have I summarized that correctly? The reason I am saying that is, if I have, again, it comes to a judgment call and leadership. Not every situation requires a drastic conclusion, perhaps even including jail sentencing and court martialing and all the rest of it. Some of this you are going to have to make a decision as a leader, are you not, as to what the impact is? And if that is the case, would you not be making a differentiation based on whether or not it involved a series of acts which clearly established a pattern of acting against the best interest of the service, as opposed to the isolated instance in which a confusion in the heart overcame an intellectual understanding of what you should be doing?
Mr. PANG. Mr. Abercrombie, that was what we fundamentally considered. The question was how many cases are there out there and that causes confusion with regard to the issue of adultery or the number of cases that you prosecute with regard to fraternization. And, quite frankly, there aren't very many.
I would say that for me individually, when we talk about good order and discipline in the military service, I always viewed that as a domain that fell under the military leadership, because they should know better. In fact, they are invested with the responsibility in the Constitution to train people and do it right.
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So my view is that unless you really know better, and I always subscribe to civilian oversight of the military, it is fundamental to our Constitution, but in this particular area, I would defer to the senior military leadership unless there are some significant flaws that are brought forward. And I have not seen those flaws. You know, I would like to ask if Bob Dare and Ron Christmas would address that, because I think they have very, very
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I am certainly willing to do that but I have abused the Chairman's kindness in letting me follow-up on his remarks.
Mr. BUYER. Mrs. Pope?
Mrs. POPE. I just wanted to follow-up on that because the bottom line is good leadership and command authority. And I think we all agree when we asked about adultery, adultery is very complicated. I am not the lawyer. Mr. Buyer, you were a JAG, so I think you will understand what I am going to say. One of the things we understood as we asked commanders, is, ''Do you have options when you are dealt with an adultery case? The answer is, ''Yes.'' What they said to us, which we thought, at least speaking for myself, was educational was that on advice of their JAG, unless one of the individuals was married, they were caught in the act or admitted the offense, and can prove good order and discipline, their JAG's, advice to them was, ''You cannot prosecute this under the UCMJ.'' That is not common knowledge.
So oftentimes on advice of a JAG, they would pick another option. Their answer to us was that there were options to deal with adultery and that they did take it seriously.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Would it be fair to say that for absolute clarification of exactly what is available for decision making might be in order as opposed to writing a whole new chapter?
Mrs. POPE. We have that recommendation in here.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes. I am trying to reiterate that this is, in fact, where we are going because those who are tuning in don't have the benefit of having been exposed to the report.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will get back to those issues when it comes back around to me.
Mr. BUYER. I had asked that the Commission review the fraternization and adultery for some specific purpose and reasons. I recall when the subcommittee went to Aberdeen immediately after the incidents, and many of us spoke with the drill sergeants and some of the command elements. I remember walking up before the cameras of all thethere were enough thereand said that this is an incident of a few bad apples. And there was a lot of pressure from outside sources to create an ombudsman and I withstood that heat. But, boy, was I criticized in editorials all across the country for stating that day what you have now in your findings done over a year of study.
So I don't mindI don't mind what you are saying. Keep singing the song. Leadership is very important.
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I want to yield to Mr. Bartlett, but I am going to ask this question, Mr. Bartlett, if you will indulge me, because it ties in with your answers to Mr. Abercrombie in this question about a leader's role and how he also receives his advice from the military lawyers. So I am puzzled here at the moment.
The Commission found that there is a need to increase leader training at all levels in knowledge and application of military law and to increase leaders' participation in the military justice system. Now, why I am puzzled is that I had thought that the military justice system is the commander's system. It is the leaders' system. So when the Commission has a finding that the leaders need more knowledge in the law, I am puzzled. So I would like for you to explain that.
My specific questions to you: What did you find that led you to believe that leaders lack significant knowledge of military law, and what has happened to make you conclude that leaders are being excluded or are participating in a lesser degree in the military justice system?
General CHRISTMAS. I am to take that on. The Chair has pointed in my direction. What we found, and we feel very strongly about this, is that as the JAG Corps took over the military justice system in the form of military judges, in the form of defense and prosecutors, what occurred were unintended consequences. Both General Keys and I come from a time when as young second lieutenants, we tried cases as prosecutors. We defended Marines as their defense lawyers. We sat on defense panels. I can tell you I still have in my kit at home my Manual for Courts Martial, which has every article marked that I could quickly turn, and we were involved in the military justice system.
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What has evolved since that change is that military commanders, as they are coming up in their younger years, are not involved as defense counsels anymore, as prosecutors. They are not involved where you have only a military court that is made up of a military judge which is a lawyer. Because of that lack of involvement, the familiarization with the military justice system has started to slacken. And when an individual becomes a commander, because they have not had that experience through the years, they become more dependent on their JAG for advice. A good commander should still get into the books and try to understand.
But what we are saying is that we think you need to overcome that unintended consequence that occurred when we moved to a JAG-oriented military justice system, that in fact we truly in all the services need to have our officers and our enlisted personnel learn what the military justice system is and participate in that system more as junior officers, and our enlisted service personnel.
It was very interesting. I was just up at the training area for training the 3rd Marine Division, and the 3rd Marine Division's JAG is a lieutenant colonel who happens to be a female. But I asked her just about this, trying toyou know what her complaint was? She said your Commission is really right on. I only wish that the commanders that I advised had more understanding and knowledge of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That is why our recommendation, sir.
Mr. BUYER. All right. I do know that commanders have to go through commanders' courses in the Army. I don't know what happens with the Marine Corps, Navy or Air Force. Do the commanders have to go through commanders' courses and get their UCMJ training?
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General CHRISTMAS. I think most the services have gone to commanders' courses. Whether their program has that in it, I can't say.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Bartlett, you are now recognized.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
I want to thank the Commission members for their hard work and their testimony today.
You know, through 5,000 years of recorded history, we have never had a major military power that has successfully integrated men and women into basic training for warfighting. The Soviets tried it, the Germans tried it, the Israelis tried it; and, after the dark days of war, they all retreated from it. It did not work. The Israelis now, as you know, don't even pretend to train men and women together, and at one time they were very aggressively trying to do that.
Then we had our own 5-year experiment between 1977 and 1982 at five of our Army training bases where we conducted mixed-gender training. That was declared a failure after the 5 years for two main reasons: One, when they trained together, men were not physically challenged; and, two, women were overstressed and ended up with excessive incidents of stress fractures and so forth.
Just recently, as you may have noted, the Israelis have just concluded their own true experiment, not a politically directed dictate from the top that the forces were required to conform to but a true experiment where they had experimental units and control units. They have just concluded that it didn't work, and they are not going to pursue mixed-gender training.
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What we have, friends, today in this country is a politically correct dictum from the top where the forces, except for the Marine Corps, are forced to worship at the alter of political correctness. No matter how long you worship at that alter of political correctness, you are not going to change some fundamental things. The sexual dynamic is both an attractor and a distractor that has no part in basic military training.
The chaplains at Fort Leonard Wood said it very well. What the Army is trying to do, they said, runs contrary to the powers of nature. No matter how long we worship at that alter of political correctness, it is always going to be true that men and women are different. They are emotionally different. They are physically different. When you require them to run together, to climb together, to jump together, to carry a pack together on a long march, either you are not going to begin to challenge the average man or you are going to overstress the average woman.
We need toif we seriously want to know what is good for our military, we need to conduct a true experiment where we do these two kinds of training side-by-side, without any political dictum from the top, to compare the results.
I am a scientist by training. I believe that I know what the results would be. But in many experiments I knew what the results would be and still I conducted the experiment. The military has not done that. They show no desire to do that. The only desire they show is to continue to worship at this alter of political correctness, which I think is hurting our readiness. It is no accident, I think, that the Marine Corps is the only service that is meeting its recruitment goals. The other services are failing to meet those goals, and I think one of the reasons is the way they train.
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Ms. Blair, I am interested in what your Commission heard from those responsible for training new recruits. Did the drill instructors, the RDCs (Recruit Division Commander), the drill sergeants and training instructors, indicate whether they believe mixed-gender training produced quality results? Did they indicate whether mixed-gender training made their jobs easier or more difficult?
Ms. BLAIR. Thank you, Mr. Bartlett.
We did include among our scientific research studies a survey of military leaders to include both officers and senior enlisted and specifically trainers; and I don't want to get ahead of our results on that, but we do have, I would say, significant numbers who say that training men and women together is more difficult. Many complained that it does not lead to results that they find acceptable, that it creates a bigger problem.
In addition, the trainers haveI took the opportunity during one of our Commission hearings when we had the senior enlisted representatives from each of the services to ask of the three services, the Army, Navy and Air Force, whetheractually, it was not my question, it was Commissioner Moskos' question, but it was a question I wanted to ask myself. And he said, if it was single sex, would it be easier? And every one of them enthusiastically replied, ''Yes, absolutely, it would be easier. It would be simpler. It would be a lot easier to do.''
Now, I have to add that they also said, ''But it would be wrong.'' They believe in the system that they have. But the three representativesI didn't need to ask the Marine Corpsthose three representatives all enthusiastically said, ''Yes, it would be easier.''
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Mr. BARTLETT. Now, if you have a mountain and you want to get to the other side of it and there are two ways to get there, one is to go through the tunnel on the road that will take you there and other is to crawl over the mountain, you can get there by crawling over the mountain. I am sure that we can make mixed-gender training work. But I think it is exactly the equivalent of getting to the other side of the mountain by crawling over, rather than going through the tunnel. And why would we want to do that when it is harder to do and not in the best interests of the military?
Mr. Chairman, I have several other questions I would like to ask, but perhaps it would be well for me to yield to other members and come back for another round.
Mr. BUYER. Ms. Sanchez.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you all for being here this afternoon.
Forgive me, I have a list of questions. I am going to try to ask a few. And I have been in and out of the hearing today, so I hope that some of my colleagues haven't asked them yet, because I haven't heard some of the answers to these.
I want to begin by just saying that, you know, I come out of the investment banking industry, and I had the fortunate experience of working with the first woman ever allowed, ever allowed, on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchangeever allowed. And by that I mean she was a trainee as a broker for a large firm in New York, and she wanted to get the experience of what went on on the trade floor. She wasn't even going to be a trader. And there it was such a novel idea, they didn't know what to do with her, and they brought her in before the trading bell ever went off. They brought her into the floor and physically sat her in the spectator stand because they didn't want her walking on the floor when the men would all come to do their job.
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That wasn't that many years ago, but I would venture to say that probably a fewif you all took a look at your pension plans or IRAs or anything else, that many of the people investing your funds and making the pensions of your future are women today. So just because maybe it didn't work for the Romans or it didn't work for the Israelis doesn't mean that it can't work here for the United States.
I want to in particular ask General Christmas, because as a Marine - I won't say former, because I have a brother who is a Marine and he always says, once a Marine, always a Marinewhat convinced you when you looked at the other services' approach to training that they were correct as opposed to what the Marines are doing?
General CHRISTMAS. First of all, Ms. Sanchez, obviously as the Chair had stated in her statement, I believe Marines are great, I believe they do the right thing, but I have also been a recruit training battalion commander. So I think that I have some background.
What I just could not see evidenced is the transformation of young men and women into soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, were not being made by their respective initial entry training systems. I could not findin my best judgment, I could not find any evidence that said they weren't transforming those young men and women into that required soldier, into that required sailor or airman.
So my point was that while I very strongly believe that this has come about because of the great improvements that have been made in the last 18 to 24 months and I believe very strongly in the combat exclusion policies, but I think the services need to be allowed to get on with their business. We pay service chiefs to conduct initial entry training. That is part of their Title X responsibility. We have made several, 23, recommendations. Let us let them do their job.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you.
I want to ask a question to Ms. Blair and to General Keys, because you have both some strong reservations about gender-integrated training. At same time, I noted both of you abstained from voting on that issue. What message were you trying to send and what would be the alternative that you would suggest in place of gender-integrated basic training?
Ms. BLAIR. I will start because I think General Keys mentioned that he wished to change his vote to avoid any confusion that he would have voted no.
I will say the reason I abstained was that I found the resolution that was in front of us to be a little bit difficult to find substance and understand. It struck me as something that it was a little hard to a agree with or disagree with. It didn't seem to get to the meat of what Congress was asking us to do.
Let there be no misunderstanding, I do not endorse the present system of gender-integrated training. I do not agree with the majority. And to the extent, if there were a resolution that said endorse one or the other, I would absolutely not endorse gender-integrated training.
The reason for that is partly because I believe that it is unproven and partly because I believe that there are a lot of superior benefits to gender-separate training. There are a few things that we simply cannot get around when you put men and women together.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One is obvious. It is privacy. We cannot have males and females sleeping in the same barracks together. So, immediately, you have a housing difference.
The second thing is that there are physical differences between men and women. This is scientifically known. In some areas, men are better, and in other areas women are better. But those differences exist, and it is very difficult to take a heterogeneous group of people and challenge all of them at the same level and bring them along together.
Then, finally, the unavoidable problem that I find with gender-integrated training is the issue of sex and sexual conduct, whether it is welcome or unwelcome. Theoretically, that can arise in a single-sex environment, but it is a lot more than theoretical when you have a mixed-sex environment.
I think the combination of those three thingsprivacy, physiological differences and sexlead to the conclusion that when you elect gender-integrated training over gender-separate training, you are taking on a burden of some additional problems that are just not going to exist in the gender-separate environment, and you should be very sure that those additional charges on you, those additional costs, are worth it. I have not seen, if you will, the cost-benefit analysis that would lead to that conclusion.
What I am asking in the dissenting position that Commissioners Moore, Keys and I signed, is simply to have that kind of analysis take place, to have an evaluation, to collect data, to compare the two, such that a truly, if you will, businesslike decision can be made.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. SANCHEZ. Okay. I believe I was not here for the General's comments about changing that.
You know, to this point of the sexual tension or the attraction factor that Mr. Bartlett referred to, he inferred, I guess, that if there is this attraction, it will never go away. So when do we integrate the troops? At what point do you? If we would follow what Mr. Bartlett said, I guess we would never have women in the military. What would you say would be the point that you would reintegrate men and women if we have this sexual problem that you are talking about?
Ms. BLAIR. Is that for me?
Ms. SANCHEZ. Yes.
Ms. BLAIR. Well, I think that the Marine Corps' example is instructive here, in which they do the first 12 weeks of basic training in a gender-separate environment, and then the next portion, which is called Marine combat training, is approximately 3 weeks long and, in that, they integrate men and women at the platoon level. They have in each company one platoon of women, three platoons of men. At that point, they learn to work together in teams and so forth.
However, what is critical is that it follows the initial 12 weeks of basic training in which the recruits are able to absorb the habits of discipline and self-control that allow them to then go out and act, one would hope, in a little more mature level.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I think it is very difficult to instill discipline at the same time you are trying to enforce a lot of rules that are necessarily ambiguous and gray. I think that it is a lot easier, especially for young people of an immature age, to start out with black and white rules and then build up their discipline and self-control and then face the world of gray and ambiguity.
Mr. BUYER. General Keys, you had also been asked to answer that question.
General KEYS. I would just like to reiterate what Anita said.
Mr. BUYER. Would you pull the microphone over, please?
General KEYS. I concur with everything Anita said and to make again the information known that I did change my vote. I agree that the services are, in fact, providing personnel, adequate personnel, to the respective services, but I don't know, at least I have not found from the information that we gathered, that in fact it is the best product.
From my own observation or own feelings, I feel that gender-segregated training does that. Clearly, I feel basic training is so important. It is the molding process. It is where it all starts. And that is where I come from, to the fact it ought to be conducted in an environment where you can really focus and it is totally free of any latent undertones of any kind, sexual or whatever.
Ms. SANCHEZ. So this tension relating to sexual difference you think is too strong during basic training. But what changes in order for people to be integrated together past that? What is that attraction that Mr. Bartlett was talking about? Why will it go away after the basic training period?
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General KEYS. Because of the rigors of the training. I feel, without them, initially, you can teach them discipline, self-respect a lot easier. Then when they do integrate, which nobody is saying they shouldn't under the way the military is set up today, they in fact will integrate at a higher level.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Okay. Then if you will indulge me one more question, Mr. Chairman, as I recall, you voted unanimously with respect to the Manual for Courts Martial with respect to adultery, not to change that. Could you give some reason as to why you thought that that should not be changed? And, secondly, have you sent this information up to DOD and the review process?
Mr. BUYER. I would ask that you answer the second part of the question. We have just covered that. The first part of your question, the committee has covered. If you could answer the second part of the question, and I will be more than happy to have staff go over that.
Ms. SANCHEZ. I am sorry. I said I wasn't here.
Ms. BLAIR. I can answer the second question very succinctly, which is our recommendations have been made to this committee, and it has been our understanding that this committee will say what it wants done with those. The Pentagon, as I understand it, earlier today received a copy of our status report which was given to you, so that is the notice they have so far. We are poised to receive any further instructions from the committee or happy for the committee to do that.
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Ms. SANCHEZ. What you are saying is, if we want this to be in the comment period for anything to be in the Federal Register, one of us or one of the committee would have to forward that?
Mr. BUYER. This is a Congressional Commission. It is an extension of us, based on a charter that we mandated in law for them to look at. Their product is our work product. So if we would like to receive comment, advice, whatever from the services, it is up to us then to ask the services for their comment on their product, which is ours.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Well, then I would hope that we would submit the comments to the Federal Register during the comment period. Just in case
Mr. BUYER. We more than likely will.
Ms. SANCHEZ. So we are not closing the loop between the Pentagon and here and DOD?
Mr. BUYER. I am sure we will, and we will probably listen as well to them as they listen to us.
Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Bartlett, you had one clarification you would like to make.
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Mr. BARTLETT. I would just like for Mr. Bartlett's position to be not misunderstood. I am strongly supportive of women in the military. They must be integrated with men in the military to do their work. I am only talking about that first short few weeks, 8 to 12 weeks, of intense resocialization, when I think the sexual dynamicsit is not that I think, that was told to me by a number of young recruits I talked to, the sexual dynamic is both an attractor and a distractor, which has no place in the short period of intense resocialization. After that, they are able to cope with it.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. Graham, you are now recognized.
Mr. GRAHAM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I was interested in the cost factor, and this may have been covered. Has anyone come up with a cost figure to go back to the old system of separate training? Is that in there?
Ms. BLAIR. Mr. Graham, we askedpursuant to the statute, we posed the question to the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force; and we have in our status report copies of the responses that they gave to us.
I would also add that the General Accounting Office just about 2 weeks ago issued a report in response toI believe it was a request originally from Senator Robb in which they analyzed the claims of charges for separate barracks. So those are included in our report, and the GAO report I believe is now available.
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Mr. GRAHAM. Does anyone in the Commission dispute those numbers? Are theyor the analysis that led to those numbers, whatever they are?
Ms. BLAIR. Sir, I certainly dispute the numbers that came from the services, because they were in the hundreds of millions of dollars to build additional barracks. I believe the GAO report very effectively and correctly states that additional construction should not be necessary.
My experience as a franchise lawyer that used to work a lot with hotels and things like that is that you have to look at the occupancy factor, and it seems to me at most they might need to make some changes in the plumbing here and there. But that certainly would not be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It might be in the millions range.
Mr. GRAHAM. Can you tell me what it is like in terms of housing once basic training is over and people are assigned to their duty station? How are single men and females housed once they are assigned to bases?
General CHRISTMAS. They are housed in mixed-gender barracks.
Sergeant Major DARE. Congressman, it is much closer than what you find in basic training. You may very well have a female in the Army, I am speaking of now a female soldier, who lives across the hall from a male soldier. Furthermore, and I think it is very important to consider this, when they deploy, tactically, just because of the very nature of that, the proximity of sleeping areas is much, much closer. So it would be a unique step.
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I would also like to dissent just a little. I had the opportunity to look at the GAO draft report on the bill, et cetera, and their assessment of what I believe to be in error, because they cite Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as an example. I do not believe they visited Fort Sill. They got the information from the people on Fort Sill.
My experience with rooming area, if they asked the facility engineers on Fort Sill, which is what I am sure they did, how much living area do you have on Fort Sill, they did the typical calculation of the amount of square footage authorized to an individual and multiplied it by however many of those square foot areas were available, without regard to the fact that Fort Sill trains more than basic training. They have EOSH (Equal Opportunity Sexual Harassment) training and permanent party. I could be in error, but I believe that is what occurred.
I am not sure that whatthe Army's response back. It may be inflated, but it might be more accurate. There might be more analysis down.
Mr. GRAHAM. What is the housing situation in the Marine Corps on a duty station versus basic training?
General KEYS. It is as General Christmas said. If it were infantry, it would be all male. If it were one where you could have male and female in the MOS (Military Occupational Speciality), they could be in the same barracks. It depends upon the base itself; maybe different floors. I would have to go back and look whether they are, in fact, living right next to each other or not.
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Mr. GRAHAM. Let's look at inappropriate conduct and the level of activity there. Did the Commission find that the Aberdeen situation or abuses of power during basic traininghow do you compare that environment to the normal day-to-day operation of the military? Was there a statistical difference? Was there a reporting difference that people in charge inappropriately engaged in misconduct?
Sergeant Major DARE. I think, Congressman, if I understand your question, I would say that Aberdeen was an anomaly to what is otherwise a pretty healthy environment and should be considered as such. Aberdeen, in my view, was a classic case of criminals disguised in Army uniforms wearing chevrons and bars acting totallywith total disregard for the special trust and confidence that this Nation imposed on them.
Mr. GRAHAM. Anyone disagree with that?
Dr. SEGAL. I take this on several of the issues that have been raised, like privacy. We were actually very impressed with the fact that there were no concerns expressed to us, there were no discussions about lack of privacy between men and women in any of our site visits, in any of the focus groups that our researchers were on, aside from just the fact that there is no privacy in basic training, period, and there is no time to deal with such. There were absolutely no statements to us that there was a problem of privacy between men and women. Was surprised that we didn't get that.
With regard to the sexual behavior, there, again, the trainees indicated to us that they knew what the rules were. They were happy when they saw people, the fellow trainees who violated the rules, being punished for violating those rules. Most of the timethe drill instructors told us that most the time they find out about what is going on because the other trainees turn in the miscreants and that there really is not that much of a problem.
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Do they have incidents? Yes. But as one of the people said to us, here is one quote, ''We want to identify soldiers who can't adhere to Army values here in basic training and get them out so that, for example, the commander in Bosnia doesn't have to deal with them.''
That is very typical of what was said to us by many of the trainers in the gender-integrated environment.
Mr. GRAHAM. I will let you answer in a minute.
Does anyone suggest that the Marine Corps change its policy?
General CHRISTMAS. I would like to address that, and then I would address it very strongly. What we have found is each service has a very unique culture. Each service contributes to this Nation because of that unique culture.
When we took on our task, we very specifically said, we are going to look, first of all, at readiness, because that is the most important thing; and, secondly, we are going to look at the continuance of training of each service. Because each service is different. And we very specifically, as that chart over there shows, dealt very, very closely and looked in much detail at each continuum of training.
And the conclusion that I think that we have generally come to is, as has been expressed, we are providingthat initial entry training is providing the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, what is required. The critical element is let the services take those things they have done to improve that initial entry training, sustain that improvement, continue to improve as we have advised, continue to reviewand that doesn't mean they can't experiment, if that is what it looks like, and then let commanders and let the service chiefs do their job. That is the key, sir.
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Mr. GRAHAM. I am almost through, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. BLAIR. Mr. Graham, we didn't all visit the same places at the same time. I would not like to let Dr. Segal's statement that no one ever said anything about privacy stand. I can cite at least two instances. I heard from Army female recruits that they are required not to undress next to their bunk but instead to go back into the lavatory area where they are required to undress. The purpose of that is so that a supervisor, a sergeant or anybody else can come in, of any sex, can come in at any time for an inspection or anything else, and they will not be caught in an embarrassing position outside in the main barracks area.
Second, when I visited Bosnia, I made a point of going to visit the so-called coed tents. I did speak with a number of women in Bosnia, and they explained the history of this. They said that, yes, once upon a time in Bosnia men and women were billeting in the same tents together, but after just a very few days, everybody, men and women both, found it an embarrassing situation, did not want to continue it.
As a result, today in Bosnia, the billeting is all male and all female. And indeed the female tents or structures they have now, which have kind of replaced the tents, are set off in a completely separate area.
So there have been concerns about privacy. To some degree, they have been met. But to some degree, as we add changing rooms to future barracks, they are being met in a rather strange way.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. GRAHAM. Does anyone support putting men and women in tents together?
Okay. One last question. I hear reports through the instances in the reports that some recruits indicate that the training level is not rigorous enough. Are those reports associated with the fact it is gender-integrated or just the policy of the service?
Mr. PANG. Congressman, I believe if we were looking at this 2 years ago, we would probably find some weaknesses. I know we would have found some weaknesses in the rigor of basic training. My experience on this Commission
Mr. GRAHAM. Anyone in the Marines complain?
Mr. PANG. No Marine complained.
Congressman, I believe the rigor today is adequate for each of the services to produce a soldier, a sailor, an airman and a Marine. Because those services operate, as you know, very differently. For example, I served in the Air Force, so I can go back to that. In the Air Force, basic training is 6 weeks long, but that is not all the training that the individual receives. That person then goes from that 6 weeks on to what the Army calls individual advanced training and, in the Air Force, a tech school. So there is a continuum of training as this person becomes in the end the airman that you are going to put on the flight line.
So throughout that continuum, when you examine it for the Air Force, the question has to be when that person reaches the flight line, do you have the type of individual you want on that flight line? And I think what I found anyway was, in talking and visiting with Air Force personnel, that the answer was yes, and I found that true of all of the other services.
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That is not to say there weren't some that said, you know, we have got to do better. And indeed when we talked to some people in training about their rigor of training, I think the overwhelming majority of them said that the training was very rigorous.
Having said that, interestingly, the few who said that it wasn't, when you inquired beyond just, you know, okay, it is not rigorous, why that was not soI remember at Great Lakes the individual who said it wasn't rigorous enough was going to be a SEAL. What do you expect him to say? Or the individual was a football player, was a very active and athletic person. For those people I don't think it was in their minds and in reality rigorous. But I think for the group of people that were going through it, it is rigorous.
Mr. GRAHAM. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Graham, I want to make one comment based on one of your questions about costs. One thing I noted, 6 years on this subcommittee, you asked a very good question. I have noted that the issue on cost of barracks, construction, to go to separate gender is a red herring. So your question was well taken.
That is what the GAO basically finds. If the administration wants to do something, they don't care about the cost, they just do it. But if it is to change a policy which they agree with, then they want to talk about, oh, what the cost would be. So that is why they threw out that approximately $300 million would be the cost, but this GAO report basically said we throw down a penalty flag on you, the Pentagon, for playing outside the foul lines on that issue.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I want to make a comment and yield to Mr. Taylor, and that is, you asked a question, Mr. Graham, would anybody support same gender in the same tent? I might and probably would under certain circumstances and would tell you, share with you, that when I was in the Gulf War and served in the prisoner of war camp, in our tent of eight officers, one of our officers was a female captain, and we would not have wanted her to be staying in her own tent. Given the wartime scenario, we would not want that. We wanted to ensure that she was in a secure environment, and we did everything possible to ensure her privacy. So I guess at certain times it requires certain actions to be taken, and we deal with those things.
I now yield to Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for recognizing a nonmember of your committee.
I understand we are all going to look at this a little differently, and I obviously have come to a different conclusion than the majority of the panel.
One of the things, other than my own experience of remembering how vulnerable a recruit is and how, in my case, that first class petty officer was a God who decided whether my buckle was bright enough, my shoes were shiny enough, the T-shirt was white enough, the inside of my cap was clean enough, and God decided whether I stayed there for 10 weeks or for 4 years. There was actually one guy at boot camp for 4 years before he hauled off and hit an officer and got a dishonorable discharge. Coast Guard history there.
My point is, when we went to Fort Leonard Wood, I was impressed by the fact that every single drill instructor, and we spoke to 20 to 30 of them, male and female, said they would prefer having separate sex platoons with the same sex instructors. Every single one of them. And when questioned why by one of the nonbelievers, this Army sergeant, who looked like he should have been on a recruiting poster, said, ''Because I have got 16 years in this. I want to make a career of it. And all it is going to take is one allegation by some kid who couldn't cut the mustard and, even if I am cleared, there is an unwritten mark on my record, and when I go up for my next promotion, I don't get it, and my career is over.''
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How much did you all weigh the input of the instructors? Because I do think that he made a hell of a case as far as I am concerned, and he is the one personally responsible for getting those young people and turning them into soldiers. I was wondering how much you weighed the opinion of the instructors and whether or not you heard something different from what our panel heard that day at Fort Leonard Wood?
General CHRISTMAS. I will take that on.
We weighedI will speak for myself, but I think that the others would echo this. I think each and every one of us weighed very carefully what we heard from the drill instructor or the drill sergeant or the lead petty officer and the like. We have all come or we have come to some different conclusions, depending on that.
But the one thing that we agree, and we very strongly said that in our recommendations, is that those trainers have to be listened to by the chain of command. And when they state their opinions, that needs to go up the chain. And even when it perhaps is against policy, it needs to be looked at and acted upon. I think we all feel strongly about that.
That said, I would just repeat, for myself, I have been a recruit trainer. I have worked very closely with Marine drill instructors, and I think I know the business. The thing that I could not find in the Army, in the Air Force, in the Navy, and you have heard me already say I believe the services should continue to do what they are doing, let the service chiefs to their job, what I couldn't find is the young people not being transformed, no matter what the training venue, being transformed from that civilian, with that drill sergeant or that lead petty officer making those things happen. They were doing it; and they were providing, through the initial entry training, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that were required.
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So I can only come to the conclusion that they are doing the job, that it is occurring, and we are providing who we should be providing to the operating forces.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Taylor, would you yield to me for a quick statement?
I was also in the room, and what Mr. Taylor described was painfully accurate and almost to the word. I had asked the Commission to go to Fort Leonard Wood. Did you go to Fort Leonard Wood?
Ms. BLAIR. No sir, we didn't.
Mr. BUYER. You did not?
Ms. BLAIR. No.
Mr. BUYER. Why wouldn't you do as we asked?
Ms. BLAIR. We had a lot of trips to get in and only a limited number of weeks in which to do it.
Mr. BUYER. Let me ask the Lt. Colonel over here, liaison for the Army. Mr. Taylor is very accurate. Of the places that this committee visited, Fort Leonard Wood was the installation that we found there was an open discussion, even on the point of hostility on the issues of gender-integrated training. Why would you not recommend to this Commission or why wouldn't someone in the Army send this Commission to Fort Leonard Wood?
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Colonel HARRIS. The areas we went to, Fort Jackson twice, Fort McClellan twice and Fort Benning once, they felt that they had seen the training that they needed to see in the different environments being male only at Benning, OSUT (One Station Unit Training) at McClellan, and BT, basic training at Fort Jackson.
Mr. BUYER. All right. I am not very happy. I am not happy about this because Mr. Taylor's point is well taken, and there is some serious problems at that installation that I wanted you to get a real view and feeling of.
Let me yield back to Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for recognizing me.
I hate to put you on the spot, but I will give you another personal experience, General. Since I go to Latin America pretty often, I am very much aware of the difference between our military and the military historically in Latin America and very much value the fact that our military does indeed listen to the civilian-elected authority and do what they are ordered to dosometimes over great reservations.
I will tell you a personal experience that I don't think will hurt the gentleman now, he is retired, where an extremely high-ranking officer at NATO, after giving me the pitch of all the reasons why we should deploy troops to Bosnia, once his staff left the room grabbed me by the arm and said, ''There isn't a damn thing over there worth an American kid dying for.'' In front of 20 other colonels and above, he made a very compelling case why we should be there. Once they had cleared the room, he gave me his personal views.
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To what extent are our higher ranking officers that you spoke to doing the samesaying what they said because, under the American system of separation of powers, that is what they felt like they should do?
General CHRISTMAS. I would answersince I am on the spot, sir, I would answer that in two ways. The first is, whoever that gentleman was, as far as I am concerned, had no moral courage. If that leader felt that way, then it was the responsibility of that leader to show the moral courage to speak out.
The second aspect, I guess, is moral courage is what our leadership should be all about. I often use the phrase, ''Professional soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are not politically correct. They should only be correct.''
As you know, there is within the written statement that general officers and flight officers make that even though they have to represent and do represent their service and the Department of Defense, that if any one of you asked for their personal opinion they are beholden to you to give you that personal opinion. If they do not, then I would be very concerned about their moral courage.
Mr. TAYLOR. Let me follow up, sir.
When you approached them, how often were they given the out-of-saying, folks, we want to hear your personal opinion, not what the Administration's opinion is on this?
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General CHRISTMAS. I would tell you that we asked that question many times. We asked it at all ranks and all levels. We asked what should this committee or this Commission tell to you, the committee? We asked those questions. I many times asked very straightforward questions to those senior level officers that I visited.
Again, I believe, and that is really because I am on the spot, I believe that we have made tremendous improvement in the initial entry training process. Part of that has been caused by this committee. Part of that has been caused by some self-look by the services. A part of it has been caused by Kassebaum Baker. Tremendous improvement has been made. What we need to do is allow them to sustain that improvement, take that improvement and continually, as our recommendations say, look at it and ensure that they are, in fact, each service, providing the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines needed in a world out there that is causing our young men and women to do some amazing things, as you have seen as you traveled around. We require them to do an awful lot.
Mr. TAYLOR. If I may open that up to the panel, since, again, you didn't speak to the drill instructors at Fort Leonard Wood, for whatever reason, it didn't happen, and you probably did speak to some fairly high-ranking officers along the way, at any time did you sense that they were just spouting what is obviously the Administration's position but not necessarily their own?
Sergeant Major DARE. Mr. Taylor, we prefacedwhoever led the discussion with each group, we prefaced it with the statement that we wanted their totally candid and honest views and that it was totally nonattributable. That whatever they said would be held in strict confidence.
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I believe we adhered to that all along, and I personally believe that, in fact, we did get some very candid and honest points of view. I do not think we got what they thought the higher headquarters wanted to tell them. They came across very sincere in what they told us. That is my opinion.
Mr. MOORE. Mr. Taylor, one of the notions that this experience has disabused me of is that at the senior level, the institutional level, flag rank, the military leadership has sort of been dragooned into accepting a policy and it is sort of forced down their throat by the coercive nature of the civilian command and military subordination to the military. I think that may have been true a generation ago, but I think to a large extent today the senior institutional leadership really has bought into the program of gender-integrated training and much of the other agenda of political correctness that prevails over the military.
But interestingly enough to me, based on the experiences that I have had, and I went on every installation visit but one, including the overseas visit to deployed forces in Bosnia and the Enterprise in the Adriatic and Air Force bases in Germany, what you find as you go down the chain of command, you run into a rather significant disconnect. The closer that the trainers are to troops or the closer they are to the operational level in their unit, the less support there is for this program of gender training, mixed training, and all of the attendant policies that go with it.
I alluded in my earlier remarks that this is breeding a real problem of loss of confidence in the senior leadership at the troop level. Now that is not to say that all trainers oppose gender-integrated training. In fact, I would say that perhaps a majority do support it. They themselves have bought into it, and there is certainly a dynamic in the hierarchial institution like the military where good people tend to support the policies of their organization.
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But, nevertheless, there is still a significant number of trainers at the NCO level and company grade level that do not accept it but feel they are being coerced into assenting to a policy that, in their view, is clearly harmful to the product that is coming out of the training base and to the armed forces as a whole.
I frankly think that this is a much worse problem than any problems associated with gender-mixed training itself, and that is the loss of confidence, the mistrust and the cynicism that is growing and I think is clearly one of the contributing factors to the serious retention problem that we are facing in all the services but perhaps the Marine Corps.
Mrs. POPE. Mr. Taylor, I would like to respond, because we did hear some concerns from some instructors about the paranoia and a black mark on their record.
I want to apologize to the committee that we didn't go to Fort Leonard Wood, but I am confident we can still go. I am confident to say, without checking, I would question the leadership there. Where the questions came up at Jackson and McClellan, it was addressed; and there was confidence in the leadership, that their leadership, if falsely accused, will not let them down. So what you heard was echoed and reflects on the leadership or lack of leadership in the chain of command if they were falsely accused.
Mr. TAYLOR. Ms. Pope, I think people in elective office can probably understand that sergeant a little bit better than most, because we live the same way. The accusations, the headline, the acquittal is a paragraph on page 3 of section C. So when he said that, I sure believed him. I could see when he is competing amongst a number of outstanding E-7s to make E-8 and he has an unwritten black mark by his name and the rest of them don't, he is not going to get there, for the same reasons I think a lot of good brigadier generals, when the time comes to go for major general, they are going to spout the company line, because they would kind of like to get that next star. They know that the guy who isn't spouting the company line probably won't.
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So that is why I wish the panel and I hope the panel, I am certainly not in a position to tell you, will take the time to listen to what these drill instructors have to say.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BUYER. I want to note this. You are an independent commission, so all I can do is request, be persuasive, use my imagination, and I will do everything to be persuasive, that you see Fort Leonard Wood. Because what I would like to see now is, one of the reasons, and I appreciate Mr. Taylor being here, because it was also his contribution to put this Commission together.
When I was out doing what you have done but only to a fraction, I walked away personally confused. Personally confused because I knew I had my own feelings, and I was receiving many different cross currents and opinions from a lot of different people and do not have the experience to figure it all out, to figure out what is most appropriate for the Air Force, what is most appropriate for the Marine Corps, for the Army and for the Navy. But I do have the ability to recognize by instinct what isn't right, what is not working, what doesn't feel good, smell right. The instincts weren't right.
So one of you made a comment, I think it was Mr. Pang, what may have occurred 2 or 3 years ago you don't sense is happening today. I would generally agree with that, because when I was out there two-and-a-half years ago and what I saw was occurring with the Navy, to my shock, and blue cards and all this warm and fuzzy and the softness and the complaints that the fleet was receiving about their product, was all very real; and that is when I instituted all of these calls for rigor and warrior spirit. The services, to their compliment, have responded in lengthening boot camp.
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I am going to use that to segue, because we are focusingpart of this discussion the last couple of hours has been on the gender-integrated versus separate training, but a big chunk of your responsibility was we wanted you to take a look at basic training. And the reason was I wanted you not only to assess what you see but also to think outside the box. If we are moving toward a new type of force, what are some of the things we should continue to do or change or not change? Or is the socialization that we are using for the military the right thing to do? I don't know. I wanted you to examine those types of things.
But in each of your opening comments, you said something that was very stunning to me. Let me get the exact quote: ''Operational commanders are satisfied with what they are receiving.''
Two of you made that comment. I am stunned to hear that, because I am out there listening also. And the comments that I am getting is that they are not satisfied with the products which they are receiving. That comment that I am receiving now is no different than a couple of years ago.
So, please, whomever would like to answer this, in your assessment, your analysis, of the basic training centers, number one, did you survey operational commanders to ask that question? And then what were their responses and how do you come with that analysis when I hear something different?
Ms. BLAIR. Mr. Chairman, I will start, because one of the things that handicaps us a little bit is that we did some major, major surveys, and we had a staggering response rate. We got so many answers back from people that it literally backed up our research effort. So I don't like to be too definite about numbers, because they may change, but we absolutely surveyed the operational force about their satisfaction, about the quality of people they receive and whether they think the training has been useful and everything, and we are loaded up with data on that subject.
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I don't want to get too far ahead, because it is still being analyzed. But the data are there, and I hope that at some point they will be opened up not only to the subcommittee but also to other researchers and the general public so people can go through and get a firmer idea of what is going on.
I would distinguish satisfaction from perhaps pleasure at the product that they are receiving. What I felt I heard from most of the operational force was, yes, they come out of basic training, and they are trainable. They are usable. And we have some real problems.
We think that kids today lack personal discipline. One of the comments that struck me was I often heard that kids are a bit passive and lack initiative. So there are those kind of comments which are not exactly aimed at the training curriculum but more at the inculcation of attitudes and so forth.
So I think we need to distinguish between being adequately satisfied and being actually pleased with the product that is coming out and also between specifics, such as can they run two miles or do whatever the job requires them to do, versus attitudinal type of evaluations.
Mr. PANG. Mr. Chairman, in exploring this in the visits that I conducted with the Commission and one that I did on my own out to the Pacific Command, I found that the commanders were generally satisfied with the product they were getting, not only the senior people but the people who actually have to receive people out of training. They are not coming directly to them, though, from basic training. They are going to that training curriculum and through the advanced individual training system and tech training to the operational forces.
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Mr. BUYER. When you use the word commanders, would you include chiefs in that?
Mr. PANG. These would be the senior commanders, for example, out in the Pacific Command, but we also spoke with noncommissioned officers, first-line supervisors, a whole host of people. When there was aand not all said they were happy with the product. I will say that. Some were not happy.
So you have to ask the question, why aren't you happy? And I tried to get at that. Because I said, something is wrong here. I am hearing that generally people are happy, but you are not happy. Why is that?
Here is the situation I came upon: What is happening is that you are having people go through the training continuum, they go through an extensive amount of technical training, then they show up in the fleet. In every service or operational unit I went to, we found something called in one service first lieutenant duty or some sort of temporary duty, where an individual is coming out of tech training, needed to go into the operational force and begin to operate with that unit, but the unit was tasked because of manpower shortages to provide manpower to base support activity, for example.
So guess what happens? Fred Pang shows up. You have General Christmas for 6 months. Who goes? I go. So I go off and do this for about 6 months or so. I come back to your unit, and then you say, well, how come you don't remember all the stuff they taught you? That is going on to an extent that really surprised me. I think in some cases that is the disgruntlement. I have got this person, I have to ship them out somewhere else to do some sort of base ops duty. I get them back, and I have to train them all over from day one because they have forgotten all the stuff they learned in tech training.
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I was really surprised at how much of that is going on, and that tells me that the active component strength levels are not, in my opinion, adequate for the services to conduct the missions they are assigned. So something has to happen. Either the mission creep has to stop or be ratcheted back, or they need more people. Because that is very harmful. And it is wrong to blame the training establishment.
Now, I am going to say that there are always people, because it is a large enterprise, who may pass through, who may have barely passed the tests, show up in a unit, don't have the stick-to-it-tiveness to try to learn the job, and are, what I guess in slang, are eight-balls. But there are not very many of those, I don't believe.
Mr. BUYER. We have had ongoing discussions with the services over the years to increase the rigor and the continuum of training to help address that. From the committee's perspective, we would prefer to maintain the rigor and wash them out at basic, rather than invest in them or when they become a problem child at the fleet or in the battalions or out at the wing.
Mrs. POPE. If I could just expand on what Mr. Pang said, the other issue that happened, sometimes we would hear dissatisfaction so we would say, tell us what skills they don't have, tell us it is not discipline. Explain it to us. As we started to peel the onion, one of the issues was, and that is why we have a recommendation in here, is the services across the board have shortages in E-5, E-6 and E-7, and more senior people are having to do the on-the-job training that the services all count on as part of their continuum. So more senior people, misuse of personnel, are having to do what the mid-level or senior enlisted were doing in the past. That was across the board. So that was a big piece of their frustration.
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As we went into those discussions, it wasn't the individual, it wasn't the product coming out of basic and advanced training, it was what they were having to do in the operational units.
Mr. BUYER. That is rather interesting. Thank you very much.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Yes, thank you.
In the spirit again of disclosure, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Moore, I don't always paywhen I hear that someone is working with the Heritage Foundation, I always feel that they are trying to single me out, not necessarily for abuse. But I was intrigued, though, with your presentation and your testimony, but let me say I am not quite sure I agree with your definition of what deconstructionist is with respect to American culture right now. But having in mind, though, we want to be constructive today, you made a particular point about military necessity and, in that context, you made some references to the
Let me just say, in conclusion, I have to express the hope that this Commission has accomplished something other than to serve as an excuse to derail last year's Bartlett amendmentthis is on page fourto the defense authorization bill which would have separated the sexes in basic training, thereby improving the final product, in my opinion. I suspect that was our real purpose, however.
Page 99 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But do I understand your testimony correctly, that you concluded that, even if that was the purpose, if we had some nefarious attempt in doing this, that was not what the Commission ended up doing?
Mr. MOORE. I am not quite sure I understand your question. Could you elaborate just a bit?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. That the Commission's purpose was not merely to serve as an excuse to derail Mr. Bartlett's contentions.
Mr. MOORE. I wouldn't presume to say that was its' whole purpose. I think that may have been a motivating factor on the part of some members. It was easier to defer dealing with that amendment, and forming a commission historically is a good way to deal with the troubling question.
That is not to say there was not a good purpose in what we did. I would hope that, given the thoroughness and the comprehensiveness of our effort, given the large amount of data that we are still collecting, that there will be an archive here, that there will be a source for people to continue to research and draw from as they try to form conclusions about this question.
You will see in my testimony further where I indicated that I did not think that we had laid this to rest by any means, although I am sure that is the hope of a lot of people in the service, on the Hill, that we won't continue to flagellate ourselves over this issue, that it could be resolved once and for all. I regret to say I don't think that is going to happen as a result of our Commission.
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But, clearly, the data that we have generated, the findings, the argumentation base will be useful, I would hope; and, therefore, we, I think have served a good purpose.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. May I conclude then that you feel that, regardless of what the purposes may have been, that the Commission not only has acted in good faith but that the information forthcoming gives us a good, solid basis for at least trying to come to some conclusions?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. I would agree entirely. I would certainly hope there is nothing in anything that I said there that contains any imputation about faith on the part of anyone. I think while we have disagreed among ourselves, at least on this one point, I credit every member with acting in good faith.
I observed at the outset that, obviously, everyone brings a certain set of assumptions and life experience that clearly is going to color his or her way of looking at the data, but by no means does that in any way imply bad faith on the part of anyone.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I am glad. I wanted to clear that because this may come as a shock to you. You may want to reconsider because, after listening to you and reading your statement in particular and listening to General Keys, I may be changing my mind about some things. So I don't want you to have to go back to the Heritage Foundation saying, oh, my God, what have I done?
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BUYER. See what happens when he cuts his hair?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. In that context, the military necessity, this is the main thing. If you recall at the beginning of my statement I think I tried to operate on two bases here which is, number one, you have to have core standards, core physical standards, a core foundation upon which to transfer from civilian life to military life; and that inevitably involves a physical transformation, if you will. There is physical activity that has to take place, standards that have to be met.
And then, secondly, that you have to become part of a disciplined team and understand your role in it. It is not so much that you obliterate your individuality so much as you have to subsume it into the accomplishment of the overall goal that can only beyou can only succeed with, rather, in a collective endeavor in whatever particular service.
And in that context, then, General Keys, and keeping in mind Mr. Moore's emphasis on necessity, military necessity, what is the necessity as opposed to perhaps what he termed at one point culture revolution or something of that naturealthough I don't propose to dispute questions about what constitutes a revolution, cultural or otherwise, now. But keeping in mind that idea of necessity, you were very persuasive in citingI wrote down herebasic training difficulties in terms of the military socialization process.
And what I took out of what you were saying, General, principally was is you were focusing on, say, the first 8, 10, 12 weeks which I recall hereor taken from the initial entry training theand whether then there is a distraction to that initial entryretraining maybe is even a better way to put it than trainingretrainingretraining your mind-set from your civilian life into the military life, as making the transition then to the apprentice, technical, or combat phase prior to going to operational units.
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Would you say that perhaps the Marines have hit upon an approach that still could be service specific depending on what they want to get for an airmen, a sailor, soldier, et cetera? That the Marines have hit upon an approach in which the initial training, the initial entry training of 8, 12 weeks, whatever it is, maybe takes place gender specific to establish that person, male or female, in their role as a female Marine, male Marine, sailor, et cetera, and at that point then akeeping in mind that curriculums can change and that flexibility can be always improved upon, at that point then they integrate, if you will, into the modern day service professional?
General KEYS. I think you hit exactly what I said. I believe this recruit training process is so important to making the recruit, his performance over the long term, whether, you know, he enlists for 4 years or 30, that this basic training is so critical to how he performs that that is why it should be done in this focused environment. It is not to say they won't ever be integrated. It is just I personally feel this is the way to do it. I would feel this way even if the Marine Corps did not do this, but it is kind of a realist approach. They start out and they teach them to be a good soldier, airman, or Marine; and then they integrate them as they are going to be used in the operational forces.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. One of the points that was raised, I think, by Chairman Blair, Mrs. Pope, wasand referring to the Marines, the female Marines, that they had the highest morale or the highest sense of commitment. I am reaching a little bit here. I am trying to remember exactly what it was, what phrase was utilized to characterize their commitment.
Ms. BLAIR. Sir, I don't think I was the one that made that statement, but I can confirm our data show that on measures of commitment, cohesion, dedication to the group, the Marine Corps scored significantly higher than the other services and the female Marines scored higher than the male Marines.
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Mr. ABERCROMBIE. My information is in that context the female Marines were referring to themselves as women Marines. I am a woman Marine. The males weren't necessarily referring to themselves as male Marines, but this is part of the historicalI will defer to Mr. Moorethis is part of the historical evolution, if you will, new revolution that is taking place.
Nonetheless, that doesn't bother me any if the result of someone coming in who is a civilian woman now is seeing herself in terms of being a woman Marine identifying herselfshe is describing herself in gender terms, but the Marine is the operative word here. And then that woman Marine is prepared to take on her duties as a Marine at that point.
Now, ifwe are experimenting with this. If I understand all of the Commissioner'snot revelations to us but there are observations to us with respect to howthe judgments they are making that this is an evolving process and that the training aspect of all of the services has evolved in different ways over the last 50this is not the same thing as Sergeant Major Dare. The Army at Scofield barracks today is not the Army at Scofield barracks when James Jones was there in 1941, right?
Sergeant Major DARE. That is absolutely correct.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. The training is different. The background is different. This goes back to the questions about single parent families, who is coming in, under what circumstances are they coming in.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General Christmas and General Keys, I am sure you will appreciate when I first came to the Congress the Commandant of the Marine Corps was Commandant Gray, and one of the last things he did before he retired was come and see me, which I am not sure capped his career but it maybe gave an interesting farewell as he went out the door, speaking of changes in revolution. He came to see me about the V-22 and other things.
One of the things we discussed at the time, he said when he was a lieutenant he not only had to get permission to get married, he had to get permission to date. I don't think he used the word date, to escort someone. And that probably wasn't literally quite true, but I am sure you can appreciate the atmosphere and the attitude that prevailed then. So things have changed over time.
The question now is, can we as we turn the corner in the 21st century, have soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that are going to be able to meet the obligations and requirements of them as military personnel serving the strategic interests of this country and who can conduct themselves in a manner in which they can be proud and are true legacies of the history of their services?
Now if it takes some kind of experimenting with regard to how training takes place in order to achieve that, I for one would be for that. Because I don't think it is up to us. We don't have to live with the results of this except politically and listening to the political commentators in the newspapers and so on, all of whom having commented will move on and do something else and comment on the next thing that they care to.
What we have to do is make sure that the men and women who are in the armed services receive the kind of training that is necessary for them to be able to conduct themselves as is expected of them as men and women serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.
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So would youwould it berecommendation, maybe that is going a little bit too far. What would be your observation, General Keys, and perhaps you, Mr. Moore, in this context, that perhaps taking a look at initial entry training, perhaps being gender specific is something that could be pursued in good measure toward what we want to accomplish before we try to come to final conclusions about whether or not a fully integrated training right from the very first day is the best way to achieve all this?
General KEYS. If I understand your question, sir, are you asking me whether or not we should make the Army and Air Force change to gender segregated and try it or look at the results
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I am asking your observations, whether you think that might be useful, your conclusions in terms of a vote. And the Chairman and I and all of us here are generally in a position we have to vote yes or no in the end regardless of what ambiguity might exist in our mind or what reservations we have. Ultimately, we have got to figure out where we are going to go.
In this instance, the two of you are making an impression on me that perhaps there isI won't even say an interim step so much as there is an alternative way of looking at this that accomplishes where we want to get to that doesn't necessarily put us into something that is correct or incorrect as if we knew ahead of time what the results are going to be.
General KEYS. I think clearly we owe the men and women coming into the military the best we can give them. As I indicated in my statement, you know where I come down. I think ifand why I disagreed or voted no on this conclusion was the fact I don't think that we have really, although we worked hard and went a lot of places and talked to lots of people, in the grand scheme of things we didn't talk to the whole military or even a very big part of it. So I don't think it would be out of the realm of rationality to, in fact, ask the services to do some comparison, to collect some data and really see which one of these systemswhich, of course, I feel gender segregated will come out better, but let them make their own decision.
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And I think now what they have done, they have closed the door on this. And they just agree we are going to do what we do, and we are going to approve it. No question about that. We are going to approve it.
But does it, in fact, produce the best product? I feel very strongly about basic training, what it is supposed to do, and I feel it should be done in a very focused environment.
Dr. SEGAL. Mr. Abercrombie, could I say something here?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Certainly, and then I will go back to Mr. Moore and the Chairman.
Dr. SEGAL. One of the things we haven't talked about a lot but that we saw and were very impressed with was the emphasis, renewed emphasis in some of the services, new emphasis in others on values training within the basic training. We have not yet had enough time to see the positive results of that in a lot ofin the operational forces, but there is this renewed emphasis, and we saw it very positively.
Among the values that we measured were the kinds you are talking about of commitment and group identity and loyalty, ability to sacrifice, willingness to sacrifice one's self in the group. And, in a sense, we have done the experiment you asked for, not completely, but I think you would be very interested in our final report and in the research results that compare
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We had a kind of what we would call in the social science field a natural experiment in that there were some men in the Army, Navy and Air Force who are going into combat support and combat service support jobs who are not in gender-integrated training because there aren't enough women to mix with the men, so some of the men are in small units with the women and others are all male. And we looked very carefully within each service. Those men are assigned fairly randomly to those different units. They are not assigned with regard, okay, let's see, you have got certain characteristics; you are going into gender integrated or segregated. They are just assigned as they come into these units.
So what we did was, our researchers looked at the outcomes of basic training, comparing the men who went through the segregated within each service and the men who went through the integrated; and we found no difference on these kinds of measures that are seen as important.
Not only that, but we also had a sample of trainers that were through all the four services and we had thousands of respondents to these surveys and peoplecommanders, officers at all levels and NCOs indicated whathow they would like recruits graduating from basic training to respond on these questions; and on the values of commitment, group identity, issues of teamwork and loyalty, the recruits matched or exceeded the preferred responses of those leaders. So that is the kind of information that we are basing our conclusion on that things are working.
Interestingly, the women in the Air Force, the Army and the Navycorrect me if I am wrong, researchersoutscored the men in graduating recruits on those measures and in the Marine Corps. So it wasn't just the Marine Corps women who were higher on those, it was in the other services the women outscored the men on those measures.
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But the important thing was not the gender comparison. It was that experiment of what are the outcomes of basic training with the men in gender-integrated and segregated units.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Mr. Moore, can you conclude?
Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir, I will try to be brief.
If I understood you correctly, you were basically asking whether he might or General Keys might in principle agree that some further sort of side-by-side experimentation might be necessary so that we could have some definitive and conclusive finding about this. I would not disagree with that in principle, if indeed I understood you correctly.
I based my decision on the grounds that I felt history and experience, combined with the data and the visits and the interviews that we conducted, were sufficient for me to come to a conclusion. And I tried to be up-front about that, saying I felt there was a presumption in favor of doing it the way we had always done it unless I could be persuaded by the experience of the Commission that there was a better way. And I simply wasn't persuaded.
I also believe that one reason that at least some of the members of the Commission voted to sustain the status quo is out of the very legitimate concern not to impose a new set of guidelines on the forces that would cause hardship and turbulence and, as I put in my testimony, the old phenomenon, you get an order, then there is counterorder and then you get disorder. So I think there was some legitimate concern about that.
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But I think if the committee were serious and if the armed forces were serious about entering into some sort of cooperative arrangement where you could do a good control sort of side-by-side experiment, it might well be worth doing. Although I agree with much of what Dr. Segal has said, perhaps there is already sufficient data out there to replicate what you would want to find.
And I would simply close by saying one further reluctance I might have about it is, to do it right, you would probably have to force the Marine Corps to do gender-integrated training to compare with its status quo, and I would hate to see that cause diminution in the quality of the Marine recruit coming out of Parris Island.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. To conclude, I was not proposing and do not now propose that there be experiments as such. If I didn't state that clearly enough, I will state it now.
My idea was that there clearly are alternative ways of dealing with initial training demands to try and meet these basic requirements of transference to the military life and the ability to achieve teamwork in a disciplined way and that perhaps we ought to just relax a little bit and let the services work out how they are going to do that. And they may come up with different ways of doing it, as opposed to thinking that we are going to be able to come up with a single one-size-fits-all approach that will deal with the modern phenomenon of males and females being in the armed services. I don't think that is going to be reversed.
So the question is then for the military services, and I am sureand the chairman has impressed that upon me and the other memberswhile we are discussing it, training is going on. And training has to go on every day, and the drill sergeants and all the rest do not have the luxury of an intellectual discussion about it. So it is up to us then to try to facilitate the accomplishment of their mission and not get in its way.
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So I am persuaded, at least by today's presentation and my contemplation of your effort, that we probably need to let the services work this out a little more and maybe not get too involved with trying to impose some kind of experimentation, if you will, from this side, from the legislative side, and let these things evolve a little bit more from the service point of view and then see where we go.
Thank you very, very much. I want to tell you I have had a lot of panels of various kinds in front of me over the last decade or so hereover the last 25 years, actually, in public service, and there are very few that I have encountered that was as impressive as this group today, and we are able to zero in in such a way to give us a tremendous perspective on the responsibilities we have, and I am grateful to you.
Mr. BUYER. Thank you, Mr. Abercrombie, for your contributions.
I now recognize Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
We spent most of our time focusing on that one item in which you were not unanimous. I just wanted to note that we are very appreciative of the hard work you did and the great contribution you made in all of those other items that were unanimous. We don't need to ask you questions about those. I think your recommendations are clear, so that is why the focus on this one area. I just want to make sure you understood how much I appreciate your contribution in those other areas.
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Mrs. Pope, if your recruit had to sleep in their clothes and take their clothes with them to the latrine to change their clothes, do you think that might indicate there might be a privacy problem?
Mrs. POPE. Well, what we saw, Mr. Bartlett, was that men and women were sleeping in their PT clothes. That didn't seem to be a problem for the men or the women. It was an inconvenience because they have male and female instructors who come into the barracks, and part of that is security so that they know what is going on. To have same gender instructors, there are not enough females to assign as instructors to all the females. So it may be an inconvenience, but I think the services have been practical.
You know, the complaint we heard from the young men and women was not enough time to shower and get out to PT in the morning.
Mr. BUYER. May I? I have got to do this. Inconvenience? Fort Jackson in the summer, sleeping in sweats?
Mrs. POPE. No, no, not sweats. PT, shorts and T-shirt.
Mr. BUYER. All right. Thank you.
Mrs. POPE. That would be an inconvenience, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. By the way, when legislation that was passed last year is implemented, this will not be a problem because they will be separate in the barracks, and they will have only same-sex officers coming through the barracks after hours.
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And I am not sure, Mrs. Pope, that it is true that there are not enough female instructors to train the females. We need to ask the GAO to do that. The military told us it would cost a lot of money to separate them in barracks. GAO said it would cost zero dollars to separate them in barracks. I believe personally from what I saw in the military there are enough female instructors.
There is the old saying, he who frames the question determines the answer. Is there an adequate test detail and protocol in your report so that the reader will be able to make a judgment as to the quality of the data?
Mr. PANG. Congressman, I believe so. And I think the person that we look to on our Commission to advise us on that was Dr. Segal, but we also are very mindful of the fact that the General Accounting Office was critical of a previous report that was submitted to you, and we met with them a number of times to get their views so that we would know and understand when they conducted the review of our report to you and we would be in compliance with all of the standards that they set.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Ms. Blair, is there a minority report?
Ms. BLAIR. Sir, if you refer to page
Mr. BARTLETT. Page 80, Ms. Blair, is not a minority report. Is there a minority report in the kind of detail of the majority report?
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And, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask unanimous consent that such a minority report be included in the final report so that the reader will have the benefit of both analyses and conclusions.
Mr. BUYER. Mr. Bartlett, that can be something that you ask of the Commission, but that would be the prerogative of the chair whether to include that. This is an independent commission.
Mr. BARTLETT. Might I then ask that of the Commission, that you include such a report?
Ms. BLAIR. I welcome the suggestion, Mr. Bartlett, because, obviously, we have some diverse opinions. And the placement of the minority statements in this particular status report is quite separated from the majority statement, and it might be actually more convenient for a reader to be able to simply look at one side and the other. So that suggestion certainly appeals.
Mr. BARTLETT. I would appreciate that very much. I would like it to be in reasonably the same kind of detail as the majority report.
I have before me an article from today's USA Today entitled, ''Military Struggles to Keep Women Soldiers.'' The data show that 43 percent of white women fail to complete their first enlistment because of physical problems, pregnancy, failure to adapt to the military and other reasons. This, by the way, is significantly higher than any of the other groups.
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Now I suggest that there is something that we can do about two of those reasons that they are dropping out. One of those is a physical problem. When you train men and women together, if you are going to have any kind of stress for the men, you are going to be overstressing the women. If we have specific-gender training, that will no longer be a problem. And you can't get pregnant unless boys and girls are together; and the more they are together, the more likely they are to get pregnant. That will be reduced as a problem if we have gender-specific training in basic training. So I would hope that, if we are able to do that, that this rather distressing statistic will come down.
Mr. Pang, you were reading from the minority opinion in the report. You read from only page 79, and I think that the sentence you chose to read left us with an incorrect opinion as to where the minority was. They subsequently corrected that.
What you read was, ''I do concur with the general finding recommendation number one on page 34 that the services are, by and large, providing the trained personnel to carry out their assigned functions.'' Had you read from page 80, you would have conveyed a very different impression. ''We write separately to add our view that not only is there evidence of serious problems in gender-integrated training but there is also substantial evidence that gender-separate training produces superior results.''
Mr. Pang, I have a question. Am I correct that, as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy, you had defense-wide responsibility for personnel policies including recruitment, training and retention?
Page 115 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PANG. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. And wasn't this during the time period that the Clinton Administration decided to imposemix gender training without one single hearing or study?
Mr. PANG. I was the Assistant Secretary of Defense during the
Mr. BARTLETT. When that happened?
Mr. PANG. The decision was made when Mr. Aspin was the Secretary of Defense, and at that time I had not yet been appointed to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense
Mr. BARTLETT. My question is, since this is largely your child, I think that you might find it difficult to come to the Commission with a truly open mind. Because, you know, you were the official in charge when this procedure was initiated into the military, is that not true?
Mr. PANG. That is correct, sir.
I would also point out that I was staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and I worked for Senator Sam Nunn at the time, who was chairman. When I was a staffer there, I was the one that assisted him in putting together the Presidential Commission that reviewed the utilization of women in the military.
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I did notand I repeat with all due respect to you and to all members of the committee, that I did not come into the Commission with a personal agenda.
You know, I went into this thing with the notion that we might find some serious problems out there and, if we found them, then we would obviously bring them forward. Not only I but the majority of the Commissioners did the review and concluded in the majority that we felt that the services are doing a good job of training men and women in their respective services consistent with the individual missions of those services.
Mr. BARTLETT. I appreciate your
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Would the gentleman yield just a brief moment?
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes.
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. I can assure the gentleman that Mr. Pang's reputation for personal integrity as well as professional competence is without peer in terms of his service to the Pentagon, to the people of the United States, and the United States armed services.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you. What I was trying to point out is that all of us come to any experience in life with our past experiences which is going to color and prejudice what we do at that time. And you came with a burden that I am sure you appreciated and tried very hard to contend with.
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Mr. PANG. Congressman, may I respond?
Mr. BARTLETT. Yes, sir.
Mr. PANG. I did come with that burden. I know that. But I think it is fair to say that other members of this Commission also came with a burden. Our chair is the Executive Director of the Independent Women's Forum. In 1997, there was a report that was issued that advocated separate sex training. So, you know, when we talk about agendas, you have to be very careful about saying that people who are in the majority had an agenda, because I don't believe that. I think that perhaps those who are in the minority did have an agenda.
Let me point out several things. Number one, we elected Ms. Blair as our chair. Number two, she selected two individuals to be, number one, chief of staff and the other a legal director who shares her opinion on this. We know that. There was controversy at the beginning of the formulation of the Commission, but in the end we acquiesced her desire.
Now, if you are in charge of a commission and you have two senior people who work on the staff and the commission comes out the way it did I think that should be instructive to the committee. I really do.
Mr. BARTLETT. I appreciate that.
As long as we are talking about the possibility of a preconception, I would like to ask Mrs. Pope about an article in the New Republic in which she is quoted as saying, ''We are in the process of weeding out the white male as a norm. We are about changing the culture.''
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Mrs. POPE. Mr. Bartlett, what I would like to commentand that quote has been taken out of context, and I had
Mr. BARTLETT. I just took it out of the article.
Mrs. POPE. No, it was taken outexcuse me, sir, it was taken out of an interview done for Vogue magazine talking about how complicated training is. It was totally taken out of context in trying to explain how complicated it is to train men and women together. And it has been carefully misquoted throughout the years.
I also do want to comment
Mr. BARTLETT. How do you put that in the proper context so it sounds okay?
Mr. BUYER. Wait, wait.
Mrs. POPE. You have to read the entire text.
Mr. BUYER. Wait a second. I am going to give you the opportunity to respond directly to the question of whether you were quoted out of context and then yield back to Mr. Bartlett for his question. Mrs. Pope.
Mrs. POPE. It was out of context. You have to look at the entire transcript with the interview with Vogue magazine, and you will understand the explanation of what we were trying to explain how complicated training was.
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Mr. BUYER. Thank you.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Bartlett, if I may. In defense of the young lady from Pascagoula, Mississippi, I am going to remind you of Ronald Reagan's rule, because she is also Republican and served under a Republican Administration, if I am not mistaken, as an Under Secretary of the Navy.
Mrs. POPE. Thank you.
Mr. BARTLETT. I, too, was quoted out of context and was not given the opportunity I am going to give you to put it back in context so that people can understand it.
Mrs. POPE. Mr. Bartlett, I would be very happy for the record to submit that entire interview.
Mr. BARTLETT. If that is okaythat is up to
Mrs. POPE. With the chair's permission.
Mr. BUYER. More than happy to, Mrs. Pope.
Page 120 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The information can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. BARTLETT. Just one more question, Mr. Chairman, and then I am through.
General Christmas, I am a little confused by your conclusions that you conclude what the Marines are doing is best for the Marines, what the Army is doing is best for the Army, and yet, as a layman looking from the outside in, I am having some trouble seeing all that much difference between what the Army does and what the Marines do that they could each have a maximally effective basic training program which is quite different when I see their mission as not being that much different. How do you explain, sir?
General CHRISTMAS. Mr. Bartlett, I would be pleased to answer your question.
Obviously, I believe that the way the Marines train is the best way for Marines. I agree with their approach. I agree with that because I was part of it. I was part of keeping it that way.
At the same time, I came into this Commission with an open mind to look at the training continuums of each of the four services. As I look at the comparisons you have asked me to make, as I look at the continuum of training for the Army, I looked at it as it is today. It is OSUT where it segregates its training and its basic training and AIT of the combat service support arms and how it trains it.
Page 121 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As I looked at that, I also looked at the amazing number of changes and improvements that had been made to that basic training. As an example, sir, and we recommend this in our report, the Army, as have other services, have looked across the board to each service and have borrowed from one another.
So, as an example, if you will go to Fort Jackson, where it happened to be segregated trainingexcuse me, gender-integrated training, the standards were correct. They moved through training and had improved the physical training, and they came to a defining event called Victory Forge, something very similar and copied from the Marine Corps' Crucible, and willingly you will be told that. And at that time of that defining event, that is where a soldier earned the title soldier. That is a very major change, if you think about that.
We have determined that, as an example, today in the Navy, the same thing is now occurring because of looking at this improvement of what is required. So today when a sailor finishes battle stations, now they are becoming a sailor. They are earning the title, that defining event similar to the Crucible. The Air Force has now done the same thing with their field training.
These are all improvements that have been made. Are they perfect? Sir, they are not. But they need time to come to fruition. The services need to see how much of them are working, then, in fact, do further improvements, because that is what commanders do. You should make a decision. You look at it. Has it worked? If it hasn't completely worked, you change it. You make it better.
What I would propose and what I am proposing and perhaps why that sounds, you know, different to you is the fact that I have seen these improvements. Now they need to come to fruition.
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It does not mean that improvements should not continue. It does not mean that the service should not look at what they have done and see if they can't do it better.
But the thing I do conclude is our four services have four very distinct cultures. If you look at their continuums, the Marine Corps in basic training transforms and does notthe other services, their transformation is a bit different but comes to the same conclusion.
I think the Army needs to stay gender segregated in its combat arms. I feel very strongly about that, but I think they should be allowed to continue to try to improve their current gender-integrated training.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
I would just like to say that my concern about basic training should not be construed in any way of not supporting women in the military. I go to a lot of factories and there are a lot of departments where women are the majority employee. That is not because the employer is discriminating against women. It is because women do that job better. If that is true in the private sector, I am sure it is also true in the military.
I just want for both men and women, for each of them, to have the maximum opportunity, to be for the Army all that they can be, to have every opportunity for advancement and achievement; and I believe that separate gender training is the way to do that in all of the services.
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Mr. BUYER. Mr. Taylor has just left the room, and I want to publicly thank him because he was very, very helpful over the last several years putting together this Commission and laying out the groundwork and participating in hearings around the country and the world. So I want to publicly thank him for his contribution.
I have got to ask this question because this one is bugging me. From the late 1970s until the late 1990s, the Air Force organized and housed its basic training units as all-male and all-female flights. These gender-separate flights would then come together to train as a larger gender-integrated unit during much of the basic training.
For years, the Air Force touted the success of this system in training men and women on how to serve in a gender-integrated force. For years, they held that out as the model to all of the other services. The Kassebaum Baker panel recommended that this very same system be implemented in the Army, Navy and the Air Force.
Based on your historical review, what did you learn about the effectiveness of the system the Air Force used for nearly two decades in basic training both as a means to transform civilians into airmen as well as a system for beginning a process of building a gender-integrated force? My first question.
Second, in your opinion, would such a system where basic trainees would be organized into same-gender platoons for the Army, divisions for the Navy and flights for the Air Force but that these platoons, flights and divisions should come together to train as a larger gender-integrated unit during basic training work well in the Air Force today or in the Army or in the Navy?
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Please be specific as to why or why not; and those of you who wish to comment, please do so.
Dr. SEGAL. I would like to take one, actually.
From our research and focus groups, when trainees and basic training in all the services were basically asked what is your training unit, they identified their platoon division and flight. So if you segregate at that level, you will havefor most of your training and your sense of group identification and learning to work together, it will be segregated training.
Mr. BUYER. That is a lot better answer than the Air Force told me, that the reason they changed the policy was for visual incongruity. So at least that was an answer, Dr. Segal.
Anyone else like to comment?
Sergeant Major DARE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to comment.
I personally would not like to leave you with the thought that if the decision were made to change the format and you asked the question I think in this way, would it work, I will guarantee you that the noncommissioned officers and the staff noncommissioned officers and the officers now that are intimately involved with this training process will conform to whatever format is established. So, fundamentally, it will work.
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You could construct it in many, many ways, but I would like to reiterate that, as we looked at this and tried to capture the historical rationale of the current changes, in the final analysis what I used and I think the majority used to come to their conclusion was, is this working? In the end, is the end result being achieved? And the answer, in our view, was yes.
And the myriad of missions and tasks that the services are asked to be performed today are being done almost flawlessly. So if you use that as the measuring stick, it would seem to me that what they are doing, in fact, is justified and, in fact, is working in the best interest of readiness in this country.
Mr. BUYER. Any other comments?
Ms. BLAIR. Mr. Chairman, I would like to add something.
Based on my historical review of the Air Force's policy, I think it did work in the sense that they performed their mission and they were satisfied with it.
The motive for the change most recently, I believe, was a little bit of competition to getto be as gender-integrated as the other services. However, taking off from an historical view, I perceived that there are going to be future challenges to the Air Force as it changes into an expeditionary force that are going to require the Air Force to look strongly at its basic training system.
Page 126 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The FTX (Field Training Exercise) defining event that I described in my testimony earlier today is a small part of that, but it is something that I think needs to happen more in the Air Force. And I believe that what they are going to find as they become more expeditionary is that their needs are going to become a lot more like the Marine Corps or the Army.
And I would feel better, sir, if I came away from the past year of research and investigation believing that the services are really prepared to make this into a dynamic process to consider anything that is a good idea. I do believe, however, that they are not willing to consider anything concerning gender. I believe they have taken that off the table, and I think that is a mistake, particularly in this case, turning into an expeditionary force.
Mr. BUYER. I think what was very bothersome to me when in the last defense bill when the House said we will adopt the Kassebaum Baker recommendation and take the Air Force back to just the way they had been doing business for the last 20 years. In the Pentagon they threw on the brakes and even publicly created the perception that we wanted to transform the militaries into segregated-training.
What was very telling to me by this all-out assault in defense of an agenda was that they were willing to dig their heels in even on the smallest point, that they would hold up the entire defense bill for that purpose alone. Mr. Pang, that is exactly what happened. So that told me that this as a political question was very great in the building. It was very great.
For purpose of open disclosure I will also tell you one of the reasons I wanted to have a commission, was so adamant behind this, is I have my own personal views. So as I was out there and listening to many different people andwow, it is like, wait a minute. I can't decide. I don't have the ability to decide this one on my own. I must give some deference to other expertise, and that was the formation for you, and that is why I am very eager to jump into your findings and look at your data and look at the surveys so I can understand how you came to your very pertinent decisions.
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I did note in your commentaries here about the historical review, because this question is tainted. It is a tainted question because of what had occurred during the Carter Administration and when the Reagan Administration came in. And so when the Clinton Administration then moved back just as the Carter Administration had done and decisions were made not on the basis of an analysis, it was just done, then it brings the question open to suspect, and then it becomes whether it is tainted.
But that is why we asked for you to do your analysis, so you can help us in our decision-making process.
We also will be very open to what our allies have done. I know that someone was very critical of saying, well, if the RomansI forgetthe Israelis do itI mean, I do note and you had noted on what the British Army has just done. So we will pay close attention.
Now, I am appreciative, I want you to know. I said in my opening comments about we gave you a lot of work to do and in a very short time period to do it, and I am very appreciative of your work and your efforts.
Anybody else have any further questions or comments?
Mr. ABERCROMBIE. Just a brief commentary to conclude.
This has been a very interesting day, I am sure. Dr. Segal and Dr. Cantor are not here at the moment, but I am sure you can write a nicean interesting sociological tract out of the transcript, some observations on group dynamics, et cetera.
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The Chairman is indeed fortunate because I, of course, am totally objective and unbiased and able to make my commentary accordingly, but Iand the commentary is this and I hope it will help to conclude today's very, very interesting session.
Everyone is aware that these proceedings are recorded, that is to say, they will be availablea transcript will be available. But with modern technology, they are also seen. They are observed by others. I think, therefore, it is very important that people across the country who are interested in this vital issue have an opportunity to understand who are the people that are there talking, who are the ones giving their opinion and so on. And so I don't see the past
There is at least an implicationthere could be an implication to those who are observing casually, Mr. Chairman, that the panel members, some or all of the panel members, are burdened with their background. And I would put it this way. I think they are burdened with their experience, and that is to say their experience leads them to have to, in the name of the integrity of that experience, their reflection on their lives, give us the kinds ofthe benefit of their best thought with respect to this issue or the issues involved here. For that I am very, very appreciative.
I think thatI cannot conceive of a broader-based, more deeply experienced group being able to put forward their conclusions. And to the degree that constitutes social engineering of some kind where we have to comment on it, well, my view of what brief historical analysis I have been able to make, that the armed services in the United States have been at the forefront of social engineering, if you will, for a long time.
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I come from a place and have the honor to represent a district in which World War II began in the Pacific with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and where the USS Missouri resides, if you will, right now to bring that war to a conclusion. And I will say to you that I have the honor of serving in the Congress of the United States with our senior Senator, the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, whose relatives were put into camps because they were deemed not worthy to be in the armed services of the United States. I guess there was a little social engineering that took place with the 442nd and the 100th and some of the other people who served with honor in World War II on behalf of freedom and people fighting for freedom all across the world.
So I reflect on that and see what people have done before on our behalf, and I think it is up to us then to live up to that legacy. And I think what you have put forward, Ms. Blair, along with all the Commissioners, has gone a long way toward giving us the opportunity to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and think that we are carrying on in a tradition worthy of this Congress and most certainly worthy of the citizens who give us the guidance that you have been good enough to give to us today. Thank you very, very much.
Ms. BLAIR. Thank you.
Mr. BUYER. Hopefully, we will get to figure this out one day. I don't know if we will have any time to move on any sort of legislative recommendations. If you have any, please get them to us as soon as you can.
And I will reiterate again. Your contribution has been valuable to the country, to the military, and we are most appreciative. You went through a lot of hardship. You went through great sacrifice to be away from your families. Tell your spouses and family we are appreciative and thankful, and we will try to keep our eye on the ball here.
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I know that in some there is a political question, but eye on the ball really iswhat is the purpose of our military, you know, and what is that transformation process.
The Marine Corps, you guys want to do it your way because you call it a distractor. Well, if it isyou know, if it is a distractor for you, what makes you think it wouldn't be a distractor for the Army? They have got a ground combat function, too, General Christmas. You take the beach, they then move on forward. After you take the beach, theyyou know, you secure it. Then they go on forward.
We got our culture problems in the Army between combat arms versus combat service support and whether we should have two separate training standards in the first place, but we are going to try and figure it all out.
What concerns me the most, this is from my heart here, is that when we have men and women in the military, however we train them, they better be prepared, however we train them, because we are going to prepare them to be in the most God-awful position and they are going to have to make a very competent decision under stress and go against human instinct, not to run, to make that competent judgment, because other lives depend upon their privilege to lead.
And however we train, we have to make sure that if the woman is in command, whoever is commanding, that that decision is done. And if we back off from our rigor and our ethos and our spirit, shame on us.
Page 131 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So thank you for your contributions, and we look forward to the final analysis of your report. This hearing is concluded.
[Whereupon, at 6:00 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
March 17, 1999
[This information is pending.]