This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-06-962 
entitled 'Force Structure: DOD Needs to Integrate Data into Its Force 
Identification Process and Examine Options to Meet Requirements for 
High-Demand Support Forces' which was released on September 5, 2006. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

September 2006: 

Force Structure: 

DOD Needs to Integrate Data into Its Force Identification Process and 
Examine Options to Meet Requirements for High-Demand Support Forces: 

Force Structure: 

GAO-06-962: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-962, a report to congressional committees 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the war on terrorism 
has dominated the global security environment. Ongoing overseas 
operations and heavy reliance on reservists have raised concerns about 
how the Department of Defense (DOD) will continue to meet its 
requirements using an all-volunteer force. The Army, in particular, has 
faced continuing demand for large numbers of forces, especially for 
forces with support skills. 

GAO was mandated to examine the extent of DODís reliance on personnel 
with high-demand skills and its efforts to reduce or eliminate reliance 
on these personnel. Accordingly, GAO assessed (1) the combat support 
and combat service support skills that are in high demand and the 
extent to which DOD officials have visibility over personnel who are 
available for future deployment and (2) the extent to which DOD has 
conducted a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of alternatives for 
providing needed skills. 

What GAO Found: 

Ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have required large numbers 
of ground forces, creating particularly high demand for certain combat 
support and combat service support skills, such as military police and 
civil affairs. After determining which requirements can be met with 
contractor personnel, DOD then determines how to meet requirements for 
military personnel. DOD officials charged with identifying forces have 
not had full visibility over the pool of skilled personnel available 
for future deployments. For some skills, the combatant commanderís 
operational requirements have exceeded the initial supply of readily 
available trained military forces. DOD has met demands for these skills 
through strategies such as reassigning or retraining personnel. 
However, many of the skilled personnel in high demand are reservists 
whose involuntary active duty is limited under the current partial 
mobilization authority and DOD and Army policy. To meet requirements, 
officials charged with identifying personnel for future rotations 
developed an inefficient, labor-intensive process to gather information 
needed for decision making because integrated, comprehensive personnel 
data were not readily available. DOD is taking steps to develop 
comprehensive data that identify personnel according to deployment 
histories and skills; however, until DOD systematically integrates such 
data into its process for identifying forces, it will continue to make 
important decisions about personnel for future rotations based upon 
limited information and lack the analytical bases for requesting 
changes in or exceptions to deployment policies. 

Although DOD has developed several strategies to meet the combatant 
commanderís requirements for previous rotations, it has not undertaken 
comprehensive, data-driven analysis of options that would make more 
personnel available for future rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A key 
reason why DOD has not conducted comprehensive analyses of options is 
that its process for identifying forces focuses on one rotation at a 
time and does not take a long-term view of potential requirements. 
Prior GAO work has shown that reliable data about current and future 
workforce requirements are essential for effective strategic planning, 
as is the data-driven analysis of the number of personnel and the skill 
mix needed to support key competencies. With data that link deployment 
dates and skills, DOD could assess options, including using more 
personnel with support skills from the Army and other services, 
transferring more positions to high-demand areas, and changing 
deployment lengths. Each of these options has both advantages and 
disadvantages. However, without a comprehensive analysis of the options 
and their related advantages and disadvantages, DOD will be challenged 
to plan effectively for future requirements and to meet recruiting 
goals. Additionally, without linking data and options, the services may 
have difficulty deploying all reservists once before other reservists 
are required to deploy for a second time, which is a key DOD goal. 
Moreover, the Secretary of Defense and Congress will not have complete 
information with which to make decisions about the size and composition 
of the force, mobilization policies, and other issues. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense (1) integrate personnel 
data with the force identification process and (2) assess options to 
increase the availability of personnel with high-demand skills. DOD 
agreed with the recommendations, though it expressed concerns about how 
GAO characterized the current force identification process. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-962]. 

To view the full report, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Janet St. Laurent at 
(202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Army Combat Support and Combat Service Support Skills Are in 
Increasingly Short Supply, and Data on Skilled Individuals Available 
for Future Deployments Are Not Integrated into the Sourcing Process: 

DOD Has Not Conducted a Comprehensive, Data-Driven Analysis of Options 
to Enhance the Availability of Personnel with High-Demand Skills for 
Future Rotations: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Table: 

Table 1: Mobilization Authorities for Reserve Forces: 

Abbreviations: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 
OSD: Office of the Secretary of Defense: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

September 5, 2006: 

The Honorable John Warner: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Duncan L. Hunter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Global War on 
Terrorism has required large numbers of active duty and 
reserve[Footnote 1] military personnel to deploy for overseas missions, 
including ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Department of 
Defense (DOD) now faces the unprecedented challenge of sustaining large-
scale, ongoing operations with an all-volunteer military force. As 
operations have evolved from combat to counterinsurgency operations, 
the dynamic operational conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan have made it 
more difficult for DOD to anticipate the number of forces and the 
specific skills needed in the future. Thus far, operations have 
continued to require large numbers of ground forces. The combatant 
commander of U.S. Central Command is responsible for the area of 
operations that includes Iraq and Afghanistan. The commanders, Joint 
Forces Command and Special Operations Command, are charged with 
identifying the forces that can be deployed to meet the combatant 
commander's requirement considering global risks. While DOD has 
contracted with private companies for a significant number of support 
activities, Army forces--particularly those with combat support and 
combat service support skills,[Footnote 2] such as military police and 
civil affairs, which reside heavily in its reserve components--continue 
to be in high demand. The high pace of operations and heavy reliance on 
reserve forces along with recruiting challenges raise concerns about 
whether the U.S. military will be able to continue to meet operational 
requirements in the future. 

DOD has identified the need to transform into a more flexible and 
responsive force by divesting itself of structure and forces from the 
Cold War era and reorganizing its forces to meet new threats. The 2006 
Quadrennial Defense Review Report,[Footnote 3] which outlines the 
defense program for the future, recognizes that the department needs to 
rebalance military skills between and within the active and reserve 
components and that the reserve components need to be more accessible 
and ready to meet a range of overseas and domestic missions. The report 
did not provide details on how it will accomplish this. Further, as we 
have previously reported, the department faces challenges in 
transforming forces for the future, such as meeting increased 
requirements for high-demand skills. For example, we have reported on 
problems in DOD's mobilization[Footnote 4] and demobilization of 
reservists as well as the issues raised by continuing demands for 
reserve personnel to deploy.[Footnote 5] As we reported in July 2005, 
the number of Army Reserve personnel that can be deployed under current 
mobilization authorities and deployment policies is declining and many 
personnel have been moved among units to tailor forces and fill 
shortages in those units.[Footnote 6] Further, we have reported that 
DOD lacks data that would give it visibility over the health status of 
reserve members.[Footnote 7] We also reported that while DOD intends to 
move military positions to high-demand skills over time to provide more 
capability, the degree to which this initiative will make more military 
personnel available for operational missions is uncertain.[Footnote 8] 
Moreover, in November 2005 we reported that the services were facing 
difficulty recruiting and retaining enlisted personnel and that certain 
occupational specialties have been consistently over-or 
underfilled.[Footnote 9] 

The House of Representatives report[Footnote 10] accompanying the 
Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2005[Footnote 11] directed GAO to examine the extent of DOD's reliance 
on personnel with high-demand skills and its efforts to reduce or 
eliminate reliance on these personnel. This report is an unclassified 
version of a classified report. The classified report contains 
additional details comparing operational requirements to the Army's 
supply of trained personnel available to deploy and examining DOD's 
strategies to meet the requirements for skilled forces. Accordingly, 
this report assesses (1) the combat support and combat service support 
skills that are in high demand for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan 
and the extent to which DOD has visibility over personnel available for 
future deployment and (2) the extent to which the department has 
conducted a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of its alternatives to 
continue meeting requirements for high-demand forces. We concentrated 
our analysis on the Army's combat support and combat service support 
skills because of the continuing high demand for those forces and 
examined DOD's process to identify forces for rotations, referred to as 
"sourcing." 

To assess the key skills in high demand, we collected and analyzed data 
provided by the U.S. Joint Forces Command, the Joint Staff, and the 
U.S. Special Operations Command and examined how requirements from U.S. 
Central Command have been met for military operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. In addition, we observed Department of the Army and Joint 
Staff conferences to understand how the department made decisions when 
identifying support forces for these operations. To assess what forces 
remain available to meet future requirements, we examined documents 
provided by the Joint Staff, the U.S. Joint Forces Command, the Army, 
and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and we discussed with 
responsible officials the challenges they face in identifying forces 
for deployment. To assess the extent to which DOD has analyzed 
alternatives that will allow it to continue to meet requirements for 
support forces, we reviewed our work on human capital management, 
identified and examined DOD's initiatives to assess alternatives, and 
held discussions with officials responsible for identifying forces. We 
performed our review from February 2005 through June 2006 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. We determined 
that the data used were sufficiently reliable for our objectives and in 
the context in which the data are presented. Further information on our 
scope and methodology appears in appendix I. 

Results in Brief: 

Ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have created continuing high 
demand for certain combat support and combat service support skills, 
including military police, engineering, and civil affairs, and 
officials charged with sourcing future rotations have a limited view of 
what personnel remain available for future rotations. Many of the high 
demand skills reside heavily in the reserve component. However, the 
partial mobilization authority and DOD and Army policy limit 
reservists' involuntary active duty service duration and eligibility to 
deploy. As a result, the pool of potentially deployable reserve 
personnel is decreasing as operations continue, and DOD officials 
charged with identifying forces for future rotations are challenged to 
identify personnel with high-demand skills who are eligible to deploy. 
Facing shortages of available Army personnel in some skills, DOD has 
used strategies such as reassigning and retraining Army and other 
service personnel to meet the combatant commander's requirements. To 
identify personnel who were available to deploy and could be reassigned 
or retrained, officials charged with identifying personnel for future 
rotations needed information from across the services on personnel 
deployments and skills that was not readily available. Lacking 
integrated, comprehensive personnel data, these officials developed a 
labor-intensive process of holding a series of conferences where 
service representatives and others came together to discuss what forces 
were available to meet operational requirements based on data gathered 
from various sources. However, our review of this process showed that 
the data used were not comprehensive and did not provide a complete 
picture of what forces were available across the services to meet the 
requirements. For example, while the Army Reserve and National Guard 
had data that identified available units, the data did not provide 
complete information on how many individuals remained deployable or had 
the required skills. While DOD is taking steps to link data on 
individual's deployments and skill sets in its new defense readiness 
reporting system that could be helpful in making decisions about forces 
for future rotations, these data have not yet been integrated with 
DOD's process for meeting combatant commander requirements. Until DOD 
systematically integrates reliable personnel data into its process for 
identifying forces, it will continue to have limited information with 
which to efficiently match available forces with the combatant 
commander's requirements and will not have analytical bases for 
requesting changes in or exceptions to deployment policies if needed. 

Although DOD has examined some options for supporting future rotations 
to Iraq and Afghanistan, such as identifying personnel who can be 
retrained in high-demand skills, it has not undertaken a comprehensive, 
data-driven analysis of options based on complete and reliable data. A 
key reason why DOD has not undertaken a comprehensive analysis is that 
DOD's process for identifying forces was created to meet the combatant 
commander's specific requirements for the next rotation cycle and does 
not take a long-term view of forces that might be required in the 
future. Our prior work on human capital management demonstrates the 
need for strategic workforce planning, especially when the environment 
has changed significantly.[Footnote 12] The Army's changing mission 
from combat to counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan 
represents just such a change. Further, data-driven analyses of the 
appropriate number of personnel and mix of personnel to support key 
competencies are critical components in building a strategic workforce 
plan. To meet operational requirements, DOD has used strategies such as 
soliciting volunteers and retraining personnel; however, with 
comprehensive data it could assess other options, such as transferring 
more positions to high-demand areas, changing deployment lengths, and 
increasing the size of the force. Each of these options has both 
advantages and disadvantages. However, without comprehensive analyses 
to examine the options and their related advantages and disadvantages, 
DOD will be challenged to plan effectively for future requirements, 
while considering global risks and meeting recruiting goals. 
Additionally, without the ability to link personnel data to options, 
the services may have difficulty deploying all reservists once before 
other reservists are required to deploy for a second time, which is a 
key goal of OSD officials. Moreover, the Secretary of Defense and 
Congress will not have complete information on which to base decisions 
about the size and composition of the force, mobilization policies, and 
other issues, and Congress will not have complete information with 
which to carry out its oversight responsibilities. 

To facilitate decision making on how to meet the combatant commander's 
requirements for high-demand skills, we are making recommendations to 
the Secretary of Defense to (1) integrate comprehensive data that link 
skills to deployment data in its process for identifying personnel for 
future rotations and (2) conduct comprehensive, data-driven analyses of 
options for meeting potential requirements for future rotations to Iraq 
and Afghanistan. Though the department expressed concern about how we 
characterized the current force identification process, it agreed with 
our recommendations and cited actions it is taking to compile data that 
could provide visibility over personnel and to conduct analyses of 
options for meeting potential requirements for future rotations. DOD's 
comments and our evaluation are presented in appendix II. 

Background: 

Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, 
DOD has launched two major overseas military operations related to the 
Global War on Terrorism: Operation Enduring Freedom, which includes 
ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and certain other countries, 
and Operation Iraqi Freedom, which includes ongoing military operations 
in Iraq. In both cases, operations quickly evolved from major combat 
operations into ongoing counterinsurgency and stability operations, 
which have continued to require large numbers of forces, ranging from 
about 138,000 personnel to about 160,000 personnel from 2004 to the 
present. These operations have required large numbers of forces with 
support skills, such as military police and civil affairs. While some 
of these skills have been in high demand across the Army, some skills, 
such as civil affairs, reside heavily in the Army's reserve components 
and sometimes in small numbers of critical personnel. 

Reserve forces may be called to active duty under a number of 
authorities. As shown in table 1, two authorities enable the President 
to involuntarily mobilize forces, but with size and time limitations. 
Full mobilization, which would enable the mobilization of forces for as 
long as they are needed, requires a declaration by Congress. 

Table 1: Mobilization Authorities for Reserve Forces: 

Statute: 10 U.S.C. 12301(a); "Full Mobilization"; 
Provisions: Declared by Congress: 
* In time of war or national emergency; 
* No limit on numbers of soldiers called to active duty; 
* For duration of war plus 6 months. 

Statute: 10 U.S.C. 12302; "Partial Mobilization"; 
Provisions: Declared by the President: 
* In time of national emergency; 
* No more than 1 million reservists can be on active duty; 
* No more than 24 consecutive months. 

Statute: 10 U.S.C. 12304; "Presidential Reserve Call-up"; 
Provisions: Determined by the President: 
* To augment the active duty force for operational missions; 
* No more than 200,000 reservists can be on active duty; 
* No more than 270 days. 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Code provisions. 

[End of table] 

On September 14, 2001, President Bush declared that a national 
emergency existed as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center 
in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and he invoked the 
partial mobilization authority.[Footnote 13] As table 1 shows, this 
authority restricts the duration of reservists' active duty to 24 
consecutive months. OSD implements the activation of reservists for 
Iraq and Afghanistan under this partial mobilization authority. The 
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, who reports to the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, is responsible 
for providing policy, programs, and guidance for the mobilization and 
demobilization of the reserve components. 

On September 20, 2001, OSD issued mobilization guidance that among 
other things directed the services as a matter of policy to specify in 
initial orders to reserve members that the period of active duty 
service would not exceed 12 months. However, the guidance allowed the 
service secretaries to extend orders for an additional 12 months or to 
remobilize reserve component members as long as an individual member's 
cumulative service did not exceed 24 months. 

The services implement the authority and guidance according to their 
policies and practices. To meet the continuing demand for ground 
forces, in 2004 the Army extended the time that reservists must be 
deployed for missions related to Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation 
Enduring Freedom. DOD's and the Army's current guidance states the goal 
that soldiers should serve 12 months with their "boots-on-the-ground" 
in the theater of operations, not including the time spent in 
mobilization and demobilization activities, which could add several 
more months to the time a reserve member spends on active duty. 
Further, senior DOD officials state that under DOD policy, a reservist 
may not be involuntarily deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan more 
than once.[Footnote 14] 

Since September 11, 2001, there have been several rotations of troops 
to support Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
Currently, DOD refers to troop rotations based on troop deployment 
dates, although deployments overlap calendar years. For example, the 
rotation of troops that deployed or are scheduled to serve from 
calendar years 2004 through 2006 is known as the 04-06 rotation. The 05-
07 rotation is composed of troops expected to deploy and serve from 
2005 through 2007. DOD recently identified troops to deploy to either 
theater from 2006 through 2008 in the 06-08 rotation. DOD recently has 
started planning for the 07-09 rotation to identify forces for 
deployments from calendar years 2007 through 2009. 

Identifying Forces for Ongoing Operations: 

In response to the new security environment, in May 2005 the Secretary 
of Defense approved a new integrated force assignment, apportionment, 
and allocation process, known as Global Force Management. The new 
process is designed to identify capabilities or forces to conduct 
operational missions. The Secretary tasked the Joint Forces Command 
with responsibility for developing global, joint sourcing solutions for 
conventional forces[Footnote 15] in support of combatant commander 
requirements. A Global Force Management Board, composed of general 
officer/flag officer-level representatives from the combatant commands, 
the services, the Joint Staff, and OSD, guides the process by reviewing 
emerging force management issues and making risk management 
recommendations to the Secretary of Defense. 

Under the Global Force Management process, combatant 
commanders[Footnote 16] determine the capabilities they will need to 
support ongoing operations, including identifying the numbers of 
personnel and specific skills required to generate the capabilities. In 
generating their operational plans, the combatant commanders consider 
whether private contractors or civilians rather than military forces 
could provide any of the desired capabilities. For missions that 
require military forces, the combatant commanders request the forces 
needed to provide the military capabilities from the Chairman, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, who reviews and validates the requirements. When the 
requirements are validated, the Chairman sends the requirements for 
conventional forces to the Commander, Joint Forces Command,[Footnote 
17] and to the Commander, Special Operations Command, for special 
operations forces such as civil affairs and psychological operations. 
The commanders, Joint Forces Command and Special Operations Command, 
are responsible for identifying the forces that can be deployed to meet 
the requirement considering global risks. The Army Forces Command, 
which reports to the Joint Forces Command, is charged with identifying 
the Army units and personnel that can be deployed to meet the 
requirements of the combatant commanders. The Army Special Operations 
Command, which reports to the Special Operations Command, is charged 
with identifying Army units and personnel to be deployed to support 
combatant commanders' requirements. The Secretary of Defense reviews 
the commanders' force sourcing recommendations and approves or 
disapproves them. 

Army Combat Support and Combat Service Support Skills Are in 
Increasingly Short Supply, and Data on Skilled Individuals Available 
for Future Deployments Are Not Integrated into the Sourcing Process: 

Ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have created continuing high 
demand for certain combat support and combat service support skills, 
including military police, engineering, and civil affairs, and 
officials charged with sourcing future rotations have a limited view of 
what personnel remain available for future rotations. While dynamic 
operational requirements complicate force-planning efforts, the 
department will be increasingly challenged to identify forces for 
future rotations from a diminishing supply of readily available 
personnel under current deployment policies. The supply of personnel 
already trained in high-demand skills and eligible to deploy has 
decreased as operations have continued because many personnel with 
these skills are reservists whose deployments and duration of 
involuntary active duty service under the partial mobilization 
authority are limited by DOD and Army policy. A primary strategy used 
to meet requirements has been to identify personnel from other Army 
skills or from other services that can be reassigned or retrained with 
high-demand skills. However, DOD officials charged with identifying 
forces for future rotations have not had a source of readily available, 
comprehensive personnel data on deployment histories and skills across 
the services. Lacking such information, DOD officials developed a labor-
intensive process involving a series of conferences with service 
representatives, the Joint Staff, and the Joint Forces Command where 
officials identify actions the services can take to meet the combatant 
commander's requirements. DOD is taking steps to consolidate personnel, 
deployment, and skill data to support force management decisions 
through a new defense readiness reporting system. Until DOD 
systematically integrates such data into its process for identifying 
forces, it will continue to use an inefficient process and make 
important decisions about how to meet the combatant commander's 
requirements based on limited information. Further, without complete, 
reliable, and accessible data that provide greater visibility over its 
available forces, DOD will lack analytical bases for requesting changes 
in or exceptions to current deployment policies when needed. 

As the Supply of Available, Trained Personnel for Some High-Demand 
Combat Support and Combat Service Support Skills Has Decreased, DOD Has 
Relied Increasingly on Reassigning and Retraining Personnel to Meet 
Requirements: 

As operations have evolved from combat to counterinsurgency operations, 
requirements for forces with some high-demand skills--especially combat 
support and combat service support skills--have initially exceeded the 
number of Army personnel trained and available to deploy.[Footnote 18] 
As a result, DOD has relied increasingly on reassigning and retraining 
personnel to meet combatant commander requirements. The skills where 
requirements have initially exceeded the number of trained personnel 
include transportation, engineering, military police, quartermaster, 
military intelligence, civil affairs, signal corps, medical, and 
psychological operations. Many of these high-demand skills reside 
primarily in the Army's reserve component. Reservists serving in 
Afghanistan and Iraq have been activated under a partial mobilization 
authority that enables the secretary of a military department, in a 
time of national emergency declared by the President or when otherwise 
authorized by law, to involuntarily mobilize reservists for up to 24 
consecutive months. DOD policy implementing the mobilization authority 
states that any soldier who has served 24 cumulative months during 
current operations is ineligible for any further activation unless the 
reservist volunteers for additional duty. Further, DOD's policy is that 
no reservist should be involuntarily deployed to either Iraq or 
Afghanistan more than once, according to senior DOD officials.[Footnote 
19] Consequently, as operations continue and the number of reservists 
who have already deployed increases, it is likely to become 
increasingly difficult for DOD to identify reserve personnel skilled in 
high-demand areas who are eligible to deploy. 

One of the primary strategies DOD has used to meet requirements for 
some high-demand skills has been to reassign and retrain Army or other 
service personnel.[Footnote 20] The percentage of requirements that 
have been filled by reassigned or retrained Army personnel to some high-
demand skills has increased as operations have continued. In addition, 
the combatant commander's requirements for Army skills increasingly 
have been met by retraining personnel from the other services under 
Army doctrine. The strategy of reassigning and retraining available 
personnel from other services to fill combat support and combat service 
support requirements supports the department's goal of deploying all 
reservists at least once before any are involuntarily activated for a 
second time. This will likely continue to be a primary strategy for 
providing high-demand forces as operations continue and the pool of 
skilled personnel who have not deployed continues to diminish. However, 
DOD officials charged with identifying the personnel who could be 
reassigned or retrained to meet requirements were challenged because 
they did not have information that linked data on personnel who 
remained eligible to deploy and their skills across the services. 

DOD's Process for Identifying Forces Is Labor Intensive, and Officials 
Charged with Identifying Forces Have Not Integrated Comprehensive Data 
into DOD's Sourcing Process: 

Officials charged with identifying forces for future rotations did not 
integrate comprehensive data that would allow them to efficiently 
identify what skilled personnel are available to be deployed because 
such data were not readily available when the department began a 
rotational force deployment schedule. Until the need to sustain large 
numbers of forces for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over a long 
period emerged, DOD officials did not anticipate the need for detailed 
information on individuals to support a rotational force schedule on a 
long-term basis. While officials ultimately identified forces to meet 
the combatant commander's operational requirements, our review of the 
force identification process showed that the data used were not 
comprehensive and did not give officials charged with identifying 
forces a complete picture of what forces remained available across the 
services to meet the requirements. 

DOD officials involved with the process of identifying forces stated 
that supporting the rotational force schedule has not permitted them 
the time or resources to consolidate the services' personnel data. In 
the absence of such data in the early stages of the ongoing operations, 
DOD officials developed a labor-intensive process that involves 
conferences on service and interservice joint levels[Footnote 21] where 
officials discuss various strategies to assign forces because they do 
not have data that would provide visibility over available forces. For 
example, while the Army Reserve and National Guard had data that 
identified available units, the data did not provide complete 
information on how many individuals remained deployable or had the 
required skills. Through a series of conferences, officials discussed 
what personnel remained available for future deployments based on data 
they gathered from various sources. While DOD is taking steps to link 
information about personnel and deployment history in its new defense 
readiness reporting system that could be helpful in making decisions 
about forces for future rotations, these data have not yet been 
integrated with DOD's sourcing process. 

The Joint Staff and the services participated in conferences to 
identify forces for the 04-06 rotation in 2004 when identifying skilled 
personnel available for deployment became more difficult because of 
previous deployments, and the Army recognized the need to identify 
forces as early as possible so that they could be retrained in high- 
demand skills. The process, managed by the Joint Forces Command, has 
evolved over time as operations have continued and now involves months 
of conferences held at the service level and across the department 
where representatives of the services, the Joint Forces Command, the 
combatant commander, and others discuss strategies for meeting 
requirements.[Footnote 22] 

To meet the requirements for which the Army could not initially 
identify available and trained forces, the Joint Forces Command formed 
working groups composed of representatives from the services and Joint 
Forces Command, among others, to identify personnel from any of the 
other services who could be reassigned and retrained according to Army 
doctrine. The work of the joint functional working groups culminated in 
another conference, called the Final Progress Review, hosted by the 
Joint Staff at the Pentagon. During the executive sessions of the Final 
Progress Review, senior military leaders made decisions as to how the 
services, including the Army, would fill the remaining requirements. 

The process has enabled the department to fill requirements, but 
efficiency was lost because these officials did not have data that 
linked personnel skills and deployment availability so that trained 
forces remaining available under current policies could be readily 
identified. As a result, conference participants had to defer decisions 
until they could obtain more complete data. Moreover, the process does 
not provide assurance that forces identified are the most appropriate 
match considering both current requirements and future readiness. 
Moreover, it does not provide an ability to make future projections 
about whether DOD will be able to meet future requirements or will need 
to consider other alternatives. While DOD has begun compiling data 
through its new readiness reporting system that links information about 
personnel according to deployment history and skill set to provide 
better visibility of available forces, and such data were available 
beginning in August 2005, this information has not been integrated into 
the existing sourcing process. 

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) 
has taken steps to develop a new defense readiness reporting system, 
the Defense Readiness Reporting System,[Footnote 23] that will link 
data on personnel availability and skills, according to a senior agency 
official. The system, which consolidates data from multiple sources, 
such as the services and the department's manpower data center, is in 
the early stages of implementation and validation. When fully 
implemented and validated, the Defense Readiness Reporting System could 
provide the integrated data that sourcing officials need. However, the 
information has not yet been integrated into the sourcing process to 
identify the most appropriate forces to meet current requirements from 
all the services considering their other missions. In its written 
comments on a draft of this report, DOD said that although integrated 
personnel data were not available during the entire 06-08 sourcing 
process, this system could now provide data and analytical support for 
identifying forces for future rotations. DOD said that Joint Forces 
Command and Special Operations Command officials responsible for 
identifying forces should use the system to assist in identifying 
available personnel in the future. Until DOD systematically integrates 
such data into its process for identifying forces, it will continue to 
use an inefficient process and make important decisions about how to 
meet the combatant commander's requirements based on limited 
information. Further, without complete, reliable, and accessible data 
that provide greater visibility over its available forces, DOD will 
lack analytical bases for requesting changes in or exceptions to 
current deployment policies when needed. 

DOD Has Not Conducted a Comprehensive, Data-Driven Analysis of Options 
to Enhance the Availability of Personnel with High-Demand Skills for 
Future Rotations: 

Although DOD found ways to meet the combatant commander's requirements 
for high-demand skills through the 06-08 rotation, it has not 
undertaken a comprehensive analysis of options to support future 
rotations in Iraq and Afghanistan should they continue for a number of 
years. DOD has not undertaken a comprehensive analysis because its 
process for identifying forces was created to meet the specific 
combatant commander's requirements for the next rotation cycle. Our 
previous work has shown that in the face of a changing environment, 
such as that of evolving military operations, valid and reliable data 
on the number of employees required are critical to prevent shortfalls 
that threaten the ability of an organization to efficiently and 
effectively perform its mission.[Footnote 24] However, without a 
comprehensive assessment of the most efficient and effective way to 
prepare for future rotations, including comprehensive analyses of 
various options, DOD will not be able to demonstrate a convincing 
business case for maintaining or changing its strategies, such as 
retraining personnel and seeking volunteers, for meeting a combatant 
commander's requirements. 

The Joint Staff's Limited Analyses of Options for the 07-09 Rotation 
Quantified Shortfalls by Units in Some High-Demand Skills: 

In summer 2005, the Secretary of Defense asked the Director, Joint 
Staff, for a briefing on future force structure challenges for the next 
2 to 3 years, although the Secretary did not specify how the review was 
to be conducted. In response to the Secretary's request, in fall 2005, 
the Joint Staff conducted a study, known as Elaborate Crossbow V, with 
the objectives of predicting shortfalls of skilled personnel for the 07-
09 rotation, recommending options to make personnel available for 
rotations,[Footnote 25] and identifying risks that demonstrated the 
difficulties officials face in identifying forces for future rotations, 
among other objectives. However, the study was limited to units within 
selected high-demand combat support and combat service support skills 
for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the 2005 assessment, Joint 
Staff and DOD officials assumed that the combat commander's 
requirements for support skills for the 07-09 rotation would be the 
same as the requirements for the 06-08 rotation, and they compared 
these requirements to estimates of available units. 

Joint Staff officials were charged with developing models that would 
assess the number of units that could be made available by using 
several options, including requesting a new partial mobilization 
authority and allowing redeployment of reserve personnel with residual 
time under current mobilization authority. Joint Staff officials 
requested detailed information from the Joint Forces Command and 
Special Operations Command on (1) the total inventory of units in the 
force structure, (2) the units' arrival and departure dates from 
theater, (3) the number of days in theater for the last rotation for 
individuals in the units, (4) the amount of time individuals spent at 
home stations, and (5) the remaining time available under the partial 
mobilization authority for reservists. The Joint Staff officials 
planned to use the data in the models to determine if changing the 
underlying assumptions associated with an option would make more units 
available. 

When detailed data were available, Joint Staff officials were able to 
use their models to test how changing policies would affect the 
availability of units; however, detailed data were only available for 
civil affairs units. The fact that an official from the Special 
Operations Command had accurate and specific information on the civil 
affairs specialists' dates of deployments and time remaining under the 
mobilization authority enabled the Joint Staff officials to test how 
changing policies would change the availability of units to meet the 
estimated requirement. For example, the analysis showed that if DOD 
allowed the redeployment of reserve personnel with remaining time under 
partial mobilization authority, more Army reserve civil affairs 
companies would become available. However, according to a Joint Staff 
official who assisted in developing the models, the Joint Staff could 
not conduct a thorough analysis of other units with skills in high 
demand because it did not have key data. While the Joint Staff's 
limited review is a first step, it does not represent systematic 
analyses of options for continuing to support operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan beyond the 06-08 rotation. 

Human Capital Best Practices Rely on Data-Driven Analyses to Guide 
Decision Making: 

Our prior work has shown that valid and reliable data about the number 
of employees an agency requires are critical if the agency is to 
spotlight areas for attention before crises develop, such as human 
capital shortfalls that threaten an agency's ability to economically, 
efficiently, and effectively perform its missions.[Footnote 26] We have 
designated human capital management as a governmentwide high-risk area 
in which acquiring and developing a staff whose size and skills meet 
agency needs is a particular challenge. To meet this challenge, federal 
managers need to direct considerable time, energy, and targeted 
investments toward managing human capital strategically, focusing on 
developing long-term strategies for acquiring, developing, and 
retaining a workforce that is clearly linked to achieving the agency's 
mission and goals. 

The processes that an agency uses to manage its workforce can vary, but 
our prior work has shown that data-driven decision making is one of the 
critical factors in successful strategic workforce management. High- 
performing organizations routinely use current, valid, and reliable 
data to inform decisions about current and future workforce needs, 
including data on the appropriate number of employees, key 
competencies, and skills mix needed for mission accomplishment and 
appropriate deployment of staff across the organizations. In addition, 
high-performing organizations also stay alert to emerging mission 
demands and remain open to reevaluating their human capital practices. 
The change in the Army's missions from combat to counterinsurgency 
operations in Iraq and Afghanistan represented a new environment, which 
provided DOD with the opportunity to reevaluate the mix of personnel 
and skills and its deployment policies to determine whether they are 
consistent with strategic objectives. 

Several Options Exist to Increase the Army's and Other Services' Supply 
of Combat Support and Combat Service Support Skills: 

The United States is in its fifth year of fighting the Global War on 
Terrorism, and the operations associated with the war, particularly in 
Iraq and Afghanistan, may continue. DOD planners are beginning to 
identify forces for the 07-09 rotation. Based on our review of DOD's 
deployment policies and our prior work, we identified several options 
that DOD could assess to increase the supply of high-demand skills to 
support future rotations. Each of the proposed options involves both 
advantages and disadvantages, and some options could be implemented in 
conjunction with others. Moreover, some options might be more 
appropriate for certain skill sets than others. However, without key 
data and analyses, such as the amount of time remaining under the 
partial mobilization authority for each reservist, decision makers will 
have difficulty weighing which option(s) would best achieve DOD's 
overall goals of supplying trained and available forces to meet the 
combatant commander's requirements while considering risks, future 
readiness, and recruiting and retention. Based on its challenges in 
providing personnel with high-demand skills in previous rotations, DOD 
will be faced with difficult choices on how to make personnel in high- 
demand skills available for future rotations. Options that could 
increase the supply of combat support and combat service support skills 
for future rotations include the following: 

* Retraining personnel within the Army and other services in high- 
demand skills. DOD could consider requiring the Army to reassign and 
retrain more of its personnel as well as relying on the Air Force, the 
Navy, and the Marine Corps to reassign and retrain available personnel 
for high-demand Army skills. As discussed previously, the Joint Forces 
Command has identified significant numbers of Army and other service 
personnel that the Army could retrain for some high-demand skills. As 
of February 2006, the Joint Staff estimated that over 200,000 
reservists from all the services' reserve components could be 
potentially available for deployment under current policies and might 
be retrained for high-demand skills, and the services are attempting to 
verify the actual availability of reservists. However it is unclear how 
many reservists can be reassigned and retrained to meet Army 
requirements for skills and rank. OSD officials said the department 
would consider waiving deployment policies for targeted high-demand 
skill personnel only when the services can provide a strong business 
case for the waiver. Instead, the department intends to rely on 
retraining personnel and seeking volunteers to meet future 
requirements. Joint Staff officials are currently seeking from the 
services more detailed data on potentially available personnel, such as 
their skills and whether they can be assigned and trained for 
deployment. A key advantage of this option is that Air Force, Navy, and 
Marine Corps personnel who have not deployed already have some military 
skills and experience, such as an understanding of the roles and 
responsibilities of their senior leaders and knowledge of military 
roles and missions that could be useful in supporting ongoing 
operations. In some cases, experienced personnel from the other 
services may have specialized skills that are similar to the Army 
skills in high demand; therefore, they would need less training than 
newly recruited Army personnel. A disadvantage to this option would be 
that the other service personnel would not be available to perform 
missions in their respective services. Further, members of the Air 
Force, Navy, and Marine Corps could potentially miss training and other 
opportunities to enhance their careers in their parent services. 
Moreover, recruiting and retention could be hindered because potential 
recruits or experienced personnel may not want to retrain for missions 
and skills other than those they originally planned to perform. 

* Adjusting force structure through increasing the number of Army 
positions in combat support and combat service support by further 
transferring positions from low-demand skills to high-demand areas. 
Another option focuses on shifting positions in low-demand skills to 
high-demand skills, either temporarily or permanently. The Army plans 
to transfer some low-demand positions to high-demand skills, such as 
military police. In addition, DOD plans to expand psychological 
operations and civil affairs units by 3,700 personnel as a result of 
Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, according to 
the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report. However, according to a 
senior Army official, the Army is facing challenges in meeting its 
current planned time frames for reassigning positions because providing 
forces to meet the rotational requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan has 
created delays in planned transfers of skills and modular force 
transformations may require permanent changes in the numbers and types 
of skills needed. The advantage of creating more units with high-demand 
skills is that continuing operational requirements could be met with 
more available, trained personnel. Further, if more units with the 
combat support and combat service support skills that are in high 
demand were in the active component, DOD would not face the 
restrictions that apply to reserve personnel. A major disadvantage to 
using this option is that the Army could encounter further delays in 
providing personnel with high-demand skills because, according to some 
service officials, limitations in the availability of training 
facilities, courses, and instructors may reduce the numbers of 
personnel who can be retrained in the short term.[Footnote 27] Many of 
the Army's skills in high demand reside primarily in the Army's reserve 
component. Therefore, if DOD's deployment policies remain unchanged, 
the Army will continue to face limitations on its use of reservists. 

* Changing the number of days that active duty and reserve Army 
personnel may be in theater for a deployment. OSD could consider 
changing the duration of deployment for Army reservists or active duty 
personnel in theater, known as "boots-on-the-ground," from the current 
12 months. Current departmental guidance states that Army personnel can 
serve no more than 12 months within the U.S. Central Command's theater 
of operations, not including the time spent in mobilization and 
demobilization activities.[Footnote 28] However, because mobilization 
and demobilization activities require about 3 months prior to 
deployment and 3 months after deployment, reservists deployed to Iraq 
or Afghanistan typically serve about 18 months on active duty. Under 
DOD's policy, the Army may use reserve members for a total of 24 
cumulative months. Therefore, by the time reservists are deactivated 
after 18 months of mobilization, they have only 6 months of deployment 
eligibility remaining under DOD's policy--not enough to remobilize and 
redeploy for another yearlong overseas assignment. If the amount of 
"boots-on-the-ground" time was lengthened, from the current 12 months 
to 18 months, the Army could more fully use reserve personnel under the 
partial mobilization authority. A key advantage of this option would be 
that a longer deployment period would permit forces to be in theater 
longer and provide more force stability and continuity, but individuals 
could be adversely affected by longer tours of duty. In addition, a 
slower rotational pace would provide force planners, such as the Army 
Forces Command, more time to identify available personnel and decide 
which personnel will best meet requirements for the next rotation. 
However, lengthening "boots-on-the-ground" time could have negative 
consequences for individuals. If reservists were away from their 
civilian careers and families for longer time frames, individual morale 
could erode, and DOD could face challenges in recruiting and retaining 
skilled personnel. 

Alternatively, the Army could shorten the "boots-on-the-ground" time 
and involuntarily activate reservists to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan 
more than once. If deployments were shortened, Army reservists would 
not be separated from their civilian careers for long periods, and 
recruiting and retention challenges could lessen. However, a major 
disadvantage to shortening the Army's deployment lengths to, for 
example, 6 months is that the Army would have to mobilize and 
demobilize more personnel in a given period. According to Army and Army 
Forces Command officials, if reservists' deployments were shortened 
without change to the "one deployment only" policy, the Army would face 
critical personnel shortages in many skill areas. Any shortages of 
available reserve personnel would likely have to be filled with active 
duty personnel, increasing stress on the active force. Further, less 
time at home for active forces could disrupt training and lower 
readiness for future missions. 

* Allowing redeployment of reserve personnel with time remaining under 
DOD's 24 cumulative month deployment policy. DOD's policy is that 
personnel should not be deployed for more than 24 cumulative months 
under the partial mobilization authority or involuntarily deployed 
overseas a second time, irrespective of the number of months served. 
However, if OSD allowed the redeployment of reserve personnel the 
services could more fully use reservists' 24 months of involuntary 
active duty. The major advantage to this option is that the Army would 
have access to reservists trained in high-demand skills. Further, 
changing the redeployment policy could enable the Army to decrease its 
reliance on retraining its personnel or other service personnel to meet 
the combatant commander's requirements. If the Army collected detailed 
data about the number of days a reservist served in theater and the 
remaining time available under the partial mobilization authority, it 
could compile a comprehensive list of reservists who could possibly 
deploy again and identify the time frames that they would be available. 
However, as discussed in the previous sections of the report, DOD and 
the Army do not have detailed data about personnel across the services 
readily available. A major disadvantage of this option would be that 
DOD would involuntarily activate large numbers of reserve personnel for 
multiple deployments. Multiple deployments could disrupt a reservist's 
civilian career and decrease his or her willingness to remain in the 
military. Another disadvantage of redeploying reservists would be that 
some reservists could be deployed more than once in 6 years, which 
differs from the Army's plan under its force rotation model.[Footnote 
29] The Army's force rotation planning model is designed to provide 
reservists more predictability in deployment eligibility. 

* Increasing the Army's active duty end strength. Congress authorizes 
annually the number of personnel that each service may have at the end 
of a given fiscal year. This number is known as authorized end 
strength. In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2006,[Footnote 30] Congress increased the fiscal year 2006 end strength 
of the Army by 10,000--from 502,400 to 512,400. Congress also 
authorized additional authority for increases of up to 20,000 active 
Army personnel for fiscal years 2007 through 2009 to support ongoing 
missions and to achieve transformation. However, current Army plans 
project a decrease in personnel to 482,400 active duty forces by fiscal 
year 2011. The primary advantage of increasing the Army's end strength 
and funding associated positions would be that the Army could provide 
more active duty personnel to meet operational requirements for Iraq 
and Afghanistan, to accommodate the requirements for the modular force, 
and to help meet the Army's rotational force planning goal of having 
active personnel deployed for no more than 1 out of every 3 years. 
Budgetary concerns could be a major drawback to this option. Decision 
makers would have to weigh the increased cost of permanently increasing 
the Army's end strength. According to Army personnel and budget 
officials, in fiscal year 2005, the estimated cost to compensate, 
retain, and train each Army servicemember was over $100,000 annually. 
Further, recruiting personnel to meet the higher end strength levels 
may be difficult because of the uncertainty of how long operations in 
Iraq and Afghanistan may continue and whether new recruits could be 
targeted to high-demand skills. Additionally, the Army would require 
time to organize, train, and equip additional units to be ready to 
deploy for overseas operations. 

* Using more personnel from the Individual Ready Reserve. Members of 
the Army's Individual Ready Reserve, which is composed of about 112,700 
members, include individuals who were previously trained during periods 
of active service but who have not completed their service obligations, 
individuals who have completed their service obligations and 
voluntarily retain their reserve status, and personnel who have not 
completed basic training. Most of these members are not assigned to an 
organized unit, do not attend weekend or annual training, and do not 
receive pay unless they are called to active duty. Members assigned to 
the Individual Ready Reserve are subject to recall, if needed, and 
serve a maximum of 24 months.[Footnote 31] As of September 2005, of the 
total Army Individual Ready Reserve population of 112,700, about 5,200 
personnel had been mobilized. An advantage of this option is that it 
could provide the Army with access to personnel who already have some 
military experience. These reservists could be retrained in their 
active duty skills or retrained in different skills. A significant 
drawback to this option would be the time needed to identify, locate, 
and contact members of the Individual Ready Reserve because, as we have 
reported previously, the services lack vital contact 
information.[Footnote 32] Further, based on the Army's recent 
experience when these reservists were recalled, exemptions and delays 
were encountered that could limit the services' ability to use these 
personnel in significant numbers. 

Identifying forces for future rotations is likely to become more 
difficult for DOD without comprehensive analyses of options for meeting 
potential future requirements. Without complete and accurate data that 
link deployment information and skill areas for military personnel to 
assist in developing and assessing the options, the department will 
continue to have limited information with which to make decisions about 
how to fill the combatant commander's requirements. Further, without a 
systematic evaluation of options, the current difficulties in providing 
personnel with the needed skills could worsen and requirements could go 
unfilled. As the Joint Staff's limited analyses of options showed, 
having complete and accurate data enables planners to clearly identify 
how alternative options would affect their ability to efficiently 
identify forces. Additionally, without linking data to options, the 
services may have difficultly deploying all reservists at least once 
before other reservists are required to deploy for a second time, which 
is a key goal of officials in OSD. If DOD had data-driven analyses of 
options to increase available skilled personnel, DOD leaders would have 
a better basis for considering policy changes and congressional 
decision makers would have more complete information with which to 
carry out their oversight responsibilities with regard to the size and 
composition of the force, mobilization policies, and other issues. 

Conclusions: 

Although DOD has accommodated the continuing high demands for combat 
support and combat service support skills, primarily through retraining 
and reassigning personnel, the pool of available, trained, and 
deployable reservists is diminishing rapidly and could leave the 
department with significant challenges to identifying personnel for 
future rotations. Until DOD's planners and senior decision makers 
integrate in the sourcing process comprehensive, reliable data that 
link personnel by skills and deployment histories, they will have to 
continue to use an inefficient and time-consuming process to determine 
which personnel to deploy. Moreover, DOD will be limited in its ability 
to assess whether it can meet future requirements and to consider a 
range of alternatives for meeting requirements for skills that are in 
high demand. If DOD had better visibility over the personnel who are 
available to deploy and their skills, officials could reduce the amount 
of time they spend in identifying personnel for rotations, provide 
assurance that personnel identified are appropriately matched 
considering both the requirements and future readiness, and better 
manage the risks associated with moving personnel from other skills and 
missions to support future operations. 

In addition, without an integrated assessment that uses data to examine 
alternative courses of action, DOD planners and senior leaders will not 
be well positioned to make informed decisions on how to meet the 
requirements of future rotations, particularly if rotations continue at 
roughly the same level for the next few years. To meet requirements for 
future rotations, the department intends to continue its strategy of 
reassigning any eligible personnel the services can identify until all 
reservists from all services have been deployed at least once. However, 
there are additional options that DOD could consider that might 
increase the supply of personnel for high-demand skills for future 
rotations, although each option could have negative effects as well as 
positive ones. Data-driven analysis of options could help DOD senior 
leaders make difficult decisions to balance the advantages and 
disadvantages for each option and to apply the best-suited option to 
meet the varying requirements for the range of high-demand skills. 
Until DOD comprehensively assesses these options using detailed data 
linked to individual skills and deployment histories, DOD officials 
cannot weigh what options would be most advantageous to the combatant 
commander and whether potential negative effects on readiness for 
future operations would be minimized. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To facilitate DOD's decision making to meet the demands associated with 
the Global War on Terrorism and to increase the availability of skilled 
personnel, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the 
following two actions: 

* Integrate comprehensive data that identify active and reserve 
personnel according to deployment history and skill set, including 
personnel who are available to deploy, with DOD's sourcing process 
before identifying combat support and combat service support personnel 
for the next rotation to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

* Conduct comprehensive, data-driven analyses of options for meeting 
potential requirements for future missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Such analyses should include an assessment of options, such as using 
more personnel with support skills from the Army and other services; 
transferring more positions to high-demand areas; changing deployment 
lengths; and increasing Army end strength, which would increase the 
availability of personnel in high-demand skills. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

The Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Readiness) provided written 
comments on a draft of the classified version of this unclassified 
report. The department agreed with our recommendations and cited 
actions it is taking to implement them. The department's comments are 
reprinted in appendix II. In addition, the department provided 
technical comments, which we incorporated as appropriate. In its 
comments, DOD expressed concerns that our report (1) does not fully 
reflect the complicated task of providing forces for dynamic 
operational requirements and (2) subtly suggests that DOD's flexibility 
in meeting operational requirements is a sign of failed force 
management practices. It also stated that its use of the total force, 
not just the Army, enabled it to meet all combatant commanders' 
requirements to date. In addition, the department stated that our 
recommendations should more explicitly recognize and support the use of 
the newly developed Defense Readiness Reporting System. It stated that 
the total force visibility our recommendations call for exists in that 
system and that the Joint Forces Command and the Special Operations 
Command should use the detailed, individual-level information in that 
system to support their sourcing processes. 

We agree that the process developed to identify forces is very complex. 
Our report described the process for identifying forces for Army combat 
support and combat service support requirements. Moreover, our report 
discussed how DOD has met the demands and how officials used multiple 
strategies and relied on the total force to meet requirements for high- 
demand skills. The report does not make a judgment about the 
appropriateness of the outcomes of the sourcing process. Rather, the 
report demonstrates that the lack of data complicated the force 
identification process, and that force planners did not have visibility 
over detailed information on personnel or how current sourcing 
decisions would affect the readiness of the force. However, we have 
modified our report to reflect that DOD's effort to integrate personnel 
deployment and skill data and readiness information in the new Defense 
Readiness Reporting System represents a positive step toward providing 
the visibility over personnel and deployment histories that would be 
useful to force planners. Although this system has not yet been used to 
support the sourcing process, when it reaches full operational 
capability at the end of fiscal year 2007 and DOD has completed data 
validation, it could be a means to provide visibility over detailed 
information on personnel to improve the sourcing process, thereby 
fulfilling our recommendation. We have not modified our recommendation 
to require that DOD use the Defense Readiness Reporting System in its 
sourcing process because it is still in development. 

With respect to our second recommendation that DOD conduct 
comprehensive, data-driven analyses of options for meeting continuing 
operational requirements, DOD agreed that all options should be 
considered and said it is conducting a variety of data-driven analyses 
to develop clearer options aimed at better positioning forces to meet 
current and future operational requirements. We believe that the 
department's approach will satisfy the intent of our recommendation if 
the department bases its assessments on data that provide decision 
makers complete information on the options and related risks. 

We are sending copies to other appropriate congressional committees and 
the Secretary of Defense. We will also make copies available to other 
interested parties upon request. In addition, the report is available 
at no charge on the GAO Web site at [Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you have any questions about this report, please contact me at (202) 
512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. Major contributors to this report are listed in 
appendix III. 

Signed by: 

Janet A. St. Laurent: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To assess the combat support and combat service support skills that are 
in high demand for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we collected 
U.S. Joint Forces Command and U.S. Special Operations Command data 
showing how U.S. Central Command's requirements were met for two 
rotations--calendar years 05-07 and calendar years 06-08. Using the 
data, we compared the number of requirements from U.S. Central Command 
to the number of requirements that the Army could meet and determined 
whether and to what extent combat support and combat service support 
skills initially experienced shortages for the 05-07 and 06-08 
rotations. To identify what strategies the Department of Defense (DOD) 
took to identify forces in cases where demand exceeded the initial 
supply, we examined the decisions made by officials at the U.S. Joint 
Forces Command and the U.S. Special Operations Command as documented in 
their data. We also compared the U.S. Central Command's documents, 
which identified the specific capabilities and deployment time frames, 
to the U.S. Joint Forces Command and U.S. Special Operations Command 
data to identify specific instances where the Army reassigned and 
retrained its personnel or where personnel from the other services were 
reassigned and retrained to perform Army requirements. We also reviewed 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff's analyses of the U.S. Central Command's 
requirement and the actions taken by DOD to meet the requirements for 
the 04-06, 05-07, and 06-08 rotations. Since the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command did not have complete data on how the department identified 
forces for the 04-06 rotation, we attributed the 04-06 sourcing results 
to the Joint Staff. We met with an official in the Joint Staff 
Directorate for Operations to discuss our analysis comparing the 
combatant commander's requirements for the 05-07 rotation to DOD's 05- 
07 sourcing decisions to ensure our methodology was comparable to the 
Joint Staff official's analysis. We also discussed our methodology of 
analyzing the U.S. Joint Forces Command's data for the 05-07 and 06-08 
rotations with officials in the command's Joint Deployment Operations 
Division. To assess the reliability of the 05-07 and 06-08 rotation 
data, we reviewed existing information about the data and the systems 
that produced them, interviewed officials knowledgeable about the data, 
and performed limited electronic testing. When we found missing 
information or discrepancies in the key data elements, we discussed the 
reasons for the missing information and data discrepancies with 
officials in the Joint Deployment Operations Division, U.S. Joint 
Forces Command. We determined that the 05-07 and 06-08 rotation data 
were sufficiently reliable for our purposes. 

In addition, to assess the extent to which DOD has visibility over what 
forces remain available to meet future requirements, we collected and 
examined the Joint Staff, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and Department of 
the Army briefings that document the decisions reached to identify the 
combat support and combat service support forces identified for the 05- 
07 and 06-08 rotations and held discussions with officials responsible 
for identifying forces at DOD organizations. We also examined DOD 
documents that contained information on deployment policies and the 
partial mobilization authority to understand how they affect the 
availability of active military personnel and reservists for future 
deployments. We discussed the implications of DOD's deployment policies 
and the status of identifying forces for rotations by obtaining 
testimonial evidence from officials responsible for managing these 
efforts at DOD organizations, including, but not limited to, the Office 
of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness 
(Readiness, Programming and Assessment), the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
Directorate for Operations, the U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint 
Deployment Operations Division, the U.S. Special Operations Command 
Operations Support Group, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command 
Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, the U.S. Army's Office of the Deputy 
Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, and the U.S. Army Forces 
Command Plans Division. Because it did not fall within the scope of our 
review, we did not assess how the forces were trained or will be 
trained and equipped or the effects on recruitment and retention as a 
result of continuing operational needs. We also observed the Department 
of the Army's conference in April 2005 and the U.S. Joint Forces 
Command/Joint Chiefs of Staff conference in August 2005 to understand 
the process used by department officials to identify combat support and 
combat service support for the 06-08 rotation. As part of this effort, 
we observed working group meetings that were organized by combat 
support and combat service support skills to understand how department 
officials discussed and developed approaches to meet the combatant 
commander's requirements. At these conferences, we held discussions 
with officials to fully understand the challenges they face with using 
the available data to identify personnel. 

To determine what percentage of combat support and combat service 
support skills reside in the Army's active and reserve components, we 
collected skill set data from the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of 
Staff for Operations and calculated the percentage of positions 
assigned to several support skills for each of the Army's components in 
fiscal years 2005 and 2011. In addition, we analyzed transcripts of 
public briefings and congressional testimony presented by DOD 
officials. To assess the reliability of the fiscal year 2005 and the 
projected fiscal year 2011 data on the composition of the Army's active 
and reserve components by skills, we reviewed existing information 
about the data and the systems that produced them, interviewed 
officials knowledgeable about the data, and compared our analysis to 
the Army's published analysis. We determined that the Army's data were 
sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our objectives. 

To assess the extent to which DOD has conducted a comprehensive, data- 
driven analysis of its alternatives to continue meeting requirements 
for high-demand forces, we met with officials in the Office of the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (Readiness, 
Programming and Assessment), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Army's 
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, and the 
U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint Deployment Operations Division to 
determine whether the department had plans to conduct assessments. We 
held further discussions with officials in the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
Directorate for Force Assessment to gain an understanding of the 
departmentwide study led by the Joint Staff. Further, we examined the 
Joint Staff's briefing documents to increase our understanding of the 
process used to conduct the study, the data and assumptions used during 
the study, and the results of the study. We discussed the status and 
implications of the study with officials who participated in the Joint 
Staff-led study, including the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel 
and Readiness (Readiness, Programming and Assessment) and officials 
from the U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint Deployment Operations 
Division. 

To identify other options that DOD should consider to increase the 
availability of personnel with high-demand skills, we examined DOD 
documents containing information on deployment policies and the partial 
mobilization authority, held discussions with knowledgeable officials 
about mobilization authority and deployment rules, reviewed recently 
issued reports from think tanks related to providing forces for 
rotations, and reviewed our prior audit work related to end strength 
and initiatives to make more efficient use of military personnel. We 
identified criteria for examining force levels through our reports on 
strategic human capital management. Further, we reviewed our prior 
audit work related to recruiting and retention to enhance our 
understanding of the factors that affect the military services' ability 
to attract and retain personnel. Our work was conducted in the 
Washington, D.C., metropolitan area; Norfolk, Virginia; Atlanta, 
Georgia; and Tampa, Florida. We performed our work from February 2005 
through June 2006 in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense: 
4000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, D.C. 20301-4000: 

Ms. Janet A. St. Laurent: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U. S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street: 
Washington, D C 20548: 

Dear Ms. St. Laurent: 

This is the Department of Defense response to the Government 
Accountability Office draft report, "Force Structure: DOD Needs to 
Identify Available Forces and Examine Options to Meet Operational 
Requirements for High-Demand Support Skills," GAO-06-552C/GAO Code 
350638. 

We have reviewed the report and are concerned that it does not reflect 
the Department's structures, policies, analyses and plans to balance 
competing consideration in deploying the total force to meet Combatant 
Commander (COCOM) requirements (at both the individual and unit level, 
in both the near and long-term). Through these efforts, the Department 
has met all COCOM requirements for forces to date. 

Due to the dynamic operational conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
Central Command's demand for forces has consistently exceeded their 
initial projections for each rotation cycle. This uncertainty made 
force planning in each of the Services difficult as they try to 
anticipate both the magnitude and duration of specific skill demands. 
As a result, Joint Forces Command-the DoD agent charged with filling 
COCOM force requirements---used a variety of strategies such as 
reassigning and retraining personnel to new skill areas (both within 
the Army and across Service lines) capitalizing on joint solutions in 
like-skill areas. In every case, these forces have deployed only after 
having been fully certified as prepared for their theater missions and 
have performed admirably. 

The report focuses exclusively on the Army and subtly suggests that our 
demonstrated flexibility in meeting uncertain operational requirements 
is a sign of failed force management practices. We strongly disagree 
with this perception. DoD manages and sources its forces globally, not 
through an isolated focus on any individual Service. The agility 
afforded by these flexible practices demonstrates that DoD is able to 
respond to emergent and dynamic operational requirements. We see this 
agility as a success, not a failure. 

We agree with the report's conclusion that effective force management 
must include detailed data and analyses at the individual level. 
Recognizing the need for global force visibility, the Secretary of 
Defense signed out a memo in 2004 directing DoD to "...develop the 
Defense Readiness Reporting System to support Global Force Management 
commitment, availability, readiness, deployment and redeployment data 
requirements".[Footnote 33] The data and analytic support referenced in 
the recommendations are an emerging capability within the Defense 
Readiness Reporting System (DRRS). 

We concur with the report's recommendations, however they need to be 
more explicit if they are to achieve the effective sourcing outcomes 
that the report intends. First, the recommendations should recognize 
and support that the DRRS is the DoD's single readiness reporting/ 
Global Force Visibility tool. The data visibility called for in the 
report is an existing feature of the system and should not be 
wastefully replicated through the creation or adaptation of competing 
systems. Second, JFCOM and SOCOM must use the detailed, individual- 
level information in DRRS to support their sourcing functions. 

Signed by: 

Paul W. Mayberry: 
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Readiness: 

Attachment(s): Technical edits to "Force Structure: DoD Needs to 
Identify Available Forces and Examine Options to Meet Operational 
Requirements for High Demand Support Skills," GAO-06-552C CODE 350638.  

GAO Draft-Dated April 4, 2006 GAO-06-552C/GAO CODE 350638: 

"Force Structure: DOD Needs to Identify Available Forces and Examine 
Options to Meet Operational Requirements for High-Demand Support 
Skills" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
integrate comprehensive data that identify active and reserve personnel 
according to skill set and deployment history, including personnel who 
are available to deploy with DoD's sourcing process before identifying 
combat support and combat service support personnel for the next 
rotation to Iraq and Afghanistan. 

DoD Response: Concur. We agree that the information outlined above is 
vital to identifying appropriate forces and, in fact, the DoD is 
actively creating the comprehensive, individual-level database called 
for in the recommendation. The Department currently collects data that 
address the concerns identified in this study. The Defense Readiness 
Reporting System (DRRS) centralizes these data and provides consistent, 
enterprise views for use in force sourcing. These data cover the broad 
areas of personnel, equipment, ordnance, training, and location data. 
Specific personnel information includes individual deployment 
information, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), languages, unit 
assignments and deployments. The DRRS Implementation Office has been 
working with force providers (United States Joint Forces Command and 
United States Special Operations Command) to develop tools to support 
the analytic requirements of contingency sourcing. 

While DRRS does contain usable information and functionality right now, 
it is in the early phases of implementation and data validation. The 
data called for in the report were not available through DRRS through 
the entire 06-08 sourcing process chronicled in the report. However, 
current functionality can support ongoing sourcing analyses and must be 
integrated into the sourcing processes of Joint Forces Command and 
Special Operations Command. 

Recommendation 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
conduct comprehensive, data driven analyses of options for meeting 
potential requirements for future missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Such analyses should include an assessment of options, such as using 
more personnel with support skills from the Army and other services, 
transferring more positions to high-demand areas, changing deployment 
lengths, and increasing Army end strength, that would increase the 
availability of personnel in high-demand skills. 

DoD Response:, Concur. The DoD is currently conducting a variety of 
empirical, data-driven analyses aimed at better positioning our forces 
for current and future operational requirements. The analyses serve to 
highlight current status and clearer options for meeting operational 
requirements. We agree that all mitigation options should be 
considered. 

The following are GAO's comments on DOD's letter. 

GAO Comments: 

1. An objective of the report was to identify high-demand skills, and 
as part of that assessment, we observed and reviewed DOD's force 
identification process to meet operational requirements for Iraq and 
Afghanistan, including DOD's current policies and plans. The report 
describes in detail the structures developed to identify forces and 
identifies and assesses major analytical tools used during the process. 
Our report also acknowledges that the department met the combatant 
commander's requirements for the 04-06, 05-07, and 06-08 rotations. 
However, we believe that the force identification process could become 
more efficient if DOD officials charged with identifying forces relied 
on comprehensive data to inform decision making. 

2. We agree with the department that dynamic operational conditions in 
Iraq and Afghanistan have made it more difficult for the department to 
anticipate the number of forces and the specific skills needed in the 
future, and we have added text on pages 1 and 8 to more fully reflect 
this challenge. 

DOD stated that as a result of the dynamic operational conditions, the 
Joint Forces Command--the DOD agent charged with filling combatant 
commanders' force requirements--used a variety of strategies, such as 
reassigning and retraining personnel to new skill areas (both within 
the Army and across service lines), capitalizing on joint solutions in 
like skill areas. According to DOD's comments, in every case, these 
forces have deployed only after having been fully certified as prepared 
for their theater missions and have performed admirably. Our report 
extensively described the process for identifying forces for Army 
combat support and combat service support requirements and illustrated 
in detail how DOD officials used multiple strategies to meet 
requirements for high-demand skills. Assessing the appropriateness of 
sourcing outcomes and how the forces were trained were outside the 
scope of this review. 

3. Our review focused on the Army because of the high-demand skills 
that were found predominantly in the Army, such as military police and 
civil affairs. We disagree that our report implies that DOD's 
flexibility in meeting uncertain operational requirements is a sign of 
failed force management. We point out, however, that as rotations to 
Iraq and Afghanistan have continued to require large numbers of ground 
forces, data demonstrate that the number of available, trained Army 
personnel has declined. According to DOD officials, strategies to meet 
combatant commander requirements, such as reassigning and retraining 
personnel, present their own challenges, such as costs for new 
training. Further, while our draft report recognizes the overall Global 
Force Management process, it focuses on the part of that process that 
identifies deployable personnel and develops strategies to meet the 
combatant commander's force requirements using available personnel. 

4. We believe that the Defense Readiness Reporting System could be a 
mechanism to provide force planners the visibility they need when it is 
fully operational. We have updated our report to reflect the status of 
the system; however, we did not assess the data reliability of that 
system. 

5. We do not make a recommendation as to what system DOD could use to 
supply force planners with the data they need for visibility over 
personnel skills and deployment histories. If the department decides to 
use the Defense Readiness Reporting System, it should be integrated 
into the force identification process. 

6. See the Agency Comments and Our Evaluation section. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Janet St. Laurent (202) 512-4402 or stlaurentj@gao.gov: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Margaret Morgan, Assistant 
Director; Deborah Colantonio; Susan Ditto; Nicole Harms; Whitney 
Havens; Catherine Humphries; James Lawson; David Marroni; Kevin 
O'Neill; Masha Pastuhov-Pastein; Jason Porter; and Rebecca Shea made 
major contributions to this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] The reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces are the Army 
National Guard of the United States, the Army Reserve, the Naval 
Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Air National Guard of the United 
States, the Air Force Reserve, and the Coast Guard Reserve. 

[2] Combat support skills, such as military intelligence, provide 
operational assistance for combat forces. Combat service support skills 
encompass those activities that sustain all operating forces on the 
battlefield, such as transportation. 

[3] Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review Report 
(Washington, D.C.: Feb. 6, 2006). 

[4] Mobilization is the process of assembling and organizing personnel 
and equipment, activating or federalizing units and members of the 
National Guard and reserves for active duty, and bringing the armed 
forces to a state of readiness for war or other national emergency. 
Demobilization is the process necessary to release from active duty 
units and members of the National Guard and reserves who were ordered 
to active duty under various legislative authorities. 

[5] GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Actions Needed to Improve the 
Efficiency of Mobilizations for Reserve Forces, GAO-03-921 (Washington, 
D.C.: Aug. 21, 2003), and Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Address Long-
term Reserve Force Availability and Related Mobilization and 
Demobilization Issues, GAO-04-1031 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 15, 2004). 

[6] GAO, Reserve Forces: An Integrated Plan Is Needed to Address Army 
Reserve Personnel and Equipment Shortages, GAO-05-660 (Washington, 
D.C.: July 12, 2005). 

[7] GAO, Military Personnel: Top Management Attention Is Needed to 
Address Long-standing Problems with Determining Medical and Physical 
Fitness of the Reserve Force, GAO-06-105 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 27, 
2005). 

[8] GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Conduct a Data-Driven 
Analysis of Active Military Personnel Levels Required to Implement the 
Defense Strategy, GAO-05-200 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 1, 2005). 

[9] GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Needs Action Plan to Address Enlisted 
Personnel Recruitment and Retention Challenges, GAO-06-134 (Washington, 
D.C.: Nov. 17, 2005). 

[10] H.R. Rep. No. 108-491 at 305. 

[11] Pub. L. No. 108-375 (2004). 

[12] GAO, A Model of Strategic Human Capital Management, GAO-02-373SP 
(Washington, D.C.: Mar. 15, 2002). 

[13] Executive Order 13223, September 14, 2001. 

[14] Active duty personnel are not restricted by mobilization 
authority, but DOD's policy is to allow active duty personnel to remain 
at home for at least as long as they were deployed to overseas 
operations. Because the deployment time to Iraq or Afghanistan is 12 
months, the Army's goal is to allow individuals or units 1 year at 
their home stations before they deploy again. 

[15] The U.S. Joint Forces Command was assigned the responsibility for 
identifying conventional forces in 2003. Prior to that time, the Joint 
Staff performed this activity. 

[16] There are currently nine combatant commands: U.S. European 
Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Pacific 
Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Special 
Operations Command, U.S. Transportation Command, and U.S. Strategic 
Command. 

[17] The U.S. Joint Forces Command does not provide forces for the U.S. 
Strategic Command and the U.S. Transportation Command. These commands 
identify forces for combatant commanders. 

[18] This report is an unclassified version of a classified report. The 
classified report contains additional details comparing operational 
requirements to the Army's supply of trained personnel available to 
deploy and examining DOD's strategies to meet the requirements for 
skilled forces. 

[19] The Army's goal is to provide active duty personnel at least as 
much time at home as time deployed. 

[20] In addition, personnel from other federal agencies have filled 
requirements for some skills. 

[21] This process is part of DOD's overall Global Force Management 
process. 

[22] To identify forces to meet civil affairs and psychological 
operations requirements, the Special Operations Command conducts a 
series of meetings separately from the Joint Forces Command process. 
However, for the 06-08 rotation, Special Operations Command officials 
also participated in the Joint Forces Command process because 
requirements for civil affairs and psychological operations exceeded 
the number of available, trained personnel. 

[23] The Defense Readiness Reporting System is designed to provide data 
for managing the global force and assessing readiness for mission 
performance. According to current plans, the system will be fully 
operational in September 2007. We did not assess the capability or data 
reliability of this system. 

[24] GAO-02-373SP. 

[25] The study did not specifically identify units or personnel to meet 
the requirements. 

[26] GAO-02-373SP. 

[27] We did not assess the training requirements and associated costs 
of this option. 

[28] According to a July 30, 2004, OSD memo, "Force Deployment Rules 
for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom," Marine Corps units 
organized below the regimental/group level deploy for 7 months and 
Marine Corps regimental/group headquarters deploy for 12 months. The 
Marine Corps volunteers its forces as a surge capability if the on- 
ground situation requires more forces. Air Force personnel deploy 120 
days in a 20-month cycle, and some Air Force personnel will deploy 
longer than a 120 days, more than once in a 20-month cycle, or both. 
Navy personnel deploy for 6 months. 

[29] The Army has proposed a rotational model for its forces similar to 
those of the other services with the goal of assuring reservists more 
predictable deployments of no more than once in 6 years. See Department 
of the Army, Army Strategic Planning Guidance (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 
14, 2005). However, as we have reported, when it will be fully 
implemented is not clear. See GAO-05-660. 

[30] Pub. L. No. 109-163 at 401 (2006). 

[31] Individual Ready Reserve personnel who have served on active duty 
up to 24 months, under 10 U.S.C. 12302, may be retained on active duty 
under 10 U.S.C. 12301(d), with their consent. 

[32] GAO, Military Personnel: DOD Actions Needed to Improve the 
Efficiency of Mobilizations for Reserve Forces, GAO-03-921 (Washington, 
D.C.: Aug. 21, 2003). 

[33] SECDEF Memorandum, Subj. "Primary Joint Force Provider'", 25 June 
2004:

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of 
Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional 
responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability 
of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use 
of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides 
analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make 
informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to 
good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through the Internet. GAO's Web site ( www.gao.gov ) contains 
abstracts and full-text files of current reports and testimony and an 
expanding archive of older products. The Web site features a search 
engine to help you locate documents using key words and phrases. You 
can print these documents in their entirety, including charts and other 
graphics. 

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as "Today's Reports," on its 
Web site daily. The list contains links to the full-text document 
files. To have GAO e-mail this list to you every afternoon, go to 
www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to e-mail alerts" under the "Order 
GAO Products" heading. 

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 

441 G Street NW, Room LM 

Washington, D.C. 20548: 

To order by Phone: 

Voice: (202) 512-6000: 

TDD: (202) 512-2537: 

Fax: (202) 512-6061: 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm 

E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov 

Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Public Affairs: 

Jeff Nelligan, managing director, 

NelliganJ@gao.gov 

(202) 512-4800 

U.S. Government Accountability Office, 

441 G Street NW, Room 7149 

Washington, D.C. 20548: