Reserve Officer Training Corps:

Management Deficiencies Still to Be Corrected

FPCD-77-15: Published: Mar 15, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1977.


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Except for reversing a decline in enrollments and eliminating duplicate physical examinations, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not corrected many Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) management problems discussed by GAO in a 1973 report. GAO interviewed program managers in headquarters, DOD, the services, and the commands responsible for implementing the program which developed out of the 1973 report.

The services continue to retain ROTC units which are considered "unproductive" (having too few students in relation to cost) and vague and subjective considerations are still used to avoid closing such units. All three services use enlisted personnel to provide ROTC support which could be performed by civilians at reduced cost. Lacking a uniform cost reporting system, the services continue to report ROTC costs by using inconsistent data which cannot be used for effective management. The services have finally agreed on a legislative proposal to recover educational expenses from the thousands on ROTC scholarships who drop out of the program without incurring any active duty obligation.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) direct the services to deactivate all units not meeting prescribed minimum production requirements unless an exception has been approved revise DOD instructions to clearly identify substantive reasons for exceptions, require DOD approval of any such exception, and prescribe consistent procedures for deactivating units which do not meet prescribed criteria; (2) develop a practical and realistic staffing guide to be used by all the services; (3) direct the services to identify and convert military support positions which can be filled by civilians; and (4) develop and implement a uniform cost reporting system. Congress should enact legislation which permits the services to require reimbursement for education and training costs as an alternative to active duty.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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