The Army Can Improve Peacetime Use of Deployable Enlisted Personnel

FPCD-78-66: Published: Sep 7, 1978. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 1978.

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Although its combat mission has priority, the Army's peacetime role and demands on personnel are important. Army headquarters has not officially recognized its peacetime needs and incorporated them into its personnel management policies and instructions. A study was conducted to determine whether deployable Army enlisted military personnel were or could be used effectively and productively to accomplish work needed to maintain garrisons and, at the same time, enhance proficiency in their basic skills.

Army headquarters does not provide adequately for using combat personnel for meeting peacetime needs. It staffs its deployable units and develops personnel management policies and instructions on the basis of combat requirements, and it gives no substantive recognition of the need to use deployable personnel for garrison work. Commanders' and individuals' perceptions of special duty in the garrison and how to use it effectively need to change. Most of those contacted had negative perceptions of special duty; these perceptions are demoralizing and not conducive to good performance. The Army would benefit from more constructive attitudes toward special duty. Special duty could be used as a reward for good performance and, by using high achievers in special duty, the required work could be accomplished with fewer people.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense, with the cooperation of the Secretary of the Army, should develop: policy guidelines that recognize the extent of the Army's need to use deployable military personnel to maintain its combat capability and accomplish its garrison responsibilities; plans and issue guidelines that will assist commanders at all levels in assigning deployable personel from their units to special duty in the garrison that will maintain or enhance individual skill proficiency and unit combat capability; and cost-effective means of recording reliable and realistic data on individuals' skill qualifications and on training and experience needed to maintain skill proficiency. An interim system should be developed and tested for controlled management of garrisoned deployable personnel at installations.

    Agency Affected:


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