Classification and Linkage of Reserve Technician Grades and Military Ranks

FPCD-79-18: Published: Feb 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1979.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

An examination of the Army Reserve technician program showed that about 46 percent of the Army Reserve dual-status technicians (military reservists who are also civilian employees of the Reserves) cannot be mobilized with their Reserve units because some of these technicians are assigned to military positions in units other than the one in which they are employed, and the remainder are not qualified to hold military positions. This creates a serious problem because the mobilization objective cannot be achieved to provide continuity in readiness for Reserve components. Unlike the National Guard technician program, there is no express statutory authority for the civilian technician programs of the Army and Air Force Reserves. The technicians in these services, therefore, are competitive service appointments under general civil service laws. The problem is not as great in the Air Force as in the Army due to more effective management of the Air Force technician program, and because Air Force Reserve units are more centrally located in areas in which there are larger Federal work force populations.

Efforts by the Department of Defense (DOD) to correct the problem have been unsuccessful. DOD requested the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to change Army and Air Force Reserve technicians from the competitive to the excepted service, but the Civil Service Commission (CSC) opposed the proposals. The CSC position emphasized that the jobs are civilian competitive service jobs, and current incumbents should not be affected by any changes.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: Legislative action is needed to obtain the same degree of military consideration and mobilization readiness for the Army and Air Force Reserve technician programs as in the National Guard technician program. The legislation should provide for converting reserve technician positions from the competitive to the excepted service. For individuals who do not retire under discontinued service provisions, the legislation should be designed to allow members directly affected to find other employment. DOD should provide placement assistance for status quo technicians during a 2-year period. At the present time DOD is conducting a test program proposed by the House Appropriations Committee to determine the effectiveness of filling these positions with full-time military personnel, but implementation of this program will not solve the status quo or the problem of misassigned technicians until the technicians retire or voluntarily leave. It is recommended that DOD promptly submit legislation to Congress placing Army and Air Force Reserve dual-status technicians under the excepted service while, at the same time, taking into consideration the concerns expressed by CSC.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 16, 2017

Oct 5, 2017

Sep 29, 2017

Sep 28, 2017

Sep 27, 2017

Sep 26, 2017

Sep 19, 2017

Sep 12, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here