Information on the Military Services' Enlisted Aide Program

NSIAD-84-12: Published: Oct 11, 1983. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the use of enlisted aides by the military services.

Enlisted aides have always been provided to U.S. officers to relieve them of minor duties. However, present law prohibits Army and Air Force officers from using enlisted members as servants and Navy and Marine Corps officers from using enlisted members in onshore quarters as cooks, waiters, or as other types of servants. The number of aides is annually allocated to each service on the basis of a congressionally authorized enlisted aide ceiling. Each of the services has a program officer responsible for dealing with and coordinating all facets of the enlisted aide program. The ceiling on enlisted aides has been at 300 since October 1976. However, the cost of the program has declined from about $22 million in 1973 to approximately $6 million in 1983. All services require that applications to the program be made on a voluntary basis. None of the officials responsible for managing the program was aware of any complaints alleging improper use of enlisted aides. However, in isolated instances, enlisted aides have requested removal from the program because they felt that they were being misused or that they had not comprehended the exact duties to be performed.

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