Reserve Training:

An Alternative to the Active Army Education Program for National Guard Technicians

NSIAD-88-164: Published: Jun 28, 1988. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1988.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO examined the Military Education Program (MEP) for Army National Guard technicians to determine: (1) whether the Reserve Component Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Education Program provided a viable alternative to MEP; (2) how participation in MEP affected technicians' readiness; and (3) how MEP affected technicians personally, including their leave and other benefits.

GAO found that: (1) the Army is revising the NCO program to align it more closely with MEP; (2) MEP and the new Reserve Component Program were generally similar in content but sometimes varied in duration; (3) MEP costs were about three times the Reserve Component Program's costs; (4) participation in MEP did not measurably affect units' readiness, but it sometimes disrupted their operations; and (5) although MEP training requirements did not impose financial hardship on technicians, it did create some inconveniences. GAO believes that the Reserve Component Program offers a viable alternative to MEP due to its lower costs and greater convenience.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Assistant Secretary of Defense/Reserve Affairs has tasked the Secretary of the Army to conduct this monitoring. The Army has provided periodic progress reports to Defense and continues to develop reserve component configured courses. As of February 1991, nearly 100 percent of the Reserve Component Program has been configured to the MEP. Therefore, action is considered complete.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should ensure, through continued monitoring, that the remaining revisions to the Reserve Component Program are similar to those of MEP.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Assistant Secretary of Defense/Reserve Affairs has tasked the Secretary of the Army to monitor and evaluate the implementation and administration of the Reserve Component Program. The Army's Reserve Component Training Development Action Plan incorporates this recommendation. Also, the National Guard Bureau has developed procedures for certifying reserve component instructors.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should monitor and evaluate the implementation and administration of the Reserve Component Program by the National Guard's noncommissioned academies to ensure that effective training is provided.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The National Defense Authorization Act, FY 1989, stipulates that National Guard technicians shall receive training at National Guard academies, when available, rather than through the MEP. DOD stated action is complete for this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should change the National Guard Bureau's policy of sending technicians to the active Army MEP, requiring them, whenever feasible, to attend the Reserve Component Program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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