Individual Ready Reserve:

Army Needs to Make More Effective Use of Limited Training Funds

NSIAD-90-55: Published: Feb 7, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Army's Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) training program, intended to train soldiers with previous Army service for swift mobilization and deployment in combat situations, to determine whether the Army focused training funds on skills that required refresher training and were most needed in the early days of conflict.

GAO found that the Army: (1) generally did not provide IRR members with refresher training consistent with their intended wartime roles, with the majority of the soldiers not receiving any mobilization training during fiscal year (FY) 1987 and FY 1988; (2) did not determine which skills of IRR members required refresher training; (3) assigned the lowest funding priority to IRR training within its reserve personnel account; (4) reprogrammed 25 percent of the $72-million FY 1988 mobilization training budget to other areas; (5) prioritized professional development education, which was required for promotion, over mobilization readiness training; (6) provided more training to IRR officers and members who would not be required during early combat than to IRR members in the lowest skill areas; (7) spent more than 26 percent of IRR mobilization training funds on non-training activities; (8) assigned multiple training tours to a small number of officers and IRR members, while most IRR soldiers received no training at all; (9) did not follow the Department of Defense's (DOD) directive that it determine IRR skill decay, identify the most appropriate timing for refresher training, and begin refresher training no later than FY 1988; and (10) lacked guidance to enable it to apply a model for prioritizing IRR member training decisions.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD and the Army developed better methods of focusing the available training funds on refresher training for IRR members needed in the first 30 days of mobilization. The DOD Joint Task Group on Army Manpower Mobilization and Training developed guidance on the overall management of IRR in 1992.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should make more effective use of mobilization training funds by establishing overall guidance and controls directed toward ensuring that available training funds are focused on mobilization requirements with special emphasis on IRR members needed in the first 30 days of mobilization.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD and the Army developed a policy statement on the training of IRR and a DOD directive. DOD is planning to publish guidance on IRR training in 1992. The Army has also refined its IRR training model by the fourth quarter of FY 1992. The guidance and training model was developed and will be issued once FY 1993 budget and force structure decisions are finalized.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should make more effective use of mobilization training funds by determining the content and frequency of required refresher training.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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