Army Force Structure:

Lessons to Apply in Structuring Tomorrow's Army

NSIAD-91-3: Published: Nov 29, 1990. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 1990.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Henry L. Hinton, Jr
(202) 512-4300
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO provided information on the status of the Army's conversion to its Army of Excellence (AOE) force structure developed in 1983, focusing on the: (1) progress made in correcting force structure weaknesses; (2) remaining problems; and (3) lessons the Army should apply in developing its future force structure.

GAO found that the: (1) task force that conducted the study employed various mechanisms to economize on force structure and pare down 1.17 million personnel spaces to 998,700; (2) Army Training and Doctrine Command schools and centers developed specific AOE designs within task force allocations; (3) lack of documentation regarding the AOE methodology contributed to continuing questions about AOE designs; (4) Army had converted about half of its force structure to the AOE designs as of 1989 and projected complete conversion by 1996; (5) Army did not increase its combat-to-support ratio and failed to achieve a consensus on the adequacy of its support forces; (6) Army did not standardize light forces due to its inability to convert the National Guard infantry divisions; (7) Army increased its leader-to-led ratio by creating more and smaller units focusing on single weapons systems; (8) Army did not effectively manage the Logistics Unit Productivity Systems (LUPS) program and many LUPS units were experiencing equipment and personnel shortages that could delay conversions; (9) Army planned to reexamine its increased use of host nation support in light of recent events in Europe; (10) AOE restructuring effort raised some major concerns about the future size of the Army, extent of Army resources during peacetime, and future role of the reserves; (11) Army needed to explore all options for economizing on force structure and filling its personnel requirements due to increasing budgetary pressures; and (12) Army needed to effectively manage its force structure initiatives to avoid wasted efforts and resources.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army approved a LUPS conversion schedule at its June 1991 force structure conference. ODCSOPS and OCAR submitted a proposal to resolve personnel issues to the Chief of Staff for approval in September 1991.

    Recommendation: As the Army proceeds with its plans for force restructuring, the Secretary of the Army should resolve existing problems in implementing the LUPS program to improve the prospects that the expected personnel savings are achieved.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army is in the process of restructuring these forces, resulting in some consolidations and inactivations. Sufficient progress is being made to enable GAO to close this recommendation.

    Recommendation: As the Army proceeds with its plans for force restructuring, the Secretary of the Army should assess the implications of retaining National Guard infantry divisions (non-mechanized) in nonstandard designs and if warranted, develop a plan for standardizing those forces.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army completed its review of Manpower Requirements Criteria, revised the relevant regulation, and is revising its unit organization charts to reflect these new criteria. These actions should enhance the credibility of the requirements cited in the charts, clarify the capability shortfalls resulting from not staffing the units at the required levels, and lead to more consistent criteria.

    Recommendation: As the Army proceeds with its plans for force restructuring, the Secretary of the Army should resolve the current disagreement on the development and application of manpower requirements criteria to achieve a more consistent basis for determining support force requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army believes its current force development processes are adequate to track force structure initiatives. It does not intend to modify these processes.

    Recommendation: As the Army proceeds with its plan for force restructuring, the Secretary of the Army should establish mechanisms to: (1) track the implementation of any major force structure initiatives that are introduced; and (2) assess progress toward the initiatives' goals.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has completed a major review of the criteria used in setting manpower requirements for its units. In revising the mission capabilities statements for each unit using these criteria, Army personnel will have a clearer picture of the risks assumed in deviating from the required levels.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should ensure that the Army fully documents the basis for major changes in its force designs as it proceeds to restructure its force. In particular, the Secretary should ensure that risks associated with such changes are clearly identified.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army is continuing its implementation of the LUPS program according to a plan coordinated by the Army staff and major commands. Funding for the remainder of the program's implementation was programmed in fiscal years 1991 and 1992.

    Recommendation: In view of past problems in the management of the LUPS program, the Secretary of the Army should provide a copy of the LUPS implementation plan, once approved by the General Officer Steering Committee, to the Secretary of Defense to provide assurance that noted problems are being satisfactorily resolved.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 19, 2016

Sep 12, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here