Defense Force Management:

Composition of Groups Affected by Fiscal Year 1991 Force Reductions

NSIAD-92-31: Published: Feb 5, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) actions the military services took or were expected to take to achieve legislatively required reductions in active duty military personnel for fiscal year 1991; and (2) the gender and ethnic composition of the military personnel who may be affected by such reductions.

GAO found that: (1) to accomplish the required reductions, the services primarily focused on reducing accessions, forcing early retirement, and inducing the voluntary departure of personnel eligible for retirement; (2) the Air Force policy change requiring E-4 personnel who serve 10 years without being promoted to leave the Air Force was the only change that resulted in involuntary separation other than forced retirement; (3) the affected populations had a higher percentage of men and minorities than the total population of their respective grades; (4) the Army's plan to achieve reductions in enlisted personnel through reduced accessions will affect the number of minorities likely to enter the Army in the future; (5) the Navy planned to achieve force reductions by reducing the number of commissioned ships and reassigning personnel; and (6) the Marine Corps planned to reduce accessions, officer end-strength, and active-duty volunteer reserve officers, and increase the number of involuntary separations. GAO noted that it could not determine the impact of every separate action potentially affecting minorities and women leaving the service because it could not make a direct link between the individual leaving the service and the policy causing that separation.

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