Army Reserve Forces:

Process for Identifying Units for Inactivation Could Be Improved

NSIAD-93-145: Published: May 12, 1993. Publicly Released: May 12, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the process the Army used to identify Army National Guard and Army Reserve Units for force reduction, focusing on: (1) the key entities involved in developing the Army's reserve force reduction plans; and (2) whether the criteria used to inactivate specific units were consistent.

GAO found that: (1) officials at the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Army Headquarters, the National Guard Bureau (NGB), and the Office of the Chief Army Reserve (OCAR) played prominent roles in developing the Army's reserve force reduction plans; (2) the March 1992 force reduction list included the units the Army identified for inactivation or reduction in previous downsizing plans; (3) the U.S. Forces Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) did not fully participate in developing the March 1992 list, but did participate in developing previous force reduction plans; (4) Army staff provided general guidance on criteria used to make unit selections, but NGB and OCAR separately identified criteria to guide their decisions; (5) criteria for force inactivation included units' chronic readiness problems, locations that were far from their training sites, and associations with other inactive units; and (6) reserve components identified units for inactivation separately, but this approach may not result in the most effective forces being retained.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Additional procedures were adopted by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs to coordinate inactivations for all 6 reserve components.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, in refining the Army's reserve force reduction plans, should ensure that progress made in coordinating force reduction decisions among NGB, OCAR, Forces Command, and USARC officials is continued by formalizing coordination procedures among the entities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The National Guard and Army Reserve have adopted a selection methodology which will have an audit trail. By using computer modeling, decisionmakers will have access to data about each unit to assist them in their selection.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, in refining the Army's reserve force reduction plans, should better document the reasons why specific units are selected for inactivation or reduction.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army developed a computer model that weighs attributes of each unit. The computer results will be used to assist decisionmakers.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, in refining the Army's reserve force reduction plans, should consider the merits of adopting a more objective methodology, such as the one being developed by USARC, for selecting specific units for inactivation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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