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Report to Congressional Committees:

United States General Accounting Office:

GAO:

April 2004:

Military Personnel:

General and Flag Officer Requirements Are Unclear Based on DOD's 2003 
Report to Congress:

GAO-04-488:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-04-488, a report to congressional committees 

Why GAO Did This Study:

The Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization Act directed the 
Department of Defense (DOD) to assess whether general and flag officer 
authorizations were sufficient to meet all requirements. GAOís 
objectives were to determine whether DOD (1) fully disclosed the 
results of its study in its March 2003 report to Congress and explained 
the rationale for any recommendations, (2) used an established 
methodology to meet the objectives of its study, and (3) incorporated 
lessons learned from a GAO review of DODís 1997 general and flag 
officer study. The 2003 act also directed DOD to review legislation 
affecting general and flag officer management. DOD included the results 
of its review in the March 2003 report, making several recommendations. 
GAO plans a separate review of these issues and recommendations.

What GAO Found:

DODís March 2003 report to Congress did not fully disclose the results 
of the general and flag officer study or explain its recommendation not 
to seek additional authorizations (people) to meet validated 
requirements (positions). The general and flag officer study validated 
requirements for general and flag officer positions that exceeded 
congressional authorizations for both the active and reserve 
components. However, the validated requirements data generated by the 
study were not disclosed in the March 2003 report to Congress. In its 
report, DOD did not address the magnitude of the gap between validated 
requirements of 1,630 positions and congressional authorizations of 
1,311óa difference of 319. DODís report also did not address the impact 
of ďworkaroundsĒ used to fill the gap between requirements and 
authorizations, such as the practice of assigning colonels and Navy 
captains to general and flag officer positions. Fully disclosing the 
study results and discussing the implications of these findings in 
the March 2003 report to Congress would have provided a more complete 
picture of DODís general and flag officer requirements and may have 
helped to explain its recommendation not to seek additional 
authorizations. 

DOD used an established methodology to conduct a position-by-position 
validation of general and flag officer requirements. This methodology, 
known as job evaluation, has been widely used in the United States. Job 
evaluation, however, has numerous subjective features, including the 
selection of factors used for measurement. In addition, it is not 
designed to project emerging needs, such as those that could result 
from transformation efforts. Periodic updates could capture changes in 
requirements. Such limitations do not invalidate DODís methodology; 
however, an explicit acknowledgment and assessment of these limitations 
would have provided more context for the study results. In addition, 
the study did not clearly account for dual-hatted positions (where one 
individual holds more than one position simultaneously) or assess how 
each serviceís authorizations were affected by the need to contribute 
general and flag officers to fill external (joint) positions. 
Addressing these issues could have enhanced the precision and 
usefulness of DODís study. In addition, we noted that while Congress 
directed DOD to ensure the Reserve Forces Policy Board participated in 
development of the reportís recommendations, the Board played a minimal 
role in producing DODís 2003 report. The Board registered strong 
objections to DODís recommendation not to seek additional 
authorizations now to meet validated requirements and to the limited 
role it played in the process.

DOD, in conducting its 2003 general and flag officer study, 
incorporated some of the lessons learned from a GAO review of DODís 
1997 general and flag officer study. DOD recognized the need to 
identify general and flag officer positions that could conceivably be 
converted from the military ranks to the civilian workforce, although 
it deferred this assessment until after the general and flag officer 
study was complete. DOD is currently assessing civilian conversion of 
general and flag officer positions.

What GAO Recommends:

GAO recommends that DOD take the following actions: (1) clarify the 
magnitude and impact of the gap between DODís validated requirements 
for general and flag officers and congressional authorizations, (2) 
periodically update its general and flag officer requirements, (3) 
enhance the precision and usefulness of the study results, and (4) 
incorporate the results of an ongoing study to assess civilian 
conversion of general and flag officer positions. In commenting on a 
draft of this report, DOD agreed with the recommendations.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-488.

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Derek Stewart at (202) 
512-5559 or stewartd@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Contents:

Letter:

Results in Brief:

Background:

Results of General and Flag Officer Study Were Not Fully Disclosed in 
DOD's March 2003 Report to Congress:

DOD Used an Established Methodology, but Precision and Usefulness of 
Results Could Be Enhanced:

DOD Incorporated Lessons Learned From GAO's Review of DOD's 1997 
General and Flag Officer Study:

Conclusions:

Recommendations for Executive Action:

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

Scope and Methodology:

Appendix I: Sixteen Factors Used to Validate General and Flag Officer 
Requirements:

Appendix II: Adjustments Made to General and Flag Officer Requirements 
After LMI's Scoring Assessment:

Appendix III: Comments From the Department of Defense:

Tables:

Table 1: Pay Grade, Title, and Insignia Worn at General and Flag 
Officer Ranks:

Table 2: Validated Requirements for General and Flag Officer Positions 
in the Active Component:

Table 3: Validated Requirements for General and Flag Officer Positions 
in the Reserve Component:

Table 4: Congressional Authorizations for General and Flag Officers by 
Service:

Table 5: Service Contributions to External (Joint) General and Flag 
Officer Requirements in the Active Component (as of December 2002):

Table 6: Service Contributions to External (Joint) General and Flag 
Officer Requirements in the Reserve Component (as of December 2002):

Table 7: Pay Grade Adjustments Approved by the Senior Panel and 
Requested by Service and Joint Staff Senior Leadership:

Figure:

Figure 1: Gap Between General and Flag Officer Authorizations and 
Requirements:

Abbreviations:

DOD: Department of Defense:

LMI: Logistics Management Institute:

United States General Accounting Office:

Washington, DC 20548:

April 21, 2004:

The Honorable John W. Warner: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate:

The Honorable Duncan Hunter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives:

Congress places specific legislative limits on the military services' 
general and flag officers, including ceilings on the maximum number of 
general and flag officers each service is authorized. In the Fiscal 
Year 2003 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress directed the 
Secretary of Defense to study general and flag officer authorizations 
and to provide an assessment of whether authorizations were sufficient 
to meet all general and flag officer requirements. The mandate directed 
the Secretary of Defense to submit the results of this study in a 
report to Congress. The Department of Defense (DOD) conducted a study 
to validate general and flag officer requirements and subsequently 
submitted a report to Congress in March 2003. The 2003 act required GAO 
to evaluate DOD's study. As agreed with your offices, our objectives 
were to determine whether DOD (1) fully disclosed the results of the 
general and flag officer study in its March 2003 report to Congress and 
explained the rationale for any recommendations, (2) used an 
established methodology to meet the objectives of its study, and 
(3) incorporated lessons learned from a GAO review of DOD's 1997 
general and flag officer study. The 2003 act also directed DOD to 
review legislation affecting the management of general and flag 
officers. DOD included the results of its review in the March 2003 
report and made several recommendations. We plan to conduct a separate 
review of these management issues and recommendations; we do not 
address them in this report.

To conduct our review, we reviewed the results of DOD's general and 
flag officer requirements study, supporting documentation, and the 
March 2003 report to Congress. We also discussed the study methodology 
with DOD officials in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Personnel and Readiness, the military services, the Joint Staff, and 
others. We conducted our review from October 2003 to March 2004 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. More 
information on our scope and methodology is provided at the end of this 
letter.

DOD officials worked with a contractor to support the study effort and 
participated in developing and refining the study methodology, 
gathering and validating the data, and reviewing and approving the 
study results. The study results were also vetted through the service 
and Joint Staff senior leadership before being finalized. For DOD's 
general and flag officer study, "authorizations" were defined as the 
number of general and flag officers allowed under the law (people) and 
"requirements" as billets the DOD components claim should be filled by 
a general or flag officer (positions).

Results in Brief:

DOD's March 2003 report to Congress did not fully disclose the results 
of the general and flag officer study or explain its recommendation 
that authorizations not be increased to meet validated requirements. 
The general and flag officer study validated requirements for general 
and flag officer positions that exceeded congressional authorizations 
for both the active and reserve components. However, the validated 
requirements data generated by the study were not disclosed in the 
March 2003 report to Congress. DOD did not address the magnitude of the 
gap between validated requirements of 1,630 general and flag officer 
positions and congressional authorizations of 1,311 general and flag 
officers--a difference of 319. DOD also did not address the impact of 
"workarounds" used to fill the gap between validated requirements and 
congressional authorizations, such as the practice of assigning 
colonels and Navy captains to general and flag officer positions. 
Although DOD's March 2003 report makes several recommendations 
concerning management of general and flag officers, the report did not 
recommend additional authorizations until other options could be 
explored for more effectively managing its senior leadership. However, 
the report did not explain what these other options might be or 
otherwise provide a convincing case that current congressional 
authorizations were sufficient in light of the study results. Fully 
disclosing the study results and discussing the implications of these 
findings in the March 2003 report to Congress would have provided a 
more complete picture of DOD's general and flag officer requirements 
and may have helped to explain DOD's recommendation not to seek 
additional authorizations.

DOD used an established methodology to conduct a position-by-position 
validation of general and flag officer requirements. This methodology, 
known as job evaluation, has been widely used in the United States. 
Job evaluation, however, has numerous subjective features, including 
the selection of factors used for measurement. In addition, it is not 
designed to project emerging needs, such as those that could result 
from transformation efforts. Periodic updates could capture changes in 
requirements. Such limitations do not invalidate DOD's methodology; 
however, an explicit acknowledgement and assessment of these 
limitations would have provided more context for the study results. In 
addition, the study did not clearly account for dual-hatted positions 
(where one individual holds more than one position simultaneously) or 
assess how each service's authorizations were affected by the need to 
contribute general and flag officers to fill external (joint) 
positions. Addressing these issues could have enhanced the precision 
and usefulness of DOD's study. In addition, we noted that while 
Congress directed DOD to ensure the Reserve Forces Policy Board 
participated in development of the report's recommendations, the Board 
played a minimal role in producing DOD's 2003 report. The Board 
registered strong objections to DOD's recommendation not to seek 
additional authorizations now to meet validated requirements and to the 
limited role it played in the overall process.

DOD, in conducting its 2003 general and flag officer study, 
incorporated some of the lessons learned from a GAO review of DOD's 
1997 general and flag officer study. A notable improvement was the use 
of a single methodology and set of factors in the 2003 study to 
evaluate general and flag officer positions across all the services and 
the joint community. DOD also improved its tracking and documentation 
of adjustments made to study results. Finally, DOD recognized the need 
to identify general and flag officer positions that could conceivably 
be converted from the military ranks to the civilian workforce, 
although it deferred this assessment until after the general and flag 
officer study was complete. DOD is currently assessing civilian 
conversion of general and flag officer positions.

This report contains recommendations to DOD aimed at clarifying the 
magnitude and the impact of the gap between validated requirements 
for general and flag officer positions and congressional 
authorizations, updating general and flag officer requirements on a 
periodic basis, enhancing the precision and usefulness of the study 
results, and incorporating the results of the ongoing study to assess 
civilian conversion of general and flag officer positions. In its 
comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with the report's 
recommendations.

Background:

General and Flag Officer Ranks:

Congress has established four military ranks above the rank of colonel 
(for the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps) and captain (for the Navy). 
Table 1 displays the pay grade designation, title of rank, and insignia 
worn by officers at general and flag officer ranks.

Table 1: Pay Grade, Title, and Insignia Worn at General and Flag 
Officer Ranks:

Pay grade: O-10; 
Title of rank: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps: General; 
Title of rank: Navy: Admiral; 
Insignia: 4 stars.

Pay grade: O-9; 
Title of rank: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps: Lieutenant General; 
Title of rank: Navy: Vice Admiral; 
Insignia: 3 stars.

Pay grade: O-8; 
Title of rank: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps: Major General; 
Title of rank: Navy: Rear Admiral; 
Insignia: 2 stars.

Pay grade: O-7; 
Title of rank: Army, Air Force, Marine Corps: Brigadier General; 
Title of rank: Navy: Rear Admiral (lower half); 
Insignia: 1 star. 

Sources: Title 10 U.S. Code and DOD.

[End of table]

Roles and Responsibilities:

Within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and 
Readiness, the Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management office is 
responsible for general and flag officer matters, including the 
application of related legislation. Each of the services and the Joint 
Staff has a general officer matters office that is responsible for 
management of general and flag officers within their organization. 
Management of reserve component general and flag officers falls under 
the service general officer matters offices, the service reserve 
chiefs, and the National Guard Bureau. Their responsibilities include 
managing the selection, promotion, assignment, and retirement of 
general /flag officers in addition to coordination with other DOD and 
non-DOD organizations.

The Reserve Forces Policy Board, acting through the Assistant Secretary 
of Defense for Reserve Affairs, is the principal policy adviser to the 
Secretary of Defense on matters relating to the reserve components. 
The Board was created by an act of Congress in 1952. Among its duties, 
the Board evaluates proposals by its members or other agencies for 
changes to existing laws and policies and recommends appropriate 
actions. The Board is composed of 24 members, including a civilian 
chairman and the assistant secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force 
responsible for reserve components.

Congressional Mandates in 1997 and 2003 to Review Authorizations:

The Fiscal Year 1997 National Defense Authorization Act directed the 
Secretary of Defense to review existing statutory general and flag 
officer authorizations and submit a report to Congress. The act also 
directed GAO to evaluate DOD's study. The military services and Joint 
Staff conducted their own studies. On the basis of these study results, 
DOD developed a draft report; however, it never issued a final report. 
We testified on DOD's study in April 1997 and issued a report in June 
1997 that discussed the draft DOD report.[Footnote 1] Congress included 
similar mandate language in the Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense 
Authorization Act. As in 1997, the Secretary of Defense was directed to 
review existing statutory general and flag officer authorizations and 
submit a report to Congress.[Footnote 2] The report was to include any 
recommendations (together with the rationale) concerning revision of 
the limitations on general and flag officer grade authorizations. The 
act also stated that certain provisions of the Fiscal Year 1997 
National Defense Authorization Act would apply.[Footnote 3] One of the 
applicable provisions from the 1997 act directed GAO to evaluate 
DOD's study.[Footnote 4]

DOD's Study of General and Flag Officer Requirements and the March 2003 
Report to Congress:

To respond to the 2003 mandate, the Office of the Secretary of Defense 
contracted with the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) to assess and 
validate general and flag officer requirements. The results of the 
requirements study were expected to serve as a baseline of validated 
general and flag officer positions and provide a basis for future 
efforts, such as identifying innovative ways to manage senior 
leadership. The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Force Management 
Policy)[Footnote 5] established a working panel and a senior panel to 
support LMI's review. The working panel was chaired by the Director, 
Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management, and included representatives 
from the military services' and Joint Staff's general and flag officer 
management offices and from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The 
senior panel was chaired by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense 
for Military Personnel Policy, with participation by the service 
personnel chiefs, the Joint Staff's Director for Manpower and 
Personnel, and representatives from the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense. The general and flag officer study was completed in March 
2003. DOD subsequently submitted its report to Congress on March 31, 
2003.[Footnote 6]

Previous DOD Studies of General and Flag Officer Requirements:

DOD has conducted several previous reviews of its general and flag 
officer requirements. In the 1997 draft report, DOD identified a need 
for 1,472 general and flag officers, including 1,018 active component 
and 454 reserve component officers. According to DOD, the 1997 study 
was the first to integrate active and reserve component requirements. A 
1988 DOD study found a requirement for 1,436 general and flag officer 
positions. A 1978 DOD study identified a requirement for 1,419 general 
and flag officers. In 1972, DOD identified a requirement for 1,304 
general and flag officers. Congressional authorizations for general and 
flag officers typically have been lower than requirements identified in 
DOD's studies.

Results of General and Flag Officer Study Were Not Fully Disclosed in 
DOD's March 2003 Report to Congress:

The general and flag officer study validated total requirements for 
1,630 general and flag officer positions. Congress, since fiscal year 
1996, has authorized the services a total of 1,311 general and flag 
officers, a difference of 319. DOD, in the March 2003 report to 
Congress, recommended no additional authorizations to meet validated 
requirements. DOD did not explain its rationale for keeping 
authorizations at current levels, except to say that other options for 
managing general and flag officers were being considered. The report 
also did not provide the requirements data generated by the general and 
flag officer study, nor did it address the magnitude or the impact of 
the gap between requirements and authorizations.

DOD Study Validated Requirements for 1,630 General and Flag 
Officer Positions:

The general and flag officer study validated requirements for a total 
of 1,630 general and flag officer positions, including 1,039 validated 
requirements in the active component and 591 validated requirements in 
the reserve component. Tables 2 and 3 display results from DOD's study.

Table 2: Validated Requirements for General and Flag Officer Positions 
in the Active Component:

By grade: O-7; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 145; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 104; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 133; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 27; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 115; 
Total: 524.

By grade: O-8; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 101; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 82; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 52; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 40; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 65; 
Total: 340.

By grade: O-9; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 34; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 31; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 33; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 12; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 30; 
Total: 140.

By grade: O-10; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 6; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 8; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 6; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 2; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 13; 
Total: 35.

By grade: Total; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 286; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 225; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 224; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 81; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 223; 
Total: 1,039.

By functional area: Operations; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 97; 
Service/ external (joint): Air Force: 92; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 56; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 38; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 78; 
Total: 361.

By functional area: Combat development; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 70; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 20; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 13; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 14; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 8; 
Total: 125.

By functional area: Material; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 52; 
Service/ external (joint): Air Force: 40; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 60; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 6; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 22; 
Total: 180.

By functional area: Headquarters staff; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 44; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 54; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 72; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 22; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 113; 
Total: 305.

By functional area: Special staff; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 23; 
Service/ external (joint): Air Force: 19; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 23; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 1; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 2; 
Total: 68.

By functional area: Total; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 286; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 225; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 224; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 81; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 223; 
Total: 1,039. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data.

[A] In the general and flag officer study, internal (service-specific) 
positions were separated from external (joint) positions.

[End of table]

Table 3: Validated Requirements for General and Flag Officer Positions 
in the Reserve Component:

By grade: O-7; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 163; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 157; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 47; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 5; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 28; 
Total: 400.

By grade: O-8; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 70; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 66; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 18; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 7; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 30; 
Total: 191.

By grade: Total; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 233; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 223; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 65; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 12; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 58; 
Total: 591.

By functional area: Operations; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 98; 
Service/ external (joint): Air Force: 67; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 18; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 10; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 8; 
Total: 201.

By functional area: Combat development; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 79; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 10; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 1; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 0; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 4; 
Total: 94.

By functional area: Material; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 22; 
Service/ external (joint): Air Force: 16; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 10; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 0; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 5; 
Total: 53.

By functional area: Headquarters staff; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 16; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 106; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 24; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 2; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 40; 
Total: 188.

By functional area: Special staff; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 18; 
Service/ external (joint): Air Force: 24; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 12; 
Service/external (joint): Marine Corps: 0; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 1; 
Total: 55.

By functional area: Total; 
Service/external (joint): Army: 233; 
Service/external (joint): Air Force: 223; 
Service/external (joint): Navy: 65; 
Service/ external (joint): Marine Corps: 12; 
Service/external (joint): External (joint)[A]: 58; 
Total: 591.

[End of table]

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data.

[A] In the general and flag officer study, internal (service-specific) 
positions were separated from external (joint) positions.

Title 10 of the U.S. Code establishes service-specific ceilings for 
active duty general and flag officers that total 877.[Footnote 7] Title 
10 also authorizes 12 general and flag officer positions to be 
allocated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the services 
for joint duty positions. These authorizations, called the "Chairman's 
12," do not count against the service ceilings.[Footnote 8] In 
addition, DOD is authorized a maximum of 422 reserve component general 
and flag officers. Title 10 of the U.S. Code establishes service 
ceilings for reserve component general and flag officers.[Footnote 9] 
Congress last revised service ceilings in fiscal year 1996. Table 4 
displays congressional authorizations for general and flag officers.

Table 4: Congressional Authorizations for General and Flag Officers by 
Service:

Service: Army; 
Active component: Service ceiling: 302; 
Active component: Chairman's 12[A]: 5; 
Reserve component: 207; 
Total: 514.

Service: Air Force; 
Active component: Service ceiling: 279; 
Active component: Chairman's 12[A]: 3; 
Reserve component: 157; 
Total: 439.

Service: Navy; 
Active component: Service ceiling: 216; 
Active component: Chairman's 12[A]: 4; 
Reserve component: 48; 
Total: 268.

Service: Marine Corps; 
Active component: Service ceiling: 80; 
Active component: Chairman's 12[A]: 0; 
Reserve component: 10; 
Total: 90.

Service: Total; 
Active component: Service ceiling: 877; 
Active component: Chairman's 12[A]: 12; 
Reserve component: 422; 
Total: 1,311. 

Sources: Title 10 U.S. Code and DOD.

[A] The Chairman's 12 are not associated with specific positions. As a 
matter of policy, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has 
allocated these positions to the services (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff Instruction 1331.01B). The Marine Corps was not allocated any 
Chairman 12 positions because it lacked sufficient general and flag 
officers at the O-9 and O-10 levels to contribute to this pool.

[End of table]

DOD Did Not Explain the Rationale for Keeping Authorizations 
at Current Levels:

On the basis of the general and flag officer study results, DOD found 
that the number of validated requirements for general and flag officer 
positions exceeded the number of general and flag officers currently 
authorized under law. DOD concluded in its March 2003 report to 
Congress that all current authorizations for active and reserve general 
and flag officers were needed. Although DOD's report made several 
recommendations concerning management of general and flag 
officers,[Footnote 10] DOD recommended no change to the authorized 
number of general and flag officers or their grades at this time.

DOD, in the March 2003 report, did not explain its rationale for 
keeping general and flag officer authorizations at current levels. 
DOD's stated rationale for not requesting additional authorizations was 
that before the department considers proposing a legislative increase 
in authorizations, it must look at other innovative ways to meet these 
requirements. DOD did not specify the options it would consider except 
to say that it intended to review its overall senior leadership needs, 
including both civilian and military leaders, and might seek authority 
to manage senior leaders under an overall ceiling. DOD stated that 
until this review was complete, the services would continue to meet 
their internal and external general and flag officer requirements using 
available management tools as "workarounds," such as use of individuals 
selected for promotion to higher grades and frocking 
authority.[Footnote 11] DOD did not state when this review would be 
complete.

In the March 2003 report, DOD did not address the magnitude or the 
impact of the gap between validated requirements and authorizations. 
The general and flag officer study summarized the validated 
requirements by active and reserve component, by service, and by grade. 
More detailed data was provided in a database of validated requirements 
that was developed as part of the study. However, the March 2003 report 
did not disclose this data or address the magnitude of the gap between 
validated requirements and authorizations. The total gap between 
validated requirements and authorizations was 319. In the active 
component, the study validated requirements for 1,039 general and flag 
officer positions, compared with 889 authorizations (a difference of 
150). In the reserve component, the study validated requirements for 
591 general and flag officer positions, compared with 422 
authorizations (a difference of 169). These gaps are illustrated in 
figure 1.

Figure 1: Gap Between General and Flag Officer Authorizations and 
Requirements:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

While the March 2003 report noted that the services would continue to 
use frocking and other "workarounds" to meet requirements, it did not 
address the impact of these workarounds. Following are examples of 
workaround issues that DOD did not address in its report:

* How do the services determine which positions to fill with an officer 
at a lower grade? Are some validated requirements going unfilled 
altogether?

* Do officers at lower pay grade levels have legal authority to carry 
out all duties required of a general and flag officer position?

* Does the practice of assigning lower grade officers to general and 
flag officer positions affect the ability of an organization to perform 
its mission?

* What is the impact of these workarounds on the overall management of 
general and flag officers and of officers in lower grades?

* Are there benefits to using these workarounds, such as providing 
developmental opportunities for officers in lower grades? Do the 
benefits outweigh any negative effects of using these workarounds?

* To what extent have each of the services used these workarounds?

DOD Used an Established Methodology, but Precision and Usefulness of 
Results Could Be Enhanced:

DOD used an established methodology known as job evaluation to assess 
general and flag officer requirements. Job evaluation methodologies 
have been widely used in the United States to assess job value and rank 
one job against another. One limitation of job evaluation is that it 
has numerous subjective features, including the selection of job 
factors to be assessed. The factors used in DOD's study were subject to 
differing interpretations. Another limitation is that the methodology 
is based on an existing organizational structure at a designated point 
in time. The methodology is not designed to capture new or emerging 
needs, such as those resulting from DOD transformation efforts or other 
changes in the department. Periodic updates could capture changes in 
requirements. Such limitations do not invalidate DOD's methodology; 
however, an explicit acknowledgment and assessment of these limitations 
would have provided more context for the study results. In addition, 
the study did not clearly account for dual-hatted positions or assess 
how each service's authorizations were affected by the need to 
contribute general and flag officers to fill external (joint) 
positions. Addressing these issues could have enhanced the precision 
and usefulness of DOD's study. In addition, we noted that while 
Congress directed DOD to ensure the Reserve Forces Policy Board 
participated in development of the report's recommendations, the Board 
played a minimal role in producing the DOD 2003 report. The Board 
registered strong objections to DOD's recommendation not to seek 
additional authorizations now to meet validated requirements and to the 
limited role it played in the overall process.

DOD Used Job Evaluation Methodology to Assess General and Flag Officer 
Requirements:

To assess and validate general and flag officer requirements, DOD 
applied an established methodology known as job evaluation. Job 
evaluation methodologies have been widely used in the United States and 
were used in past general and flag officer studies, including the 1997 
and 1988 studies. Job evaluation is a formal procedure for 
hierarchically ordering a set of jobs in terms of their value or worth 
to the organization. No universally accepted approach to job evaluation 
exists, and several types of job evaluation methodologies may be used. 
DOD's 2003 study was not explicit about the type of job evaluation 
methodology used but appeared to be a point-factor system. While point-
factor systems may vary, the basic steps involved are gathering job 
descriptions for all jobs, selecting the factors to be used for 
measurement, identifying benchmarks for comparing jobs in a similar 
industry or field, assigning weights to the factors, assigning 
numerical values to the selected factors, and establishing a rank band. 
DOD's study included all of these steps in its job evaluation 
methodology except for identifying benchmarks. Benchmarks are typically 
used when the purpose of the evaluation is to determine appropriate 
compensation.

The steps in the general and flag officer study were as follows:

* At LMI's request, the services and the Joint Staff submitted data on 
all of their general and flag officer positions and on a sample of 
colonel and Navy captain positions.

* The working panel established five functional groups to categorize 
the positions to be assessed. These five groups were operations, combat 
development, material, headquarters staff, and special staff. The 
working panel and LMI selected factors to be used in the assessment and 
weighted the factors for each functional group.

* LMI placed the submitted positions into the five functional groups. 
The senior panel validated the functional groups, the factors, and the 
weighting.

* For the positions to be assessed, the services and the Joint Staff 
gathered, validated, and entered information about each factor into a 
database created by LMI.

* Using the database information, nine LMI scorers assessed each 
position by assigning numerical values to the factors and rank-ordered 
the positions within their functional groups. The LMI scorers were 
retired military officers representing a cross section of the military 
services, as well as the active and reserve components. They were 
divided into three panels of three members each.

* The senior panel reviewed and validated the LMI scoring, including 
the breakpoints between pay grades (for example, between O-7s and O-
8s). Results were then vetted through the service and Joint Staff 
senior leadership.

Job Evaluation Methodology Has Certain Limitations:

A basic aim of job evaluation methodologies is to interject objectivity 
into what is inherently a subjective process--assigning the relative 
value of work to an organization. Nevertheless, subjectivity is 
commonly a part of job evaluation. For example, the factors selected 
for measurement and the weighting of the factors are based on 
subjective judgment. Also, the process of scoring jobs is subjective, 
as are management adjustments to the study results.

A second limitation of job evaluation methodology is an assumption that 
an existing organizational structure can serve as an adequate starting 
point for the assessment. The methodology reviewed current positions 
and was not designed to capture new or emerging needs. According to the 
Joint Staff, the study methodology, as well as time constraints, did 
not give them the opportunity to identify unresourced general and flag 
officer requirements. DOD efforts to reorganize the Army, alter the 
overseas presence of U.S. troops, and transfer thousands of military 
jobs to the civilian workforce, if implemented, could change 
requirements for general and flag officers. Such changes could be 
captured through periodic updates to the requirements. According to an 
official in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel 
and Readiness, the services and Joint Staff have been asked to submit 
new general and flag officer requirements to keep the data current. We 
agree that identifying new requirements is a necessary step to keep the 
data up-to-date; however, these new requirements are not going through 
the kind of job evaluation assessment and validation DOD used in its 
study.

We found that neither the DOD study nor the March 2003 report to 
Congress addressed the limitations in the methodology selected. For 
instance, neither document specified the subjective features of the 
methodology or the assumptions underlying the study. In addition, they 
did not explicitly state the steps taken to test the reliability or 
validity of the study. These issues do not invalidate the results of 
the general and flag officer study, but an explicit acknowledgement and 
assessment of these issues would have provided more context for the 
study results.

Factors Used to Measure Job Value Open to Differing Interpretations:

A critical step in job evaluations is the selection of factors to be 
measured. Because the factors are used to assess job value, the 
selection of these factors can influence the study results. LMI 
reviewed the factors used in the 1997 general and flag officer study 
and found similarities among them that could be traced to a set of 16 
factors that predated the 1997 study. The origin of the 16 factors, 
however, is unclear. According to the general and flag officer study, 
the 16 factors originated in the deliberations of the Bolte commission 
in the late 1950s.[Footnote 12] An LMI official told us neither LMI nor 
the services could locate the original source document for the 16 Bolte 
factors; hence, LMI used a secondary service source to identify these 
factors. Two service regulations--Marine Corps Order 5311.4, 
dated September 30, 1986, and OPNAV Instruction 5420.87A, 
dated February 12, 1981--listed the 16 factors. (See app. I for a list 
of the 16 factors.):

The working panel made minor adjustments to the wording of the factors, 
and the senior panel approved their use for the study. DOD officials 
told us that the factors were broad enough to cover the significant 
aspects of general and flag officer positions, although one service 
official expressed concern that nuances between the services were not 
captured. The services and the Joint Staff were responsible for 
gathering the data on the factors for the positions and for entering 
this data into a database. The services and Joint Staff asked other 
offices (such as major commands and reserve component offices) and 
individuals (including general and flag officers) to provide the needed 
information.

This decentralized process left the factors open to differing 
interpretations. We selected a small number of similar general and flag 
officers and, comparing the information provided, noted inconsistencies 
in how the services and Joint Staff applied the factors. For example, 
the superintendents of the three service academies (the U.S. Military 
Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy) have 
the same function (combat development and training of future officers), 
the same rank (O-9), and oversee roughly similar numbers of personnel. 
However, the position descriptions for the superintendents vary 
greatly, even in terms of quantitative criteria like the magnitude of 
personnel and physical resources. In one case, overall dollar figures 
are given; in the second case, a budget breakdown is provided; and in 
the last case, the number and type (but not value) of equipment is 
provided. Information ranged from vague ("the Superintendent currently 
has sufficient authority to make decisions and commit resources within 
the scope of his position") to detailed ("formulates and directs the 
execution of policies, procedures, and programs required to accomplish 
the [academy's] mission--cadet leader development system; cadet honor 
system and honor code; academic curriculum, military and physical 
programs; strategic vision, planning, and communications; [and] 
manpower and resource allocation").

Other Methodological Issues:

During our review, we noted other issues concerning the methodology 
used to conduct the requirements study.

* The methodology did not allow for clear-cut differentiation between 
O-6 and O-7 positions and between O-7 and O-8 positions. 
Differentiation among the higher grades was more clear-cut. One service 
official said the factors were easier to apply to the higher grades.

* Factors were weighted identically for a diverse array of general and 
flag officer positions. The functional groups contained between 123 and 
562 positions, with the result that the same weighting was applied to a 
diverse array of positions. For example, the same weighting was applied 
to the following Army positions in the special staff functional group: 
the Deputy Chief of Chaplains, the Assistant Judge Advocate General for 
Military Law and Operations, and the Dean of the Academic Board at the 
U.S. Military Academy.

* Several service officials expressed concern about the short time 
frame for conducting the study. Officials from one service told us they 
had not had time to verify the information submitted for all the 
service's general and flag officer positions and instead did spot 
checks of the information.

2003 Study Did Not Clearly Account for Dual-Hatted Positions:

Some general and flag officers are dual-hatted, simultaneously holding 
more than one position. One goal of the general and flag officer study 
was to identify dual-hatted positions and assess them as a single 
position. When LMI initially requested information on each position, it 
asked the military services and the Joint Staff to identify whether any 
other dual-hatted titles were associated with the position. LMI created 
a separate field--other titles (if dual hatted)--to capture this 
information in the requirements database. Our analysis of the 1,630 
positions in the database showed that 113 positions were listed in this 
field as having other titles. For assessment purposes, each dual-hatted 
pair was considered as a single position and categorized as either an 
Army, an Air Force, a Navy, a Marine Corps, or an external (joint) 
position.

Our review showed that despite these efforts, the study did not clearly 
account for dual-hatted positions. First, the study did not distinguish 
whether positions were dual-hatted for organizational efficiencies or 
due to limited manpower. Separate studies of general officers conducted 
for the Army and Marine Corps under the 1997 mandate stated that 
dual-hatted positions may be created to increase efficiency of 
operations or administration. On the other hand, they may also be 
created to maximize leadership or management within the constraint of 
available authorization ceilings. The Marine Corps study stated that 
"sorting out these two different reasons is an important part of any 
study which purports to determine requirements, rather than to 
accommodate to scarcities."[Footnote 13] The general and flag officer 
study did not address these different reasons for dual-hatting. As a 
result, requirements for general and flag officers could be different 
than the study data showed.

Second, we found a small number of dual-hatted positions that were 
counted as separate requirements. Although an LMI official acknowledged 
that one pair of dual-hatted positions was double-counted, our analysis 
of the 113 positions listed as dual-hatted showed that at least 6 pairs 
of positions were counted separately in the requirements database. 
Three pairs of positions were internal to the Marine Corps, two pairs 
were Army/external (joint) positions, and one pair was internal to the 
Army.

* In the Marine Corps, the following dual-hatted positions were 
included as separate positions: the Deputy Commanding General, 
1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and the Commanding General, 1st Marine 
Expeditionary Brigade; the Deputy Commanding General, 
2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, and the Commanding General, 2nd Marine 
Expeditionary Brigade; and the Deputy Commanding General, 3rd Marine 
Expeditionary Force, and the Commanding General, 3rd Marine 
Expeditionary Brigade.

* The Army/external (joint) dual-hatted positions that were included as 
separate positions were the Deputy Commanding General, Eighth 
U.S. Army, and C-3/J-3, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/
U.S. Forces Korea; and the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff C/J-4, 
United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea and 
Deputy Commanding General (Support), Eighth U.S. Army.

* In the Army, the Program Executive Office for the Army's Air and 
Missile Defense and the Deputy Commanding General (Acquisition), 
U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, were dual-hatted but 
included as separate positions.

A third problem was a lack of consistency in identifying dual-hatted 
positions. Although the requirements database had the other titles 
(if dual-hatted) data field, we identified at least 37 positions that 
listed nothing under this field but included one or more dual-hatted 
titles elsewhere in their position descriptions. Thus, while the 
database identified 113 dual-hatted positions, other dual-hatted 
positions included in the database were not clearly identified as such.

External (Joint) Requirements Were Not Tracked Back to Each Service's 
Authorizations:

DOD's general and flag officer study did not assess how each service's 
authorizations were affected by the need to contribute general and flag 
officers to fill external (joint) positions. As a result, direct 
comparisons between the requirements generated by the study and 
congressional authorizations are difficult. Without knowing how many 
general and flag officers each service contributes to the external 
(joint) community, we cannot be certain of the exact number of 
personnel each service needs to meet all of its commitments, internal 
and external. As shown in table 4, Congress establishes authorizations 
by service. Congress does not provide separate authorizations for 
external (joint) requirements, except for the Chairman's 12 exemptions 
from the overall service ceilings. External (joint) requirements are 
filled from service authorizations.

In the general and flag officer study, internal (service-specific) 
positions were separated from external (joint) positions. However, the 
study did not show the extent to which each service contributed general 
and flag officers from their authorizations to fill external (joint) 
requirements. While service contributions to external (joint) 
requirements fluctuate due to the rotational nature of these 
assignments, service contributions can be determined at a given point 
in time. We used Joint Staff data from December 2002 to determine which 
service was filling each of the 223 active component external (joint) 
requirements (see table 5) and each of the 58 reserve component 
external (joint) requirements (see table 6) validated by the general 
and flag officer study.

Table 5: Service Contributions to External (Joint) General and Flag 
Officer Requirements in the Active Component (as of December 2002):

Grade: O-10; 
Army: 3; 
Air Force: 5; 
Navy: 3; 
Marine Corps: 2; 
No service[A]: 0; 
Total: 13.

Grade: O-9; 
Army: 7; 
Air Force: 9; 
Navy: 7; 
Marine Corps: 3; 
No service[A]: 4; 
Total: 30.

Grade: O-8; 
Army: 24; 
Air Force: 23; 
Navy: 9; 
Marine Corps: 5; 
No service[A]: 3; 
Total: 64.

Grade: O-7/O-8[B]; 
Army: 0; 
Air Force: 0; 
Navy: 0; 
Marine Corps: 0; 
No service[A]: 1; 
Total: 1.

Grade: O-7; 
Army: 32; 
Air Force: 40; 
Navy: 24[C]; 
Marine Corps: 7; 
No service[A]: 10[D]; 
Total: 113.

Grade: O-6; 
Army: 0; 
Air Force: 0; 
Navy: 0; 
Marine Corps: 0; 
No service[A]: 2[E]; 
Total: 2.

Grade: Total; 
Army: 66; 
Air Force: 77; 
Navy: 43; 
Marine Corps: 17; 
No service[A]: 20; 
Total: 223.

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data.

[A] The Joint Staff data did not identify the service filling some 
external (joint) positions.

[B] The Joint Staff data identifies positions that may be filled by an 
officer at either the O-7 or O-8 grade level.

[C] One position (a Navy O-7 position) was listed as a reserve 
component position in the requirements database but an active component 
position in the Joint Staff data. We have included this position as a 
reserve component position.

[D] One position (an O-7 position with no service identified) was 
listed as a reserve component position in the requirements database but 
an active component position in the Joint Staff data. We have included 
this position as a reserve component position.

[E] These positions were submitted as O-6 positions and validated as O-
7 positions in the general and flag officer study.

[End of table]

Table 6: Service Contributions to External (Joint) General and Flag 
Officer Requirements in the Reserve Component (as of December 2002):

Grade: O-8; 
Army: 11; 
Air Force: 8; 
Navy: 3; 
Marine Corps: 0; 
No service[A]: 4; 
Total: 26.

Grade: O-7/O-8[B]; 
Army: 8; 
Air Force: 2; 
Navy: 0; 
Marine Corps: 0; 
No service[A]: 2; 
Total: 12.

Grade: O-7; 
Army: 5; 
Air Force: 9; 
Navy: 3[C]; 
Marine Corps: 0; 
No service[A]: 3[D]; 
Total: 20.

Grade: Total; 
Army: 24; 
Air Force: 19; 
Navy: 6; 
Marine Corps: 0; 
No service[A]: 9; 
Total: 58. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data.

[A] The Joint Staff data did not identify the service filling some 
external (joint) positions.

[B] The Joint Staff data identifies positions that may be filled by an 
officer at either the O-7 or O-8 grade level:

[C] One position (a Navy O-7 position) was listed as a reserve 
component position in the requirements database but an active component 
position in the Joint Staff data. We have included this position as a 
reserve component position.

[D] One position (an O-7 position with no service identified) was 
listed as a reserve component position in the requirements database but 
an active component position in the Joint Staff data. We have included 
this position as a reserve component position.

[End of table]

The data in tables 5 and 6 allow for a more direct comparison between 
requirements and authorizations. For example, the Army's authorization 
for active duty generals is 302 plus the Army's 5 exemptions for the 
Chairman's 12, for a total of 307 authorized general officers. 
According to DOD's requirements data, the Army needs 286 general 
officers to meet its internal active component requirements. Based on 
the data in table 5, Army general officers also filled 66 external 
(joint) requirements in the active component. As a result, the Army had 
total active component requirements--including internal and external--
of 352 general officers, compared with active component authorizations 
for 307 generals, a difference of 45 generals. Using these calculations 
for the other services, active component requirements exceeded active 
component authorizations by 20 for the Air Force, 47 for the Navy, and 
18 for the Marine Corps. The actual differences between individual 
service requirements and authorizations may be greater because the 
Joint Staff data did not identify the service filling 20 of the 
external (joint) active component requirements.

Reserve Forces Policy Board Had Minimal Role in Producing 
DOD's 2003 Report:

The Fiscal Year 1997 National Defense Authorization Act directed the 
Secretary of Defense to include the Reserve Forces Policy Board in the 
department's general and flag officer study. This same provision 
applied in 2003. Subsection 1213(d) of the 1997 act states:

"The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the Reserve Forces Policy 
Board participates in the internal Department of Defense process for 
development of the recommendations of the Secretary contained in the 
report under subsection (a).":

We noted during our review that the Reserve Forces Policy Board played 
a minimal role in producing the DOD 2003 report. The Board was not 
involved with the preparation of the general and flag officer study but 
was given the opportunity to comment on the study and the draft DOD 
report prior to its submission to Congress. The Board provided written 
comments on the report in April 2003 concurring with DOD's conclusion 
that all current congressional authorizations for general and flag 
officers were needed, but registering strong objections to DOD's 
recommendation not to seek additional authorizations now to meet 
validated requirements and to the limited role it played in the overall 
process.

The Reserve Forces Policy Board had a more active role in DOD's 1997 
general and flag officer study. In a memorandum to the Secretary of 
Defense, the Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board at that time 
indicated the Board was pleased with its level of participation in the 
1997 study. The Chairman stated, "We believe our 'independent voice' is 
captured in this report and trust our views will be appropriately 
considered. We are pleased to share with you that [the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense] and the Services wholeheartedly embraced our 
participation. We were well represented at all levels of participation 
and our views were objectively consideredÖ. In our view, this report 
was truly a Total Force effort.":

DOD Incorporated Lessons Learned From GAO's Review of DOD's 1997 
General and Flag Officer Study:

DOD, in conducting its 2003 general and flag officer requirements 
study, incorporated some of the lessons learned from a GAO review of 
DOD's 1997 study. A notable improvement was the use of a single 
methodology and set of factors in the 2003 study to evaluate general 
and flag officer positions across all the services and the joint 
community. DOD also improved its tracking of study results and its 
documentation of adjustments made by the services and the Joint Staff. 
As in 1997, DOD did not identify and assess general and flag officer 
positions that could conceivably be converted to the civilian 
workforce. However, DOD has begun this assessment and expects to have 
results by July 2004.

2003 Study Assessed General and Flag Officer Requirements Using a 
Single Methodology:

In 1997, the services and Joint Staff each conducted separate reviews 
of their general and flag officer requirements and, in doing so, used 
different job evaluation methodologies and factors. We noted in our 
review of the 1997 study that differing methodologies made cross-
service comparisons difficult, even when comparing similar positions 
from one service to another. The separate service reviews together 
created at least 24 different definitions of a general or flag officer. 
At the time, the Office of the Secretary of Defense stated that it 
permitted the services to use their own methodologies for three 
reasons: (1) The methodology selected had to recognize the unique 
mission and structure of each service. (2) There was no single 
definition of a general and flag officer and no one way to conduct job 
evaluations. The different methodologies were deemed valid. (3) Using 
existing methodologies and recently completed studies saved time. We 
stated that a single methodology, consistently applied, would have been 
a better approach than using different methodologies.

In 2003, DOD used a single methodology and one set of factors to assess 
all general and flag officer positions. The Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, the services, and the Joint Staff representatives on the 
working and senior panels worked together with LMI to conduct the 
study. DOD officials we interviewed generally agreed with the approach 
of using a single methodology and set of factors. One official who had 
also participated in the 1997 study said the services had to spend time 
defending their service-specific methodologies and findings. The use of 
a single methodology in the 2003 study avoided this problem. The 
process promoted interaction and discussion among the organizations 
represented on the working and senior panels.

DOD Improved Tracking and Documentation of Adjustments to Study 
Results:

In job evaluations, judgments and decisions by executives about job 
value and study results are expected to be made as part of the process. 
Adjustments made to study results on the basis of executive judgment 
should be explained. In our review of DOD's 1997 study, we found that 
there were discrepancies between what the service secretaries 
recommended and what their own service studies found and that these 
discrepancies were not explained in DOD's draft 1997 report. The 
service secretaries recommended, in the aggregate, a total number of 
authorizations that was 123 less than the number of requirements 
identified by the service studies (995 recommended authorizations 
compared with 1,118 requirements). When the service secretaries 
developed their recommendations, they did not explain the basis for 
their adjustments to the study results. We recommended that the 
Secretary of Defense modify the draft 1997 report to include an 
explanation of the criteria used by the service secretaries to modify 
the results of the services' studies.

For the 2003 study, we found that DOD tracked the adjustments made to 
the requirements at each step in the process, from the time the 
positions were originally submitted through final vetting by service 
and Joint Staff senior leadership. DOD's study showed the number of 
general and flag officer positions originally submitted by the services 
and Joint Staff (1,625),[Footnote 14] the number as assessed by LMI 
scorers (1,627), the number approved by the senior panel (1,629), and 
the final study results following a review by service and Joint Staff 
senior leadership (1,630). While net adjustments in the total number of 
requirements were minimal (a net increase of five positions), 
adjustments to the grades of individual positions were made at each 
step in the process. These adjustments were tracked in the requirements 
database.

Our analysis of the requirements database showed that LMI scorers made 
adjustments to a total of 74 positions. Of these 74 positions, 20 had 
been submitted as O-7/O-8 positions. LMI scored these 20 positions as 
belonging at one grade or the other, with 8 positions being assessed as 
O-8 and 12 positions being assessed as O-7. The other 54 positions 
represented "grade inversions," where LMI scorers assessed the position 
at a pay grade level different from that submitted. Of the 54 grade 
inversions, 47 were downgrades (that is, for example, going from an O-
8 to an O-7), and 7 were upgrades. The senior panel then had an 
opportunity to adjust the results of LMI's scoring, and service and 
Joint Staff senior leadership vetted the requirements and made their 
own adjustments before the study results were finalized. The senior 
panel and the service and Joint Staff senior leadership made 
adjustments to a total of 38 positions. All but 1 of these 
38 adjustments involved positions scored as grade inversions by the LMI 
scorers. (See app. II for more information on these 38 adjustments.):

We found that, in contrast with the 1997 study, the reasons for 
adjusting the LMI scoring results were documented in most cases. DOD 
was able to produce documentation, such as a spreadsheet and e-mail 
messages, to explain most of the adjustments. Our review of this 
documentation showed that an explanation was provided for 34 of the 38 
adjustments and was lacking for the other 4 adjustments. In a few 
cases, the documented explanation was brief. For instance, the senior 
panel upgraded an Army reserve position from O-7 (LMI's scoring 
assessment) back to O-8 (the grade as originally submitted). The 
panel's rationale was as follows: "Keep as O-8; important info left 
out; Dep Vice Cmdr for Homeland Defense; $900m budget." In other cases, 
the explanation for the adjustment was more detailed. For example, the 
senior panel upgraded the President of the Naval War College from O-8 
(LMI's scoring assessment) back to O-9 (the grade as originally 
submitted). To support this adjustment, the Navy submitted a 2-page 
addendum to expand upon the original position description.

DOD Deferred an Evaluation of General and Flag Officer Positions That 
Might Be Considered for Civilian Conversion:

In 1997, we found that the services had not fully evaluated the 
potential for military to civilian conversions as part of their general 
and flag officer studies. We noted that the need for additional general 
and flag officers could be reduced by converting general and flag 
officer positions that do not require a uniformed servicemember to 
civilian status. At that time, we recommended that the Secretary of 
Defense modify the draft 1997 report to include an evaluation of the 
potential to convert nonmilitary essential general and flag officer 
positions to civilian status.

As part of its 2003 study, DOD did not consider which positions could 
conceivably be converted from the military ranks to the civilian 
workforce. DOD stated in its March 2003 report to Congress that 
following completion of the general and flag officer review, DOD would 
look at its senior leadership requirements--military and civilian. "We 
must look at the entire pool of senior leaders, to include DOD 
civilians, to assess how many we need overall to effectively manage the 
Department," the report stated. "Once we have agreement on an overall 
number, we will seek additional flexibility to manage within an overall 
ceiling and assign the best qualified individual where needed.":

In July 2003, DOD approved a contract with LMI to assess general and 
flag officer positions for potential civilian conversion. The statement 
of work calls for LMI to perform a "billet-by-billet assessment of each 
validated general and flag officer requirement to determine whether the 
position could be filled by a senior civilian." DOD has commissioned 
separate studies to assess Senior Executive Service requirements. An 
official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense said the LMI 
civilian conversion study will pave the way for analysis of future 
legislative and policy proposals. LMI is to provide study results 
within a year of the contract date.

Conclusions:

DOD's March 2003 report to Congress did not provide complete 
information on whether general and flag officer authorizations were 
sufficient to meet all requirements. Specifically, DOD's 2003 report to 
Congress did not fully disclose the results from its general and flag 
officer study or address the magnitude or the impact of the gap between 
requirements and authorizations. Fully disclosing the study results and 
discussing the implications of its findings would help to explain DOD's 
recommendation not to seek additional authorizations. In addition, the 
methodology used in the study was not designed to capture new or 
emerging needs that could result from DOD transformation efforts or 
other changes in the department. Such changes could be captured through 
periodic updates to the requirements validated through the 2003 study. 
In the absence of periodic updates, the validated requirements could 
become out-of-date. DOD also could enhance the precision of the 
requirements data by more clearly accounting for dual-hatted positions 
and could enhance the usefulness of the results by assessing the impact 
of external (joint) requirements on service authorizations. Finally, 
the requirements data could be improved by incorporating the results of 
the ongoing civilian conversion study.

Addressing these issues would help DOD establish a solid baseline of 
validated general and flag officer requirements that will assist DOD as 
it assesses senior leadership (civilian/military) requirements and 
manages general and flag officers. In addition, clarification of DOD's 
requirements would assist congressional decision makers in making 
adjustments to the maximum number of general and flag officers 
authorized to each service.

Recommendations for Executive Action:

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Under Secretary 
of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to take the following four 
actions:

* Clarify the magnitude and impact of the gap between DOD's validated 
requirements for general and flag officers and congressional 
authorizations. This assessment should include (1) an analysis of the 
impact caused by the workarounds DOD uses to fill the gap between 
requirements and authorizations and (2) a more complete explanation of 
its recommendation not to seek additional authorizations in light of 
the study results showing that requirements exceeded authorizations.

* Update general and flag officer requirements periodically by 
identifying, assessing, and validating new general and flag officer 
requirements that emerge from DOD transformation efforts or other 
changes in the department.

* Take steps to enhance the precision and usefulness of the general and 
flag officer requirements. At a minimum, DOD should more clearly 
account for all dual-hatted positions in terms of whether each position 
is dual-hatted for efficiency or out of necessity due to shortages in 
general and flag officer authorizations. Positions that are dual-hatted 
out of necessity should be treated as separate positions for purposes 
of identifying requirements. In addition, to the extent possible, DOD 
should track service contributions of general and flag officers to 
external (joint) requirements to assess whether each service's 
authorizations are sufficient to meet both internal and external 
requirements.

* Incorporate the results of the ongoing civilian conversion study in a 
future update of general and flag officer requirements.

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

DOD provided written comments on a draft of this report. In its 
comments, DOD concurred with our recommendations and indicated that it 
will (1) address the impact of the gap in requirements and the use of 
workarounds in a separate study on alternative methods for dealing with 
the gap in requirements, (2) review all dual-hatted positions and add 
the additional information to the established requirements database, 
and (3) incorporate the results of the ongoing civilian conversion 
study in a future update of general and flag officer requirements. 
Regarding our recommendation to periodically update general and flag 
officer requirements, DOD indicated that its current procedures were 
adequate. However, as we stated in our report, these additional 
requirements are not going through the kind of job evaluation 
assessment and validation DOD used in its study. DOD could use the 
methodology developed for the baseline study to ensure that any 
additional requirements are validated. As we noted in our report, the 
assessment process resulted in validated requirements that in some 
cases differed from the requirements originally submitted by the 
services and the Joint Staff. Regarding our recommendation that DOD 
track the military services' contributions of general and flag officers 
to external (joint) requirements, DOD stated that it will closely 
monitor service participation in this arena and that current safeguards 
mitigate the impact of joint participation. We continue to believe that 
an assessment of whether general and flag officer authorizations are 
sufficient to meet all requirements necessitates the inclusion of both 
internal service as well as external (joint) requirements. Furthermore, 
this assessment should be made at the service level because Congress 
has established service-specific authorization levels. DOD's comments 
are reprinted in their entirety in appendix III. DOD also provided 
technical comments, which we have incorporated as appropriate.

Scope and Methodology:

To determine whether DOD fully disclosed the results of its general and 
flag officer study in its March 2003 report to Congress and explained 
the rationale for any recommendations, we obtained and analyzed the 
results of the general and flag officer study, the database of 
validated requirements, supporting documentation, and the March 2003 
report. We also reviewed laws and regulations pertaining to general and 
flag officers. We discussed the study with, and obtained documentation 
from, representatives of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel 
and Readiness, the Office of General Counsel (Office of the Secretary 
of Defense), LMI, and the military services' and Joint Staff's general 
officer matters offices. We also reviewed the Reserve Forces Policy 
Board's comments on the general and flag officer study, met with Board 
staff, and obtained documentation concerning the Board's involvement in 
the study. The scope of our review did not include an assessment of 
recommendations made by DOD concerning the management of general and 
flag officers. We plan to conduct a separate review of these management 
issues and recommendations.

To assess the methodology used in the 2003 study, we reviewed prior DOD 
studies of general and flag officer requirements and the results of our 
review of DOD's 1997 study, for which we had conducted an extensive 
literature review on job evaluation methods. We also reviewed a study 
by a public policy research contractor,[Footnote 15] contacted another 
outside researcher who was familiar with the study, and reviewed other 
literature on job evaluation. We reviewed the steps used to conduct the 
2003 study and the origin and application of factors used in the 
assessment. We discussed the methodology with DOD and LMI officials. We 
also determined how the study accounted for dual-hatted positions and 
external (joint) requirements. Regarding dual-hatted positions, we 
examined selected positions from the requirements database. We also 
compared dual-hatted positions in the database with service and DOD-
wide rosters of general and flag officers. Regarding external (joint) 
requirements, we examined Joint Staff data to determine the services' 
contributions to meeting validated external (joint) general and flag 
officer requirements. We did not review the study findings to determine 
whether requirements for individual positions were validated 
appropriately through the study.

To determine whether DOD incorporated lessons learned from our review 
of DOD's 1997 general and flag officer study, we reviewed the findings 
and recommendations from our 1997 review and compared these lessons 
learned to the approach used in the 2003 study. To assess the tracking 
and documentation of adjustments made to study results, we analyzed the 
requirements database. We then obtained from DOD documentation 
concerning adjustments that were made to the study results by the 
senior panel and the service and Joint Staff senior leadership. We also 
reviewed DOD's plans for a follow-on study concerning conversion of 
general and flag officer positions to the civilian workforce.

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense and 
the Director, Office of Management and Budget. In addition, the report 
will be available at no charge on GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions regarding this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-5559 (stewartd@gao.gov) or Brenda S. Farrell at 
(202) 512-3604 (farrellb@gao.gov). Major contributors to this report 
were Thomas W. Gosling, J. Paul Newton, and Bethann E. Ritter.

Signed by: 

Derek B. Stewart: 
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management:

[End of section]

Appendix I: Sixteen Factors Used to Validate General and Flag Officer 
Requirements:

Nature of the Position:

1. Characteristics of function:

a. Type (e.g., command, general or coordinating staff, special staff, 
manager, deputy, specialist, etc.):

b. Scope (e.g., operational command, training command, installation 
command, personnel management, officer personnel management, legal 
affairs, information, etc.):

c. Level of function (e.g., national, secretarial, service, theater, 
field command, etc.):

2. Grade and position of:

a. superior:

b. principal subordinates:

c. lateral points of coordination:

(relative position within the military or governmental structure within 
which the position's function is performed):

3. Supervision over position:

a. Proximity (remoteness or closeness of supervision):

b. Degree (independence of operation):

4. Official relations with U.S. and foreign governmental officials 
and with the public:

a. Nature (e.g., reports to, works for, keeps informed, provides 
liaison, etc.):

b. Extent (e.g., primary function, frequent requirement, continuous 
additional duty, occasional requirement, etc.):

c. Level of official relations with U.S. and foreign governmental 
officials and with the public (e.g., governmental department or agency, 
national or local government, civil organizations, industry, press, 
non-governmental organizations [NGO], private volunteer organizations 
[PVO], etc.):

5. Reflection of national emphasis and determination (relation of 
position to national objectives and programs, special conditions under 
which the position was first established or other reasons why the 
position reflects national will):

6. Special qualifications required by the position (any special 
qualifications such as advanced education, or particular training or 
experience, which are essential to the proper execution of positional 
responsibilities):

Magnitude of Responsibilities:

7. Mission(s) of organization and the special requirements of the 
position as it relates to the mission(s) (the nature of the 
responsibilities that are associated with the position and the need for 
multidimensional "executive skills." The mission of the organization is 
the key, day-to-day activities that are accomplished.):

8. Number, type, and value of resources managed and employed. Data 
should be displayed within three categories: operational control, 
administrative control, and immediate staff within each subsection.

a. Military forces (number and type of forces normally assigned or 
programmed for planned or special operations):

b. Personnel (number of personnel by officer and warrant officer, 
enlisted, and civilian):

c. Value of equipment and properties (total value of equipment, 
supplies, and real property displayed in millions):

d. Total obligation authority:

e. Foreign resources (scope and type of foreign resources involved, 
if any):

f. Other important resources:

9. Geographical area of responsibilities (the size, location, and, if 
appropriate, the criticality of the land, sea, or air spaces involved):

10. Authority to make decisions and commit resources (the scope of the 
position with respect to specific authority delegated to or withheld 
from the position in either routine or emergency situations):

11. Development of policy (involvement in the development of policy 
within the specific functional areas associated with the position, 
e.g., budget, program, communications, or manpower):

12. National commitment to international agreements (authority to make 
commitments to foreign nations or involvement in negotiating such 
commitments for the United States):

13. Auxiliary (supporting) authorities and responsibilities inherent in 
the position (inherent requirements charged to the position by virtue 
of situation, location, proximity, tradition, etc.):

Significance of Actions and Decisions:

14. Impact on national security or other national interests (effect of 
mission accomplishment or position performance on the protection of 
national interests or the advancement of national programs):

15. Importance to present and future effectiveness and efficiency of 
the national defense establishment (effect on the force structure, 
operational capabilities, status of combat readiness, quality of 
personnel and equipment, cost effectiveness, command and control means, 
management procedures and techniques, responsiveness to national needs, 
or other factors):

16. Effect on the prestige of the nation or the armed forces (how 
effectiveness or accomplishment reflects on the stature of the nation 
and its armed forces, and influences the credibility of national aims 
and capabilities):

[End of section]

Appendix II: Adjustments Made to General and Flag Officer Requirements 
After LMI's Scoring Assessment:

This appendix lists the 38 general and flag officer positions where 
adjustments were made after the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) 
scorers conducted their assessment. The Department of Defense (DOD) 
components (the military services and Joint Staff) submitted the pay 
grade level for each general and flag officer position reviewed. LMI 
scorers assessed the positions to validate the grade level. The senior 
panel reviewed the results of LMI's scoring assessment, made 
adjustments, and approved the validated requirements. The requirements 
were then vetted through the senior leadership of the services and the 
Joint Staff, who requested further adjustments. With these adjustments, 
the study results were finalized. Table 7 shows, for each of the 38 
positions, the adjustments to the position's pay grade as approved by 
the senior panel and vetted through the senior leadership.

Table 7: Pay Grade Adjustments Approved by the Senior Panel and 
Requested by Service and Joint Staff Senior Leadership:

Position; Active Component: President, Naval War College; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Navy; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-9; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-8; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-9; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-9.

Position; Active Component: Commandant, Naval District Washington; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Navy; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Active Component: Director Marine Corps Staff, Headquarters/
U.S. Marine Corps; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Marine Corps; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Active Component: Commanding General, U.S. Army Military 
District of Washington; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Army; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Active Component: Deputy Chief of Staff, UNC/USFK, U.S. PACOM/
UNC/CFC/USFK[A]; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Active Component: Director, Customer Support Office, National 
Imagery and Mapping Office; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-7; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-6; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-7.

Position; Active Component: Assistant Wing Commander, 1st Marine 
Aircraft Wing; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Marine Corps; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-6; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-6; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-6; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-7.

Position; Reserve Component: Mobilization Assistant (MA) to Commander, 
Air Force Space Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commander for Mobilization and 
Reserve Affairs, U.S. Southern Command; 
DOD component (military service or external- joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commander for Mobilization and 
Reserve Affairs, U.S. Special Operations Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Commander, U.S. Strategic Command 
(Air Force); 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Commander, U.S. Strategic Command 
(Navy); 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. 
Transportation Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commander for Mobilization and 
Reserve Affairs, U.S. Army Pacific Command; 
DOD component (military service or external- joint): Army; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Commander, U.S. Pacific Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): External (joint); 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Director, Intelligence, 
Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, AF/XO; 
DOD component (military service or external- joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Navy; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant to the Commander, Air Force 
Space Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant to the Commander, Air Combat 
Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant to the Commander, Air Mobility 
Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant to the Commander, Pacific Air 
Force; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Air 
Forces Europe; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Pacific 
Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commander for Resources and 
Readiness, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Navy; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army 
Pacific; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Army; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-8; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Director, Aerospace Operations, Air 
Combat Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Director, Operations, Air Mobility Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Assistant Vice Commander, Air Force 
Reserve Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Deputy Chief of Staff, Air and Space 
Operations, AF/XO; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and 
Programs, AF/XP; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Deputy Chief of Staff, Installations 
and Logistics, AF/ IL; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Deputy Chief of Staff, Warfighting 
Integration, AF/XI; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Commander, Air Force Reserve 
Command; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Director, Legislative Liaison, SAF/
LL; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-8; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-7; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-8.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Director of Naval Reserve, N095B, 
OPNAV/RPN; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Navy; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-7; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-8; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-7.

Position; Reserve Component: Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Navy; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-7; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-6; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-7.

Position; Reserve Component: Director of C4, State Headquarters; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-7; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-6; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-7.

Position; Reserve Component: MA to Commander, Air Intelligence Agency; 
DOD component (military service or external-joint): Air Force; 
Pay grade as submitted originally by the DOD component: O-7; 
Pay grade as assessed by LMI scorers: O-6; 
Pay grade as approved by the senior panel: O-7; 
Pay grade as vetted through service and Joint Staff senior leadership: 
O-7.

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data.

[A] United Nations Command/U.S. Forces Korea, U.S. Pacific Command/
United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea.

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix III: Comments From the Department of Defense:

PERSONNEL AND READINESS:

OFFICE OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE 
4000 DEFENSE PENTAGON 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301-4000:

MAR 25 2004:

Mr. Derek Stewart:

Director, Defense Capabilities and Management 
United States General Accounting Office 
Washington, DC 20548:

Dear Mr. Stewart:

This is the Department of Defense response to the General Accounting 
Office draft report GAO-04-488, "MILITARY PERSONNEL: General and Flag 
Officer Requirements Are Unclear Based on Department of Defense's 2003 
Report to Congress," (GAO Code 350448).

The Department detailed comments to the recommendations are enclosed. 
Technical comments were provided directly to the General Accounting 
Office for consideration.

The Department appreciates the opportunity to comment on the draft 
report. For further questions concerning this report, please contact 
Lieutenant Colonel Lernes Hebert, (703) 695-6312.

Sincerely,

Signed by: 

Charles S. Abell: 
Principal Deputy:

Enclosures: As stated:

GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED March 3, 2004 GAO CODE 350448/GAO-04-488:

"MILITARY PERSONNEL: General and Flag Officer Requirements Are Unclear 
Based on DoD's 2003 Report to Congress":

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS:

RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to 
clarify the magnitude and impact of the gap between DoD's validated 
requirements for general and flag officers and congressional 
authorizations. This assessment should include (1) an analysis of the 
impact caused by the workarounds DoD uses to fill the gap between 
requirements and authorizations and (2) a more complete explanation of 
its recommendation not to seek additional authorizations in light of 
the study results showing that requirements exceeded authorizations. 
(p. 21/GAO Draft Report):

DoD RESPONSE: Accept - The impact of the gap in requirements and the 
use of workarounds, while not part of the initial study, will be a 
natural outgrowth of the ongoing study into alternative methods for 
dealing with the gap in requirements. As a result, this expansion will 
be incorporated into a subsequent report. It should be noted, however 
that this is not a new phenomenon. As the GAO review indicates (page 5) 
that since at least 1972 congressional authorization for G/FO typically 
are lower than requirements identified by DoD. The actual magnitude 
and/or impact of the workarounds would be very difficult to accurately 
quantify at this time because of the temporary Global War On Terrorism 
(GWOT) G/FO taskings and augmentation requirements significantly 
distort the gap. Therefore, while the impact of workarounds has not 
changed, the magnitude has increased as we continue to prosecute the 
GWOT and Operation Iraqi Freedom (0117). Historically, attempts to 
mitigate G/FO shortages increases the complexity and reduces the 
predictability of G/FO management, causes greater turbulence in the G/
FO population and organizations, and degrades organizational 
effectiveness.

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to 
update general and flag officer requirements periodically by 
identifying, assessing, and validating new general and flag officer 
requirements that emerge from DoD transformation efforts or other 
changes in the Department. (p. 21/GAO Draft Report):

DoD RESPONSE: Accept - Updating the requirements is already an 
established procedure within the Department. The database is maintained 
by each of the military service general or flag officer management 
offices. No further action is required to implement this 
recommendation.

RECOMMENDATION 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness take 
steps to enhance the precision and usefulness of the general and flag 
officer requirements. At a minimum, DoD should more clearly account for 
all dual-hatted positions in terms of whether each position is dual-
hatted for efficiency or out of necessity due to shortages in general 
and flag officer authorizations. Positions that are dual-hatted out of 
necessity should be treated as separate positions for purposes of 
identifying requirements. In addition, to the extent possible, DoD 
should track service contributions of general and flag officers to 
external (joint) requirements to assess whether each service's 
authorizations are sufficient to meet both internal and external 
requirements (p. 21/GAO Draft Report).

DoD RESPONSE: Accept - DoD will review all dual-hatted positions and 
add the additional information to the established requirements 
database. This will enable greater fidelity in identifying the nature 
or rationale for dual-hat G/FO billets.

With regard to whether Service authorizations are sufficient to meet 
both internal and external requirements, DoD will continue to closely 
monitor Service participation in the joint arena and in non-DoD 
organizations. Three safeguards are in place to mitigate the impact of 
joint participation - the Secretary of Defense has a no joint G/FO 
billet growth policy and personally supervises joint G/FO requirement 
exception requests; 10 USC 721 limits Service external assignments to 
26.5% of covered G/FOs; and joint participation is considered voluntary 
for one and two-star joint assignments. Therefore, the magnitude of 
Service joint participation (and potential corresponding Service 
shortfalls) is dependent on Service professional development goals, 
joint participation desires, Service equity objectives, and statutory 
requirements.

RECOMMENDATION 4: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to 
incorporate the results of the ongoing civilian conversion study in a 
future update of general and flag officer requirements. (p. 21/GAO 
Draft Report):

DoD RESPONSE: Accept: 

[End of section]

FOOTNOTES

[1] U.S. General Accounting Office, General and Flag Officers: DOD's 
Draft Study Needs Adjustments, GAO/T-NSIAD-97-122 (Washington, D.C.: 
Apr. 8, 1997) and U.S. General Accounting Office, General and Flag 
Officers: Number Required Is Unclear Based on DOD's Draft Report, GAO/
NSIAD-97-160 (Washington, D.C.: June 16, 1997).

[2] Public Law 107-314, section 404(c).

[3] Public Law 107-314, section 404(c)(2) and corresponding provision 
in Public Law 104-201, sections 1213(b) through (e).

[4] Public Law 104-201, section 1213 (e).

[5] This position has been replaced by the Principal Deputy Under 
Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).

[6] Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), 
Review of Active Duty and Reserve General and Flag Officer 
Authorizations (Washington, D.C.: March 2003).

[7] 10 U.S.C., section 526.

[8] 10 U.S.C., section 526(b).

[9] 10 U.S.C., section 12004. The provision excludes from these 
ceilings officers serving in certain positions, including those serving 
as adjutants general or assistant adjutants general of a state, those 
serving in the National Guard Bureau, and others.

[10] For example, the report recommends that legislation limiting the 
number of active officers who may serve above the grade of O-7 to no 
more than 50 percent of the total number of general and flag officers 
be repealed.

[11] 10 U.S.C., section 777(d) authorizes the services to allow up to 
55 colonels/Navy captains to wear the insignia of brigadier general/
rear admiral (lower half) prior to promotion, a practice known as 
"frocking." An officer may be frocked only after the Senate has 
approved the promotion, and the officer is serving in or has received 
orders to serve in a position for which the grade to which the officer 
has been approved for promotion is authorized. 10 U.S.C., section 
777(b).

[12] The Department of Defense Ad Hoc Committee to Study and Revise the 
Officer Personnel Act of 1947, chaired by General Charles L. Bolte, USA 
(retired), was established to study the basic laws, regulations, and 
practices pertaining to the career management pattern of officer 
personnel. In 1960, the committee issued its report, A Concept of 
Career Management for Officer Personnel of the Armed Services 
(Washington, D.C.: Dec. 16, 1960). We did not find any mention of the 
16 factors in the published Bolte report.

[13] Kapos Associates Inc, Analysis of U.S. Marine Corps General 
Officer Billet Requirements, KAI 152-96F (Washington, D.C.: July 31, 
1996). 

[14] The services and Joint Staff also submitted a select number of O-
6 positions to be included in the study.

[15] RAND National Defense Research Institute, Job Evaluation Methods, 
PM-638-OSD (Jan. 1997). This study was prepared for the Office of the 
Secretary of Defense.

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