Opportunities Exist for Substantial Savings in Administration of Military Skill Training Programs

FPCD-78-13: Published: Feb 14, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 1978.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) spends about $6.1 billion a year with a military and civilian staff of about 169,600, excluding contractor support, to train military personnel. About $3.4 billion of this amount provides skill training for over 1.2 million military personnel.

DOD has not instructed the services as to how many hours a week military students should be required to attend initial skill training classes; the number of hours per week students attend classes varies widely. During fiscal year 1977 the services could have reduced costs an estimated $155 million a year if they scheduled 40 hours a week in the classroom, shop, or laboratory for all initial skill training courses. Nonskill activities could be accomplished without extending training time if scheduled outside the 40 hours. The Army has overstated the need for school instructors by understating the hours they are available to teach; at least 1,250 hours teaching time a year is attainable because the Army uses it for interservice training courses, and it is the lowest number of hours used by any of the services. DOD could reduce training costs by millions of dollars by using civilians and by contracting for more skill training.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the services to: (1) schedule a minimum of 40 hours a week in the classroom, laboratory, or shop for skill training whenever possible; and (2) review the military positions in support of training to identify those which meet the criteria for conversion to civilians, determine the least costly method of staffing the positions, and convert positions from military to civilian or contract for training. He should require the Army to determine the number of hours its instructors spend in teaching and adjust its criterion accordingly and, pending such determination, use a minimum of 1,250 hours a year to estimate its requirements for instructors.

    Agency Affected:


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