Continuous Management Attention Needed for Army To Improve Combat Unit Personnel Requirements

FPCD-78-61: Published: Sep 5, 1978. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1978.

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GAO reports and Army studies during the past 14 years have shown widespread, serious weaknesses in the Army's system for determining personnel requirements for combat units. The Army's Manpower Authorization Criteria provides criteria for determining the staff needed for combat functions which have measurable workloads. Errors in estimating either workload or soldiers' available worktime can have a major impact of the number of soldiers available.

In the 15 years since the inception of Manpower Authorization Criteria, the Army has not solved its problem of determining and justifying manpower requirements. Shortcomings in methods for estimating both workload and available worktime used in the formula make the results unreliable. A March 1978 proposal suggested new methods to model personnel requirements under varying wartime and peacetime conditions. This proposal provides an organized approach for improving the determination of maintenance personnel requirements and recognizes the need for an orderly, concerted, and long-range improvement effort. When complete, it should provide a basis to account for the differences between wartime and peacetime requirements and should result in more efficient resource allocation, large scale economies, and improved readiness.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Armed Services Committees should direct the Secretary of the Army to establish a comprehensive program for developing, implementing, and operating a reliable system to determine personnel requirements for combat units. The program should identify the system's objectives and include Army funding, organizations, personnel, and other resources needed to achieve the objectives. The Committees should direct the Secretary of Defense to see that the improvement program is complete, credible, and supported by viable funding and staffing and that the Army's budget contains funds specifically set aside to support the improvement effort.

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