Defense Headquarters Staff Reductions:

An Overview

FPCD-78-72: Published: Oct 2, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 1978.

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After a comprehensive analysis in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) to determine ways for improving management and reducing manpower, the Secretary of Defense directed a 21.7% reduction, 448 positions, in OSD headquarters activities and a 22.4% reduction, 344 positions, in OSD field activities. The Secretary also instructed the military services to implement similar 20% to 25% staff reductions in their departmental headquarters.

Headquarters staff reductions were being achieved primarily through transfers of functions, positions, and people to other organizations. Although OSD, the Army, and the Navy had reduced the number of positions by about 2,900, only 62 employees had been removed from the Department of Defense's (DOD's) payroll through retirement, resignation, and involuntary separation. In planning the reductions, emphasis was placed on consolidating related functions, eliminating unnecessary or marginal functions, and transferring to lower levels of authority those which were primarily operational. Departmental headquarters staffs were to limit their functions to policy development, resource management, and program evaluation. The DOD apparently has not fully considered the impact of the current staff on the operations of the agency, and some officials feel that DOD components have been adversely affected in their ability to carry out their responsibilities. The reduction's impact on long-term operations cannot be determined at this time. (RRS)

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