DOD 'Total Force Management'--Fact or Rhetoric?

FPCD-78-82: Published: Jan 24, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1979.

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In addressing the need for competent management of the Department of Defense (DOD) work force, GAO found that each service has developed its own manpower systems and policies; consequently, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has not issued a clearly defined total force policy. This report assesses DOD ability to manage in the most cost-effective way all available manpower resources, which include active and reserve military, civilian, and contractor personnel. GAO made this review because the importance of effective manpower management cannot be overstated in view of rising personnel costs. A well-defined total force policy implementing total force management could help Defense managers achieve maximum force readiness at minimum cost.

The Air Force is the only service with a total force management system; the Army and Navy have only recently started to develop a total force management system. OSD could more effectively monitor and evaluate the total force if accurate and standard information were available. OSD presently depends on the services for its access to military and civilian information, but this information is often inaccurate and incomplete.

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