Defense Use of Military Personnel in Industrial Facilities--Largely Unnecessary and Very Expensive

FPCD-79-10: Published: May 1, 1979. Publicly Released: May 1, 1979.

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After making a case study of military staffing at the Naval Weapons Support Center in Crane, Indiana, in 1976, GAO recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) should use civilians instead of military personnel in an industrial environment. It was estimated that about 10,000 military personnel were assigned to commercial and industrial military support activities.

A followup study at Crane and four other installations indicated that desirable levels of civilianization have not been achieved. The majority of military personnel were performing supervisory, administrative, and other technical functions that could be performed by civilians. One reason for the lack of progress may be the difficulty in obtaining increased authorization and funding for civilian personnel.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: DOD should request Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, to adjust authorizations and appropriations to accommodate increases in civilian personnel and decreases in military personnel. The Secretary of Defense should have reviews made at all command and industrial military support activities to identify how military personnel could be reduced and how the activities could be made more efficient and economical by employing more civilians. The Navy should be directed to convert the work force at Crane as suggested, and changes from military personnel to civilian personnel should be made by normal rotation and reassignment. As these changes occur, Navy appropriations should be adjusted to reduce manpower costs.

    Agency Affected:


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