Military and Civilian Managers of Defense Manpower:

Improvements Possible in Their Experience, Training, and Rewards

FPCD-79-1A: Published: Feb 16, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 1979.

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Volume 1 of this report addresses the effect of service staffing policies and practices on the qualifications of defense manpower and personnel managers; both military officers and civilians. Needed improvements in defense management of the manpower and personnel functions have been pointed out in many past GAO reports. In addition, recent passage of the Civil Service Reform Act delegates more personnel management responsibility to the Department. Volume 2 of the report consists of appendixes dealing with: (1) the objectives and results of a questionnaire on manpower development; (2) perceptions of training value; (3) professional activities; and (4) special analyses of organizational effectiveness and training strengths and weaknessess.

Varying service practices in many cases preclude the development of manpower and personnel management expertise, while, at the same time, those managers having such qualifications are not always rewarded for them by their organizations. Department of Defense (DOD) manpower and personnel organizations should be staffed with knowledgeable and experienced officers who are allowed to stay in one assignment for an appropriate time. When career management systems are successful, both the organization and the individual benefit.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should make sure that all services have established both a manpower officer career field and a personnel management officer career field to attract, develop, retain, and reward professional managers. The career fields should have established standards of background, education, required training, prior experience, and tenure. In addition, the services should specify certain manpower and personnel positions as the equivalent of command and operational experience and instruct promotion boards to consider such assignments as meaningful equivalent experience for advancement. The Secretary of Defense should also make sure that all services establish viable, complete, and timely career management systems for civilians in both the personnel and manpower functions and include employees working in the military personnel function. The programs should emphasize individual development and career progression equally with management information and control.

    Agency Affected:


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