Military Readiness:

Preliminary Observations on the Army's Manning Initiative

GAO-01-979R: Published: Jul 26, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2001.

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Neal P. Curtin
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Congress, the Department of Defense, and GAO have expressed concerns about the readiness of U.S. forces to carry out combat missions. To ensure that Army units can fulfill their missions, the Army decided to staff all active units at 100 percent with personnel at authorized grades and skills over fiscal years 2000-2003. The initiative has had mixed results. On the positive side, some combat divisions that have been routinely staffed at less than authorized levels are now staffed in the aggregate at 100 percent. On the negative side, because of the effort to staff the combat divisions and armored regiments at 100 percent, the staffing levels of some nondivisional units, including early deploying combat support units, have decreased. According to Army officials, some management decisions are affecting the Army's ability to achieve the goals for the manning initiative. The Army's ability to fully achieve and sustain its manning initiative goals will depend on its future management decisions on funding, recruiting, and retention.

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