Observations on the Army's Manpower Requirements Criteria Program

NSIAD-84-78: Published: Mar 27, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1984.

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GAO commented on the results of its survey of the Army's Manpower Requirements Criteria (MARC) program.

MARC is the process used by the Army to determine the number of soldiers needed to perform combat support and combat service support functions in deployable units. GAO concern about MARC arose from the serious problems found in the Manpower Authorization Criteria program, the predecessor to MARC, which diminished the reliability and credibility of the Army's manpower planning. An effective manpower requirements system is of great importance both to military budgets and to the efficiency of combat support and combat service support. The compensation costs alone for personnel who would fill positions determined by MARC comprise $9.4 billion of the Army's military budget. Initiatives to implement MARC are in the early stages and, while GAO is encouraged by these initiatives, it believes that there is room for improvement. Although GAO found a number of problems with specific components of MARC, it believes that these problems are symptomatic of the larger problem of inadequate planning. Without adequate planning, the ultimate ability of MARC to reliably determine vital combat support personnel requirements is doubtful. Comprehensive and rigorous planning will assure the Army and Congress that actions to improve MARC are effective, efficient, and worth supporting.

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