Problems in Implementing the Army's Reserve Components Full-Time Manning Program

NSIAD-85-95: Published: Jun 4, 1985. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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Thomas J. Brew
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GAO reviewed the Army's Full-Time Manning (FTM) program under which Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) personnel are assigned to Army Reserve units to enhance unit readiness and deployability. The Army plans to significantly expand the program over the next 2 years.

GAO found many positive aspects of the FTM program such as: (1) the military and educational background of AGR personnel; (2) the effects of increased FTM levels in units; (3) plans for professional and technical career development; and (4) the fact that AGR personnel are deployable with their units. However, problems remain in the program. GAO found that the basis for the projected growth in the number of AGR personnel was questionable due to differences in FTM requirements between Army Reserve and Army National Guard unit models and the application of these models in the field. In addition, some concern has been expressed about the types of positions being filled, as well as the numbers of FTM positions. Further, GAO found that program management lacked a clear direction, and Army regulations governing the program have been interpreted differently in the field causing: (1) a lack of uniformity in personnel practices; (2) overgraded personnel; (3) confusion over the proper role of technicians; (4) problems with displaced reservists and double slotting; and (5) concerns about AGR career viability. Finally, the current system of mixing civilian technical and AGR personnel in units at all levels causes effectiveness problems, particularly in the Army Reserve units. GAO believes that an all-civilian technician force in units would be a less costly alternative than an all-AGR force, but many disadvantages would remain.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Implementation of the staffing guides distributed in September 1984 is being closely monitored by all responsible Army activities. Specific regulatory guidance was included in A.R. 135-2, Full-Time Military Support Program. The Bureau and the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff approve and validate full-time unit support requirements in requirement documents.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop procedures to review the implementation of unit models and the requirements process to ensure that FTM personnel are being properly utilized.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Feasibility examinations led the National Guard Bureau to identify training NCO in its unit staffing guides, and the Forces Command to provide for FTM training requirements in Army Reserve unit models.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should determine the feasibility of authorizing a training/operations position in company-size units.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: National Guard and Army Reserve FTM regulations were revised, as appropriate, to ensure compliance with Army policies. The National Guard Bureau and the Force Command will use validation teams at the unit level to ensure compliance. The Bureau will monitor the state-level management and utilization of full-time support personnel and establish the optimum level of support.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should ensure that the provisions of the regulations governing the FTM program are properly implemented in the field. In this respect, the National Guard Bureau should establish procedures to closely monitor activities in the states and determine what degree of centralized control is required to ensure that uniform standards are maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Regulations prescribing promotion policies for the Army's AGR force ensure promotion and assignment compatibility with authorized position grade and specialty, and preclude future overgraded cases. Actions were taken to eliminate existing overgrade situations.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should adhere to established grade structures for the AGR force and revise promotion policies to ensure that promotions are governed by this structure to prevent overgrading.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Secretary of the Army issued a memorandum stating intentions, if allowed by Congress, to use technicians solely in nondeploying support type activities. This would be done over time through attrition, without the involuntary movement of technicians. The Secretary asked Congress to remove restrictions on realigning technician positions; however, Congress has not allowed this, thus far.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop a plan for using the civilian technicians which removes their positions from deployable troop units and also protects the rights of current technicians and, following the development of such a plan, request that congressional restrictions affecting the movement of technician positions be removed to implement the phase-in of all-AGR full-time force in deployable troop units.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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