Military Officers:

DOD's Implementation of Congressionally Mandated Reductions

NSIAD-88-1: Published: Oct 9, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 1987.

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Martin M. Ferber
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) examined the Department of Defense's (DOD) planning for and implementation of congressionally mandated officer reductions for fiscal years 1987 through 1989; and (2) evaluated the officer requirements study that DOD prepared to justify officer growth.

GAO found that: (1) DOD has not fully developed plans to allocate reductions among the services; (2) only the Army has conducted a detailed analysis of its authorized officer positions to determine the positions that it could delete with the least impact on combat capability; and (3) the officer requirements study does not fully explain and justify the increase in the number of officers or assess changes in the officer corps by skill or grade level.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On January 4, 1988, the Secretary of Defense allocated the 1988 and 1989 reductions to the services.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should provide preliminary allocations of the 1988 and 1989 reductions to the services as soon as possible following action by the conference committee to allow as much time as possible for the services to program the reductions so that the impact on operations and readiness can be minimized.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Secretary of Defense has tasked each service to identify where reductions would be taken and include this information in a March 1, 1988, report to Congress.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the services to identify their share of allocated reductions in officer positions by rank, skill, and location, and identify those positions that will be converted to either enlisted or civilian positions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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