Military Manpower:

Problems in Accounting for Occupational Shortfalls

NSIAD-88-188: Published: Jul 15, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Paul L. Jones
(202) 512-4636


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) personnel management accounting and reporting systems to determine whether they provide DOD managers with the kind of information they need to determine personnel shortfalls and excesses in occupational specialities in the event of a major mobilization.

GAO found that: (1) DOD does not reconcile the total military force by occupational specialities; (2) although the services do not consolidate and analyze occupation-specific skill data for their total-force requirements, the Army is refining a process to reconcile mobilization requirements and resources for all its military occupational specialties; (3) the services' current manpower and personnel management systems do not require any type of consolidated total-force occupational analysis; (4) although the services collect the raw data needed to perform total-force reconciliation, the data would require many adjustments before the services could use it for that purpose; (5) occupational data was not consistent and comparable across the services; and (6) DOD has no procedures for comparing requirements, authorizations, and inventory data on an occupation-specific, total-force basis.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of the Secretary of Defense oversight of service manpower requirements and authorizations databases has been improved. New guidance has been implemented. OASD(FM&P) has been established to monitor manpower.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should review the services' central manpower and personnel management accounting and reporting systems to determine what changes can be made to these systems so that total-force occupational requirements and resources can be related, monitored, and reported.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Significant progress in capability to match inventory, authorizations, and requirements has been made.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should develop and implement policies and procedures for reconciling, analyzing, and reporting total military force needs and resources by occupation for peacetime, mobilization, and wartime operations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD will use "macro" total force data for oversight and resource allocation decisions. DMDC is developing a total occupational force analysis capability using data supplied by the services.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should use the results of total-force occupational reconciliation and analysis to review and monitor service recruiting, training and assignment plans, strength changes, and force readiness.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In conjunction with other actions recently directed by the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Secretary of Defense will determine what documentation is required at the departmental level to provide proper oversight of service programs and maintain which is necessary for its strengthened oversight.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should maintain documentation of total-force reconciliations and analyses to support statements of shortfalls and excesses.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 11, 2018

Oct 10, 2018

Oct 9, 2018

Sep 24, 2018

Sep 20, 2018

Sep 10, 2018

Sep 6, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Sep 4, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here