Department of Defense:

Professional Military Education at the Four Intermediate Service Schools

NSIAD-91-182: Published: Jun 13, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1991.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the implementation of selected recommendations at the four Department of Defense professional military education (PME) intermediate schools.

GAO found that: (1) the schools took some form of action on at least 90 percent of the applicable Panel on Military Education recommendations, but failed to fully adopt some recommendations concerning curricula, faculties, and students; (2) although all of the schools developed distinct curricula for both the senior and intermediate schools, Navy officials noted that, since Navy officers generally did not attend both schools, it developed intermediate and senior curricula with similarities to accommodate its officers' educational needs; (3) the law concerning faculty was amended to facilitate hiring civilian faculty and ensuring that military faculty were of high quality; (4) both the Navy and the Air Force schools hired civilian faculty pursuant to the new authority, and the Marine Corps was awaiting amended hiring authority from the Secretary of the Navy, but the Army was still considering the feasibility of using the authority, claiming that military faculty members were better suited to teach tactical and operational warfighting; (5) the Air Force was the only school that did not adopt letter grades as its performance standard; (6) the Joint Chiefs of Staff Military Education Policy Document (MEPD) objectives differed from the Panel's recommendations, since the Panel's purpose was to assess the ability of PME to develop joint specialty officers and the MEPD purpose was to define objectives and policies regarding all institutions in the military education system by setting minimum, not absolute, requirements; and (7) since the services took steps to implement MEPD policy directives within the framework of their own service PME requirements, the implementation of MEPD policy directives varied.