Military Education:

Implementation of Recommendations at the Armed Forces Staff College

NSIAD-92-30: Published: Oct 21, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Armed Forces Staff College's implementation of selected recommendations in a previous GAO report that were designed to help the Department of Defense improve its officer professional military education (PME) programs.

GAO found that: (1) of the 37 recommendations pertaining to the College, the College has implemented 22 recommendations, partially implemented 13 recommendations, and did not implement 2 recommendations; (2) in June 1990, the College established the recommended Phase II curriculum; (3) since the College's evaluation standards do not include letter grades, it has only partially implemented the grading recommendation; (4) of the 13 partially implemented recommendations, 10 cover areas that are not fully within the College's control, including interservice representation in the faculty and in the student body and faculty promotion potential as an incentive to teach at the College; (5) the Commandant of the College has no plans to change the grading policy, since letter grades tend to foster competition by measuring students against one another, thereby discouraging problem solving through teamwork and consensus building; (6) the College has not adopted the recommendation concerning a student exchange program with other schools; and (7) the College decided not to establish a distinguished graduate program, stating that it would be difficult to implement, given the varied ranks and knowledge and experience levels of officers attending the school.