Army Reserve Components:

Accurate and Complete Data Are Needed to Monitor Full-Time Support Program

NSIAD-92-70: Published: Dec 30, 1991. Publicly Released: Jan 10, 1992.

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Mark E. Gebicke
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the deployability and effectiveness of full-time support personnel occupying key positions in Army Reserve and National Guard Units, focusing on: (1) whether the Army's system for monitoring the full-time support program was adequate; and (2) the effectiveness of full-time support personnel in helping their units make the transition from peacetime to wartime operations.

GAO found that: (1) because the Army did not have an accurate or complete database of full-time support personnel and did not adequately define the information that was needed for effective program oversight and analysis, it could not effectively monitor the full-time support program; (2) the Army did not know how many full-time support personnel served with their units during Operation Desert Storm or how many were currently ready to deploy with their units since it did not have accurate data on the mobilization and deployability of its full-time support personnel; (3) some full-time support personnel did not serve with their units, mainly because of medical conditions or personal hardships, but because Desert Storm was only a partial mobilization the Army was able to replace them with full-time support personnel from lower-priority or nondeploying units; (4) the Army did not derive meaningful lessons from the full-time support program's wartime operation since it did not track data on the replacement of full-time support personnel from other units that had not been activated; (5) full-time support personnel are not sufficiently trained in the active Army's supply and personnel systems; and (6) full-time support personnel have not been fully trained in active Army systems because the full-time support program lacks adequate funding.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The revised DOD directive requires the Army to define the data needed for effective program oversight.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should define the data needed for effective oversight of the full-time support program and require its periodic collection and monitoring. At a minimum, this data should enable the state Guard organizations and Army Reserve Commands to monitor full-time support personnel's job qualifications and deployability.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that current Army policy requires reserve personnel to be trained on the systems and equipment they will operate in wartime. This training has been limited by system equipment availability and fiscal constraints in the past. The Army expects the result of the drawdown of forces to allow for more training time to be available to full-time support personnel.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should require that peacetime training be provided to full-time support personnel who are responsible for assisting in the wartime transition to active Army systems for personnel and supply.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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