Army Training:

Replacement Brigades Were More Proficient Than Guard Roundout Brigades

NSIAD-93-4: Published: Nov 4, 1992. Publicly Released: Jan 6, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed active Army brigades which replaced the National Guard's combat roundout brigades in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, focusing on: (1) brigade comparisons in terms of leadership training, military occupational specialty rates, gunnery qualification rates, and collective training; (2) whether the replacement brigades' new equipment created operational difficulties; (3) whether replacement or roundout brigades experienced equipment shortages.

GAO found that: (1) replacement brigades demonstrated a higher level of proficiency than roundout brigades; (2) replacement brigade soldiers had greater opportunities to develop leadership, individual, and crew skills; (3) replacement brigade soldiers had greater leadership training, individual skill qualification rates, and tank and vehicle gunnery skills; (4) only 50 percent of roundout brigade officers had completed required collective training courses at the company, battalion, and brigade levels, which resulted in difficulties in tactical and technical competence, training standards comprehension and application, and discipline enforcement; (5) 90 percent of replacement brigade officers completed the required training courses and possessed greater proficiency in critical skill areas; (6) roundout brigades post-deployment training focused on developing skills for the first time and roundout soldiers were twice as unlikely to deploy with their units; (7) National Guard roundout brigades had a higher percentage of senior grade personnel assigned and lower personnel turnover than replacement brigades; (8) new equipment received by the replacement brigades enhanced operational capabilities; (9) both replacement and roundout brigades experienced Army-wide equipment shortages; and (10) Army initiatives are underway to improve individual soldier skills and leadership proficiency, provide training to soldiers not qualified for assigned jobs, and utilize active Army officers in training reservists.

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