Concern over Ratio of Enlisted Men to Officers and Possible Link between Military Officers and Industry
Concern was expressed over the ratio of enlisted men to officers, sustaining the officer corps at its higher rank level, and the possible link between military officers and industry. There has been a gradual upturn in the total enlisted-to-officer ratio from 5.9 in fiscal year 1972 to 6.5 in fiscal year 1977. This change has been accomplished while more than 30,000 military positions (mostly enlisted) were converted to civilian positions, and many functions previously performed by enlisted personnel are now being performed by contractors. In addition, the Department of Defense has taken initiatives to improve the balance between combat and support manpower; 21,000 military positions will be transferred to combat forces during the fiscal year 1973 to 1979 timeframe by reducing support activities and management headquarters. A Comptroller General decision has held that retired military officers will face forfeiture of their pensions if they entertain or provide favors to Government officials on behalf of Defense contractors. This decision recognizes that the purpose of providing entertainment and gratuities is to sell products by fostering good will and will be enforced in proven cases. A study of temporary grades and reduction to permanent grade as was the case after World War II does not appear necessary.