Reduction in the Number of Military Personnel Assigned to the 8th Army and Increase in the Readiness of Individual Units

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-04-12.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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                            COMPTROLLER      GENERAL       OF      THE   UNITED   STATES
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                                           WASHINGTON.      D.C.     20548                     - .        /’
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Dear    Mr.     Chairman:

      On August       19, 1970,        we reported            to the Secretary               of De-
fense  the results         of our review             of the manpower             procedures
and practices       concerning          support        forces      of the 8th U.S.               Army
in Korea.       We raised        questions         regarding          the readiness            of
units  to perform        their      mission        and the adequacy              of the manage-
ment of manpower         needs.         We felt        that     decisions        which       resulted
in changed      manpower       needs     of individual             units      were controlled
by a ceiling      for    military        personnel          rather       than    justification
of the need for         specific        positions.            Also we reported               a need
for Army headquarters             and the 8th Army to improve                        their       prac-
tices  for    requesting         and assigning             additional         personnel.

          We concluded                    that,   with    better       management,      there     could
be a reduction                       in the number        of military         personnel      assigned
to __-.
      the       8th        Army
       --_ _.; ,” .b.I-- _- . --_I
                                 I     and   an increase        in   the   readiness      of  +d.jvid-
                              Many”of-.;c~e-m~~~ers            discuss&h        in the report         to
ual      units.
the Secretary                      of Defense      related        to Army-wide       problems       that
we included                    in earlier       reports.

        In a letter        dated   October    21, 1970,    the Assistant      Secre-
tary    of the Army commented            on our findings      and told   us of ac-
tions     being     taken   to strengthen       manpower   management.      A
summary      of the more important           matters    on which  we believe
further      action      is necessary      is enclosed,

       This  summary   is also  being    sent  today   to the Senate
Committee    on Armed Services,      the Senate     Committee       on Govern-
ment Operations,     the Senate    Committee     on Appropriations,          the

House Committee on Armed Services, and the House Committee   on
Appropriations.  Copies are being sent to the Secretary   of De-
fense and to the Secretary of the Army.

                                     Sincerely   yours,

                                     Comptroller   General
                                     of the United   States


The Honorable   Chet Holifield,       Chairman
Committee   on Government     Operations
House of Representatives
                                                                             Page 1

                                   SUMMARY OF

                         GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE


                         CONCERNING SUPPORT FORCES

                        OF THE 8TH U.S.        ARMY, KOREA

       The two principal       objectives         of our review were to obtain
information      on (1) the ability         of the Department       of the Army
to meet manpower needs of the 8th Army both in numbers and in
skills     and (2) the effectiveness           with which the 8th Army and
its subordinate      units  were managing the manpower resources
provided.      We were concerned         with two facets      of manpower man-
agement:      (1) the identification            of needs and the steps taken
to meet those needs, recognizing                the limited   availability    of
resources,      and (2) the requests          for the use of personnel      com-
pared with the available          positions        set up for individual    com-
mands .

         The review was made during      calendar   year 1970 at Head-
quarters,      Department   of the Army; Headquarters,        U.S. Army,
Pacific,     Honolulu,    Hawaii; Headquarters,     8th U.S. Army, Seoul,
Korea;     and selected    combat support    and combat service      support
units     of the 8th Army at various      locations    within   Korea.


       The effect     of the manpower problems             noted during        our re-
view was that certain         8th Army units        were not adequately
manned either      to maintain      a desired      state    of readiness        for
accomplishing      assigned     (potential)       combat support         missions    or
to efficiently      carry    out their      assigned     functions.         Some prob-
lems were beyond the control             of the 8th Army.            For example,
an Army-wide      shortage    of officers       and senior       enlisted      men pre-
vented     the Army from meeting         the 8th Army's needs for such
personnel.      Similarly,      the 8th Army had shortages               of enlisted
men in various      occupational       areas that could not be filled
because of Army-wide        shortages       and higher      priorities       for units
in Vietnam and elsewhere.
                                                                       Page 2

       We noted, however, that the Army's basic system for re-
questing and assigning personnel was not working well.        For
example, personnel assigned to duty with the 8th Army were
not arriving    in Korea when needed.    During the 9 months ended
April 1970, 55 percent of incoming personnel did not arrive
during the month for which they were requisitioned;       30 percent
arrived   later than the requirement    month and 25 percent arrived
earlier.     Other problems resulted  from inadequacies   in the 8th
Army's own procedures and practices      that could have been cor-
rected at that level.

      The adverse effect of these problems was disclosed             by
the 8th Army's evaluation     reports which used Army criteria
for measuring the operational       status of individual      units.
Our examination    of the personnel readiness condition          of 24
8th Army support units in March 1970--about           40 percent of all
8th Army support units--, -howed that 13 of the units were short
of their authorized    personnel levels.        Of the 13 units,     seven
units were either marginally       ready --having   major deficiencies
severely reducing capability     --or not ready and incapable of
performing   assigned missions.
       In commenting on the results            of the current review, the
Assistant     Secretary of the Army told us that the low state of
personnel readiness of the 8th Army was a matter of continuing
concern,      He attributed       this condition     to the total Army
shortages of personnel,           which would continue to have an im-
pact on the 8th Army greater than on other commands with
higher mission priorities.,            The Assistant    Secretary    told us
also that the need to improve the Army's manpower management
(authorization,       requisitioning,       and assignment) procedures
was applicable      not only to the 8th Army but also to other
commands. Specific         actions taken to improve manpower man-
agement included (1) standardization              of procedural    guidance
to personnel officers          for requisitioning      personnel,    including
reporting     mechanics and requirement          computations,    (2) expan-
sion of in-country        assignment procedures to include consider-
ation of relative        needs of all 8th Army units,          and (3) insti-
tution of programs to test the accuracy of personnel data
needed within the 8th Army to control               the use of military      per-
                                                                 Page 3


       U.S. Army, Pacific,     survey teams conduct on-the-site         ap-
praisals   of military    and civilian     manpower needs and review
the use made of personnel of the 8th Army. Each year the
teams are required      to consider about 40 percent of the per-
sonnel assigned to support units.            The surveys usually result
in reductions    in authorized     positions.       Concurrent with making
these reductions,      the 8th Army approves the establishment          of
new positions    in other units.       As  a  result,   there  has been  no
decrease in the total number of positions             or personnel  in the
8th Army.

      Experience shows that units usually request more positions
than can be justified     when the units are subjected     to a survey.
The continuing   practice   of the 8th Army to approve new needs
raises doubt about the effectiveness        of the Army' s procedures
for controlling    manpower ceilings    authorized  for major com-
       In commenting on this matter, the Assistant           Secretary
said that, when manpower surveys result            in reduced autho-
rized and required     strength    in units surveyed, the Commander,
8th Army, may distribute        the reductions     to apply against al-
ready approved requirements        in other units.      We found, how-
ever, that the excess positions          in units surveyed were not
actually   applied against requirements         already approved for
other units.      Consequently,    although survey team recommen-
dations resulted     in the elimination      of 2,373 positions      during
fiscal   year 1969, the total number of positions           authorized
for the 8th Army decreased by only 167,

      Manpower surveys within the 8th Army during fiscal             year
1969 showed that units were continuing            to request increases
which, when subjected       to review, were not justified.         Units
involved recommended an increase of 3,061 positions,              whereas
the survey team recommendations resulted            in a decrease of
2,373 positions.      This difference      of 5,434 positions     between
the increase requested by local commanders and the decrease
recommended by the team represents           about 23 percent of the
23,665 positions     involved in the surveys.          We believe that
all requests for additional        positions    should be subjected      to
the criteria,    such as Army staffing        guides, used by survey
                                                               Page 4


       The number of Korean soldiers       assigned to United States
units in the 8th Army is not considered when 8th Army man-
power authorizations       are established     or changed.     These
soldiers   are under the direct command of American commanders
of the units to which they are assigned.            Korean soldiers  are
assigned to a variety      of positions,    including    senior noncom-
missioned officer    positions.

      Nearly all units in the 8th Army have some Korean sol-
diers assigned, with significant     numbers being on duq with
the 2d and 7th Infantry  Divisions.     At the time of our review,
8th Army units were authorized     to have about 49,000 United
States Army personnel and about 11,000 Korean soldiers.

      The Korean soldiers,    unlike Korean civilian    nationals,
are not included in the basic organization       tables of the
American units where they are employed.      The Army"s system
of evaluating   unit readiness does not provide for formal
recognition   of the Korean supplement to United States units.

       In commenting on this practice,     the Assistant  Secretary
said that the authorized     United States manpower of units in
Korea was reduced by the number of Korean soldiers        in the
units;   the personnel readiness accounting     system did not
include the Korean personnel because the Army had no per-
sonnel management control     over them. The Assistant     Secretary
said also that the organization      tables were used as a basis
for requesting    United States personnel and equipment and that
the readiness status reports served as the basis for United
States manpower management.

      The Assistant    Secretary's    comments did not, in our opin-
ion, adequatel.y recognize      the need for accurate and complete
information    at the Washington level.       For example, an impor-
tant function    of unit organization     tables is to ensure that
the Army data bank in Washington contains complete and accu-
rate information     on the Army's force structures.       The pri-
mary function    of unit readiness status reports      is to evaluate
the capability    of the units to perform assigned missions and
not to serve as a basis for the management of manpower.
Under current reporting      procedures,   which exclude about
   I                                                            Page 5
20 percent of the military     manpower of the 8th Army (Korean
soldiers),   it is apparent that the Army does not have com-
plete and accurate information      on the force structure    or on
the readiness of the 8th Army units to which Korean soldiers
are assigned.     We were told by officials    at Headquarters,
United States Army, Pacific,     that the Korean soldiers     were not
considered    in determining  8th Army's manpower ceilings      and
therefore   did not affect   the level of United States troops in
       We continue to believe that the basic organization         tables
of the 8th Army units should include the Korean soldiers           as-
signed in order to accurately      describe unit composition.        We
believe also that the availability        of Korean soldiers   should
be considered by United States Army, Pacific,        in establishing
United States personnel ceilings      for the 8th Army and in mea-
suring unit readiness.