oversight

Military Personnel: DOD Actions Needed to Improve the Efficiency of Mobilizations for Reserve Forces

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-08-21.

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

              United States General Accounting Office

GAO           Report to the Subcommittee on
              Personnel, Committee on Armed
              Services, U.S. Senate


August 2003
              MILITARY
              PERSONNEL
              DOD Actions Needed
              to Improve the
              Efficiency of
              Mobilizations for
              Reserve Forces




GAO-03-921
                                                August 2003


                                                MILITARY PERSONNEL

                                                DOD Actions Needed to Improve the
Highlights of GAO-03-921, a report to the       Efficiency of Mobilizations for Reserve
Subcommittee on Personnel, Committee
on Armed Services, U.S. Senate                  Forces



On September 14, 2001, President                About 300,000 of the 1.2 million National Guard and Reserve personnel have
Bush proclaimed that a national                 been called to active duty since September 11, 2001. They fought on the front
emergency existed by reason of the              lines in Iraq; tracked terrorists throughout Asia and Africa; maintained the peace
September 11, 2001, terrorist                   in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and now Iraq; and participated in a wide range of
attacks. Under section 12302 of                 domestic missions. However, DOD’s process to mobilize reservists after
title 10, United States Code, the
                                                September 11 had to be modified and contained numerous inefficiencies.
President is allowed to call up to
1 million National Guard and                    Existing operation plans did not fully address the mobilization requirements
Reserve members to active duty for              needed to deal with the terrorist attacks or uncertain overseas requirements. For
up to 2 years. GAO was asked to                 example, no previous requirements called for the extended use of National
review issues related to the call-up            Guard and Reserve members to fly combat air patrols over the nation’s capital
of reservists following                         and major cities. Because DOD could not rely on existing operation plans to
September 11, 2001. GAO                         guide its mobilizations, it used a modified process that relied on additional
examined (1) whether the                        management oversight and multiple layers of coordination, which resulted in a
Department of Defense (DOD)                     process that was slower and less efficient than the traditional process. Under
followed existing operation plans               the modified process, the Secretary of Defense signed 246 deployment orders to
when mobilizing forces, (2) the                 mobilize over 280,000 reservists compared to the less than 10 deployment orders
extent to which responsible
                                                needed to mobilize over 220,000 reservists during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
officials had visibility over the
mobilization process, and
(3) approaches the services have                DOD did not have visibility over the entire mobilization process primarily
taken to provide predictability to              because it lacked adequate systems for tracking personnel and other resources.
reservists. GAO also determined                 DOD’s primary automated readiness reporting system could not adequately
the extent to which the Ready                   track the personnel and other resources within the small units that were
Reserve forces, which make up                   frequently needed. Also, visibility was lost because some services’ active and
over 98 percent of nonretired                   reserve systems for tracking personnel were incompatible, resulting in ad hoc
reservists, were available.                     coordination between active and reserve officials. Both groups often resorted to
                                                tracking mobilizations with computer spreadsheets. In addition, some reservists
                                                were deployed beyond dates specified in their orders or stayed on alert for more
                                                than a year and never mobilized because officials lost visibility.
GAO recommends that DOD
improve mobilization planning,                  The services have used two primary approaches—predictable operating cycles
increase visibility over the                    and advance notification—to provide time for units and personnel to prepare for
readiness of small units, provide               mobilizations. All the services provide predictability to portions of their forces
for the seamless transfer of                    through some type of standard operating cycle, but only the Air Force has a
reservists’ data, update                        standard operating cycle that brings predictability to both its active and reserve
mobilization guidance, improve                  forces. The Army prioritizes its units, and lower-priority units generally need
predictability for Army units,
                                                extra training and preparation time before deploying. Yet, since September 11, a
increase access to the Individual
Ready Reserve (IRR), and update                 number of lower-priority units have been mobilized with relatively little advance
IRR policies. DOD generally                     notice. Despite the large number of lower-priority units within the Army Guard
concurred with the                              and Reserve, the Army does not have a standard operating cycle to provide
recommendations in this report.                 predictability to its reserves. Without such a concept, the Army’s opportunities
                                                to provide extra training and preparation time to its reserve forces are limited.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-921.          Mobilizations were hampered because one-quarter of the Ready Reserve was not
To view the full product, including the scope   readily available for mobilization. Over 70,000 reservists could not be mobilized
and methodology, click on the link above.       because they had not completed their training requirements, and the services
For more information, contact Derek B.          lacked information needed to fully use the 300,000 pretrained IRR members.
Stewart at (202) 512-5559 or
stewartd@gao.gov.
Contents


Letter                                                                                    1
               Results in Brief                                                           3
               Background                                                                 7
               DOD’s Mobilizations after September 11, 2001, Were Not Based on
                 Existing Operation Plans                                               19
               DOD Officials Had Limited Visibility Over the Mobilization Process       24
               The Services Have Two Approaches to Provide Preparation Time
                 for Mobilizations and Deployments                                      31
               DOD Has Limited Access to Portions of the Ready Reserve                  36
               Conclusions                                                              42
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                     43
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                       44

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                    46



Appendix II    Comments from the Department of Defense                                  50



Appendix III   Staff Acknowledgments                                                    54



Tables
               Table 1: Authorities Used to Mobilize Reservists after September
                        11, 2001                                                          9
               Table 2: Numbers of Army National Guard or Army Reserve Units
                        That Were on Alert in Excess of 90 Days (March 28, 2003)        28
               Table 3: Fiscal Year 2002 Questionnaire Response Rates                   38
               Table 4: IRR Screening Event Participation Rates                         40


Figures
               Figure 1: Flowchart of the Mobilization Process                          11
               Figure 2: Guard and Reserve Members on Active Duty (January
                        2002-July 2003)                                                 15
               Figure 3: Reserve Force Mobilizations by Service (January 2002–
                        July 2003)                                                      16
               Figure 4: Reserve Force Mobilizations as Percentages of Service
                        Ready Reserve Strengths (January 2002–July 2003)                17


               Page i                                         GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Abbreviations

DOD               Department of Defense
GSORTS            Global Status of Resources and Training System
IRR               Individual Ready Reserve
OSD               Office of the Secretary of Defense
RFF               Request for Forces




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Page ii                                                   GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   August 21, 2003

                                   The Honorable Saxby Chambliss
                                   Chairman
                                   The Honorable E. Benjamin Nelson
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Subcommittee on Personnel
                                   Committee on Armed Services
                                   United States Senate

                                   Mobilization is a complex process used to move the military from its
                                   peacetime posture to a heightened state of readiness to support national
                                   security objectives in time of war or other national emergency. It involves
                                   the activation of all or some of the 1.2 million members of the National
                                   Guard and Reserve components, as well as the assembling and organizing
                                   of supplies and materiel. The process involves many different
                                   organizations and, while reserve component officials have a role in the
                                   process, civilian leaders and active military officials within the Department
                                   of Defense (DOD) take the lead in the process. Active component officials
                                   generate and validate mobilization requirements, and civilian leaders
                                   approve requests to alert, mobilize, and deploy forces. In addition, when
                                   reservists1 are mobilized they come under the operational control of the
                                   active forces.

                                   On September 14, 2001, President Bush proclaimed that a national
                                   emergency existed by reason of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
                                   His proclamation2 further stated that he intended to utilize section 12302 of
                                   title 10, United States Code (commonly referred to as the partial
                                   mobilization authority), which allows the President to call up to 1 million




                                   1
                                     Unless specified otherwise, the terms “reserves” and “reservists” both refer to the
                                   collective forces of the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, as well as the
                                   forces from the Army Reserve, the Naval Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Air Force
                                   Reserve, and the Coast Guard Reserve. Our review focused on DOD’s reservists and its
                                   mobilization process. We also included the Coast Guard Reserve in our review because it is
                                   considered a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces, even though it was part of the
                                   Department of Transportation when we began our review and part of the Department of
                                   Homeland Security when we completed our review.
                                   2
                                       Proclamation No. 7463 of September 14, 2001.



                                   Page 1                                                    GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
National Guard and Reserve members to active duty for up to
2 years.

We were asked to review issues related to the call-up of reservists
following September 11, 2001. As agreed with your offices, our review was
focused on the efficiency of DOD’s process for mobilizing reservists from
among its authorized 1.2 million Ready Reserve3 members. Specifically, we
examined (1) whether DOD followed existing operation plans when
mobilizing reserve forces after September 11, 2001, (2) the extent to which
responsible officials had visibility over the entire mobilization process,
and (3) approaches the services have taken to provide predictability to
reservists who were subject to mobilizations and overseas deployments.
You also asked us to determine the extent to which the Ready Reserve
forces were available for mobilization.

To evaluate the efficiency of DOD’s mobilization process, we reviewed
mobilization statutes, regulations, instructions, and guidance. We analyzed
mobilization data obtained during meetings with military and civilian
officials from the offices of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, the services, the reserve component headquarters, and a
number of commands that used mobilized reservists. We also collected
and analyzed information on the roles and responsibilities of key
mobilization officials, the steps of the mobilization process, and the
methods and systems used to track mobilization requirements and
reservists who had been mobilized. To gain first-hand knowledge about
the effects of mobilizations on individual reservists, we interviewed both
unit and individual reservists at sites where they were deployed or
undergoing mobilization processing4 and training. We also observed DOD’s
2-1/2 day November 2002 symposium where senior military and civilian
officials came together and reviewed the mobilization process. A more
thorough description of our scope and methodology is provided in
appendix I.




3
 The Ready Reserve accounts for over 98 percent of nonretired reservists and consists of
units and individuals who are liable for active duty under the provisions of 10 U.S.C.§ 12301
and § 12302.
4
 This processing included attendance at medical, legal, and family support briefings;
personnel record screenings and updates; medical and dental processing, including
receiving inoculations; and receiving combat equipment, camouflage clothing, Geneva
Convention Cards, identification tags, and the new controlled access cards that have
replaced laminated identification cards.




Page 2                                                      GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                       About 300,000 of the 1.2 million National Guard and Reserve personnel
Results in Brief       have been called to active duty since September 2001. They fought on the
                       front lines in Iraq; tracked down terrorists throughout Asia and Africa;
                       maintained the peace in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and now Iraq; and
                       participated in a wide range of domestic missions. However, the process
                       to mobilize reservists after September 11 had to be modified and
                       contained numerous inefficiencies.

                       DOD did not follow existing operation plans after the events of
                       September 11, 2001, because those plans did not adequately address the
                       mobilization requirements needed to deal with terrorist attacks at home
                       and abroad, or with uncertain overseas deployment requirements. The
                       following examples illustrate how the existing operation plans failed to
                       accurately identify mobilization requirements.

                   •   No previous requirements existed for National Guard troops at the nation’s
                       civilian airports.
                   •   No requirements called for the extended use of Guard and Reserve
                       members to fly combat air patrols over the nation’s capital and major
                       cities.
                   •   Overseas requirements focused on traditional operations against national
                       military forces, rather than on tracking terrorists throughout Afghanistan
                       and around the globe.
                   •   Requirements in the Iraq operation plan had to be modified to address the
                       tenuous political environment, when assumed coalition partners and
                       planned access to bases and airspaces became uncertain.
                   •   Requirements for individuals and small, tailored task forces were much
                       greater than those contained in the operation plans.

                       Because the existing operation plans had not adequately identified
                       mobilization requirements, DOD began using a modified mobilization
                       process after September 11, 2001. This modified process relied on
                       additional management oversight and multiple layers of coordination
                       among crisis action teams that were established to screen, clarify, and fill
                       mobilization requirements. This additional oversight and coordination
                       resulted in a modified mobilization process that was slower and less
                       efficient than the traditional process of synchronized mobilizations and
                       deployments based on existing operation plans. Coordination was much
                       more difficult under the modified process due to the large number of
                       deployment orders. For example, under the modified process, the
                       Secretary of Defense signed 246 deployment orders to mobilize over
                       280,000 reservists between September 11, 2001, and May 21, 2003,




                       Page 3                                            GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
compared to the less than 10 deployment orders needed to mobilize over
220,000 reservists during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

DOD officials did not have visibility over the entire mobilization process
primarily because DOD lacked adequate systems for tracking personnel
and other resources. First, DOD’s primary readiness reporting automated
data system tracked only the readiness of large units and not the readiness
of resources within the units that were frequently needed after September
11, 2001. DOD’s readiness reporting system does capture separate
information on the status of various personnel and equipment categories
for the unit as a whole, but it does not capture information on the smaller
units that make up the reporting unit. The Air Force had a system to report
the readiness of small units, but the other services did not have similar
capabilities. As a result, OSD, Joint Staff, and service headquarters
officials could not view automated readiness information for the full range
of units available to meet the small, tailored requirements. Instead, they
had to spend considerable time to coordinate with individual units or
reserve component headquarters to obtain this information.

Second, visibility was lost because some services’ active and reserve
component systems for tracking personnel were incompatible. The reserve
systems had visibility over one part of the mobilization process and the
active systems had visibility over a different part of the process, but the
systems were not able to directly transfer information and data between
the systems. As a result, the tracking of reservists required extensive ad
hoc coordination between active and reserve component officials, and
both groups often resorted to tracking mobilizations with computer
spreadsheets. Also, DOD and service officials sometimes lost visibility
over the length of deployments for mobilized reservists who, in turn, were
inadvertently deployed beyond the original year specified in their orders.
In other cases, hundreds of Guard and Reserve members were kept on
alert to mobilize for more than a year, without ever mobilizing.

In addition, visibility was sometimes lost when coordination and
communication failed to take place due to outdated or conflicting
guidance. For example, Air Force officials drafted a mobilization
instruction to reflect changes to the roles and responsibilities of personnel
and the flow of information that had occurred under the modified
mobilization process. However, this instruction was never finalized and
signed. Some Air Force mobilization officials followed the unsigned draft
instruction, while others followed the older “official” instruction due to the
officials’ uncertainty of which to follow. We discovered cases where air
reserve component units had been mobilized without their reserve


Page 4                                            GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
component headquarters being informed of the mobilizations, because the
new guidance had not been followed.

The services have used two primary approaches—predictable operating
cycles and formal advanced notification—to provide time for units and
servicemembers to prepare for upcoming mobilizations and deployments.
Key officials throughout DOD have acknowledged the importance of
predictability in helping reserve forces to prepare for mobilization and
deployment. Predictability helps units anticipate (1) downtime, so they
can schedule lengthy education and training for personnel and lengthy
maintenance for equipment and (2) the likely periods of mobilization or
deployment, so they can focus on efforts to increase readiness, including
last minute training and the screening of medical, dental, and personnel
records. Predictability also helps individual reservists by giving them time
to prepare their civilian employers and family members for their possible
departures. All the services provide predictability to portions of their
forces through some type of standard operating cycle, but only the Air
Force has a standard operating cycle that brings predictability to both its
active and reserve forces. Faced with a high and increasing pace of reserve
operations, the Air Force adopted a standard operating cycle to help it
manage its commitments while reducing the deployment burden on its
people. Under the cycle, forces were scheduled to deploy for only 3 of
every 15 months. The Army prioritizes its units, and lower-priority units
generally need extra training and preparation time prior to deploying.
However, a number of lower-priority units were mobilized with relatively
little advance notice. For example, five transportation companies
containing 976 reservists were alerted on February 9, 2003, and told to
arrive at their mobilization stations by February 14, 2003. Despite the large
number of lower-priority units within the Army National Guard and the
Army Reserve, the Army does not have a standard operating cycle concept
to provide predictability to its reserve forces. Without such a concept, the
Army’s opportunities to provide extra training and preparation time to its
reserve forces, particularly those with lower priorities, are limited.

Lacking a standard operating cycle to provide predictability for its
reservists, the Army strives to provide its reservists with official written
orders 30 days in advance of mobilizations, in accordance with an OSD
policy goal. Between September 2001 and March 2003, advance notice for
Army personnel fluctuated from less than 72 hours to more than 4 weeks.
While advanced notice is beneficial to individual reservists, it does not
provide the longer lead times made possible by predictable operating
cycles. Such cycles allow reserve units, which typically drill only once
every 30 days, to schedule their training and maintenance so the units’


Page 5                                           GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
readiness will build as the mobilization time approaches. While always
important, predictability and preparation times are likely to become even
more important when the pace of reserve operations is high. The Army has
had more than 100,000 reservists mobilized since February 12, 2003, and
the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs office projected that
mobilizations would remain high at least through the end of 2004.
However, the Army does not employ standard operating cycles for its
reserve forces, leaving it with limited time to prepare for the increased
mobilization and deployment demands on its reserve forces.

After September 11, 2001, mobilizations were hampered because about
one-quarter of the Ready Reserve force was not readily available for
mobilization or deployment. Over 70,000 reserve members could not be
mobilized because they had not completed their training requirements. In
addition, the services lacked vital information necessary to fully use an
additional pool of over 300,000 pretrained individual reservists, known as
the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Many of the IRR members were not
available for mobilization because the services did not have valid contact
information (addresses or phone numbers) for these individuals. For
example, in April 2003, the Army estimated that it had inaccurate
addresses for at least 40,400 of its IRR members. When the services were
able to contact their IRR members and obtain vital information necessary
to use their IRR pools, exemptions and delays often limited the services’
abilities to fully use these personnel. For example, in February 2003, the
Army sent mobilization orders to 345 IRR members, but 164 of these
reservists requested and were granted exemptions so they did not have to
deploy. Another 35 were granted delays in their reporting dates.

The services have used three primary methods to gain and maintain access
to their IRR members. First, they brief the members when they leave
active duty or drilling reserve positions to make them aware of their
responsibilities as members of the IRR. Next, they send the members
questionnaires to verify basic information, such as current addresses.
Finally, the services conduct a limited number of 1-day screenings where
certain IRR members are ordered to military facilities to physically verify
their fitness for mobilization and deployment. However, service officials
considered response rates for the questionnaires and participation rates
for the screenings low, and the services have not developed results-
oriented goals and related performance metrics to collect and maintain
updated IRR member information. In addition, some mobilized Marine
Corps IRR members told us that their IRR responsibilities had not been
clearly explained during exit briefings when they left active duty.



Page 6                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
             DOD’s reluctance to use the IRR has resulted in additional situations
             where the Ready Reserve force was not readily available for mobilization
             or deployment. For example, DOD and service policies have discouraged
             the use of the IRR because IRR members do not participate in any
             regularly scheduled training and are consequently not paid regularly. The
             policies call for the mobilization of reservists who have been participating
             in regular paid training, no matter the type of mobilization requirement
             that is being filled. This reluctance to use the IRR contributes to situations
             where individual mobilization requirements are filled with personnel from
             reserve units, thus creating personnel shortages within the units that had
             supplied the reservists and affecting the units’ readiness to mobilize and
             deploy. As the Army mobilized forces for the war in Iraq, it moved unit
             reservists from one unit to another to fill vacancies within the units, which
             were first to mobilize and deploy. When units that had supplied reservists
             were later mobilized, reservists from other units had to be transferred into
             these later deploying units. If IRR members had filled the initial
             requirements, many of the subsequent transfers would not have been
             necessary. Further, the reluctance of one service to use the IRR can affect
             other services. For example, the Air Force’s reluctance to access any of its
             more than 44,000 IRR members has left the responsibility for guarding Air
             Force bases to over 9,000 Army National Guard unit personnel.

             We are making several recommendations to enhance the efficiency of
             DOD’s reserve mobilizations. These recommendations are directed at
             improving mobilization planning, increasing visibility over the readiness of
             small units, providing for the seamless transfer of reservist information
             regardless of whether the reservists are in an active or reserve status,
             updating mobilization guidance, improving predictability for Army reserve
             units, increasing access to the IRR, and updating IRR policies.

             In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD fully concurred with six of
             our seven recommendations and partially concurred with our
             recommendation concerning the need for the Army and the Navy to
             capture additional readiness information. DOD stated that the Army and
             the Navy fully support capturing relevant information in the DOD
             readiness reporting system but that combatant commanders will need to
             establish resource requirements to include tailored mission requirements.
             We agree that improvements in readiness reporting should be closely
             linked to efforts to more clearly define requirements.


             Mobilization is the process of assembling and organizing personnel and
Background   equipment, activating or federalizing the reserve component, and bringing


             Page 7                                            GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                             the armed forces to a state of readiness for war or other national
                             emergency. It is a complex undertaking that requires constant and precise
                             coordination among a number of commands and officials. Mobilization
                             usually begins with the President invoking a mobilization authority and
                             ends with the mobilization of an individual Reserve or National Guard
                             member.


Reserve Components and       There are seven reserve components: the Army Reserve, Army National
Categories                   Guard, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Naval Reserve, Marine
                             Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve. Reserve forces can be divided
                             into three major categories: the Ready Reserve, the Standby Reserve, and
                             the Retired Reserve. The Ready Reserve had approximately 1.2 million
                             Guard and Reserve members at the end of fiscal year 2002, and its
                             members were the only reservists who were subject to mobilization under
                             the partial mobilization declared by President Bush on September 14,
                             2001.

                             Within the Ready Reserve, there are three subcategories: the Selected
                             Reserve, the IRR, and the Inactive National Guard. Members of all three
                             subcategories are subject to mobilization under a partial mobilization.

                         •   In fiscal year 2002, the Selected Reserve had 882,142 members. Members
                             of the Selected Reserve are all the personnel who are active members of
                             the National Guard or Reserve units who participate in regularly
                             scheduled training. As a result, they draw regular pay for their reserve
                             service. It also includes individual mobilization augmentees—individuals
                             who train regularly, for pay with active component units.
                         •   In fiscal year 2002, the IRR had 314,037 members. During a partial
                             mobilization these individuals, who were previously trained during periods
                             of active duty service, can be mobilized to fill requirements. Each year, the
                             services transfer thousands of personnel who have completed the active
                             duty or Selected Reserve portions of their military contracts, but who have
                             not reached the end of their minimum service obligations, to the IRR.5




                             5
                              While enlistment contracts can vary, a typical enlistee would incur an 8-year minimum
                             service obligation, which could consist of a 4-year active duty obligation followed by a
                             4-year IRR obligation.




                             Page 8                                                     GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                               However, IRR members do not participate in any regularly scheduled
                               training, and they are not paid for their membership in the IRR.6
                           •   In fiscal year 2002, the Inactive National Guard had 3,142 Army National
                               Guard members. This subcategory contains individuals who are
                               temporarily unable to participate in regular training but who wish to
                               remain attached to their National Guard units. These individuals were not
                               subject to mobilization prior to the declaration of a partial mobilization on
                               September 14, 2001.


Mobilization Authorities       Most reservists who were recalled to active duty for other than normal
                               training after September 11, 2001, were mobilized under one of the three
                               authorities listed in table 1.

                               Table 1: Authorities Used to Mobilize Reservists after September 11, 2001

                                                                                   Number of Ready
                                   U.S.C. Title 10        Type of                  Reservists that  Length of
                                   Section                mobilization             can be mobilized mobilizations
                                                                                            a
                                   12304                  Involuntary              200,000                270 days
                                   12302                  Involuntary              1,000,000              2 years
                                   12301 (d)              Voluntary                Unlimited              Unlimited
                               Source: GAO.
                               a
                                Under this authority, the services can mobilize the Selected Reserve and up to 30,000 IRR
                               members who count against the 200,000-person cap.


                               DOD had the authority to use section 12304, the Presidential Reserve Call-
                               Up authority, to mobilize reservists in support of contingency operations
                               in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Southwest Asia prior to September 11, 2001. It
                               continued to use this authority to mobilize reservists for ongoing
                               operations in these areas even after the partial mobilization authority
                               (section 12302) was invoked on September 14, 2001.

                               The partial mobilization authority has been used to support both domestic
                               and overseas missions related to the global war on terrorism, including the



                               6
                                IRR members can request to participate in annual training or other operations, but most
                               do not. Those who are activated are paid for their service. There are also small groups of
                               IRR members who participate in unpaid training. The members of this last group are often
                               in the IRR only for short periods while they are waiting to transfer to paid positions in the
                               Selected Reserve. IRR members can receive retirement credit if they meet basic eligibility
                               criteria through voluntary training or mobilizations.




                               Page 9                                                           GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                       operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. After invoking section 12302 on
                       September 14, 2001, the President delegated his mobilization authority to
                       the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation. The
                       Secretary of Defense further delegated this authority to the service
                       secretaries and allowed them to delegate the authority to any civilian
                       official who was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.7
                       When the Secretary of Defense delegated his authority, he set limits on the
                       numbers of personnel that the services could mobilize. On September 14,
                       2001, the Secretary of Defense assigned the Army a mobilization cap of
                       10,000 personnel; the Navy a cap of 3,000; the Marine Corps a cap of 7,500;
                       and the Air Force a cap of 13,000, for a total cap of 33,500. The caps were
                       raised several times, but in aggregate they have remained below 300,000
                       since they were first established.

                       Since September 11, 2001, the services have also made extensive use of
                       their section 12301(d) authority. This authority can involve complicated
                       administrative processing because reservists must volunteer to be
                       activated, and individuals who are brought on to active duty under this
                       authority have varying starting and ending dates. However, this authority
                       provides flexibility that is advantageous to both individual reservists
                       members and the services. The reservists can schedule their active duty
                       periods around family and work responsibilities, and the services are not
                       constrained by the numerical caps and time limitations of other
                       mobilization authorities.


Mobilization Process   As figure 1 indicates, mobilization is a decentralized process that requires
                       the collaboration of many organizations throughout DOD.




                       7
                        Within each of the military departments, this authority was delegated to the offices with
                       primary responsibility for reserve issues—the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower
                       and Reserve Affairs), the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs),
                       and the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).




                       Page 10                                                   GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Figure 1: Flowchart of the Mobilization Process




                                         Note: Shaded blocks emphasize the extra coordination that was required under the modified process.




                                         Page 11                                                        GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
The mobilization process typically begins with the component
commanders, who are responsible for commanding their services’ active
and reserve forces within a combatant commander’s area of
responsibility.8 The component commanders identify requirements for
wars or contingency operations within their areas of responsibility and
submit the requirements to the combatant commanders. The combatant
commanders, who have responsibility and operational control over forces
from two or more services, consolidate the requirements from their
component commanders and develop “requests for forces” (RFF). Each
RFF generally identifies the mission, along with the equipment, personnel,
units, types of units, or general capabilities that are necessary to carry out
the mission. RFFs may be very detailed or very general, depending on the
nature of the mission. Furthermore, RFFs typically contain requirements
that must be filled by more than one service.

The combatant commanders send RFFs to the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, who is the principal military advisor to the President and
the Secretary of Defense on mobilization matters. The Joint Staff validates
and prioritizes requirements from the combatant commanders and then
sends draft deployment orders via E-mail to the supporting commanders,
who will supply forces or equipment. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff considers (1) the assessments of the service headquarters, reserve
component commanders, and supporting combatant commanders;
(2) input from his own staff; and (3) the technical advice, legal opinions,
and policies provided by OSD. The Chairman then makes a
recommendation to the Secretary of Defense concerning the timing of
mobilizations and the units or individuals to be mobilized.

When the Secretary of Defense completes his review of the validated RFF
and is satisfied with the mobilization justification, he authorizes the
deployment of forces, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issues
a deployment order. The services then review the approved requirements
on the deployment order and coordinate with applicable force providers
and reserve component headquarters to check the readiness of the units
that had been projected to fill the requirements. If necessary, units or
individuals may be identified to substitute for, or augment, the units and
individuals that were originally projected. When the units or individuals



8
 The number of combatant commanders is not fixed by law or regulation and may vary
over time. While most of the combatant commands are organized on a geographical basis,
some are organized on a functional basis.




Page 12                                                 GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
are firmly identified for mobilization, the assistant secretaries of the
military departments who have responsibilities for manpower and reserve
affairs issues approve the mobilization packages.9

Finally, the services issue mobilization orders to units and individuals.
These orders state where and when to report for duty, as well as the length
of duty. In September 2001, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense
(Personnel and Readiness), which is responsible for developing the
policies, plans, and programs to manage the readiness of both active and
reserve forces, issued a memorandum containing specific mobilization
guidance. This guidance instructed the military departments to write
mobilization orders for 1 year10 but allowed the service secretaries the
option of extending mobilizations for a second year.

In subsequent mobilization guidance, issued in January, March, and July
2002, the Under Secretary instructed the services to use volunteers to the
maximum extent possible, so that involuntary mobilizations would be
minimized. In conjunction with the services, the Office of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, which has overall responsibility
for reserve policies and procedures within DOD, set a goal to provide
reservists with 30 days notice prior to mobilization, when operationally
feasible. The services took different approaches when alerting their
reservists prior to mobilization. The Army took the most formal approach
and attempted to provide its reservists with official orders 30 days prior to
their mobilization dates. The other services took less formal approaches
and tried to notify reservists of impending mobilizations and deployments
when requirements were identified or validated, or at some other key
point in the mobilization process.11

According to DOD officials, the mobilization process—from the time a
requirement is generated until the time that a reservist reports to a


9
 In September 2001, this final approval authority was delegated from the Office of the
Secretary of Defense to the military departments. However, during the final buildup for
Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) acted
as the final mobilization authority.
10
  These orders did not prevent the services from demobilizing personnel prior to the end of
the year.
11
  Some high-priority reserve units are required to be available for deployment within 72 or
even 24 hours of notification so it is well-recognized that formal notification will not always
be available 30 days prior to mobilization. Even informal notification may be short for
quickly emerging requirements.




Page 13                                                      GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                mobilization site to fill that requirement—can take anywhere from 1 day to
                several months, but it normally takes several weeks. Based on our
                observations at mobilization processing sites and discussions with
                mobilization officials, we found that most reservists were able to complete
                their required briefings, screenings, and administrative functions within 24
                to 96 hours after reaching their mobilization sites. However, some
                reservists required lengthy postmobilization training before they were able
                to deploy.


Reserve Tempo   Unreliable and inconsistent data make it difficult to quantify the exact
                change in the tempo of reserve operations since September 11, 2001.12
                Officials from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve
                Affairs have characterized mobilization data from the early days and
                weeks following September 11 as questionable. In addition, because
                reservists can perform a wide variety of sometimes-overlapping training
                and operational missions, in a variety of voluntary or involuntary duty
                statuses, mobilization data have been captured differently over time. For
                example, because the state governors mobilized large numbers of National
                Guard troops to provide security at their civilian airports, DOD’s
                mobilization figures for most of 2002 included state active duty figures as
                well as figures for federal mobilizations. However, state active duty was
                dropped from DOD’s mobilization figures after the National Guard moved
                out of the last civilian airport in September 2002. It is also difficult to fully
                capture increases in reserve tempos because mobilization figures that are
                based strictly on section 12302 partial mobilization orders ignore the
                major contributions of reserve volunteers, some of whom are serving
                lengthy tours under section 12301(d) orders. Despite the identified data
                challenges, figure 2 uses consistently reported data to demonstrate that
                reserve mobilizations have not dipped below 50,000 during any week since
                January 2002. Figure 2 also shows the dramatic increase in mobilizations
                that began in January 2003 to support operations in Iraq.




                12
                  Tempo refers to the total days reservists spend participating in normal drills, training,
                and exercises, as well as domestic and overseas operational missions.




                Page 14                                                      GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Figure 2: Guard and Reserve Members on Active Duty (January 2002-July 2003)




                                       Note: Data from the early days and weeks following September 11, 2001, are not reliable. Further,
                                       the services captured mobilization data differently over time, making it difficult to aggregate the data.
                                       To present the data consistently, our figures display data beginning with January 2002.


                                       Figures 3 and 4 show the mobilizations of each of the services between
                                       January 2002 and July 2003.




                                       Page 15                                                             GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Figure 3: Reserve Force Mobilizations by Service (January 2002–July 2003)




                                        Note: Data from the early days and weeks following September 11, 2001, are not reliable. Further,
                                        the services captured mobilization data differently over time, making it difficult to aggregate the data.
                                        To present the data consistently, our figures display data beginning with January 2002.


                                        Figure 3 shows that between January 2003 and July 2003, the Army had
                                        more reservists mobilized than did all the other services combined.
                                        However, figure 4 shows that the mobilizations were most wide reaching
                                        within the Coast Guard, which had more than one-third of its Ready
                                        Reserve forces mobilized during April 2003.


                                        Page 16                                                             GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Figure 4: Reserve Force Mobilizations as Percentages of Service Ready Reserve Strengths (January 2002–July 2003)




                                        Note: Data from the early days and weeks following September 11, 2001, are not reliable. Further,
                                        the services captured mobilization data differently over time, making it difficult to aggregate the data.
                                        To present the data consistently, our figures display data beginning with January 2002.


Relevant GAO Products                   Previously, we reported on several issues surrounding the increased use of
                                        reserve forces. Our June 2002 report noted that maintaining employers’
                                        continued support for their reservist employees will be critical if DOD is to
                                        retain experienced reservists in these times of longer and more frequent




                                        Page 17                                                             GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
deployments.13 We assessed the relations between reservists and their
civilian employers, focusing specifically on DOD’s outreach efforts
designed to improve these important relationships. We found that many
employers we surveyed were not receiving adequate advance notice prior
to their reservist employees’ departure for military duty. We reported that
in spite of repeated memoranda from the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Reserve Affairs, advance notification continued to be a problem and
that the services had not consistently met the 30-day advance notification
goal. We recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the services to
determine how many orders are not being issued 30 days in advance of
deployments and why, and then take the necessary corrective actions
toward fuller compliance with the goal. DOD agreed with the merit to
studying why the reserve components miss the 30-day goal.

Citing the increased use of the reserves to support military operations,
House Report 107-436 accompanying the Fiscal Year 2003 National
Defense Authorization Act directed us to review compensation and benefit
programs for reservists serving on active duty. In response, we are
reviewing (1) income protection for reservists called to active duty,
(2) family support programs, and (3) health care access. In March 2003, we
testified before the Subcommittee on Total Force, Committee on Armed
Services, House of Representatives, on our preliminary observations
related to this work.14

During the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, health problems prevented the
deployment of a significant number of Army reservists. To help correct
this problem the Congress passed legislation that required reservists to
undergo periodic physical and dental examinations. The National Defense
Authorization Act for 2002 directed us to review the value and advisability
of providing examinations.15 We also examined whether the Army is


13
  U.S. General Accounting Office, Reserve Forces: DOD Actions Needed to Better Manage
Relations between Reservists and Their Employers, GAO-02-608 (Washington, D.C.:
June 13, 2002).
14
   U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Personnel: Preliminary Observations Related
to Income, Benefits, and Employer Support for Reservists During Mobilization,
GAO-03-549T (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 19, 2003). We also provided a statement for the
record to the Subcommittee on Personnel, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate,
titled Military Personnel: Preliminary Observations Related to Income, Benefits, and
Employer Support for Reservists During Mobilization, GAO-03-573T (Washington, D.C.:
Mar. 19, 2003).
15
     Pub. L. No. 107-107, section 724.




Page 18                                                  GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                           collecting and maintaining information on reservists’ health. In April 2003,
                           we reported that without adequate examinations, the Army may train,
                           support, and mobilize reservists who are unfit for duty.16 Further, the Army
                           had not consistently carried out the statutory requirements for monitoring
                           the health and dental status of Army early deploying reservists. At the
                           early deploying units we visited, approximately 66 percent of the medical
                           records were available for review. We found that about 68 percent of the
                           required physical examinations for those over age 40 had not been
                           performed and that none of the annual medical certificates required of
                           reservists had been completed by reservists and reviewed by the units. We
                           recommended that the Secretary of Defense ensure that for early
                           deploying reservists the required physical examinations, annual medical
                           certificates, and annual dental examinations be completed. DOD
                           concurred with our recommendations.


                           DOD did not follow its existing operation plans after the events of
DOD’s Mobilizations        September 11, 2001, to mobilize nearly 300,000 reservists. DOD’s
after September 11,        traditional mobilization process relies on requirements from operation
                           plans that have been coordinated with key mobilization officials prior to
2001, Were Not Based       the start of the mobilization process. The operation plans in existence on
on Existing Operation      September 11, 2001, did not include all the requirements that were needed
                           to respond to the domestic terrorist threat. Overseas operation plans did
Plans                      not focus on terrorist threats or the uncertain political environment in
                           southwest Asia. Nor did operation plans adequately address the increasing
                           requirements for individuals and small, tailored task forces. Because DOD
                           could not rely on existing operation plans to guide its mobilizations, it
                           used a modified mobilization process that was slower than the traditional
                           mobilization process.


About 300,000 Reservists   DOD has called about 300,000 of the 1.2 million National Guard and
Called to Active Duty      Reserve personnel to active duty since September 2001. These reservists
                           fought on the front lines in Iraq; tracked down Taliban and al Qaeda
                           members throughout Asia and Africa; maintained the peace in the Balkans,
                           Afghanistan, and now Iraq; and participated in domestic missions ranging
                           from providing security at airports and at the Salt Lake City Olympics to
                           fighting drug trafficking and providing disaster relief. With many of these



                           16
                             U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Health Care: Army Needs to Assess the Health
                           Status of All Early Deploying Reservists, GAO-03-437 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 15, 2003).




                           Page 19                                                  GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                               missions—including those associated with the global war on terrorism—
                               expected to continue, reserve force mobilizations are likely to persist for
                               the foreseeable future. DOD recognized before September 11, 2001, that no
                               significant operation could be conducted without reserve involvement.

Sound Operation Plans Can      DOD’s mobilization process was designed to mobilize reservists based on
Help the Efficiency of DOD’s   the execution of combatant commander operation plans and a preplanned
Mobilization Process           flow of forces. As a result, the mobilization process operates most
                               efficiently when operation plans accurately and completely capture
                               mobilization requirements. However, since DOD develops its operation
                               plans using a deliberate planning process that involves input and
                               coordination from OSD, the Joint Staff, and the services, the process can
                               take years, and operation plans have not been quick to respond to changes
                               in the threat environment.

                               Prior to the events of September 11, 2001, we issued a number of reports
                               highlighting the need for effective U.S. efforts to combat terrorism
                               domestically and abroad.17 For example, we recommended that the federal
                               government conduct multidisciplinary and analytically sound threat and
                               risk assessments to define and prioritize requirements and properly focus
                               programs and investments in combating terrorism.18 Threat and risk
                               assessments are decision-making support tools that are used to establish
                               requirements and prioritize program investments. DOD uses a variation of
                               this approach. We also reported on DOD’s use of a risk-assessment model
                               to evaluate force protection security requirements for mass casualty
                               terrorists’ incidents at DOD military bases.19

                               While DOD’s goal is to conduct mobilizations based on operation plans
                               developed through a deliberate planning process, the department
                               recognizes that during the initial stages of an emergency it may have to
                               resort to a crisis action response rather than adhering to its operation
                               plans. This is particularly true if the emergency had not been anticipated.



                               17
                                 See www.gao.gov for a complete listing of our reports on homeland security, terrorism,
                               and airport security from 1980 to present.
                               18
                                U.S. General Accounting Office, Combating Terrorism: Selected Challenges and Related
                               Recommendations, GAO-01-822 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 20, 2001).
                               19
                                 U.S. General Accounting Office, Combating Terrorism: Status of DOD Efforts to Protect
                               Its Forces Overseas, GAO-NSIAD-97-207 (Washington, D.C.: July 21, 1997) and Combating
                               Terrorism: Efforts to Protect U.S. Forces in Turkey and the Middle East,
                               GAO/T-NSIAD-98-44 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 28, 1997).




                               Page 20                                                   GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                                 During such crisis response periods, DOD can use a variety of authorities
                                 to position its forces where they are needed. For example, following the
                                 events of September 11, 2001, DOD used voluntary orders and other
                                 available means to get and keep reservists on active duty. As of November
                                 8, 2001, almost 40,000 reservists had been mobilized under the partial
                                 mobilization authority for the global war on terrorism, but almost 19,000
                                 reservists were on active duty and positioned where they were needed
                                 under other federal authorities. By comparison, more than 53,000
                                 reservists were mobilized under the partial mobilization authority for the
                                 global war on terrorism on December 3, 2002, but the reservists on active
                                 duty under other federal authorities had dropped to less than 5,000.20

Operation Plans Did Not          When DOD moved beyond its crisis action response to the events of
Include Requirements to          September 11, 2001, it was not able to rely on operation plans to guide its
Address the Domestic Terrorist   mobilizations because operation plans did not contain requirements to
Threat                           address the domestic response to the terrorist threat. According to senior
                                 DOD officials, when terrorists crashed planes into the Pentagon, the World
                                 Trade Center, and a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, none of
                                 DOD’s operation plans contained requirements for National Guard troops
                                 to deploy to the nation’s civilian airports. In September 2001, we reported
                                 that some threats are difficult, if not impossible, to predict.21 Therefore, an
                                 effective antiterrorism program that can reduce vulnerabilities to such
                                 attacks is an important aspect of military operations. We also reported that
                                 the effectiveness of the DOD antiterrorism program was becoming an
                                 important aspect of military operations. However, the effectiveness of the
                                 program had been limited because DOD had not (1) assessed
                                 vulnerabilities at all installations, (2) systematically prioritized resource
                                 requirements, and (3) developed a complete assessment of potential
                                 threats. DOD has been taking steps to improve the program.

                                 Despite the lack of airport security requirements in operation plans,
                                 between November 2001 and April 2002, an average of approximately
                                 7,500 National Guard members were mobilized at the nation’s civilian
                                 airports.22 During the same period, an average of almost 1,900 National
                                 Guard members were on state active duty, many to provide security at


                                 20
                                      Reservists were also serving on active duty under state authorities on these dates.
                                 21
                                   U.S. General Accounting Office, Combating Terrorism: Actions Needed to Improve DOD
                                 Antiterrorism Program Implementation and Management, GAO-01-909 (Washington,
                                 D.C.: Sept. 19, 2001).
                                 22
                                      These reservists were under the control of their state governors.




                                 Page 21                                                       GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                               other key infrastructure sites such as tunnels, bridges, and nuclear power
                               plants. According to senior Air Force officials, none of the operation plans
                               that existed on September 11, 2001, contained requirements for the
                               extended use of Guard and Reserve members to fly combat air patrols
                               over the nation’s capital and major cities. Yet, reservists were performing
                               that mission on September 11, 2001, and they continue to support the
                               combat air patrol mission, particularly when the national threat level is
                               raised.

                               According to DOD officials, preexisting service mobilization plans called
                               for Guard and Reserve forces to move to active duty bases and provide
                               security at those bases after the active forces had departed from the bases.
                               However, after September 11, many Guard and Reserve members were on
                               active duty (voluntarily and involuntarily) at active and reserve bases and
                               were filling security requirements that were not in any operation plan. For
                               example, even while active forces remained, two selected Marine Corps
                               battalions were mobilized for approximately 12 months—one at Camp
                               Lejeune, North Carolina, and one at Camp Pendleton, California—to
                               quickly respond to any additional terrorist attacks within the United
                               States. In addition, the Air Force had to unexpectedly bring reservists on
                               active duty to provide security for their reserve bases after
                               September 11. In particular, Air National Guard security forces were
                               needed to provide security at bases from which the Guard was flying
                               combat air patrol missions.

Overseas Operation Plans Did   According to DOD officials, requirements in overseas operation plans
Not Focus on the Terrorist     focused on traditional operations against national military forces, rather
Threat or the Uncertain        than on tracking terrorists throughout Afghanistan and around the globe.
Political Environment in       For several years, defense planning guidance had been formulated around
Southwest Asia                 the concept that the military had to be ready to fight and win two major
                               theater wars, generally viewed as one in southwest Asia and one on the
                               Korean peninsula. According to DOD officials, operation plans for these
                               areas focused on the threats posed by rogue countries. Moreover, even
                               after defense planning guidance had begun to indicate a need for the
                               military to be capability based rather than threat based, operation plans
                               continued to focus on conventional adversaries.

                               According to DOD officials, some of the mobilizations that took place in
                               support of Operation Iraqi Freedom followed the order and timing
                               established in the relevant operation plan and its associated time-phased
                               force deployment and data file. However, the order and timing of other
                               mobilizations changed due to the tenuous political environment and
                               uncertainties concerning coalition partnerships and access to airspaces, as


                               Page 22                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                                 well as access to bases in Turkey, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Access-to-base
                                 issues had also arisen during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.


Operation Plans Did Not          According to DOD officials, the combatant commanders’ requests for
Adequately Address               small, tailored task forces and individuals have been increasing since
Increasing Requirements          September 11, 2001, but the requirements for these small groups and
                                 individuals have not been fully addressed in the combatant commanders’
for Individuals and Small,       existing operation plans. Mobilization statistics demonstrate the large
Tailored Task Forces             numbers of small groups and individuals that have been mobilized
                                 recently. For example, a DOD report showed that on March 5, 2003, the
                                 services had thousands of reservists mobilized as parts of small units or as
                                 individuals. The Navy had 266 one-person and 152 two-person units
                                 mobilized, and the Army also had hundreds of one-and two-person units
                                 mobilized. The Marine Corps strives to keeps its units intact, and Marine
                                 Corps policy states that detachments must consist of at least two people,
                                 but the Marine Corps had 24 two-person and 22 three-person units
                                 mobilized. The Air Force had just 6 units with less than 20 people
                                 mobilized on that date. However, the services also had 12,682 individual
                                 augmentees mobilized on March 5, 2003—1,438 of them from the Air
                                 Force’s two reserve components.

The Modified Mobilization        After September 11, 2001, DOD used a modified mobilization process
Process Was Slower and Less      because existing operation plans had not adequately addressed
Efficient Than the Traditional   mobilization requirements and changing priorities. The modified process
Process                          was able to respond to changing priorities and new requirements.
                                 However, because key mobilization officials did not have a lengthy
                                 deliberate planning period to discuss these new requirements and
                                 changing priorities, coordination had to take place during the mobilization
                                 process, thus lengthening the process. Under the modified process, close
                                 to two dozen approvals are needed to mobilize one unit or individual. A
                                 contractor study conducted for the Army Operations Office looked at how
                                 long it took from the time the U.S. Central Command issued a RFF until
                                 the time a deployment order was issued. Preliminary results showed that
                                 the monthly averages from February through June 2002 ranged from 18 to
                                 19 days for this portion of the mobilization process.23

                                 Coordination was much more difficult under the modified process due to
                                 the large number of deployment orders. For example, under the modified


                                 23
                                      The minimum time was 1 day and the maximum time was 45 days.




                                 Page 23                                                 GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                          process, the Secretary of Defense signed 246 deployment orders to
                          mobilize over 280,000 reservists between September 11, 2001, and May 21,
                          2003, compared to the less than 10 deployment orders needed to mobilize
                          over 220,000 reservists during the 1991 Gulf War. The longer modified
                          mobilization process is less efficient than the traditional process primarily
                          because it relies on additional management oversight and multiple layers
                          of coordination between the services, OSD, and the Joint Staff during the
                          validating, approving, and filling of mobilization requirements. Many of
                          these factors are detailed in the sections below.


                          DOD officials did not have visibility over the entire mobilization process
DOD Officials Had         primarily because DOD lacked adequate systems for tracking personnel
Limited Visibility Over   and other resources. First, DOD’s primary automated readiness reporting
                          system could not adequately track the personnel and other resources
the Mobilization          within the small units that were frequently needed by combatant
Process                   commanders. Second, some systems used by the active and reserve
                          components to track personnel were incompatible. In addition, outdated
                          mobilization guidance led to communication and coordination problems
                          amongst the components.


Data Systems Unable to    DOD officials had limited visibility over the readiness of the entire force
Track Readiness of        because DOD’s primary readiness reporting data system tracked the
Resources Within Units    readiness only of large units and not the readiness of resources within the
                          small units that made up the larger reporting units. These smaller units
                          were often sufficient to meet the combatant commanders’ requirements
                          for the small, tailored units that were frequently requested after
                          September 11, 2001. 24 Because DOD officials did not have quick access to
                          readiness information of these small units, they had to coordinate with
                          reserve headquarters officials and, in some cases, the individual units
                          themselves to obtain the readiness information needed to determine which
                          unit would be best able to fill the combatant commanders’ requirements.

                          The Global Status of Resources and Training System (GSORTS) is DOD’s
                          single automated system for reporting the readiness of all operational
                          units within the U.S. armed forces. It does not function as a detailed



                          24
                            For example, an Army battalion would report its overall readiness as well as its overall
                          personnel and equipment readiness, but it would not report the readiness of individual
                          platoons within its companies.




                          Page 24                                                    GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                             management information system, but it does provide broad information on
                             selected readiness indicators25 and include a commander’s assessment of
                             the unit’s ability to undertake the missions for which the unit was
                             organized or designed. Units provide readiness reports to a central site
                             where the data are processed and stored and then distributed to decision
                             makers. The information in the system is supposed to support crisis
                             response planning as well as deliberate planning. However, the services
                             are only required to register forces that are included in operation plans or
                             other war-planning documents. Generally, all large units report their
                             readiness in the system. However, resources within the units are not
                             necessarily reported. For example, GSORTS could show that a specific
                             unit is not ready to perform its mission, but fail to capture information that
                             would indicate that some of the personnel and equipment within the unit
                             are capable of performing their mission. Such information would benefit
                             the services in their efforts to assemble the forces needed to meet joint
                             organizational requirements.

                             Because the Air Force combined various capabilities into nontraditional
                             force groups in support of its Aerospace Expeditionary Force, it
                             recognized the need to report readiness for small “building block” units
                             that could be combined to provide the needed capabilities. As a result, the
                             Air Force developed its own readiness reporting system that reported the
                             readiness of more than 67,000 units in January 2003.

                             The Army and the Navy do not report readiness at this small unit level.
                             Consequently, when the combatant commanders submit RFFs that do not
                             coincide with the forces that are reported in GSORTS, the decision makers
                             within the services must coordinate with active and reserve component
                             commanders to determine the readiness of the forces that would be
                             available to fill the requested requirements.

Some Active and Reserve      DOD officials also lost visibility over the mobilization of reservists because
Personnel Tracking Systems   some active and reserve component personnel tracking systems were not
Were Incompatible            compatible. Some components within the respective services maintain
                             personnel data in their own data systems for different purposes. In those
                             cases, both the active and reserve components require data that are
                             provided only in the other’s data systems. Yet, in some cases, active and
                             reserve component systems were not always compatible with each other,



                             25
                               Specifically, units report personnel levels, equipment and supply levels, condition of
                             equipment, and training levels.




                             Page 25                                                     GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
resulting in cumbersome workarounds or extensive ad hoc coordination
between active and reserve officials, and, according to DOD officials, the
sometimes outright loss of visibility over the length of reservists’
mobilization or deployment status.

The reserve and active components within some of the respective services
maintain personnel data for different purposes. The individual reserve
components maintain the mobilization data in their respective systems in
order to track and maintain visibility over reservists’ physical location and
mobilization status. The reserve systems also maintain information on
reservists’ mobilization dates. Active components’ systems maintain
personnel data for forces that are under their control. Using a variety of
data systems, the active components track such information as the
number of personnel, the units to which the personnel are attached, and
the location of the unit. However, the active components cannot always
discern between the regular active and mobilized reserve servicemembers
in their data systems.

The services’ active and reserve components have developed their
respective computerized systems to track their personnel data, but they
are often unable to directly transfer information and data between their
systems. Often, these systems do not report information in a standardized
format and are not integrated with each other. For example, while most of
the services provide DOD with unclassified mobilization data, some
services provide classified mobilization data. DOD must then aggregate
selected unclassified information on a separate computer file that can be
used to produce a single consolidated mobilization report.

The incompatibilities between some active and reserve component data
systems required mobilization officials to develop workarounds to acquire
the information needed. Air Force officials cited the lack of a central
automated system to manage and track mobilized reservists as a major
problem that required extensive coordination between active and reserve
components. Some components, like the Air National Guard and the Air
Force Reserve, developed their own mobilization reporting systems to
track the location and status of their reservists using computer
spreadsheets.

The use of local, nonintegrated data systems also affects the validity of
some mobilization data. For example, we requested mobilization data from
the Army Reserve on several occasions during our review, but Army
Reserve officials cautioned us concerning the use of figures from their
computerized database. They stated that the figures were unreliable and


Page 26                                           GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
conflicted with the overall number of personnel they thought had been
mobilized. Without an automated means for quickly and reliably capturing
mobilization data, the Army has had to rely on a slow mobilization process
that requires constant coordination between active and reserve
component officials.

The coordination between active and reserve component officials within
the Army and the Navy often takes the form of relatively inefficient
methods to determine the status of mobilized reservists. For example, in
the initial months following September 11, 2001, the Navy had no
automated means to track reservists from their home stations to their
gaining commands. The entire mobilization process was based on paper,
telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail messages.

The lack of compatibility between automated data systems, and the
sometimes cumbersome workarounds undertaken by the services to
obtain reservists’ information, has at times led to the outright loss of DOD
visibility over the length of reservists’ mobilization or deployment status
and resulted in cases where reservists were inadvertently deployed
beyond the original year specified in their orders. Additionally, Air Force
officials told us that their major commands have had trouble filling new
requirements because they cannot consistently determine who has
volunteered and who is already serving on active duty. Because of limited
visibility, some Navy processing personnel did not know in advance which
reservists had been ordered to their mobilization processing sites or when
the reservists were expected to report.

Air Force officials said that they either totally lost or had diminished
visibility over their reservists once they were mobilized and assigned to
active commands. Reserve component officials from the Air Force said
that a tracking system does not exist to effectively monitor reservists from
the time they are mobilized and assigned to an active command to the time
they are demobilized and return to their normal reserve status. As a result,
reservists were deployed beyond their scheduled return dates and were
not able to take the leave to which they were entitled prior to the
expiration of their orders. Reserve officials said that this happened
because replacement personnel had not arrived in time to relieve the
reservists and the active commands were not willing to send the deployed
reservists home until replacements had arrived. In many cases, Air Force
reserve component headquarters said they did not have visibility over the
replacement personnel because these personnel were coming from active
component units.



Page 27                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
The Army experienced situations where the lack of visibility contributed
to the breaking of service policies. During the current partial mobilization,
the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
issued a verbal policy that stated that units were not to be placed on alert
for more than 90 days. The Army’s force providers were to review the list
of units on alert each month and determine whether the units needed to
remain on alert. If the force providers needed to keep any units on alert
beyond 90 days, they could request an extension from the Assistant
Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs).26 Table 2 shows
that on March 28, 2003, 204 units had been on alert for more than 90 days
and that 12 units—representing hundreds of Guard and Reserve
members—had been on alert for more than a year. The Assistant Secretary
of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) told us that he was not
aware that the 12 units had been on alert for more than a year. He worked
to resolve this matter as soon as we brought it to his attention.

Table 2: Numbers of Army National Guard or Army Reserve Units That Were on
Alert in Excess of 90 Days (March 28, 2003)
                                                                                                          a
    Days on alert                                                        Number of units on alert
    > 365                                                                                            12
    181 to 365                                                                                       20
    91 to 180                                                                                       172
Sources: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis).
a
 The Army’s “Units On Alert” report does not identify the actual numbers of reservists on alert, but it
does include authorized strength information for some units. Authorized strength figures were
available for 8 of the 12 units that had been on alert for more than a year and totaled 1,939.


Some service components developed their own systems to gain visibility
over their mobilized reservists. For example, the Navy adapted a system
from the Marine Corps in February 2003 that provides all Navy
mobilization officials with the capability to track reservists throughout the
mobilization process. Commands now have visibility over the entire
mobilization process and can monitor the status of reservists en route to
their commands, including the reservists’ current locations. Since
implementing this system, the Navy has processed more than 8,000
mobilization orders and 6,000 demobilization orders.




26
  Officials provided several reasons why units might remain on alert for more than 90 days
including: changing mission requirements or unit readiness and rotational requirements.




Page 28                                                            GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                            The Marine Corps implemented its system in 1994 to provide visibility over
                            its reserve forces. This local area network-based system supports the
                            continuous processing and tracking of newly mobilized Marines. However,
                            this system is not integrated with the Navy’s system, and data cannot be
                            exchanged between the two systems. As a result, the Navy is not
                            automatically made aware of requirements for Navy medical, religious, or
                            other support personnel who are embedded in Marine Corps units, when
                            the associated Marine Corps units are mobilized.


Outdated Mobilization       Finally, key DOD and service guidance—including mobilization
Guidance Led to             instructions and publications—had not been updated in all instances to
Communication and           reflect the modified mobilization process, leading to failures in
                            communication and coordination between components and further
Coordination Problems       reducing officials’ visibility over the mobilization process. In some
                            instances where DOD and the services did draft updated guidance to
                            reflect the modified mobilization process, it was not clear to all
                            mobilization officials which guidance to follow. The lack of updated
                            guidance and the appearance of conflicting guidance resulted in situations
                            where the components were not effectively coordinating and
                            communicating their mobilization efforts with each other.

                            OSD and the Joint Staff provide guidance and instructions on the
                            mobilization policy, roles and responsibilities of mobilization officials, and
                            mobilization planning and execution. Similar guidance and instructions are
                            provided by the respective services for planning and executing
                            mobilization within their respective commands. However, some of DOD’s
                            guidance failed to clearly identify the steps of the modified mobilization
                            process, the roles and responsibilities of mobilization officials, and the
                            flow of information. While the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and
                            Readiness) has issued several mobilization guidance memorandums since
                            September 11, 2001, many of DOD’s key mobilization instructions,
                            directives, and publications have not been updated to reflect current
                            changes to the mobilization process. For example,

                        •   DOD’s “Wartime Manpower Mobilization Planning Policies and
                            Procedures” instruction has not been updated since 1986;
                        •   DOD’s “Activation, Mobilization, and Demobilization of the Ready
                            Reserve” directive was last updated in 1995; and
                        •   DOD’s “Management of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) and the
                            Inactive National Guard (ING)” directive was last updated in 1997.




                            Page 29                                           GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
In addition, the Joint Staff had not updated its key mobilization guidance.
The “Joint Doctrine for Mobilization Planning” publication was under
revision when we completed our review, but the update to the 1995
publication had not yet been released.

Within the Air Force, the lack of clear and consolidated guidance hindered
the mobilization process. The service’s mobilization guidance was issued
in 1994, and although several draft revisions to this guidance have been
circulated since September 11, 2001, the guidance has yet to be officially
updated. Officials in both the Air National Guard and the Air Force
Reserve told us that they did not know whether they were supposed to
follow the old “official” instruction or the revised (but unsigned)
instructions. The lack of clear guidance led to situations where Air
National Guard units had been mobilized without the knowledge of the Air
National Guard headquarters’ crisis action teams, consisting of officials
responsible for matching requirements with available units and personnel.
For example, on February 22, 2003, the Air Mobility Command mobilized
the 163rd Air Refueling Wing at the March Air Reserve Base. When we
contacted the Air National Guard crisis action team 3 days later, the team
was unaware that the 163rd had been mobilized. According to a senior
level Air National Guard official, the Air Mobility Command had bypassed
the Guard’s crisis action team and directly notified the unit of the
mobilization. According to this official, the Guard’s crisis action team had
been bypassed on mobilizations directed by both the Air Mobility
Command and the Air Combat Command.

The lack of clear guidance for mobilizing reservists also slowed down the
Army’s mobilization process. On October 24, 2001, the Army issued
guidance on the mobilization process. However, according to senior Army
policy officials, the Army’s initial personnel replacement policy was
unclear. This led to cases where the Army Reserve would send a request
for a requirement to fill an empty position through the entire mobilization
process rather than simply attempt to fill the position with another
qualified individual. Between September 2001 and June 2002, the Army
Reserve submitted 567 requests for just one individual because the initial
person selected could not fill the position. These requests slowed down
the mobilization process as each request was reviewed. The Army recently
drafted a policy to clarify its replacement procedures.

The Navy’s failure to update its guidance on the delegation of mobilization
authority led to a redundancy of efforts. In June 2002, the Secretary of
Defense, under the President’s partial mobilization authority, delegated
mobilization authority to the service secretaries and permitted further


Page 30                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                      delegation only to civilian officials who were appointed by the President
                      and confirmed by the Senate. However, the Navy had not updated its
                      mobilization authority guidance, and consequently the Secretary of the
                      Navy continued delegating mobilization authority to the Chief of Naval
                      Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who in turn
                      continued to approve mobilizations until 2003. When the Assistant
                      Secretary of the Navy became aware that mobilization authority had been
                      improperly delegated to military leaders within the Department of the
                      Navy, he rescinded the delegated authority and reviewed and revalidated
                      previously approved mobilizations, in addition to all new mobilization
                      requests.

                      In some cases, the failure of mobilization guidance to define the roles and
                      responsibilities of officials participating in the mobilization process also
                      resulted in delays. For example, the Air Force found that the roles and
                      responsibilities of its crisis action teams had not been adequately defined
                      and that there was insufficient coordination between these crisis action
                      teams during the planning and execution stages of the mobilization
                      process. This led to different interpretations of the policies concerning the
                      use of volunteers. Moreover, a lack of an established coordinated process
                      resulted in delays getting policy, guidance, and tasks to the field. For
                      example, whereas the requirement is to mobilize within 72 hours, there
                      were instances where the mobilization process took 9 days.


                      The services have used two primary approaches—predictable operating
The Services Have     cycles and formal advanced notification—to provide time for units and
Two Approaches to     servicemembers to prepare for upcoming mobilizations and deployments.
                      All the services provide predictability to portions of their active forces
Provide Preparation   through some type of standard operating cycle, but only the Air Force has
Time for              a standard operating cycle that brings predictability to both its active and
                      reserve forces. The Army assigns priority categories to its units, and lower-
Mobilizations and     priority units generally need extra training and preparation time prior to
Deployments           deploying. Advanced mobilization notice, while important, does not
                      provide the long lead times made possible by predictable operating cycles.
                      The increased use of the Army’s reserve forces heightens the need for
                      predictability so these units and individuals can prepare for upcoming
                      mobilizations and deployments.




                      Page 31                                           GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Air Force Standard             The Air Force is the only service that uses a standard operating cycle—
Operating Cycle Provides       providing deployments of a predictable length that are preceded and
Predictability to Active and   followed by standard maintenance and training periods—to bring
                               predictability to both its active and reserve forces. The Navy and the
Reserve Forces                 Marine Corps have used a variety of operating cycles to bring such
                               predictability to portions of their forces. Likewise, the Army has used an
                               operating cycle concept to bring predictability to a portion of its active
                               force, under its Division Ready Brigade program.27

                               Key officials throughout DOD have acknowledged the importance of
                               predictability in helping reserve forces to prepare for mobilization and
                               deployment. Predictability helps units anticipate (1) downtime, so they
                               can schedule lengthy education and training for personnel and lengthy
                               maintenance for equipment and (2) the likely periods of mobilization or
                               deployment, so they can focus on efforts to increase readiness, including
                               last minute training28 and the screening of medical, dental, and personnel
                               records. Predictability helps individual reservists by giving them time to
                               prepare their civilian employers and family members for their possible
                               departures.

                               In the years following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Air Force Reserve
                               and Air National Guard forces, which already had the highest tempos of
                               any of DOD’s reserve component forces, faced increasing tempos. 29 In
                               August 1998, the Air Force adopted the Expeditionary Aerospace Force
                               concept to help it manage its commitments while reducing the deployment
                               burden on its people. This concept established a standard 15-month
                               operating cycle and divided the Air Force into 10 groups, each containing a
                               mix of active, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve forces. Two
                               groups were scheduled to deploy during each of the five, 3-month
                               increments within the standard 15-month operating cycle. However,


                               27
                                 Within the Army’s active divisions, brigades are rotated into an alert status for 1-month
                               periods.
                               28
                                 Because some skills (1) are very perishable (certifications may last for 1 year or less),
                               (2) require long training times, and (3) may not be needed prior to deployment, units may
                               be reluctant to send their personnel to the required schools if the units do not know when
                               they are going to deploy. Predictability helps units to efficiently and effectively schedule
                               personnel for certification schools. Army officials cited combat lifesaver and hazardous
                               materiel coordinators as two of these certified skills.
                               29
                                 Between fiscal year 1992 and 1999, tempos in the Air Force’s reserve components had
                               risen from 55 to 65 days of active duty per year, while the tempos in the other reserve
                               components had remained much lower—between 33 and 47 days per year.




                               Page 32                                                     GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                              because two groups contained more forces than were generally needed to
                              cover worldwide contingency operations, and because the predictable
                              cycles provided reservists with months of advance notice, the Air Force
                              Reserve and the Air National Guard were able to rely on volunteers to
                              meet significant portions of their requirements, thus avoiding large-scale
                              involuntary mobilizations.

                              While the predictability offered by the Air Force’s standard operating cycle
                              has proved beneficial during “steady state” operations, the Expeditionary
                              Aerospace Force concept is not yet able to deal with large and rapid
                              surges in requirements. When the concept was first implemented, Air
                              Force officials stated that the expeditionary concept would not be used to
                              deploy forces to a major war prior to 2007. In the months immediately
                              following the September 11th attacks and during the buildup for—and
                              execution of—the 2003 war in Iraq, the Expeditionary Aerospace Force
                              operating cycles broke down. For example, personnel with certain
                              high-demand skills were involuntarily mobilized for longer than the
                              intended 3 months—up to 2 full years, in some cases. However, for much
                              of 2002, the Air Force used its operating cycles, and it has a plan to return
                              to normal 15-month operating cycles by March of 2004.


Preparation Time Is           The Army prioritizes its units, and lower-priority units generally need extra
Especially Important to the   training and preparation time prior to deploying. The Army allocates
Army’s Lower-Priority         human capital and other resources using a tiered resourcing system that is
                              based on the placement of units in existing operation plans. Units that are
Units                         identified as the first to mobilize and deploy are resourced at the highest
                              level. Units identified for later deployment are placed in subsequently
                              lower resourcing tiers, based on their planned deployment dates. A unit’s
                              resource tier affects its priority with respect to (1) recruiting and filling
                              vacancies, (2) full-time staffing, (3) filling equipment needs,
                              (4) maintaining equipment, (5) obtaining access to schools and training
                              seats, and (6) funding for extra drills. Consequently, lower-priority units
                              need more time to prepare for mobilization and deployment.

                              The Army’s resourcing strategy is a cost-effective means for maintaining
                              the Army’s reserve forces when reserve forces will have long lead times to
                              mobilize. However, a large number of reserve forces were quickly
                              mobilized—from less than 30,000 on January 1, 2003, to over 150,000 on
                              March 26, 2003—to respond to the rapid surge in requirements for
                              operations related to Operation Iraqi Freedom and the global war on
                              terrorism. Because existing operation plans had not accurately identified
                              all mobilization requirements, a number of lower-priority units were


                              Page 33                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                            mobilized with relatively little advance notice. For example,
                            5 transportation companies containing 976 reservists were alerted on
                            February 9, 2003, and told to arrive at their mobilization stations by
                            February 14, 2003. On January 20, 2003, four other lower-priority Army
                            National Guard companies, with over 1,000 reservists, were alerted and
                            told to report to their mobilization stations by January 27, 2003. If these
                            units had been able to plan for their mobilizations and deployments based
                            on a standard operating cycle, they may have been able to complete some
                            of their mobilization requirements during normally scheduled training
                            periods prior to their mobilizations.

                            Despite the large number of lower-priority units within the Army National
                            Guard and the Army Reserve, the Army does not have a standard operating
                            cycle concept to provide predictability to its reserve forces.30 Without such
                            a concept, the Army’s opportunities to provide extra training and
                            preparation time to its reserve forces, particularly those with low
                            priorities, are limited.


Advanced Notice Is Not As   OSD established a goal of providing reservists with at least 30 days notice
Beneficial As Predictable   prior to mobilization when operationally feasible, but such advanced
Operating Cycles            notice does not provide the longer lead times made possible by predictable
                            operating cycles. Nonetheless, OSD’s advanced notice policy was written
                            in recognition of the benefits of such notice to individual reservists.

                            The Army, lacking a standard operating cycle to provide predictability for
                            its reservists, strives to provide its reservists with official written orders
                            30 days in advance of mobilizations in accordance with DOD’s policy.
                            However, in the early days following September 11, 2001, this level of
                            advanced notice was often not possible because reservists were required
                            immediately. In the weeks and months that followed, advanced notice
                            increased. Army data covering the mobilizations of over 6,400 personnel
                            between June and August of 2002 showed that 83 percent of the personnel
                            had 4 or more weeks advanced notice. However, advanced notice dropped
                            again in the weeks leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the first
                            15 days of March 2003, 95 percent of the Army units that were mobilized
                            received less than 30 days advanced notice,31 and 8 percent of the units


                            30
                              While the Army scheduled some of its reserve forces for deployments to the Balkans
                            several years in advance of the deployments, the deployments were not part of an
                            operating cycle and the deployed forces did not know when they might be deployed again.
                            31
                                 Within these units, 21,908 personnel were mobilized.



                            Page 34                                                     GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                            received less than 72 hours advanced notice. Much of this short notice is
                            attributable to the extra time that was required to validate and approve
                            requirements under the modified mobilization process.

                            While 30 days advanced notice is clearly beneficial to individual reservists,
                            it does not provide the longer lead times made possible by predictable
                            operating cycles. As discussed earlier, such cycles allow reserve units,
                            which typically drill only once every 30 days, to schedule their training and
                            maintenance so the units’ readiness will build as the mobilization time
                            approaches.


Increased Reliance on the   While always important, predictability and preparation times are likely to
Army’s Reserve Forces       become even more important when the pace of reserve operations is high.
Heightens the Need for      Figure 3, on page 16, shows the shift that occurred in July 2002 when the
                            number of Army reservists on active duty exceeded the number of Air
Predictability              Force reservists on active duty. The figure also shows the dramatic
                            increase in Army mobilizations in 2003. During calendar year 2002, the
                            Army had an average of about 30,000 reserve component members
                            mobilized each week. By February 12, 2003, the Army had more than
                            110,000 reservists mobilized, and mobilizations peaked in March 2003,
                            when more than 150,000 of the 216,811 reservists mobilized were members
                            of the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve. On June 18, 2003, over
                            139,000 Army reservists were still mobilized, and the Army Manpower and
                            Reserve Affairs office projected that mobilizations would remain high at
                            least through the end of 2004.32 Given its ongoing commitments in Iraq, the
                            Balkans, Afghanistan, and at home, many of the Army’s reserve
                            component forces will likely face the same types of high operational
                            tempos that Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve forces faced in the
                            1990s.

                            As described above, the Air Force has effectively used predictable
                            operating cycles to help prepare its reserve units and individuals for
                            mobilization and deployment and to mitigate the negative factors33
                            associated with high operational tempos. However, the Army does not
                            employ such operating cycles for its reserve forces, thus leaving those



                            32
                                 An estimate placed the mobilization number at 90,000 through the end of 2004.
                            33
                              Senior DOD officials have repeatedly expressed concerns that repeated mobilizations of
                            the reserves could eventually lead to recruiting and retention problems.




                            Page 35                                                      GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                            forces with limited time to prepare for the increased mobilization and
                            deployment demands facing them.


                            After September 11, 2001, mobilizations were hampered because about
DOD Has Limited             one-quarter of the Ready Reserve was not readily accessible. Some
Access to Portions of       Selected Reserve members could not be mobilized due to the lack of
                            training. Furthermore, the services lack information that is needed to
the Ready Reserve           make full use of the IRR. Finally, OSD and service policies reflect a
                            reluctance to use the IRR, resulting in situations where Ready Reserve
                            forces were not readily available for mobilization or deployment.


Many Selected Reserve       In fiscal year 2002, most of the military’s approximately 880,000 Selected
Members Could Not Be        Reserve members were available for mobilization and deployment, but
Mobilized Due to the Lack   over 70,000 Selected Reserve members had not completed the individual
                            training that is required prior to deploying.34 By law, members of the armed
of Training                 forces are not permitted to deploy outside the United States and its
                            territories until they have completed the basic training requirements of the
                            applicable military services.35 The law further stipulates that in time of a
                            national emergency (such as the one in effect since September 11, 2001)
                            the basic training period may not be less than 12 weeks, except for certain
                            medical personnel.36 The over 70,000 Selected Reserve members who were
                            not deployable in fiscal year 2002 included personnel who had entered the
                            service and were awaiting their initial active duty training,37 personnel who
                            were awaiting the second part of a split initial active duty training
                            program, and reservists who were still participating in initial active duty
                            training programs. Each year between fiscal year 1997 and 2002, 7 to 10
                            percent of Selected Reserve members were not deployable because they
                            had not completed their required initial training.




                            34
                                 In fiscal year 2002, the Selected Reserve made up 74 percent of the Ready Reserve.
                            35
                                 10 U.S.C. § 671.
                            36
                                 10 U.S.C. § 671(c).
                            37
                              The Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization Act (section 533 (a) P.L. 107-314,
                            Dec. 2, 2002) increased the maximum time that reservists may delay commencement of
                            their initial active duty training from 270 days (10 U.S.C. § 12103) to 1 year after their
                            enlistments.




                            Page 36                                                      GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                                While most members of the Selected Reserve had met the initial active
                                duty training requirements in fiscal year 2002 and were therefore available
                                for mobilization, a portion of these personnel belonged to units that would
                                have required lengthy periods of unit training before they would have been
                                deployable. In particular, the reserve forces from the Army’s bottom two
                                resourcing categories generally require lengthy postmobilization training
                                periods before they are deployable. Because both the Presidential Reserve
                                Call-up38 and partial mobilization39 authorities prevented the services from
                                mobilizing reservists specifically for training, the Army could not use many
                                of its tier three and four Guard and Reserve units to meet requirements
                                that had to be filled immediately. On April 10, 2003, DOD proposed that
                                Congress change portions of the United States Code to allow the military
                                departments to order reservists to active duty for up to 90 days of training
                                in order to meet deployment standards.40


Services Lack Vital             The services lack the vital information necessary to fully use their IRR
Information That Is             pools of over 300,000 pretrained individual reservists.41 Many of the IRR
Necessary to Make Full          members were inaccessible because the services did not have valid
                                contact information (addresses or phone numbers) for these individuals.
Use of the IRR                  Moreover, the services’ use of three primary access methods—exit
                                briefings, questionnaires, and screenings—did not obtain the results
                                necessary to gain and maintain access to their IRR members. Finally, the
                                services have not developed results-oriented goals and performance
                                measures to improve the use of their primary methods to access IRR
                                members.

Services Lacked Valid Contact   The services could not access many IRR members because they did not
Information for IRR Members     have valid addresses or phone numbers for the members. For example, in
                                April 2003, the Army estimated that it had inaccurate addresses for more
                                than 40,400 of its IRR members. When the services were able to contact
                                their IRR members and obtain the vital information necessary to use its
                                IRR pool, exemptions and delays often limited the services’ abilities to



                                38
                                     10 U.S.C. § 12304.
                                39
                                     10 U.S.C. § 12302.
                                40
                                  “The Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act” had not been signed into law as
                                of the date of publication of our report.
                                41
                                 In fiscal year 2002, the IRR and the Inactive National Guard made up 26 percent of the
                                Ready Reserve.




                                Page 37                                                   GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                              fully use these personnel. For example, in February 2003, the Army sent
                              mobilization orders to 345 IRR members, but 164 of these reservists
                              requested and were granted exemptions for specific reasons, such as
                              medical issues, so they did not have to deploy, and another 35 were
                              granted delays in their reporting dates.

Services Did Not Obtain the   The services’ use of their three primary IRR access methods did not obtain
Results Necessary to Fully    the results necessary to gain and maintain full access to their IRR
Access Their IRR Members      members. These methods include (1) briefings provided to members when
                              they leave active duty or a drilling reserve position; (2) questionnaires to
                              verify basic member information, such as contact information; and
                              (3) 1-day screenings to verify member fitness for mobilization.

                              First, the services brief the members when they leave active duty or a
                              Selected Reserve position. These briefings are designed to make the
                              individuals aware of their responsibilities as members of the IRR.
                              However, mobilized reservists that we spoke with said that IRR
                              responsibilities had not been clearly explained during exit briefings when
                              they left active duty. For example, Marine Corps reservists stated that the
                              separation briefings did not provide the detail necessary for them to fully
                              understand their commitment and responsibilities when entering the IRR.
                              They stated individuals conducting these briefings should emphasize that
                              reservists entering the IRR must keep their reserve component informed
                              of specific changes, including their home address, marital status, number
                              of dependents, civilian employment, and physical condition. They added
                              that reservists assigned to the IRR need to know that they may volunteer
                              for active duty assignments to refresh or enhance their military skills.

                              Next, the services send the members questionnaires to verify basic
                              information—such as current addresses, marital status, and physical
                              condition—to ascertain whether the reservists are available immediately
                              for active duty during a mobilization. However, response rates to the
                              questionnaires have been considered low, as shown in table 3.

                              Table 3: Fiscal Year 2002 Questionnaire Response Rates

                                  Army                                   Navy                Air Force           Coast Guarda
                                  40.41%                              51.47%                   28.97%                   25.00%
                              Source: GAO analysis of service data.

                              Note: The Marine Corps did not conduct a survey during fiscal year 2002 and could not provide
                              survey specific information for prior years.
                              a
                                Coast Guard responses include questionnaires returned by members of the Selected Reserve and
                              the IRR.



                              Page 38                                                         GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
The services attributed the low response rate, in part, to incorrect mailing
addresses as indicated by the questionnaires returned as undeliverable.
During fiscal year 2002, for example, the Air Force stated that 12 percent
of the questionnaires mailed out were returned as undeliverable. The Air
Force is the only service that specifically tracks undeliverable rates, but
the Navy estimated a 30 to 40 percent undeliverable rate and the Army
estimated that approximately 30 percent of its questionnaires were
returned as undeliverable. The Coast Guard has not measured the number
of questionnaires returned as undeliverable. Although the Marine Corps
did not send out questionnaires in fiscal year 2002 and could not provide
documented response rates for prior years, a Marine Corps official
indicated that the Corps had experienced about a 10 percent undeliverable
rate in previous years; but he was unable to provide any data to support
the claim. According to this official, most of the returned questionnaires
were mailed to junior enlisted personnel, including lance corporals,
corporals, and sergeants who appeared to change residences more
frequently than senior enlisted personnel or officers.

The services have taken some specific steps to correct bad addresses and
improve servicemember reporting of required mobilization-related
information. Specifically, the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps use
commercial contractors to try to update inaccurate address information.
For the last 4 years, a contractor has been regularly matching the Army’s
entire personnel database of bad addresses with a credit bureau’s address
database. For over 10 years, the Army has used another contractor to
update a small number of addresses, one at a time. Despite these efforts,
the Army still had over 40,000 bad addresses in its database as of April
2003, and it recently contracted with its second contractor to do batch
updates rather than one-at-a-time updates. The Marine Corps just started
using its contractor. Finally, the Army and the Coast Guard have
implemented Web-based systems that encourage IRR members to update
critical contact information on the Internet.42 According to an official
representing the Naval Reserve Personnel Center, the Navy has also
started to create a Web-based screening questionnaire to better track IRR
members. However, these efforts are not linked to a results-oriented
management framework that establishes specific goals to improve access




42
  The Coast Guard’s Web-based system had only been in place for part of fiscal year 2002,
when the 25 percent response rate was reported. Response rates, which reached 48 percent
after the Web-based system had been deployed for a full year, are being reported monthly.




Page 39                                                  GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
to accurate addresses and identifies the resources and performance
measures necessary to ensure success.

Finally, the services order a small number of their IRR members to
participate in a 1-day screening event at a specific site to verify they are fit
and available for mobilization.43 The screening events focus on a specific
number of IRR members to verify their physical existence, condition, and
personal contact data. Even though the total number of IRR members
ordered to report for screening during a fiscal year is relatively small, the
services have met with limited success as the screening event participation
rates in table 4 indicate.

Table 4: IRR Screening Event Participation Rates

                                                                  Marine
                                                    Navy          Corps Air Force           Army
 Last available fiscal year that screening
 occurred                                           2002            2002         2001           2000
 Total IRR population for applicable fiscal
 year                                              71,140         58,039       47,940     161,622
 Total number of orders mailed to
 reservists                                         3,990           4,100        4,656      2,714
 Percentage of personnel that attended
 screening event                                     35.9            56.4         51.3          25.8
Source: GAO’s analysis of service data.

Note: The Coast Guard does not require members of the IRR to participate in screening events.


As indicated in table 4, the Army and the Air Force have not conducted
screenings since 2000 and 2001, respectively. An Army Personnel
Command After Action Report concluded that screenings should not be
conducted until clear objectives are established and realistic cost and
benefit assessments are completed. The Air Force also decided not to
conduct screening events. Thus, these two services are not using one of
their three primary methods to gain and maintain access to their IRR
members.

Furthermore, table 3 shows that the participation rates are relatively low.
The services indicated that the low screening event participation rates
were based on the services’ inability to contact members of the IRR


43
     The services call these screenings musters.




Page 40                                                        GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                                 because of incorrect addresses; IRR members who were excused because
                                 of stated conflicts involving work, vacation plans, religious issues, or
                                 physical disabilities among others; and members who ignored orders and
                                 avoided participation in the screening events.

The Services Lack                The services do not have results-oriented goals and performance measures
Results-Oriented Goals and       to improve their reliance on the three primary methods to access IRR
Performance Measures to          members. Specifically, the services have concentrated their efforts on exit
Improve Use of IRR Access        briefings, questionnaires to update critical information, and periodic
                                 screening events. However, they have not focused on the results of those
                                 activities, as evidenced by persistent low response rates to questionnaires
                                 and low screening event participation rates. By focusing on the execution
                                 of these activities rather than their results, the services have not

                             •   established objective, quantifiable, and measurable performance goals to
                                 improve the results of their three primary efforts to access;
                             •   established a basis for comparing actual program results with the goals in
                                 order to develop performance indicators to track their progress in
                                 attaining results-oriented goals; and
                             •   described the resources and means required to verify and validate
                                 measured values.


OSD and Service Policies         OSD and service policies have discouraged the use of the IRR because IRR
Have Discouraged the Use         members do not participate in any regularly scheduled training and thus
of the IRR                       are not regularly paid. The policies are also intended to avoid the negative
                                 effects on individual IRR members. For example, the Under Secretary of
                                 Defense for Personnel and Readiness provided guidance dated July 19,
                                 2002, to the services that emphasized the use of volunteers before
                                 involuntarily mobilizing reservists to minimize the effects of mobilization
                                 on the lives of the reservists, their families, and their employers.

                                 Policies intended to avoid the negative effects on individual reservists may
                                 be disruptive to all reservists as well as to entire units, because they
                                 contribute to situations where individual mobilization requirements are
                                 filled with personnel from reserve units, thus creating personnel shortages
                                 within the units that had supplied the reservists and affecting the units’
                                 readiness to mobilize and deploy. For example, in its reluctance to use the
                                 IRR, the Army filled many of its individual mobilization requirements with
                                 personnel from reserve units. In doing so, the Army created personnel
                                 shortages within the units that had supplied the reservists. In some cases,
                                 the Army had to later locate and transfer replacement personnel into these
                                 units when the units were mobilized, thus transferring several unit



                                 Page 41                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
              personnel as a result of a single individual requirement. Specifically, the
              Army mobilized a combat support hospital unit that was 142 individuals
              short, including the commanding officer, of its authorized strength of 509
              personnel. To increase the hospital unit’s strength to an acceptable level
              for mobilization, the Army took a commanding officer and other needed
              personnel from four reserve units. By taking this course of action, the
              Army immediately degraded the mission capability and readiness of the
              four affected units. The Army compounded this negative effect when it
              later mobilized the already significantly degraded unit that gave up its
              commanding officer to the hospital unit.

              Further, the reluctance of one service to use the IRR can affect other
              services. For example, the Air Force’s reluctance to access any of its more
              than 44,000 IRR members has left the responsibility for guarding Air Force
              bases to over 9,000 Army National Guard unit personnel. According to a
              senior Air Force official, the Air Force did not even consider using its own
              IRR pool. Because the Army National Guard volunteered for the mission,
              the Air Force did not consider mobilizing any of its 3,900 IRR members
              who held security force specialty codes.


              About 300,000 of the 1.2 million National Guard and Reserve personnel
Conclusions   have been called to active duty since September 11, 2001. They fought on
              the front lines in Iraq; tracked down terrorists throughout Asia and Africa;
              maintained the peace in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and now Iraq; and
              participated in a wide range of domestic missions. However, the process
              to mobilize reservists had to be modified and contained numerous
              inefficiencies. Existing operation plans did not adequately address the
              mobilization requirements needed to deal with terrorist attacks and
              overseas requirements. We recognize that some threats are impossible to
              predict but until the combatant commanders identify all of the
              mobilization requirements that have evolved since September 11, 2001—
              and create or update their operation plans as necessary to account for
              these requirements—DOD risks the continued need for additional
              management oversight and coordination between officials to fill
              mobilization requirements, thus slowing the mobilization effort and
              making it less efficient.

              DOD officials also did not have visibility over the entire mobilization
              process. Specifically, without the ability to capture the readiness of
              personnel and other resources within the small units that were frequently
              needed by combatant commanders, the Army and the Navy will continue
              to face difficulties in their efforts to assemble the forces needed to meet


              Page 42                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                      joint organizational requirements. Furthermore, until all of the services
                      develop fully integrated automated systems that provide for the seamless
                      transfer of reservists’ information between reserve and active
                      components, the components will continue to face cumbersome
                      workarounds to obtain the data to track the length of reservists’
                      mobilization or their deployment status. In addition, until the services
                      update key mobilization instructions, notices, and publications to reflect
                      the modified mobilization process, DOD and the services risk continued
                      mobilization slowdowns and duplication of efforts.

                      All of the services provide predictability to portions of their active forces
                      through some type of standard operating cycle, but only the Air Force has
                      a standard operating cycle that brings predictability to both its active and
                      reserve forces. Moreover, the Army’s reserve forces face increasing use to
                      meet operational requirements. However, without a standard operating
                      concept to help increase predictability for its units, the Army risks
                      mobilizing units and individuals that are unprepared for deployment.

                      Finally, the services have limited access to portions of the Ready Reserve
                      and are thus forced to spread requirements across the remaining reserve
                      force, leading to longer or more frequent deployments. Specifically, the
                      services’ use of their primary IRR access methods—exit briefings,
                      questionnaires, and screenings—did not obtain the results necessary to
                      gain and maintain access to their members. Until the services develop
                      results-oriented goals and performance measures to improve the use of
                      their primary methods to access IRR members, the services will be unable
                      to systematically identify opportunities to better access their IRR
                      members for mobilization. Moreover, OSD and service policies have
                      discouraged the use of the IRR in order to avoid the negative effects on
                      individual IRR members. However, until the services review and update
                      their IRR policies to take into account the nature of the mobilization
                      requirements and the types of reservists who are available to fill the
                      requirements, the services will risk the continued disruption to units that
                      provide individual personnel rather than mobilizing IRR members.


                      We are making several recommendations to enhance the overall efficiency
Recommendations for   of the reserve mobilization process. Specifically, we recommend that the
Executive Action      Secretary of Defense direct

                  •   the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to identify all of the mobilization
                      requirements that have evolved since September 11, 2001, and create or
                      update operation plans as necessary, to account for these requirements;


                      Page 43                                           GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                     •   the Secretaries of the Army and the Navy to capture readiness information
                         on the resources within all the units that are available to meet the tailored
                         requirements of combatant commanders so that these resources will be
                         visible to key mobilization officials within DOD, the Joint Staff, and the
                         service headquarters;
                     •   the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, in
                         conjunction with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, to
                         develop a single automated system or fully integrated automated systems
                         that will provide for the seamless transfer of reservists information,
                         regardless of whether the reservists are in an active or reserve status;
                     •   the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the
                         Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Assistant Secretary of the Air
                         Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to update their applicable
                         mobilization instructions, notices, and publications;
                     •   the Secretary of the Army to develop a standard operating cycle concept
                         to help increase predictability for Army reserve units;
                     •   the service secretaries to develop and use results-oriented performance
                         metrics to guide service efforts to gain and maintain improved information
                         on IRR members; and
                     •   the service secretaries to review and update their IRR policies to take into
                         account the nature of the mobilization requirements as well as the types of
                         reservists who are available to fill the requirements.


                         In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD generally concurred
Agency Comments          with our recommendations. The department specifically concurred with
and Our Evaluation       our recommendations to (1) create or update operation plans as
                         necessary, to account for mobilization requirements that have evolved
                         since September 11, 2001, (2) develop an automated system to provide for
                         the seamless transfer of reservists’ information, (3) update mobilization
                         notices and publications, (4) develop a standard operating cycle to
                         increase predictability for Army Reserve and National Guard units,
                         (5) develop and use results-oriented performance metrics to gain and
                         maintain information on IRR members, and (6) update IRR policies to take
                         into account the nature of mobilization requirements and the types of
                         reservists who are available to fill the requirements.

                         DOD partially concurred with our recommendation that the Army and the
                         Navy capture readiness information on the resources within all units that
                         are available to meet the tailored requirements of combatant commanders
                         so that these resources will be visible to key officials within DOD. DOD
                         stated that the Army and the Navy fully support capturing relevant
                         information in the DOD readiness reporting system but that combatant



                         Page 44                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
commanders will need to establish resource requirements to include
tailored mission requirements. We agree that improvements in readiness
reporting should be closely linked to efforts to more clearly define
requirements. DOD also stated that the Army is currently developing and
implementing a system to provide visibility on readiness issues in support
of the combatant commanders. We did not evaluate this system because it
was not fully implemented during our review.

DOD also provided technical comments from the Joint Staff, and we
received technical comments from the Coast Guard. These technical
comments were incorporated in the final draft as appropriate. DOD’s
comments are reprinted in appendix II.

We performed our work between September 2002 and June 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.


We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense, the
Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff; the Secretary of Transportation; and the Commandant of the Coast
Guard. We will also make copies available to others upon request. In
addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at
http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staffs have any questions concerning this report, please
contact me at (202) 512-5559 or stewartd@gao.gov or Brenda S. Farrell at
(202) 512-3604 or farrellb@gao.gov. Others making major contributions to
this report are included in appendix III.




Derek B. Stewart
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management




Page 45                                         GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology


                To evaluate whether the Department of Defense (DOD) and the services
                followed their existing operation plans when mobilizing reserve forces
                after September 11, 2001, we reviewed and analyzed a small group of
                requests for forces from the combatant commanders and discussed
                differences between planned and actual requirements with the
                mobilization officials responsible for validating and approving
                mobilization requirements. To find out how the services screen and fill
                requirements, as well as their procedures for turning generic “capability”
                type requirements into actual unit and personnel requirements, we met
                with, and collected and analyzed data from, a variety of active and reserve
                component offices within each of the services. Specifically, we met with
                officials from the following offices or commands:

            •   National Guard Bureau; 1

            •   Department of the Army, Army Operations Center;
            •   Office of the Chief, Army Reserve;
            •   Army National Guard, Headquarters;
            •   U.S. Army Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia;
            •   U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia;

            •   Department of the Air Force, Headquarters;
            •   Air National Guard, Headquarters;
            •   Air National Guard Readiness Center;
            •   Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois;
            •   Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia;
            •   Air and Space Expeditionary Force Center, Langley Air Force Base,
                Virginia;

            •   Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee;
            •   Commander Naval Forces Command, New Orleans, Louisiana;

            •   U.S. Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters,
                Quantico, Virginia;
            •   Marine Forces Reserve, Headquarters, New Orleans, Louisiana;

            •   U.S. Coast Guard, Headquarters; and
            •   U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Maintenance Logistic Command, Norfolk,
                Virginia.


                1
                 Unless otherwise noted, the officials listed in this appendix have their offices in the
                Pentagon or at other locations in the Washington D.C., metropolitan area.




                Page 46                                                      GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




We reviewed our prior work on risk management and issues related to
combating terrorism. We met with RAND Corporation officials to discuss
and coordinate ongoing work related to the requests for forces. We also
met with the Assistant Secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air
Force who are responsible for approving mobilization orders.

To determine the extent to which responsible officials had visibility over
the entire mobilization process, we reviewed sections of the United States
Code, Executive Orders, Secretary of Defense memoranda, Joint Staff
publications, and service instructions related to mobilization. We also met
with senior and key mobilization officials involved with the various phases
of the mobilization process to document their roles and responsibilities
and collect data about the process. We observed a 2-1/2 day DOD
symposium in November 2002, where senior military and civilian officials
came together to review the entire mobilization process. We reviewed
relevant GAO reports and reports from other audit and inspection
agencies. We also met with Army Audit Agency and Air Force Audit
Agency officials. We reviewed the services’ detailed flowcharts, which
documented the mobilization process from different service perspectives.
We also discussed and observed the operation of the classified and
unclassified automated systems that are being used to track mobilized
units and individuals, as well as mobilization requirements. The Office of
the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs served as our
primary source for aggregate personnel and mobilization data. However,
data from the early days and weeks following September 11, 2001, are not
reliable. Further, the services captured mobilization data differently over
time, making it difficult to aggregate the data. To present the data
consistently, our figures display data beginning with January 2002.

To evaluate the services’ approaches to provide predictability to reservists
subject to mobilization and deployment, we met with officials from the Air
Force offices that were responsible for the development and
implementation of the rotational Air Expeditionary Force concept and
analyzed data that documented the successes and challenges that the
program had experienced since September 11, 2001. We discussed the
30-day advance notice goal with service officials and officials from the
Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) office, which had issued the goal.
We also discussed efforts to increase advanced warning or predictability
with officials from the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps and, where
data were available, compared alert dates to mobilization dates. To gain




Page 47                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
    Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




    first-hand knowledge about the effects of mobilizations on individual
    reservists, we visited a number of sites where reservists were deployed or
    were undergoing mobilization processing and training.2 At these sites, we
    collected mobilization data, obtained copies of mobilization processing
    checklists, and observed the preparations for deployment that take place
    after reservists have been mobilized. Specifically, we met with officials
    from the offices or commands listed below:

•   Army Headquarters, I Corps, Fort Lewis, Washington;
•   4th Brigade, 91st Division (Training Support), Fort Lewis, Washington;
•   2122nd Garrison Training Support Brigade, Fort Lewis, Washington;
•   2122nd Garrison Support Unit, North Fort Lewis, Washington;
•   Soldier Readiness Processing Site, Fort Lewis, Washington;
•   Soldier Readiness Processing Site, Fort McPherson, Georgia;
•   Central Issue Facility, Fort Lewis, Washington;

•   Navy Mobilization Processing Site, Millington, Tennessee;
•   Navy Mobilization Processing Site, San Diego, California;

•   Marine Corps Mobilization Processing Center, Mobilization Support
    Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California;

•   452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California; and

•   Coast Guard Integrated Support Command, Portsmouth, Virginia.

    While at these sites, we interviewed individual and unit reservists who had
    been mobilized, as well as the active duty, reserve, and civilian officials
    who were conducting the mobilization processing and training. At the
    mobilization processing stations, we observed reservists getting medical,
    legal, and family support briefings; having their personnel, medical, and
    dental records screened and updated; and receiving inoculations, combat
    equipment, camouflage clothing, Geneva Convention Cards, identification
    tags, and the controlled access cards that have replaced laminated
    identification cards. We also observed weapons qualification training.

    To determine the extent to which Ready Reserve forces were available for
    mobilization, we reviewed sections of the United States Code and OSD
    and service policies on the use of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). We


    2
     A small number of personnel were undergoing demobilization processing during some of
    our site visits.




    Page 48                                                GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
    Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




    collected and analyzed longitudinal data on the sizes of different segments
    of the Ready Reserve. We examined the data for trends, specifically
    focusing on the IRR and the portion of the Selected Reserve that was still
    in the training pipeline. We also collected and analyzed data from the
    commands that are responsible for managing the IRR, specifically

•   the U.S. Army Reserve Personnel Command, St. Louis, Missouri;
•   the Naval Reserve Personnel Center, New Orleans, Louisiana;
•   the Air Reserve Personnel Center, Denver, Colorado;
•   the Marine Corps Reserve Support Command, Kansas City, Missouri; and
•   the Coast Guard Personnel Command, Washington, D.C.

    Officials from these commands also provided data on IRR members that
    we analyzed to determine (1) response rates to questionnaires to verify
    basic member information and (2) participation rates at 1-day screening
    events to verify member fitness for mobilization.

    We conducted our review from September 2002 through June 2003 in
    accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




    Page 49                                         GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
             Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of Defense




             Page 50                                                GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense




Now on p. 43.




Now on p. 44.




Now on p. 44.




                Page 51                                                GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense




Now on p. 44.




Now on p. 44.




Now on p. 44.




                Page 52                                                GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense




Now on p. 44.




                Page 53                                                GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
                             Appendix III: Staff Acknowledgments
Appendix III: Staff Acknowledgments


                  James R. Bancroft, Larry J. Bridges, Michael J. Ferren, Chelsa L. Kenney,
Acknowledgments   Irene A. Robertson, and Robert K. Wild also made significant contributions
                  to the report.




(350247)
                  Page 54                                          GAO-03-921 Military Personnel
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