._ _.....I..I_ _.I” ..-..._.._ -...-.. _I_. ..--.--_- ..^...._____ -- DEFENSE St*pt t’ItIIw I’ I !)!)(I PERSONNEL Standards for Joint Duty Tour Length Averages Being Met 142397 RELEASED RESTRICTED-- Not to be released outside the General Accounting Office unless specifically approved by the Office of Congressional &elation8. ~-...“. ..I~.._..,._ -._.._._-_ “-.i. .._. -,..___. (i/IO I\iSIAI)-!)o-%~‘lI~lt ,. .,.I -.... _^^... . -_._-.---.- .._. --.---.._-..-.--.~.____ -_ ~~ United States GAO General Atcounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 National Security and International Affairs Division B-240491 September lo,1990 The Honorable Nicholas Mavroules Chairman, Subcommittee on Investigations Committee on Armed Services House of Representatives Dear Mr. Chairman: As you requested, we examined whether the average length of military officers’ joint duty tours’ was consistent with 10 U.S.C. 664(e). This sec- tion, beginning with fiscal year 1991, requires that, with certain excep- tions, the average length of joint duty assignments for (1) general/flag officers shall be not less than 2 years and (2) other officers shall be not less than 3 years. Under the law, the Secretary of Defense will have the overall responsibility for ensuring that joint duty tour averages in each service are met annually. Even though not yet required by law, DOD’S interim policy is to adhere to the prescribed average tour lengths to the maximum extent practicable. In this report we deal with the average tour length of officers whose joint duty assignments ended during fiscal year 1989. This report dis- cusses (1) DOD management of joint tours and (2) how long general/flag officers and field grade officers remained on joint duty assignments. We briefed your staff on June 1, 1990, on the results of our work, and this report summarizes that briefing. For assignments that ended in fiscal year 1989, the average tour length Results in Brief for general/flag officers of each service exceeded 2 years, and the average tour length for field grade officers of each service exceeded 3 years. Our analysis also showed that of the 117 general/flag officers whose tours we averaged, 77 completed tours of 2 or more years, 17 received waivers from the 2-year tour, 20 served 23-24 months, and the remaining 3 served more than 21 months. 10 USC. 664 establishes procedures for computing the average length Tour Length Averages of joint duty assignments. It stipulates the average joint duty assign- ” ment tour length for both general/flag officers and field grade officers, ‘A joint duty tour refers to the time served in a joint duty assignment. Page 1 GAO/NSW90-264BR Defense Personnel B-240491 __-..I..-..__ --.-..-.--~_ effective in fiscal year 199 1. Several provisions of the law provide DOD flexibility in what data to use in computing average tour lengths. For example, the law allow tours shortened for specific reasons, such as retirement, suspension, or release from duty, to be excluded. In addition, 1x)1)has the discretion to include or exclude overseas tours. Hecause their stipulated average tours are different, general/flag officers’ tours must be managed, tracked, and reported separately from field grade officers. Although management groups in the Offices of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been created, the supporting management information system-Joint Duty Assignment Management Information System- is expected to be operational before fiscal year 199 1. In the interim, service systems are being used. Table 1 shows our calculation of tour length averages for general/flag and field grade officers based on service data. .._. -. ._~_ - __.------..-_._-.- Table 1: Average Joint Duty Tour Lengths by Service (Frscal Year 1989) Figures in months --. .~._.... ____..-. - General/flag Field rade Service officers of 8.Icers Army 27 ~~ 40 ..~~ Navy 26 39 Marine Corps 28 37 Au Force 27 _____-- 42 The services use DOD guidance on assignment policies to manage indi- Managing Individual vidual officer reassignments. This guidance does not require the use of Tours actual dates to manage such reassignments. The Army personnel man- agement system currently uses actual dates to manage joint tours for field grade officers, while the other services use year/month data or estimated dates, such as the date of estimated return from overseas or the time an officer is required to report by, to track tour lengths. In addition to establishing the average joint tour lengths, the act states that as a general rule the minimum lengths for joint duty assignments shall be 2 years for general/flag officers and 3 years for field grade officers. It also lists specific exemptions and exclusions from the min- imum tour lengths. In addition, it grants DOD flexibility in managing field grade officers by allowing reassignment up to 60 days early and granting them credit for a full tour. About 2,644 field grade officers completed joint tours in fiscal year 1989. Page 2 GAO/NSlAD-90-254BR Defense Personnel R-240491 IJsing information provided to us by the services, we identified 117 gen- Length of Individual erallflag officers who completed joint tours during fiscal year 1989 and Tours for General/ were included in our calculation of the average tour lengths. As shown Flag Officers in table 2,77 of the 117 tours (66 percent) were tours of 2 or more years. Seventeen general/flag officers who did not complete the full 2- year tours obtained tour length waivers. Of the remaining 23, all had served more than 21 months, and 20 of these had served more than 23 months. Table 2: General/Flag Officers Completing Tours During Fiscal Year 1989 Tours of 2 Completed or more Under 2- Granted Service ~.~~- tours - ._.~-..--years year tours waivers Officers Months Army 36 24 12 7 4 served 23+ 1 served 21+ Navy 35 22 13 5 8 served ~~~~.-___.--23+ Marine Corps 9 7 2 0 2 served 23+ Air Force 37 24 13 5 6 served 23+ 2 served 22+ Total 117 77 40 17 23 Note. In our calculations, we did not Include tours which could be excluded under the provisions of 10 U.S.C. 664. Because the Offices of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Scopeand Staff did not have systems in place to collect data on average length of Methodology joint tour assignments for fiscal year 1989, we obtained data from the personnel offices of the individual services, but we did not verify the accuracy of the data. For general/flag officers we obtained dates that each reported to and departed from a joint duty assignment. In our cal- culations, we eliminated from our universe those tours which the Department of Defense would not be required to include in its computa- tion of the average tour length. For field grade officers we did not examine tour lengths for each indi- vidual but examined the universe of completed tours and the procedures each service used for computing the average tour length. We conducted our survey between February and June 1990 in accor- dance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We did not obtain official comments from agency officials; however, we did dis- cuss the matters contained in this letter with program officials during Page 3 GAO/NSIAD90-254BR Defense Personnel B-240491 the course of our review and have incorporated their comments where appropriate. IJnless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from its issue date. At that time, we will send copies to the Chairmen, House Committees on Armed Ser- vices, Appropriations, Government Operations; and the Chairmen, Senate Committees on Armed Services, Appropriations, and Govern- mental Affairs; the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; and other interested parties. We will make copies available to others upon request. Please contact me at 275-3990 if you or your staff have any questions concerning this report. Major contributors are listed in appendix I. Sincerely yours, Paul I,. Jones Director, Defense Force Management Issues Page4 GAO/NSIAD-90s254BRDefensePersonnel Page 6 GAO/NSIAD-BO-264BR Defense Personnel Major Contributors to This Report George E. Breen, Jr., Assistant Director National Security and William .J. Wood, Evaluator-in-Charge International Affairs Division, Washington, D.C. (:JHI 125) Page 0 GAO/NSLAD-90-264BR Defense Personnel ._ ...--....-_....I ..__ -- -.-_ - Ortlcbri ug I uforfuat.ion IIS. (;cbuchrat Accounting Offic*cb 1’. 0. Box 60 15 (;;lit hchrshurg, MI) 208’77 Ortlc~rs lu;ly iItS tW ptacc*d by c*atling (202) 2756241. 7 !
Defense Personnel: Standards for Joint Duty Tour Length Averages Being Met
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-10.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)