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(j) An officer in a grade below rear admiral on the active list of the Regular Navy who has the rank of rear admiral while serving in a statutory office and who would be retired under this Act may have his date of retirement deferred by the Secretary during the period the officer has the rank of rear admiral and has not attained the age of sixty-two years.
(k) If the report of a board that considers officers for continuation on the active list under this section is approved less than six months before the end of the fiscal year, the retirement of officers who were considered but not recommended for continuation by that board shall be deferred until the first day of the seventh month following the month in which the report of the board is approved.
Sec. 2. (a) An officer who is retired under this Act, unless otherwise entitled to a higher retired grade or higher retired pay, shall be retired in the grade in which he was serving at the time of retirement and is entitled to retired pay at the rate of 214 percent of the basic pay to which he would be entitled if serving on active duty in the grade in which retired multiplied by the number of years of service that may be credited to him under section 1405 of title 10, United States Code, or, if greater, the number of years of total commissioned service computed under section 0387 or 6388 of title 10, United States Code.
(b) The retired pay of any officer retired under this Act may not be less than 50 percent or more than 75 percent of the basic pay upon which the computation of retired pay is based.
(c) In determining the total number of years of service to be used as a multiplier in computing retired pay, a part of a year that is six months or more is counted as a whole year and a part of a year that is less than six months is disregarded.
SEC. 3. Notwithstanding section 1431 of title 10, United States Code, a change of an election made under that section by an officer who is retired under this Act is effective if made at such time that it would have been effective had he been retired on the date prescribed by section 6376, 6377, or 6379 of title 10, United States Code, as appropriate, and a revocation of an election made under that Strition by an officer retired under this Act is effective if made before his retirement.
SEC. 4. (a) Until December 31, 1964, the Secretary of the Navy may establish zones of consideration for male officers of the Marine Corps serving in the grade of major, in addition to or instead of the promotion zones authorized by sections 5765 (b) and (c) of title 10, United States Code. The zone of consideration for that grade shall include such number of officers who are eligible for consideration for promotion as the Secretary determines to best meet the needs of the Marine Corps. The senior officer and the junior officer in a zone of consideration shall be designated by the Secretary. All officers junior to the senior officer and senior to the junior officer in a zone of consideration shall be in the zone of consideration. The zone of consideration for officers designated for supply duty shall consist of those officers who are junior to the senior officer and senior to the junior officer in the corresponding zone of consideration for officers not restricted in the performance of duty. Only officers who are in a zone of consideration or who are senior thereto may be considered by the selection board. Notwithstanding any other provision of law expect the second sentence of subsection (c) of this section, the selection board may recommend as best fitted for promotion, from among the officers who are in or senior to a zone of consideration, the number of officers serving in the grade of major that the board is authorized to recommend for promotion to the grade of lieutenant colonel. An officer who is included within a zone of consideration but is not within or senior to a promotion zone and who is not selected for promotion is not considered as having failed of selection for any purpose.
(b) Whenever a zone of consideration is established for the grade of major pursuant to this section the term “promotion zone" as used in section 5759(b) of title 10, United States Code, is synonymous with the term “zone of consideration."
(c) Notwithstanding the last sentence of section 5765 (b) of title 10, United States Code, the Secretary shall, until December 31, 1964, determine the number of officers of the Marine Corps in a promotion zone for promotion to lieutenant colonel on the basis of a consideration of the number of vacancies estimated for the grade of lieutenant colonel in the next five years, the required number of vacancies in the grade of major, and the age and service characteristics of the officers in the grade of major. The Secretary may, until December 31, 1964, specify the maximum number of officers who may be recommended for promotion to the grade of lieutenant colonel from within and above a promotion zone established under section 5765 of title 10, United States Code. That portion of section 5765(b) of title 10, United States Code, which reads "in order to maintain a flow of promotion consistent with the terms of service set out in section 5768 of this title and” is suspended until December 31, 1964, for the grade of major.
Sec. 5. The President may suspend any provision of section 1 or 4 of this Act during a war or national emergency hereafter declared. Such a suspension may not continue beyond June 30 of the fiscal year following that in which the war or national emergency ends. SEC. 6. Title 10, United States Code, is amended as follows:
(1) Section 6387 (b) (2) is amended by striking out the words "is, or at any time has been," and inserting the words "has been continuously” in place thereof.
(2) Section 5707(a) (6) and 5708(e) are each amended by inserting the following before the period at the end thereof : "in the next higher grade." SEC. 7. Section 1 of this Act shall have no further force or affect after June 30, 1970.
Mr. Kilpay. Stated briefly, the hump consists of a substantial number of officers who were commissioned during the 4 years of World War II. These officers constitute about one-third of the regular officer strength of the Navy and Marine Corps.
They are compressed in a 4-year period, while the remaining 66 percent are distributed over 26 years of a normal 30-year career.
These officers are now serving in the grades of lieutenant commander and commander in the Navy, and major and lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps.
The problem in the Navy, stated briefly, is that there are 8,000 lieutenant commanders and commanders who in the foreseeable future can aspire to only 2,000 captain's vacancies.
Under the Officer Personnel Act, an individual who is selected for captain is guaranteed 30 years of service. Individuals selected to the grade of commander are guaranteed 26 years of service. Since many of these officers were selected early in their careers, they still have many years of service ahead of them before failure of selection will force them to retire. There are also a substantial number of commanders in the Navy who have twice failed of selection to captain but who are still a long way from completing 26 years of service. Each year these individuals stay on active duty reduces the opportunities for promotion for lieutenant commanders to commanders. The same problem exists in the Marine Corps with regard to the grade of major and lieutenant colonel.
Under the proposed legislation, the Navy wants authority to hold continuation boards for captains who have completed 5 years in grade in order to select out a sufficient number to create vacancies so that commanders may be promoted to captain. This in turn will create vacancies for promotion from lieutenant commander to commander.
The Navy also wants authority to retire all commanders who have twice failed to selection to captain as soon as they have completed at least 20 years of active duty and qualify for retirement pay. The Marine Corps wants similar authority,
The Navy and the Marine Corps have somewhat different problems because the Marine Corps bring their colonels up for promotion to brigadier general much earlier than the Navy, insofar as a legal passover is concerned. In the Navy, captains are not legally passed over until their 29th and 30th year. In the Marine Corps, colonels are
legally passed over in their 23d or 24th year. Thus, the Marine Corps has a number of twice-passed-over colonels, while the Navy has only a few twice-passed-over captains.
This is an extremely complicated matter. The best way that I know to summarize the situation is to say that the enactment of this legislation will involuntarily retire about 1,500 Navy captains and about 1,000 commanders over the next 15 years before they have completed their 30 years of service as a captain now guaranteed by law, or their 26 years as a commander now guaranteed by law.
In the Marine Corps about 400 colonels will be retired before completing 30 years of service, and 600 lieutenant colonels before completing 26 years of service.
If this is done, then the Navy and Marine Corps can expect a reasonable selection rate for officers being selected from the grade of lieutenant commander to commander and from major to lieutenant colonel, and from commander to captain, and from lieutenant colonel to colonel.
I might just mention that if legislation is not enacted, I am advised that the next selection board from lieutenant commander to commander will necessitate a passover rate of 75 percent. In other words, 3 out of 4 lieutenant commanders will fail of selection in the next selection board if remedial action is not taken.
The proposed legislation seeks to spread this attrition rate more equitably throughout the service rather than impose such severe attrition upon the Navy and Marine Corps "hump" officers.
In the last session of Congres, and in the session prior to that, this subcommittee held partial hearings on this same subject. However, this is a new bill and a new Congress, and I think we will start from the beginning and fully develop all of the facts and the entire situation.
Mr. Secretary Gates, we will be glad to have your statement. Secretary GATES. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I wish to thank you for the opportunity to present to you a matter of critical importance to the leadership, morale, and readiness of the Navy and Marine Corps. Nothing is more important to the services than the quality of our officers.
I will speak about general principles as we see them. Admiral Smith and General Weller will present the technical aspects of this serious personnel problem.
The requirements of war and the timing of history have left us with one-third of all our Regular officers concentrated in a 4-year span of seniority. These officers are nearly contemporaries in age, grade, and experience. They joined and fought in World War II, and stayed to man the postwar Navy and Marine Corps when we badly needed experienced and competent young oflicers. They filled indispensable commands and positions during Korea. Our needs during these years of war and cold war have never permitted us to reduce their numbers appreciably by selection out. Now they are lieutenant commanders and commanders—or majors and lieutenant colonels, in the Marine Corps. They have moved together as a hump along the promotion ladder. Under present conditions 8,000 Regular Navy commanders and lieutenant commanders must be fitted into 2,000 captain's jobs. Three thousand Regular Marine lieutenant colonels and majors must be fitted into 580 colonel's billets.
Unless we gain legislative relief, promotion will stagnate, and we must also force out some of our finest and most needed officers.
The country cannot allow the promotion of naval and marine officers to stagnate. Since World War II, the average age in each grade of our Regular officers has steadily increased. Yet our need is for vigorous leaders able to withstand combat stress and the constant tension of cold war operations. A reasonable opportunity to assume broader responsibilities is the incentive and challenge that good officers need. The legislation we seek will not stop or reverse this trend toward slowdown. We can arrest it to some extent.
There is another serious evil of promotion stagnation in the hump group. The younger officers behind them are held back, too. We can expect many of these outstanding junior officers to leave the service unless we take action now. These officers are our seed corn for the future.
The alternative to complete promotion stagnation would be to force out three-quarters of the officers in the hump group. This would be most unwise. The Navy needs these officers, who combine combat experience in two wars with potential for the future. Even if we get legislative relief, we must still select out about half. To discard more than that would be unsound and unfair. There are many officers senior to the hump who have been promoted with no serious attrition. Among them are officers who would not have achieved high rank under comparable competition. The maintenance of quality among our officers and simple equity demand that they should share this burden in some measure. Many of them realize it is in the best interest of a stronger Navy that they do so. Certainly everyone recognizes that they have served their country faithfully and well.
Admiral Burke, General Pate, and I have given this subject a great deal of attention and earnest study. I assure you that we have thought carefully about the effects on individuals as well as on the services. The legislation we ask for is supported by the Department of Defense. In our opinion, it is in the best interest of both the need of the services and of equity and fairness between individuals. Without legislation we have no adequate administrative solution. Today we build nuclear ships-supersonic aircraft, missiles with uncanny intelligence—to equip the Navy and Marines for the responsibilities of sea power in the future. The oflicers we speak of today are the officers who must design, and control, and command these forces. We cannot risk second-class leadership. In the national interest, the service requires the best. I am convinced that the legislation we ask for is indispensable to that objective.
Because of prior commitments, I will not be able to be present through all of the explanations of the bill. Assistant Secretary Jackson, who has lived very closely with this problem and its solution, will be present as my representative throughout your hearings.
Mr. Kilday. Thank you, Mír. Secretary.
We appreciate your other commitments. And I agree with your statement that you will present the general principles of the bill and leave to Admiral Smith and General Weller the technical aspects. I will attempt to confine myself to the broad principles involved. And I hope the other members of the subcommittee will, likewise.
We have spoken in the past, and I mentioned today in my statement, about a guaranteed tour for commanders and captains. And, of course, we have generally talked about 26 and 30 years of service as guaranteed tours. Just at this point in the record, I would want to have it appear that at the time those tours were created it was not in the aspect of guaranteeing to the individuals tours or stated tours but rather to reduce the forced attrition that had been experienced and was being experienced in 1947. That, of course, can be developed further as we go along.
While you are with us, Mr. Secretary, I wanted to inquire as to this: Whether it was conceived originally as a guaranteed tour or not, it has resulted in a guaranteed tour to the individual, do you agree to that?
Secretary Gates. I think, Mr. Chairman, that is a fair interpretation; yes, sir.
There is a conflict between this interpretation and the requirement that the Secretary of the Navy designate the formula that is in the best interest of the service. So there is a requirement to do what is best for the service, and there is an implied, I think publicly implied, guaranteed tour under the original legislation.
Mr. KILDAY. Of course, in the Officer Personnel Act of 1947, there were a number of provisions along this same line, that were designed to accomplish this same purpose. My recollection is that forced attrition on promotion from lieutenant commander to commander at that time was approximately 50 percent, and that the things that were done to reduce that attrition included the tour of 26 years and 30 years, and to increase the percentage distribution by grades at that time.
But in any event, the individual regards this as a guarantee to him, and with a great deal of justification, that as commander he would be permitted to remain on active duty for 26 years and as a captain for a period of 30 years.
The bill that you have here now contains no provision for com: pensation for the remainder of the 26- or the 30-year period, does it?
Secretary GATES. That is correct, sir.
Mr. KILDAY. In previous proposals here we have had from the Department, I believe, a recommendation for constructive credit for the remaining years not served or a fraction of them.
Secretary GATES. Yes, that is right, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KILDAY. But that is not in the proposal the Department brings us now?
Secretary GATES. That is right, sir.
Mr. Kilpay. Of course, this committee, I believe, at the time that proposal was previously here, expressed a good deal of concern about establishing the policy of constructive credit for the purposes of retirement, something that, so far as I know, has never been done.
We did grant constructive credit for original commission in the Regular service of the Army and Air Force, I believe, but we have never granted constructive service for purposes of retirement or determining retired pay after retirement.
Secretary GATES. That is right, sir.
Mr. Kilday. I would like to know what position the Department would take if the committee saw fit to grant some compensation for