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The way to do it would be to give the Secretary of Defense the latitude to approve or disapprove some actions of that nature. Also, I would be very wary about giving court martial jurisdiction to the unified and specified commanders. It is already in the specified chain because of the dual role, service and joint. I do not think such jurisdiction is necessary in order to give the unified commander the responsibility and authority that he needs. It is an area that we ought to be careful about not confusing the troops.
With regard to personnel, after having kicked off my examination of organization in 1980, I formed the study group you referred to and took a look at the personnel in particular. The study came up with some very revealing information. For example, only 2 percent of the people on the Joint Staff had ever served on the Joint Staff before. The average time of people to stay on the Joint Staff at the junior level was 30 months, and less than 2 years at the senior level.
During the Senate hearings there was a great discussion of the senior officers on the Joint Staff. Nine of the top twelve had changed within a period of a few months last fall. I think a tenth one has now been changed. So basically we have people who have had little experience, 98 percent without experience in the Joint Staff. They stay on the Joint Staff for a very short period of time, and do not come back. It is like dealing with a Congress with all freshmen who have had no experience in Washington.
There a lot of things that need to be done to ensure that we do get more continuity, more experience. It is important that we do have a personnel designator. It is also important that we come up with a better definition of what jointness is. We have had a definition for many years that is too broad. You can be on a service staff, working as hard as you can on your unilateral service programs and get credit for joint duty.
I think it is important that we not designate some people at the junior level, but we should have provisions for people to move in and out at the higher level. A lot of people are late bloomers. They show later in their career-maybe as a lieutenant colonelor major-great ability to develop strategy and other capabilities that would be good for the joint system. There would also be a few that were selected early in their careers who leveled off and no longer should have a joint designation. There should be a provision to move in and out.
I would loosen up a little bit on the other provisions in the proposed bill. For example, it says to be a chairman, an individual should have been a former unified or specified commander. I endorse the ideal that the chairman should have broad joint experience. I applaud the selection of Admiral Crowe, who had great joint experience in Europe and in the Pacific. But I would tend to broaden the requirement for a couple of reasons. First, an officer could be a specified commander and qualify, even though he had only been in a single service assignment. Second, there are other joint experiences which should qualify someone. To have been director of the Joint Staff, to have had a senior position on the Joint Staff, would have given extensive experience. So I would add a provision that the chairman should have extensive joint experience. But I would not narrow it to require that he must have been a commander of the unified and specified command. Or that a CINC of the unified and specified command must have a specialty code, particularly if only junior people are allowed to be in the specialty.
With regard to promotions, I endorse the concept that some priority, and greater emphasis, be given to people in truly joint positions. I have very mixed emotions about the current administrative requirement that would be included in the legislation that all colonels and Navy captains must have had joint experience before they get promoted or, if not, the Secretary of Defense could waive the requirement as long as the next assignment was joint. I endorse the thought. But I have seen it operate in a way that has not been meaningful. What happens is that the system ends up ticket-punching. There is an incentive to get in the joint system and get out quickly so that square can be filled. There is a tendency to increase the rotational cycle to get lots of 0-6's eligible. There is an incentive not to have people to have multiple tours in the Joint Staff because if you repeat somebody you cannot get somebody else qualified. I question whether or not to put it in the legislation, particularly if we narrow the definition of joint. It may create more turmoil in those fewer joint spots to get these thousands of 0-6's eligible to be 0-7's. I endorse the concept. But I am a little concerned about the implementation.
As to joint education, we did start planning in 1981 for a joint school lasting a few weeks for all 0-6's when promoted to 0-7's. The school has started but only a small percentage attend. I endorse the concept that we should formalize the requirement. Essentially all new 0-7's should attend. A few in specialized areas, the medical or others, could be excluded. But generally, there should be some education for most.
I applaud your action in upgrading the National Defense University, but I would also like to see more jointness in the service war colleges. A certain part of the curriculum should be given oversight by the National Defense University so that jointness could be pursued. I would also like to see more cross assignments. We have a few cross assignments from service to service. But it is a miniscule number. There are a lot of jobs in the services which have some commonality. It not only helps the experience of the individual, but each service has some great ideas that could benefit others.
With regard to the Service staffs in the legislation, I would caution about combining the staff of the service secretary and the staff of the Chief of Staff
. Very frankly, one of the reasons is we have not had exceptionally well qualified people in the secretariat staffs in a lot of cases. There have been some very good ones. But in general, they have not been that well qualified. I do not see a rising of the standard in the future. Second, I am a little bit concerned about confusing the systems. For example, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, would work for an Assistant Secretary and work for the Chief of Staff of the Service. We have enough diffusion of authority and responsibility. What I would recommend is that you encourage an integration of effort and push toward that. And go ahead with a reduction in the staff levels. I think overall we have far too much overhead in the Defense Department.
I am on a number of corporate boards of companies which are essentially nondefense. I have seen almost a revolution going on in the personnel and manpower area in much of the corporate world particularly where there is intense foreign competition or there is increased competition through deregulation, as in the airlines. There have been tremendous decreases in overhead, cutting out whole layers. I have not seen that in Government. There is much we can do to decentralize and cut out personnel, particularly overhead, within all elements of the government.
Finally, with regard to agencies, I have only one comment. That is, I think generally we have gone too far in that direction. We have built great overhead, lots of agencies. Therefore, I endorse your requirement that a fundamental look ought to be made at the agencies and the role of the agencies in the future. We should go to an agency operation only if there is a truly strong reason. In general, I would rather see a Service have the responsibility as a lead Service than have an agency do a job.
Mr. Chairman, those are my remarks and I look forward to answering any questions.
Mr. NICHOLS. Thank you very much, General. Let me remind the committee that at 10 a.m. in full committee this morning we have a vote on the Contra issue. And so I would ask that you keep your questions short.
I have only one question, General. You skipped the stickiest point of all. Let's talk about this Deputy Chairman. Should we appoint one? What should he do?
General JONES. Mr. Chairman, I did not skip it because it was unimportant but because it was already in the legislation that you have passed. You have taken the right course. The general argument that we ought to have the Deputy rank No. 6 and not serve as the Acting Chairman, is that the other chiefs, having been given an opportunity to be acting chairman, are more "joint." There is some validity to that argument. Frankly, it is like putting a 3-foot ladder up against a house to try to get up on the roof. It would help to get you a little way, but it really doesn't help with the problem. There are two points which I believe are fundamental. One is, who would be selected to be the deputy chairman? If he is not to be the acting chairman, you probably will get a junior person who might go back to his service. If the person is No. 2, then it would be one of the Chiefs of Staff or one of the CINC's, that would be highly preferable.
So, it is fundamentally, which type of person do you want in the job. Second, and even more important: From my experience with 8 years on the Joint Chiefs it seems to me that crises erupt to a great extent when the Chairman is out of town. It does not seem to be just a random distribution. When the chairman is out of town, who would be best qualified to act in a crisis. Should it be someone who has been working on service issues for the most part, that is standing in for the Chairman, or someone who is 100 percent in the joint business, whose major responsibility is dealing with the CINC's in readiness and war planning and so forth? I suggest the Deputy would be best qualified. That is why I believe that it is much better for the Deputy Chairman to be the Acting Chairman, whatever the protocol you want to say as to his rank in the system. He ought to be Acting Chairman. Because crisis management is the most critical responsibility of an Acting Chairman.
Most other issues-arms control policy, strategy-are not so time urgent that they come to a head when the Chairman is gone. What comes to a head when the chairman is gone is a crisis. We handle crises in this country very poorly. If you look back in our history, we do not do well in crisis management. I think it is the weakest part of our overall defense system. It is a serious political/military problem.
It is a part of the organizational difficulty. And I would like to see more attention to crisis management. And I would like to see this Vice Chairman be deeply involved in the crisis management, planning, wartime capabilities, readiness. And I would like to see him be the acting chairman.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Hopkins.
Mr. HOPKINS. General, let me ask you about two things, if I may. How do you feel about the abolition of the Defense Logistics Agency? And second, do you think there would be any value in perhaps limiting the DOD congressional oversight committees to three committees: the Armed Services Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and the Budget Committee? We have had testimony that some of the secretaries, some of the Joint Chiefs have to appear before as many as 45 committees here on the hill. How do you feel about this?
General JONES. First, with respect to the Defense Logistics Agency. I would clearly look at reducing its scope. I have not looked at it enough to say I would abolish it. But I would move in the direction of reducing its scope.
I am one of the strongest advocates of jointness. But in many cases I would rather have a single service take the lead. For example, as an air commander in Europe, I would be happy to have the Army be the lead in the supply of petroleum. So generally I would move in the direction of reductions. Whether I would abolish it or not, I do not know.
I think with regard to the committees, anything you could do to reduce the great fixation that everybody in this town has on the budget process would be invaluable. There is nothing that takes more time than the budget process, within the building and over here on the Hill. The fewer the committees, the fewer the appearances, the better. There should be more emphasis on output rather than input-and budget actions are input. So, I would applaud whatever we can do to reduce the time people have to spend on budget. I have lots of friends in the military of nations around the world. And they are amazed at the amount of time the U.S. military has to spend in the budget process, both in the Pentagon and, particularly here on Capitol Hill.
Mr. HOPKINS. Thank you very much.
Mr. STRATTON. General, I was not entirely clear on what your proposal was with respect to the unified and specified commands. You indicated that there ought to be some additional mixture below the level of the top commander.
General JONES. Yes, Mr. Stratton; I would like to see--and I do not have a perfect road map to say how we should reorganize-but I would like to see day-to-day, somehow where we are much more joint in day-to-day operations. For example, when Grenada came up, my understanding is that the commanders met and in 48 hours they invaded. I would like to see more joint task force activity, where you plan an exercise ahead of time rather than requiring the Service components to do it. I think there could be some reorganization of the unified and
specified commands which are really a holdover from World War II. As I mentioned, only about 10 percent or 15 percent of our units are in four Service commands. The rest are in commands that tend to be Service dominated or almost solely a single service.
Mr. STRATTON. General Rogers, for example, has Army forces which are the major deterrent in Europe; he has Air forces and if I am not behind the time, he probably does not have too much control down in the Mediterranean. The idea of sort of mixing up the Air Force and the Army elements,
General JONES. I am not suggesting-
Mr. STRATTON (continuing). That would appear to me to be a complicating factor rather than
General JONES. I am not suggesting that. The European Command is the most joint command we have. It has the greatest involvement of the four Services. The Pacific, somewhat less joint; but it has four. All other commands are, for the most part, made up of either sea-based or land-based forces. So, I am not mixing up the units in that sense. But somehow there should be more fundamental jointness, both in the organization of the unified commands, and in the establishment of joint task forces and in planning ahead for the time when you are going to have to use the forces.
Mr. STRATTON. Doesn't this become further complicated when General Rogers has command of German forces?
General JONES. I think European Command is a unique situation. It is not only the one place that is already four Services. It is multinational. And so I am really more concerned about the forces based in the States not being as joint as our forces overseas, particularly in Europe. So, I am not talking about messing that up. I am talking about more jointness here in the States.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Kasich.
Mr. KASICH. Thank you Mr. Chairman. General, I am really surprised to hear what you say about DLA. You are a big guy for jointness. And the DLA has been buying equipment for parts for consumables at a higher rate of competition than the Services, with a higher degree of readiness than the Services and with a greater degree of competition, and obviously with better prices. Why would you say that we should move back in the other direction? The Grace Commission recommends that we move the other way. In fact, if you want to buy cheap and you want to buy efficiently, you let somebody in a centralized area, who understands buying, be able to buy more. I understand why the services need to retain a portion of their buying activities on sensitive parts or things that they clearly feel they do better on. But why would you advocate moving in the other direction and creating more bureaucracy in a decentralized way with people who can't buy as effectively?
General JONES. I think part of it has been the experience with GSA. I can remember when the great logic was to establish GSA.
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