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My experience in the Joint Staff is that this experience in the service, and with this basic allegiance each has to his or her own service, is what makes a professional. The cultural commitments don't come about very quickly.

It takes time, so we have to be careful that we do this in an evolutionary way whatever we do, so that in the long run, it ends up being a net plus instead of, possibly, a net minus. I think, sir, the results of the infusion of higher-quality officers into joint duty, the addition of this identifier in the approved promotion climate for joint officers, will show up in higher promotion rates and follow-on assignments.

I recommend that whatever changes that are made, they are implemented in a reasoned, deliberate way, so the careers of our officers are not unduly jeopardized by immediate dramatic changes in promotion, education and assignment policies. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

PREPARED STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. EDGAR A. CHAVARRIE Good morning Mr. Chairman, Subcommittee members, and staff members. It is a pleasure to appear before you today to discuss the concerns of the committee regarding the performance of military officers in joint activities and, specifically, the question of creating a joint specialty as proposed in the report by the Chairman's Special Study Group, dated April 1982. We share the committee's concern on this important subject. As you know, it was in response to your direction that the Secretary of De fense forwarded a report titled, Study to Improve the capabilities of Officers in Joint Activities in May 1985. Included in that report was an analysis by the Department on the question of establishing a joint specialty. Also included with our report were supporting studies by the JCS and the services.

Under the joint specialty proposal contained in the April, 1982, effort, officers at the 0-4 or higher level would be selected for the specialty and would spend most of their remaining careers in joint duty. Their assignments, education and career patterns would be steered toward joint duty with assignments in their parent service periodically to maintain currency:

We concluded in our May, 1985, report and continue to believe that a better approach is to require each service to establish a special experience identifier in officers' records who have had joint duty. This they are doing. An identifier would pro vide a system to identify officers for subsequent assignment to joint duty, and monitor careers to check on follow-on assignments, education, and promotions. This approach tracks closely with our analysis of joint officer requisitions which listed the officers' knowledge of their service and particular functional area far ahead of prior joint experience in importance in the assignment selection process. By functional area we mean, for example, logistics, communications, reconnaissance, armor, surface warfare, tactical air warfare, and intelligence. Changing this arrangement tends to diminish the contribution of military advice and could place undue emphasis on staff skills.

We see several potential problems associated with the creation of a cadre of joint specialists. First, it would change our present goal of maintaining an officer corps, throughout all the services, broadly experienced in joint operations. General Wickham, in his earlier testimony to this subcommittee, used the term “cross-fertilization." It is an important and very desirable attribute of our present system because it supports a valuable flow of up-to-date service experience going into the joint structure, and, conversely, and usually forgotten, the valuable flow of joint experience returning to the services. The present system also allows us to identify and quickly mobilize additional joint-experienced officers in wartime, a benefit which whould be reduced significantly under the proposal. We must remember, and this is also easily forgotten, that we should prepare ourselves for combat operation-for wartime—we are likely to need, quickly, large numbers of jointly-trained officers.

Second, despite the best of intentions, the joint specialty could create an adversarial relationship in the officer corps which would clearly be detrimental to effective conduct of operations and presents one of the “unknown results of change” Admiral Crowe mentioned in his earlier testimony. Instead of four types of officers (one from each service) in joint duty, we would have eight types—some joint specialists and some non-joint specialists from each of the four services. These joint specialists would want to compete for the most challenging in-service positions when they were returned to their respective service to maintain operational currency. They would be at a disadvantage in this competition since they would obviously be a rather transient resource whose future would lie in the joint arena not in their service.

Third, the joint specialty would limit joint billet availability. Therefore, it could work against achievement of a mutual goal of both the committee and the Defense Department. The goal to which I'm referring is for all our best officers destined for flag officer rank to have joint experience. We believe the present system, with the improvements already underway in terms of the special experience identifier, the positive emphasis the services now place on joint duty, and more careful selectivity provides the basic framework to ensure the assignment of our outstanding officers to joint duty.

We are, however, taking another look at the feasibility of a joint specialty. In response to your direction in this year's Authorization Act, an independent research organization is conducting a study regarding the establishment of a joint specialty and related issues. We will carefully examine the results of that study, which is being administered by my office, and recommend policy or procedural changes which are appropriate.

Before I conclude, I would like to give the committee a clear appreciation that we in the Defense Department fully understand the positive thrust of the legislation. Under departmental leadership, and in response to your legislation, the services have clear instructions which recognize the value of joint duty and its critical importance to national defense. Increased emphasis has been placed on nominating highly qualified officers for joint duty. We are increasing the assignment to joint duty of graduates of the three joint schools comprising the National Defense University. More of our newly promoted flag and general officers will be trained in joint activities with the addition of a second session to our present course of training. Significant progress has been made and will continue to be made as, in the words of Secretary Taft to this committee, the services absorb the "cultural commitment" necessary to achieve lasting change. I believe that the results of the infusion of higher quality officers into joint duty, the addition of the special experience identifier, and the improved promotion climate for joint officers that I mentioned will be shown in higher promotion rates and excellent follow-on assignments. We already are beginning to see the positive results. The critical question facing us at this time is how rapidly the present system can adjust to the relatively drastic changes in your proposed legislation. I recommend that whatever changes are made, they are implemented in a reasoned, deliberate way so that the careers of our officers are not unduly jeopardized by immediate dramatic changes in the promotion, education, and assignment policies.

I wish to thank you again for this opportunity to appear before you. I would be pleased to respond to your questions.

Mr. NICHOLS. Thank you, General.

You should have a deep view of staff duty, being associated with it so closely over the years. What are your views concerning the management of the staff? Who should manage the staff? I believe our bill recommends that the Chairman be responsible for the management of the staff.

General CHAVARRIE. I think most of the portions of the bill that I am familiar with, and that I have some responsibility for, I think strengthening the Chairman is the best thrust of the legislation, and there is no question about who should manage the staff.

Mr. NICHOLS. Explain to me how your identifier works.

General CHAVARRIE. The identifier is-you have Joe Brown, who has had joint service, either on the Joint Staff in the Defense Agency, OSD, or one of the overseas commands, and it is an identifier that (if he has had service before) allows the Chairman-thinking now about the Chairman having the increased power to get the personnel for the Joint Staff—to select from a group of people who have already had joint duty.

The identifier allows the Chairman to see the kind of performance this person had in the Joint Staff. Was he outstanding? Was he good, fair, whatever?

It identifies that individual, so for the next selection, the Chairman can see if he was good or bad or indifferent.

The officers nominated by the services for the Joint Staff have to be the most outstanding officers. You can tell an outstanding officer by many things, his selections for school, early promotions.

If he has also been identified as a joint officer, this is the person, in his functional skill, that the Chairman can select.

The identifier is one way of doing it. I think the law requires that the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Chairman, ensure that the officer personnel policies do something about promotion, retention, and assignment, and I think that is what the identifier would do. It would immediately pick the best from those who have served before.

Mr. NICHOLS. Well, how do you identify this man? Do you give him a campaign ribbon or put something on his shoulder sleeve?

General CHAVARRIE. I think it is two steps. No. 1, let's say that you now want to find an intelligence officer to come to the Joint Staff, and you say I need the best person around, so you ask the services, all four, and you nominate for this intelligence billet, an 06, for example, or an 05 billet.

The services, if they have an identifier, will go back and look at the fellow's records, and nominate the best man. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the future, will insist that the best people come to the OJCS, and you will nominate the best people, and the identifier will point out somebody who has held a joint job before—which is a prerequisite—and No. 2, somebody who is outstanding or not outstanding.

Mr. NICHOLS. How long have we been into this identifier?

General CHAVARRIE. 1985. Middle of last year, sir, when we sent the report over.

Mr. NICHOLS. We heard testimony this week from someone, the name escapes me at the moment, but I believe he said that at the time, less than 2 percent of the 400-odd people on the Joint Staff had ever had joint duty before.

They were all neophytes in this area, knew nothing about Joint Staff duty, and I am wondering if in some people's minds, people who do Joint Staff duty view it as the end of the road? If a second assignment to the Joint Staff is not going to be looked at as a double penalty?

General CHAVARRIE. Yes, sir; I think I understand.

Mr. NICHOLS. What we are trying to do is to try to make Joint Staff duty a little more attractive to people. I don't like hearing all these horror stories about being assigned to the Joint Staff as the end of the road, forget about promotion, no way, so forth.

The recommendations that we have made have been made in that vein.

General CHAVARRIE. Sir, I agree with you that that sort of feeling has been around, that if you are assigned to the Joint Staff, it is kind of the end. And I must also admit, and it is a personal kind of judgment and a feeling, that some of that still exists.

I am very confident, however, Mr. Chairman, that you have got our attention to the extent that the eight recommendations that we made in our 1985 report are geared exactly to do that, to enhance the stature of people assigned to the Joint Staff.

You can't get outstanding fellows all at once. We can't do everything first, but we started in 1985 to get on with the task of doing exactly what you say, and that is to get rid of this myth that an assignment to a joint billet is the kiss of death or the end of the road, because even though it may have been in the past, in some cases, I am absolutely convinced that it will not be in the future. The thrust of your bill, and the thrust of your interest, will make it so, and you have a perfect opportunity-you can ask us, what are the promotion rates 6 months from now or a year from now or 2 years from now, and you've got a chance to ask us how we are doing.

Mr. NICHOLS. General, General Vessey, I believe, in his testimony last year suggested that the cap be removed on the number of individuals on the Joint Staff.

How do you look at that?

General CHAVARRIE. I think the cap should be removed, sir, and I think it should be left to the Chairman and to the Secretary of Defense to decide what the number should be.

Mr. NICHOLS. I notice in the paper this morning some comments on the Senate bill. I have not found any ground swell from the Pentagon supportive of that bill.

I notice they make some recommendation for overall reductions in the Pentagon.

General CHAVARRIE. I noticed that coming over, sir.
Mr. NICHOLS. Mr. Barrett, do you have any questions?
Mr. BARRETT. Yes, sir; I do.

General, first, you indicated that a jont subspecialty might create an adversarial relationship in the Officer Corps.

General CHAVARRIE. Yes, sir.

Mr. BARRETT. We have doctors. Doctors get special pay, special promotion rates. And we have lawyers, nuclear submariners, Army rangers, Air Force pilots, Air Force Headquarters Staff officers. All of these groups are considered separately, in different ways, that is, as compared to the joint subspecialty, which would include almost all of those groups.

I don't see the distinction between a joint subspecialty on the one hand, and all of these other groups that do, from time to time, or all the time, receive special consideration.

General CHAVARRIE. I think part of the answer is, there is a feeling, it is a feeling that is difficult to articulate, Mr. Barrett. I would say that there is a difference between a group of lawyers, or a group of doctors and dentists—that is not quite analogous to a joint specialty.

I guess it could be the natural relationships that a fighter pilot has with a bomber pilot or a helicopter pilot and a fixed-wing pilot. It is hard to put your finger on it, but if somehow or other, the perception becomes a cadre of people who are promoted differently, and looked at differently, that it might engender some sort of adversarial connotation.

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Mr. BARRETT. Another question, General—we have had testimony since 1982 about how the joint side is getting better. If you go back in that testimony, you can find that it refers back 10 or 15 years.

Someone testified that Admiral Zumwalt solved the joint officer problem for the Navy back in the early 1970's. Admiral Holloway, in 1982, testified that he took care of that problem in the mid1970's.

Admiral Hayward testified in 1982 that he had taken care of it then and just recently Admiral Watkins has said now he has taken care of it.

I wonder if these things, the identifier in an officer's file, will take care of a very significant problem-and we have substantial testimony that the problem is there, it continues, and the information is that it will continue in the future.

General CHAVARRIE. Those are the wrong people to have taken care of it. The person to take care of it is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We have a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who will take care of it.

It is this cultural change that has to occur, but there needs to be very strong leadership from the top in order to press this need of cultural commitment that is going to be joint. And you cannot do it necessarily in the service.

It has got to be from higher, not only from the service level.

Mr. BARRETT. If it is the Chairman that has to take care of it, and the Chairman has very few authorities in the law, do we not need to put some things in the law to give the Chairman more responsibility so he can take care of it?

General CHAVARRIE. That is exactly right. If you will recall, those eight recommendations in the 1985 report, the OSD report, does exactly that. We can't give the Chairman any authority, in our report, but in our report we spelled out eight ways in which you could enhance the career of joint officers, and we think doing it in a very positive way.

What that study needs, and those recommendations need, is a lot of push from the hierarchy. I daresay that the pressure on the positive side from this committee, the push that it is getting, in my over 30 years, I can just see the momentum shifting.

I think the momentum is shifting, and the sentiment is there, and people now understand that joint is important, and I know that you have heard it before, and I wish that I could—I wish I could express to you the feeling that I have over my experience working in both service and joint billets, 16 years in various assignments, NATO, SHAPE, OSD, that the shift is there.

I hope I am not proved wrong 5 years from now, but I think when you are here 5 years from now, Mr. Barrett, you will see that. It needs pressure, and you are putting the pressure where it is, and the proof of the pudding will be next year. When witnesses come back and you say here is your promotion list, here is the promotion list in Joint Staff and services, in the air staff or in the different staffs, here is what the statistics were.

Now, tell me what the statistics are this year, and if they are not any better, that is when you can get somebody. Give it a chance to work, and I am not going to say 5 years, but I will say 1 or 2 years.

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