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to provide. Rather than providing more economical and efficient means to provide these needs, they may be adding another layer of duplicated efforts, stifling competition among contractors, and adding costs through excessive bureaucracy and planning procedures.
A major study of Defense Agencies, the 1979 "Report on the Defense Agency Review” directed by Major General Theodore Antonelli (USA, Ret), made recommendations on the operation and structure of the Defense Agencies which have virtually been ignored. Among its findings:
Our study supports the views of those who believe that there is ambiguity and diffusion in the oversight over, and accountability for, most Agencies. However, we also agree with those who believe in selecting strong managers for the Agencies. We agree in principle with the concept of “management by exception.” However, even Agencies with strong managers require some oversight or balance for such semi-autonomy. Every organizational entity, however worthy its purposes, has its own interests, which it will advance if unchecked, and which may not necessarily further the interests of the larger whole of which it is a part. Human enterprises require some overwatching au
thority. The Antonelli Report notes further:
There appears to be little systematic linkage between the contingency planning of the JCS and many of the Agencies supporting the operating forces. In fact, in some instances, we can find little evidence of up-to-date Agency planning for contingencies. Base support operations do not always require the detailed planning or the frequent updating that the combat forces require.
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has never had, and does not now have, a formal relationship with the JCS. The Antonelli Report also deals with the relationship between the agencies and the JCS, the Services, and the Unified and Specified Commands:
The relationships between the Defense Agencies and the JCS, the Military Services, and the Unified and Specified (U&S) Commands vary widely. In general, the creation of the unified Agency structure complicates an already complex set of relationships among OSD, the JCS, the Services and the U&S Commands. The basic difficulty, which is already described in the Steadman Report, lies in the divisions between mission responsibility and authority over resource allocation. These divisions violate fundamental principles of organizational management and military command responsibility. The Defense Agencies add an additional dimension to this problem. In this context we concluded that the gradual development of the Defense Agency system has placed an additional burden on an organizational system which was already strained by some inherent limitations.
We have been unable to examine this very broad issue in the comprehensive manner which it deserves. However, we have found evidence of a number of specific problems, and found their validity sufficiently persuasive to cause us to conclude that this issue requires careful consideration in the study of the central issue we have recommended. These problems include the following:
The authority of some agencies to levy requirements on the U&S Commands and the Services without commensurate responsibility for the operating missions.
The authority of the Services to levy various requirements on certain Agencies without commensurate fiscal responsibility.
The authority an Agency for quality inspection and acceptance of materiel whose utilization is the responsibility of the services.
Less than optimum efficiency resulting from inadequate coordination.
A need for greater participation by the U&S Commanders in the review of major issues in the programs and budgets of the
Defense Agencies. Secretary of the Navy Lehman is a consistent, outspoken critic of defense agencies:
Is the Defense establishment overgrown? Yes. To cope with this avalanche of legislation and regulation, each military department headquarters numbers 2,000, as does the Joint Staff and its appendages and the Office of the Secretary of Defense staff. There are 10 Defense agencies numbering 85,000, and nine joint and specified commands that each average nearly a thousand. No intelligent human being would pay $700 for a toilet cover. It took a unified buying agency of 50,000 billets to do that.
That vast bloat in Congress and the executive branch has all been done over the past 30 years in the name of reformation at the altar of the false idols of centralization and unification.
CONCLUSION The strength of any complex organization-and the national military command structure is more complex than most-depends in equal measure on three things: people, leadership and structure. We are indeed fortunate that the Armed Forces today are attracting and retaining some of the best trained and most highly qualified soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in our history.
The leadership of these forces, the officers and non-commissioned officers, should also be singled out for praise. Our top leadership has also shown great initiative and brilliance in solving some of our most troubling Service and inter-Service problems. An example is the Army-Air Force agreement on 31 of the most important issues affecting those Services in their joint responsibilities.
However, the third component-structure-is important as well because it determines the pace at which those changes and improvements take place. Structural changes cannot by themselves solve any problem. However, the process of evolutionary change can be facilitated by a structure that promotes initiative as well as organizational excellence.
PROPOSALS BEFORE THE INVESTIGATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE The previous sections outlined the problems as defined by a large number of analysts in and out of uniform. The Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed Services is in the process now of holding hearings on the four issues outlined at the beginning. A package of four bills before the subcommittee addresses all four elements. These have been introduced by Representatives Les Aspin, Bill Nichols, and Ike Skelton. The following section outlines in plain English the solutions and reforms contained in the Aspin-Nichols-Skelton bill. The inclusion of this section is designed to aid Members in understanding the most detailed and comprehensive bill before the committee. It should not, however, be taken to indicate that this bill points the way to the only solution. There are other approaches that could be taken to address the four issues. For example, there are proposals to abolish the secretaries of the three military departments and have the service chiefs report directly to the Office of the Secretary of Defense without any intervening civilian layer. There is also a proposal to abolish outright the Defense Logistics Agency and to return its responsibilities to the services. And there is a proposal to create a formal General Staff comprised of officers who would spend the bulk of their careers in joint assignments and who would have their assignments, promotions and other career rewards effectively controlled by a General Staff promotion system rather than by each individual service.
I. UNIFIED AND SPECIFIED COMMANDS Control of the organizational structure of each of the unified and specified commands is to be decentralized to the commander of the command. He will be directed that the structure be fashioned as closely as possible to the structure that would prevail in wartime. All combat ready forces will be assigned day-to-day to the combatant commanders, and they will exercise command over them. They will select, and may remove, the commanders of subordinate units, who will be responsible to the unified commanders and will communicate with other elements of the Department of Defense through the unified commanders.
The CINCs will be given the resources they need to have authoritative command of their forces. They will be given authority to develop their own programs and budget submissions, and will participate in the overall defense budget resource allocation process. Further, they will participate with the JCS Chairman in a Joint Commanders Council. They will be given staff resources to carry out their new responsibilities in planning, training, command and con
trol, resource allocation, and intelligence. In short, they will be given the opportunity to become in the fullest sense the operational commanders they were intended to be when the concept of unity of command replaced mutual cooperation as the command doctrine of the United States.
The CINCs and Chairman of the JCS will be given a strong voice in program and budget submissions. The CINCs will submit their requirements, the Chairman will combine CINC's proposals, allocate priorities, and develop his own integrated proposal. He will compare his document with service and defense agency budget proposals and submit recommendations to the Secretary.
II. JOINT OFFICER PERSONNEL
The key provision to strengthen the joint approach to command and operations is to establish a joint subspecialty for military officers in all four services. This subspecialty would include approximately one-half of all officers in joint billets. These billets include the Joint Staff, but further will include CINC staffs and other joint duty assignments. These officers will spend approximately one-half of their careers after selection in joint assignments or training. The Secretary of Defense, advised by the Chairman of the JCS, will establish career guidelines for joint subspecialty officers, which will cover training, military education, types of duty assignments, promotion eligibility criteria, and other factors.
Built-in incentives for selecting the joint subspecialty will include requiring that Unified and Specified Commanders must have had a joint subspecialty. Moreover, to qualify for selection as Chairman of the JCS, an officer must have been a unified or specified commander. The Joint Staff personnel directorate will be enhanced so that it can monitor the promotions and career assignments of joint subspecialty officers and other officers who have served in joint positions, and otherwise advise the Chairman on joint personnel matters.
Promotion policies will be established to protect and guide officers who serve in joint assignments. Officers on the Joint Staff should, as a group, be promoted at a rate faster than their peers on service headquarters staffs; officers serving in other joint assignments should, as a group, be promoted at a rate equal to their peers on service headquarters staffs. Joint officers will serve on their services' promotion boards, and promotion lists will be submitted to the JCS Chairman for assurance that joint officers are represented.
Finally, joint duty assignments will become a major prerequisite for star rank promotion. This legislation will require such an assignment for promotion to general or admiral. The Secretary of De fense will have waiver authority, but he must (1) ensure that the waiver authority is limited in use; and (2) require that the first assignment as generals or admirals of the few officers who receive the waiver will be in joint positions.
III. MILITARY DEPARTMENTS The Secretary of Defense will be directed to reorganize the military departments
in accordance with guidelines established in the law by Congress: Each department headquarters will constitute one single staff. The functional assignments of assistant secretaries, other ranking civilian officials, and deputy chiefs of staff shall, to the maximum extent possible, be made uniform across the departments. The legislative charters of service secretaries will be standardized. Likewise, other portions of the law relating to the services will be standardized.
Each military department shall have an under secretary and four assistant secretaries who will be assigned responsibilities for the following functional areas: manpower, reserve affairs, financial management, research and development, acquisition, logistics, and installations. Further, the Army shall have an additional assistant secretary for civil works. Each department shall have a civilian general counsel who will have the status of an assistant secretary.
The service chief shall act as the military assistant and chief of staff to the Secretary. He shall, as at present, “exercise supervision over such members and organizations” of the service as the secretary determines. The department headquarters may have as many as six deputy chiefs of staff. Four of these deputies will serve as military assistants to the assistant secretaries in their respective functional areas. Two additional deputies may be appointed to support the chief of staff in operational, planning, and other primarily military functions.
The Staff realignment, reduction, decentralization, will result in 15% fewer personnel than the current staffs. The shift of operations and planning functions to the joint structure should facilitate this realignment. The Secretary of Defense will shift duplicative personnel to the joint structure, and insure that the necessary reductions are carried out in Washington.
IV. DEFENSE AGENCIES
The responsiveness and accountability of the Defense Agencies to the readiness needs of U.S. forces will be improved, and these agencies will be subjected to improved oversight to insure efficiency, economy, and effectiveness in their operation. The Chairman of the JCS, will be responsible for periodic review of defense agency charters to ensure that they are consistent with the requirements for responsiveness and readiness. He will be responsible for periodic, routinized review (with the assistance of the CINCs) of agency war and contingency plans. He will be responsible for ensuring full participation by the agencies in joint exercises, and for assessment of their performance. He will have authority, as directed by the Secretary of Defense, to ensure that inadequacies are corrected.
Finally, to build incentives for effectiveness, policy councils will be established for each defense agency. Membership will include representatives of agency clients and overseers: JCS Chairman and CINCs, services, OSV. Further, a periodic review will be required of the Secretary of Defense on the mix of functions, services, supplies, spare parts, etc, handled by the agencies and the services, to ensure that the mix meets the right balance between requirements