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Washington, DC, Thursday, March 6, 1986. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:15 a.m., in room 2216, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bill Nichols (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.



This morning we are pleased to have as our witness, Gen. David Jones, who was formerly Chief of Staff of the Air Force and later became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

General Jones' distinguished military career ended with his retirement in 1982, but not before he kicked off the present era of the Defense reform debate with an article entitled, “Why the Joint Chiefs Must Change.” He has been an active proponent of JCS reform ever since. He most recently participated in a CSIS study on DOD organization.

General, as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you instituted several measures which substantially improved the operations and procedures of the JCS, which numerous witnesses who have appeared before this committee have singled out for high praise. We hope you will tell us this morning, based on your extensive military experience, just what you think are the major things that ought to be done in the way of reorganization at this time. STATEMENT OF GEN. DAVID C. JONES, U.S. AIR FORCE (RE


General JONES. Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. I don't have a formal statement. But I would like to make some brief remarks.

First I would like to compliment the subcommittee, the Members and the staff, and particularly you, Mr. Chairman, on taking the lead in reorganization. You have an outstanding bill that passed the House by an overwhelming majority. And you are continuing that momentum in these hearings. You are doing a great service to the country. I agree with the overall thrust of your proposed legislation. We have to increase our jointness. If you really take a serious look at our organization today, to a great extent our jointness is a token. It is an outgrowth of our heritage of the Army and the Navy. We have forgotten that in World War II we essentially fought by Service. Eisenhower and McArthur worked for General Marshall, Chief of Staff of the Army. Nimitz worked for Admiral King, Chief of Staff of the Navy. There were some important interservice operations, some very successful, like Normandy. Some had great problems, like the Gulf of Leyte.

Our current organization has grown out of this structure. We have fundamental cultural differences divided into two areas. And I call these the sea-based and landbased. In the sea-based we have the Navy and Marines who work very closely together. They have a common secretariat and are very interoperable, very close. The Army and Air Force are not as close as the Navy and Marines. They have separate secretariats. But the Air Force came out of the Army. There is a closeness, not only because of the heritage, but support and so forth. But there is considerable cultural difference between these two groups. And we see this in the arguments on Defense organization. We are basically organized today around these two groups-land based and sea-based.

For example, the forces based in the United States which is the overwhelming percentage of our forces-the sea-based forces are under the Atlantic Command and Pacific Command, while all the Army and Air Force units are either under a specified command, single-service Air Force for the Air Force, or the Readiness Command. And there is no command with any appreciable amount of our stateside forces that integrates these four services. We have a few headquarters that have a little four-service integration.

Even in the European and Pacific Commands—which are four service-once you get below the major command level, the unified command headquarters, you immediately go back to the components, which are single service. I agree with your legislation on the unified and specified commands which gives the unified commanders more authority.

There is one thing that should be added. You have a section which requires the Pentagon to examine certain areas. Should we have a Transportation Command? Should we have a Special Operations Command? I believe you should task the Pentagon to take a fundamental look at the organizational structure of the unified and specified commands to see if there isn't some way, from the bottom up, we can have more joint operations. Not just exercises, but day to day from an organizational standpoint. That would be my strongest recommendation on the unified and specified commands. With regard to authority to the commanders-in-chief of the unified and specified commands, you are moving in the right direction by giving them more authority.

What we have to recognize though is that there are great variances in the roles and missions of those CINC's. For example, giving a CINC authority to move headquarters people from subordinate units would be appropriate in commands like the European Command or the Pacific Command, but not in the Readiness Command, in that the Readiness Command does not have a wartime mission. And the forces and organizations assigned to them go to Europe or the Pacific or someone else. And therefore, it should have a more restrained authority.

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 colonel or 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.

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