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tion. This bill, like other congressional attempts to legislate policy, is bound to have many unforeseen consequences and unintended results.
Some of the constraints it imposes on the officer personnel system may just be unworkable. For example, the provisions for qualification and selection of joint subspecialists essentially preempt 5 of the first 10 years in the officers' careers. For warfare specialists such as fighter pilots or submarine officers—these are exceedingly important years in the development of military skills. Whatever else we want for our joint subspecialists, I think we want them to be credible warfare specialists, even if they ultimately transcend that role. So, we have conflicting interests which are me diated awkwardly, at best, by legislation.
My own preference would be for Congress to specify the objectives for a joint subspecialty, and direct that the Secretary of Defense institute regulations to accomplish the objectives, reporting periodically on progress. I recognize that this mode of executive and legislative cooperation is not working very well, in contempo rary circumstances. Nevertheless, I believe that the legislation should be the last resort, to be pursued only if all efforts to get the Department to regulate itself fail. But I would like to reiterate that the intent of the legislation, its underlying motivations and its objectives, I think, are exactly right.
Mr. NICHOLS. Well, I am glad you agree with us that there is a problem there.
Mr. PIRIE. Yes, sir.
Mr. NICHOLS. Legislation may not be the way to correct it. You seem to feel like that it can be straightened out and corrections can be made to ensure promotion by regulation of the Secretary of Defense within the Department without the necessity of legislation. This is what I get from your testimony in the main.
Mr. PIRIE. Yes, sir, but, as I say, an underlying assumption there is that the system is changed in such a way as to give the Chairman the kind of authority and status that we are talking about.
Mr. NICHOLS. OK, let me get into the area of purchasing, and so forth. I know that was not particularly in your shop of Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics, but it would probably fit in there. Mr. Courter from New Jersey, a member of this subcommittee, has introduced a bill to do away with DLA and the Defense Contract Audit Agency. The Defense Logistics Agency has somewhere around 52,000—ballpark-employees, and many people feel that it has grown too large. The Army and Air Force Service Secretaries generally advised us against completely disbanding the DLA. The Secretary of the Navy supports the abolishment of DLA, and, I believe, has even made the statement that he could assume the buying responsibilities for the Navy within the Department without additional manpower, if DLA was done away with. Give us your ideas on that, please sir.
Mr. PIRIE. My experience with DLA and its relation to the military services and their supply components—at least_during the period in which I was familiar with them-was that DLA did an effective job, both of buying and of distributing the kinds of parts and goods that they were responsible for. And the issues that arose with respect to DLA, when I was active in the Defense Depart
ment, generally concerned the boundaries between what would be better for the service to buy, and what would be better for DLA to buy. Those boundaries were generally defined by very specific engineering requirements of a particular service, which it was thought could only be understood by the engineers who had developed and produced the systems that these particular things were supposed to support: special kinds of spare parts for MAC (Military Airlift Command) airplanes, and things of that kind.
So, I do not recall any dispute about DLA buying the vast bulk of the common items and spare parts, the nuts, the bolts, the lock washers, the detergent, and all the thousands and thousands of things that are common to the services and are simply housekeeping items.
I do not think that there is a prima facie case for disbanding DLA. I expect that there really are economies of scale to be met, and so I would come down on the side of retaining present arrangements unless there were some very strong affirmative showing that DLA was not doing the job.
Mr. Nichols. Mr. Lally.
Mr. Pirie, what do you think about joint side representation on service-promotion boards in order to overcome some of the problems you mentioned?
Mr. PIRIE. I think that something of that kind would be absolutely essential to ensuring that there was a fair shake for a joint subspecialist on those promotion boards.
Mr. BARRETT. Not in legislation, though?
Mr. PIRIE. I think such a thing can be done in regulation by the Secretary of Defense, and I think there are other ways for the Secretary of Defense and for the Service Secretaries to protect the interests of joint subspecialists. For example, they could specify in advance some minimum number of-or proportionate-promotions for joint subspecialists and precepts to the selection boards. That is not done now, but there is no reason why it could not be.
Mr. BARRETT. What about the proposal to have the Chairman-to give the Chairman a voice in the service promotions after the promotion board has met?
Mr. PIRIE. I am ambivalent about that because I would really not be happy to have one more powerful individual in the loop. I think that case in which the Chairman would return, or reverse, the selection board's verdict would create friction that would be unfortunate. But I think some such mechanism would be important to ensure that justice was done, that the system worked properly. Perhaps it need not be the Chairman having a power of veto and change; perhaps the Chairman might advise the Secretary of Defense in the rare instance in which that would be necessary.
Mr. BARRETT. Of course, that would take legislation because the law is very specific on promotion boards, how their results will be handled.
You have such great expertise in this area that if you have an alternative proposal that might be less onerous—that you think might be less onerous and disruptive of the system-and you could provide it, it would, I think, be helpful to the subcommittee.
Mr. PIRIE. Yes, I do not have a totally unitary, well-formed proposal in mind. Whatever needs to be done in law to enable the Secretary and the Chairman to mediate the selection board process to assure that the joint subspecialists are not discriminated against should be placed into law. But the rest of it should be left to the Secretary to promulgate the appropriate regulations and to instruct the Secretaries of the services with respect to things like compositions of boards, like precepts of the boards, having to do with what is important and the proportions of people to be promoted from various communities and things of that kind.
Mr. BARRETT. All right. In your suggestion that most of these things should be in the form of guidelines from the Congress rather than specific requirements that could be too rigid, are you suggesting that the Congress direct the Secretary of Defense to establish a joint subspecialty and then give him guidelines that officers should be picked early enough in their career so that they could serve multiple tours in joint assignments, but not specify the 0-3 levela set of guidelines of that nature rather than what we have in the bill? Or are you suggesting that Congress do nothing and leave it to the good will of the Secretary?
Mr. PIRIE. No, I suggest the former. I do think that some articulation of congressional policy and something with some teeth in it is required.
Mr. BARRETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
That concludes the business of the afternoon. The next meeting of the subcommittee will be at 10 a.m., in this room. At that time, we will hear from Gen. Robert Herres, U.S. Air Force, Commander in Chief of the Aerospace Defense Command and the Space Command. The second witness will be Dr. Tom Peters, author of the publications, “In Search of Excellence” and “Passion for Excellence".
The committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:07 p.m., the committee was recessed, to be reconvened the following day, Wednesday, March 12, 1986, at 10 a.m.)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 12, 1986. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:02 a.m., in room 2216, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bill Nichols (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
STATEMENT OF HON. BILL NICHOLS, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM
ALABAMA, CHAIRMAN, INVESTIGATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE Mr. Nichols. The subcommittee will come to order. This morning we continue our investigations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff matter. We have before us as our first witness, Gen. Robert T. Herres, U.S. Air Force, who is commander in chief of the U.S. Aerospace Defense Command.
I might add that the general graduated from the Naval academy in 1954. How did you get into a blue suit, General?
General HERRES. Well, we did not have an Air Force Academy in those days, sir.
Mr. NICHOLS. OK.
Mr. NICHOLS. General Herres holds a master's degree in electrical engineering. He flew combat missions in Vietnam and commanded the 8th Air Force of the Strategic Air Command. Prior to his present assignment, General Herres served as director of the Command Control and Communications System Directorate in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; his responsibilities included overseeing programs designed to ensure the interoperability of strategic and tactical command control systems.
In his present position General Herres is responsible for the security of the air space of the entire North American Continent.
General, we are pleased to have you with us this morning. You have a prepared statement, I believe, which without objection will be made a part of the record. You may speak to us of whatever is on your mind. STATEMENT OF GEN. ROBERT T. HERRES, U.S. AIR FORCE, COM
MANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND AND U.S. SPACE COMMAND
General HERRES. All right, sir. Thank you very much for the invitation and the welcome. I would like to point out at the risk of sounding immodest to follow up your introduction that I serve also as the commander in chief of the U.S. Space Command, which was recently formed last September, and its Air Force component. I am commander of its Air Force Component, the Air Force Space Command.
ADCOM (U.S. Aerospace Defense Command] is being wound down now as its responsibilities are being distributed, some to the U.S. Space Command and some elsewhere. I might also point out that ADCOM's responsibilities over the years have expanded beyond the air defense mission and are into the aerospace regime, space defense for example. Now, many of those responsibilities are being absorbed. Actually all of those in the aerospace regime are being absorbed by the U.S. Space Command which we are forming
I thought it might be useful if I tried to summarize the state ment that I have submitted because there are some points made in that statement that I would like to emphasize to you all, and hope that you would take them into consideration.
I point out early on that I think that we should be very careful about this reorganization procedure, because evolutionary steps rather than sharp dramatic change, I think, are a much wiser course of action to take.
My experience as a senior officer serving on the Air Staff, on the Joint Staff and as a senior commander in the field-three commands in the field at the officer lever-tells me that too much change too quickly in an organization as complex as the Department of the Defense can bring about a lot of painful chaos. And I think evolutionary change is going to be much more permanent and much more useful.
We have made a lot of progress over the years in this system, particularly over the years that I have been close to it at the senior level, and especially in the last 5 years. Since 1947 when the system that we operate under was formed, I think there has been a gradual increase in momentum toward more "jointness.” Of course in those days, I think we called it “unification.” But there has been a lot a momentum toward jointness, and that momentum has increased I think, every year. The system has evolved quite a bit. What concerns me a lot about what I read about the reforms being considered, and the changes in the system that are being considered, is that we have a very delicate dual chain of command built into our system, as I understand it and have studied it, by design, dating back to 1947 when it was originally structured. There is an operational chain of command and there is a resource management chain of command. One runs through the SECDEF to the Commanders in Chief and the other from the SECDEF through the secretaries of the military departments. It seems to me that the real issues should all focus or relate in one way or another with regard to this reorganization, on the balance of the relationship between those two chains of command. I think that the idea that there should be two is in order to ensure that not too much power resides in the hands of any individual who is not directly responsible to the President, or who is not politically responsive. I think that that concept should be preserved and we should at all cost avoid changes that would blur the distinctions between those two chains of command.
If you accept all of that, and if you accept that rationale, then the real problem is: Is the balance correct? Does it make sense? And is it well defined? Clearly we could operate a much more efficient military establishment if we had a single autocratic chain of