Cover: Defense Manpower Issues

Defense Manpower Issues

Testimony Before the Defense Manpower Commission, January 28, 1975

Published 1975

by Richard V.L. Cooper


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Reports the success of all-volunteer enlistments but points out basic changes needed in manpower utilization. The Services have met their authorized strength requirements without lowering quality, changing regional or socioeconomic composition, or excessive cost increase. Black recruitment has increased smoothly since 1962, reaching 21 percent in early 1975, as in FY74. Actual manpower costs are only $600 million above what would reasonably be expected with the draft. However, basic changes in manpower management are needed. The 20-year career with long retirement makes little sense for the 90 percent in noncombat jobs. The "up or out" philosophy, grade limitations imposed by Congress, the assumption that senior personnel should necessarily be supervisors, the use of hidden fringe benefits rather than pay increases, and the fact that service retirement costs are not paid out of service budgets all combine to create a basically inefficient system. The Commission has the opportunity to make major, long-lasting improvements.

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