Cover: The All-Volunteer Force and Defense Manpower

The All-Volunteer Force and Defense Manpower

Testimony Before the House Budget Committee (Task force on National Security), July 12, 1977

Published 1977

by Richard V.L. Cooper


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Reviews the all-volunteer force (AVF) since 1971 and discusses issues facing Congress in the future. Removal of the draft provides incentives to reevaluate personnel management policies. The cost of manpower has risen relative to the cost of capital equipment; it is thus imperative to find ways of substituting equipment for manpower. Shifting from the current mix of 60 percent first-termers and 40 percent careerists to a 50/50 mix could probably yield savings of $1-2 billion annually. A more career-intensive force could reduce the numbers receiving basic and skill training, and could lead to shorter courses. The current military compensation system is a patchwork of legislative changes that results in a system probably paying far more than necessary. Whether or not the AVF potential is realized depends on policies Congress adopts during the next ten years, for the true test will occur in the 1980s.

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