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Our first witness on this bill will be Mr. Stephen Jackson, who is appearing on behalf of the Department.
Mr. Jackson, will you please come forward ?
Mr. Jackson. Thank you, sir. We appreciate your courtesy in calling us up first. Mr. Rivers. Do you want
to read your statement? Mr. Jackson. Yes, sir. It is very brief.
I am, as the chairman indicated, Stephen S. Jackson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Personnel, and Reserve. The Assistant Secretary, Mr. Finucane, is out of the country and has asked me to express to you his regrets on not being able to be here this morning.
The Department of the Army has been designated as the action agency for the Department of Defense for this legislative proposal. Mr. Hugh M. Milton II, Under Secretary of the Army, will give you a more detailed account of what has been accomplished under this program so that my remarks will be in general terms in advocating the extension of section 262 of the Reserve Forces Act of 1955.
When Congress enacted the Reserve Forces Act of 1955 it initiated a new era in the history of the Reserve components of this country.
Secretary Milton will outline to you how precarious the status of the Reserve was prior to then in terms of its readiness in the event of war.
The quality of the Reserve forces has so improved since the enactment of this act that we can now make the reassuring statement that 91 percent of those in the Ready Reserve today are now at least basically trained.
Of equal importance is the quality of our Reserve forces. The complexities of modern weaponry place increased demands on skills and ability for all of the members of our Armed Forces, both active and those who must quickly swing into action in the event of an emergency.
The popularity of our 6-month program is such that we have been able to be selective with the result of a greatly improved force because of their training as well as the quality of the young men who are trained.
Section 262 of the Reserve Forces Act of 1955 is one of very cornerstones of this new Reserve era. It has been of immeasurable benefit in strengthening our military posture.
At the same time it has been strongly endorsed by educators and others as a desirable program for young men to comply with their military obligation without undue interference in their educational plans.
On behalf of the Secretary of Defense we recommend to you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, that you approve the continuance of section 262 of the Reserve Forces Act of 1955.
That, sir, is my prepared statement.
I think, for the benefit of the new members of the committee, I might say that I asked Mr. Slatinshek to tell the Secretary that we would pleased to have a viewgraph presentation of this whole subject matter.
But at this point, Mr. Slatinshek, I wish you would read for the benefit of the committee just exactly what section of the law this bill seeks to extend so we will have the whole picture in our minds.
And I observe, Mr. Secretary, that the proposed bill is a little more acceptable to the rank-and-file of the good folks—down in my part of the country, anyhow.
This runs concurrently with the Draft Act. Mr. JACKSON. Yes, sir. Mr. RIVERS. So they run side by side in their duration. Mr. JACKSON. That is correct, yes, sir. Mr. RIVERS. Now, go ahead, Mr. Slatinshek. Mr. SLATINSHEK. By virtue of this bill, section 262 of the Armed Forces Reserve Act would be continued until August 1, 1963. This is the existing provision of section 262:
(a) Until August 1, 1959, whenever the President determines that the enlisted strength of the Ready Reserve of the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve cannot be maintained at the level which he determines to be necessary in the interest of national de fense, he may authorize the acceptance of enlistments in units of such Ready Reserve pursuant to the provisions of this section under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
Enlistments under this section may be accepted only within quotas (which quotas shall not exceed a total of 250,000 persons annually) prescribed by the appropriate Secretary with the approval of the Secretary of Defense. No enlistment shall be accepted under this section in the Ready Reserve of any Reserve component if such enlistment would cause the strength of such Ready Reserve to exceed the authorized strength of such Ready Reserve. (b) Enlistments under this section may be accepted from persons who
(1) are physically and mentally qualified for service in the Armed Forces;
(2) have not been ordered to report for induction into the Armed Forces under the Universal Military Training and Service Act; and
(3) have not attained the age of eighteen years and six months. In addition, the President, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, may authorize the enlistment under this section, without regard to the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3), of persons who fulfill the requirements of paragraph (1) and who have critical skills and who are engaged in civilian occupations in any critical defense-supporting industry or in any research activity affecting national defense.
(c) Each enlistment under this section shall be for a period of eight years. Each person so enlisted shall be required during such enlistment
(1) to perform an initial service of active duty for training of not less than three months or more than six months, and
(2) thereafter to perform satisfactorily all training duties prescribed by section 208(f) of this section except that
(A) performance of such initial period of active duty for training by any person enlisted under this section while satisfactorily pursuing a course of instruction in a high school shall be deferred until such person ceases to pursue such course satisfactorily, graduates from such course, or attains the age of 20 years, whichever first occurs, and
(B) persons specially enlisted because of their possession of critical skills may be relieved of any obligation to perform the training duty
prescribed by section 208(f). Each such person shall be deferred from training and service under the Universal Training and Service Act, as amended, so long as he continues to serve satisfactorily, as determined under regulations prescribed by the appropriate Secretary, and upon completion of eight years of such satisfactory service pursuant to such enlistment shall be exempt from further liability for induction for training and service under such Act, except after declaration of war or declaration of national emergency made by the Congress after the enactment of this subsection, Subsection (d) was subsequently deleted by Public Law 490. It was in the 84th Congress.
Mr. JACKSON. April 23, 1956.
Mr. SLATINSHEK. Subsection (d) related to the pay and allowances provided these people and that was taken care of by a new subsection, section 264, which provided they would get the same pay and allowances and benefits provided for other personnel on extended active duty.
(e) The National Security Training Commission shall advise the President and the Secretary of Defense, and shall report annually to the Congress, with respect to the welfare of persons performing periods of active duty for training under clause (1) of subsection (c) of this section, but shall have no authority with respect to the military training of such persons during such periods.
Within sixty days after the date of enactment of the Reserve Forces Act of 1955, the National Security Training Commission shall submit to the Secretary of Defense a program containing recommendations for the personal safety, health, welfare, and morals of the members of the Ready Reserve while performing such active duty for training, including regulations concerning the dispensing of alcoholic beverages on training establishments in conformity with the laws of the several States.
(f) Any person who completes satisfactorily the period of active duty for training required of him by clause (1) subsection (c) of this section during any enlistment pursuant to this section shall be entitled, upon application for reemployment within sixty days after
(A) his release from such required period of active duty for training after satisfactory completion thereof, or
(B) his discharge from hospitalization incident to such duty continuing after such release for a period of not more than six months, to all reemployment rights and benefits provided by section 9 of the Universal Military Training and Service Act for individuals inducted under the provisions of such Act, except that
(1) any person so restored to a position in accordance with the pro visions of this section shall not be discharged from such position without cause within six months after such restoration, and
2) no reemployment rights granted by this subsection shall entitle any person to retention, preference, or displacement rights over å veteran with a superior claim under the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944,
as amended. That concludes the section.
Mr. Rivers. This extends to them the same rights they have under the Universal Service—the Draft Act?
Mr. SLATINSHEK. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTIMO. Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. I think it is more accurate to state it extends similar rights. Under the Universal Military Training and Service Act, individuals who are inducted have a longer period of reemployment rights.
You will remember for the 6-month people, it was the will of the Congress to cut them down to 60 days.
Under the other act, it is 90 days.
Mr. BARTIMO. Perhaps "priority” was the wrong word. They have a longer time within which to get reemployed.
Mr. RIVERS. Has that thing ever been tested?
Mr. BARTIMO. Yes, sir, it has been. There are many cases-these cases are handled by the Labor Department people.
It is interesting to note that most of these cases are settled administratively, but it has been tested in the courts and it has been upheld.
Mr. RIVERS. Did it ever go to the Supreme Court?
Mr. BARTIMO. I don't believe it has for the 6-month program, but it has been tested under the other proviisons of the Universal Military Training and Service Act.
Mr. RIVERS. We don't have any other court we can go to.
Mr. WINSTEAD. Isn't this true, Mr. Chairman, after all it helps to have a provision of the law to that effect. On the other hand, there is no way to make them take a veteran who is not fit to do the job, and as long as you have that there is always a possibility some innocent person might be denied, but it is the best we can do.
Mr. RIVERS. It is the best we can do, and we ought to have it because the sum and substance of it is a practical publication. The person who refused him could not stand the bad publicity.
Mr. WINSTEAD. It is not right to tell a person because he is a veteran he can have a job whether he can do the work.
Mr. SLATINSHEK. That concludes the section of law that would be continued in effect.
Mr. RIVERS. Are there any questions of Mr. Jackson? Any questions from any member of the committee? Thank you, Mr. Jackson. Mr. Milton, we will be pleased to hear you now, sir. Secretary MILTON. I am Hugh M. Milton II, Under Secretary of the Army.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I appreciate this opportunity of appearing before you to express the Department of Defense interest in H.R. 3368, which would extend until August 1, 1963, the authority to secure Reserve component enlistments under the special programs provided by section 262 of the Reserve Forces Act of 1955. Unless extended this authority will expire on August 1, 1959.
When we requested legislative authority for the direct enlistment and training of qualified young men for service in the Reserve components nearly 4 years ago, we emphasized the then unsatisfactory state of our Reserve Forces.
You were told that too large a percentage of reservists had not undergone basic training; that in the Ready Reserve of the Army Reserve only 1 out of 10 trained enlisted men was actively participating in unit training and that the Reserve could not be built to a minimum state of combat readiness in an acceptable period of time.
We sought the opportunity to show what we could do to correct these deficiencies and promised you that we were determined to do a good, sensible job.
The section 262 enlistment programs providing for the direct Reserve component enlistment of young men in the 17-1812-year-old age group and critically skilled specialists employed in national defense activities represents your response, interest, and determination to develop a strong Reserve.
As you know, I have reported to you annually on the progress we have made in implementation of these programs and of the continuous improvement in our posture.
We have had the law and the special enlistment programs for nearly 4 years now and there is no doubt in my mind that the Reserve components of the Army have attained the highest degree of mobilization readiness, deployment availability, and combat potential in history.
As an example of this development, look at this chart which demonstrates graphically the unprecedented growth in the numbers of enlisted men attending drills and training with units of the Army Reserve.