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It has been stated that some reform of the military staff system is necessary to provide the civilian leadership with more objective judgments as to what priorities should exist. Some believe that it is too much to expect that the JCS, whose members are also individual Service Chiefs, and a Joint Staff composed of members who serve brief tours -always dependent on their individual service for promotion, career path, etc. -- could be institutionally capable of providing the Secretary of Defense with the kind of
objective advice he needs.
Many different proposals have been advanced, e.g., strengthening the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; changing to a single Chief of Staff, supported by the General Staff with a unique promotion track, etc.
It might very well be appropriate to consider JCS reform in conjunction with our proposals for the reorganization of OSD and the acquisition process.
Early in our investigations, we found that structural and cultural problems in the Department of Defense (DOD) often inhibited, and sometimes totally prevented, successful exploitation of cost saving opportunities._ We interviewed civilian and military managers at all levels throughout DOD and talked with former officials and other experts with particular insights into these matters. we studied how the organization is structured and how it operates. From this background_and our private sector experience, we developed recommendations for improvement. While’some of our recommendations will result directly in identifiable savings, we expect most of them will accomplish more by improving the structure and functioning of the organization, and thus will provide a supportive apparatus for ongoing cost savings activity.
The Introduction noted that DOD is probably the most complex organization in the free world. Beyond this inherent complexity, there is a major factor which has a pervasive impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of DOD's operation -- management turnover. There are several understandable reasons for this high turnover:
o The political cycle virtually assures a complete change of top management at least every four years. In fact, the average service of Secretaries of Defense has been 26 months.
o Military transfer policies establish the tour of duty for officers in DOD as three years.
o Military and civilian retirement policies provide
o Salaries and other rewards for top managers are
o Frustration over not being able to make right
things happen frequently drives managers to leave after brief careers.
TOP management turnover is a problem throughout Government, and certainly is not unique to DOD. Even though we understand that reduction in turnover could bring improved efficiency, we have taken high turnover as a given and focused our attention on factors more controllable within DOD.
In our investigations, we probed primarily to find the areas which need to be improved. Thus, we deal in our report almost exclusively with the negative aspects of organization structure and culture. Lest this be misunderstood, we must make several important points:
o To varying extents, most large organizations
o We interviewed, and were otherwise exposed to,
We have not dealt with the question of financial
salaries of top managers and
the rapidly escalathis limit combine within this organireward system, we
mean to include promotion, status, recognition
in motivating managers to take increased responsi
bility, to perform better, and to gain additional
satisfaction from their jobs.
In cur study we found attitudes, traits, traditions and practices which prevent DOD from performing its mission as effectively and economically as it might. These can be
grouped into four major topic areas:
o Roles and Missions,
o Personal Accountability,
o Resistance to Change.