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While a sizable part of the Army will continue to be manned with inductees, it is evident that the declining interest in a service career creates a major instability problem in the Army, a problem which is shared by the other services.
This chart shows a comparison of reenlistment rates by grade in the Navy and the Air Force for the periods November 1949, June 1950, and July, September 1954.
(The chart follows:)
THE DECREASE IN REENLISTMENT RATES RESULTS IN A DANGEROUS LOWERING OF
THE AVERAGE LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE
Mr. BLANDFORD. May I interrupt for just a moment? I wonder if in the Army chart, instead of using percentages, you could give us the figures: For this reason. You had very heavy inductions in 1950 and 1951, and it is possible that your reenlistment rate today is a higher figure because it constitutes a larger portion of regulars and a lesser number of inductees, and obviously your regulars are going to reenlist at a higher rate than your inductees.
I am just wondering if the actual numbers of people who reenlist in the Army would not be better at this point than percentages for those same comparable periods?
Secretary BURGESS. Do you wish us to submit those for the record ? Mr. BLANDFORD. If you don't have them here this morning.
Mr. RIVERS. Mr. Blandford, explain how that will differ from the manner in which he is proceeding?
Mr. BLANDFORD. I don't know, I am just guessing, that the reenlistment rate which is now 54 percent in the Army, which is higher than it was in previous years, may reflect the large number of inductees who were leaving the service in 1954, and in 1953, because their 2-year period was up. Now, when you get into the latter part of 1953, you ħad lower draft calls, and you got more regulars, as such, and invariably your history has shown that you get very few reenlistments from inductees.
Colonel STEPHENS. That is right.
Hr. BLANDFORD. That may account for the very low figure. Thus it is disproportionate.
Colonel STEPHENS. That is regulars only. This shows the
Mr. RIVERS. I wondered what you were driving at because I understood that was regulars to start with.
Mr. BLANDFORD. Then the 54 percent, we can understand today, is the figure minus the inductees.
Secretary BURGESS. That is right.
Mr. BLANDFORD. If your inductees were added into that figure, what would your figure be?
Colonel STEPHENS. It would be something on the order of this [indicating the overall Army reenlistment rate of 11.6] or less, because the enlistment rate of inductees is even lower than the 7.2 now.
Mr. RIVERS. Then that 54.1 is during that last half of 1954, calendar 1954?
Secretary BURGESS. That is right. That is July to December 1954. Mr. RIVERS. Which would reflect Mr. Hardy's point on that bonus!
Secretary BURGESS. It would have some effect, but I believe the bonus is an October figure; is that right, Admiral!
Admiral GRENFELL. The effect on the bonus began to be felt in October.
Mr. RIVERs. Some part of it would be reflected.
Secretary BURGESS. That is right. That is why I suggested at some point
Mr. HARDY. You can't tell what effect the bonus had when you have the entire 6 months lumped in together. We wouldn't have anything to tell us whether or not the trend might have stayed down at that low figure up until the period when the bonus began.
Mr. RIVERS. But you will have some figures for the committee, Mr. Burgess?
Secretary BURGESS. That is right. We have the Navy's month by month. If you would be interested in our giving that at this juncture.
Mr. BLANDFORD. Numbers at this point I think would be much more acceptable than percentages. Because then you can see the effect of the reenlistment bonus bill and then you would have to discard January because you have thousands of people jumping to beat the gun on the G.I. benefits. So that is a disproportionate figure.
Mr. RIVERS. We don't want to get them any more confused than we are.
Secretary BURGESS. We will give you the percentages and the numbers by month, by service.
Mr. RIVERS. Submit them for the record. Is that satisfactory? Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes, as long as we have the information.
(The figures follow:)
Department of Defense
1 Data for August-December 1954 are preliminary.
Department of Defense
1 Data for August-December 1954 are preliminary. TABLE 3.- Monthly reenlistment trends, regulars and inductees, 1954 _Army
TABLE 4.—Monthly reenlistment trends for regulars, by category, 1954 _Army
1 lata for Se-tember-December 1954 are preliminary. * Reenlistment data for first-term and "career" regulars in January-June 1954 were partially estimated.
TABLE 5.—Monthly reenlistment trends for regulars, by category, 1954 _Navy
TABLE 6.-Monthly reenlistment trends for regulars, by category, 1954 _Marine
TABLE 7.—Monthly reenlistment trends for regulars, by category, 1954 _Air
Mr. Bares. Now, the Air Force and the Navy is considerably larger than it was back in 1949, and I think we still use the same figure, about a million and a half voluntary reenlistments each year, that is in all the services, maintenance of strength. That was about the same figure we used back in 1950. So obviously if you are going to have people go into the Navy or Air Force to get out of the draft, then, of course, those figures would become distorted proportionately. The full figures, I think
Secretary BURGESS. We will give you the numbers and the percentages by service. Mr. RIVERS. Go ahead, Mr. Burgess.
Secretary BURGESS (referring to chart No. 3): It reflects the continuing downward trend in reenlistments among our most experienced and skilled personnel.
On the left are shown the reenlistment rates for 1949-50. The darker color on the right shows the comparable rate for the 1954 period.
The decline in the reenlistment rates in the lower grades foreshadows the very serious problem of maintaining an adequate number of technicians in the higher grades. The fact that this trend has seriously affected grades E-5 and E-6, normally considered career grades, gives unusual significance to the critical problem faced by the Navy and Air Force.
The lengthy and expensive training required to qualify the technicians needed in these services makes it essential that they retain more men on a career basis. A continuation of these trends will reduce the level of skill and experience to a dangerous low.
Mr. BATEs. May I ask just one question here?
Mr. BATES. We are comparing different years and comparing different periods within each year. Is there anything in the statistics down through the years that indicates that November-June can be compared actually with the first quarter of the fiscal year, or is there something unusual about a first quarter.