Page images
PDF
EPUB

to replace than individuals in the nontechnical fields. In sharp contrast to the 45 percent to 50 percent of airmen leaving the service to take advantage of the World War II and Korean GI bills, recent surveys made by the Department of the Air Force indicate that only 20 percent of the first-term airmen separating without educational rights obtained under the GI bill do so for the purpose of pursuing higher education.

To summarize, the Department of Defense is opposed to the enactment of section 2 of S. 1138 for the following reasons:

The peacetime veterans' transition to civilian life is relatively easy as compared with that of the wartime veteran.

The military obligation is the normal way of life for young men today and requires no special reward.

The Department of Defense supports the national policy on advancing the educational level by :

(1) Assignment of military personnel to civilian courses of instruction on a full-time basis as necessary to meet military requirements. (2) Sponsoring extensive off-duty educational

off-duty educational opportunities through USAFI and resident courses in which one-half million members are enrolled annually.

(3) Providing intensive training in service schools of the Armed Forces in military occupations related to the civilian economy.

Enactment of the bill would seriously affect the ability of the Armed Forces to retain the quality of personnel required for the highly complex weapon systems of the Military Establishment and thus adversely affect the national defense. We urge serious consideration of this fact.

In view of the above, the Department of Defense recommends against enactment of section 2 of S. 1138. I will be pleased to answer questions on this subject. And as indicated, representatives of the military departments are available for specific questions on the various educational programs in the armed services.

The following officers, representing the military departments, were available for questioning :

Army: Lt. Col. Lewis H. Strehlow, Chief of Education Section, Office of The Adjutant General.

Navy: Lt. Cmdr. P. E. Rickey, Head of Personnel Services Branch, Department of the Navy.

Air Force: Col. Arthur C. Rush, Chief of Personnel Retention Division, Directorate of Personnel Procurement and Training (DCSP).

This concludes my formal presentation.
Mr. Haley. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.

Mr. Secretary, it is the position of the Department, as I understand it, according to your statement here, that in the first place the Defense Department, due to the complexity, and so forth, of weapons today, must have highly technically qualified men to operate those engines of war, so to speak. Is that substantially correct?

Mr. JACKSON. Yes.

Mr. HALEY. And you are now giving to the men in the armed services the training that is necessary to man these machines insofar as the defense of this country is concerned?

Mr. Jackson. We are doing that, yes.

Mr. HALEY. So, therefore, if we are going to set up a program, here, that would train young men on a national level, so to speak, what we are actually doing is to put young men in a position of being educated by the Government, and they go in and do their 2 years and they are immediately out in the civilian economy and out of the services. That is about the situation, is it not?

Mr. Jackson. That is not what we are hopeful of accomplishing. We are hopeful of accomplishing the retention of these desirable people.

Mr. HALEY. I understand that. I understand that. But if you have trained him in the particular skill that is necessary, you would be in a better position to hold that man in the service, would you not?

Mr. JACKSON. We would if there were not the unwarranted lures of the attraction to go out.

Mr. HALEY. Of course, Mr. Secretary, it is my observation today that a young man wisihng to acquire an education has an abundance of sources where he can acquire that education, certainly more so than in my younger days. The possibilities for a man who really wants to acquire an education are nearly unlimited in our country today.

Mr. JACKSON. I agree. And even under the draft, the opportunity to acquire an education---there is very little interference now with regard to the fact that we do have a draft. A person who seriously want to get an education is in a pretty good position to complete it, even with the draft; and as you say, the facilities and resources are much greater than they were years ago.

Mr. HALEY. I do not think, Mr. Secretary, that anyone could seriously charge the services of this country with being opposed to education; because the many training courses, the many opportunities that the services have provided for a young man to acquire all the knowledge which he is capable of absorbing, I think are tremendous. And I think the Defense Department and the Defense services of this Nation are to be commended. I think they have met this situation head-on, and they are doing the job that is necessary, from their standpoint, their point of view, to equip men to man the defenses that we have provided. Do you not pretty well agree with that statement?

Mr. Jacksox. I certainly do, yes, sir.

Mr. Haley. Now another thing: Getting back to the draft situation, if a young man is relatively high in his studies, and so forth, it has been my observation that if the young man wants to defer his military service, that is pretty generally an accepted situation, is it not? He is deferred until he can complete his education.

Mr. Dorn of South Carolina ?

Mr. Dorn. Mr. Secretary, the 2 years you keep people in the service-is that not in itself an education that is almost invaluable? Do they not have the opportunity during these 2 years to go to various schools? And really, it is an education, I believe, that is beyond anything available to a man in the way of-I think it is worth much more than a 2-year equivalent in college or public school or anything else. Is there not training in all kinds of mechanics and various things?

Mr. Jackson. As I have indicated, we have a very extensive training course in each of the Armed Forces.

Mr. Dorn. And as I have indicated, they come out much better educated than they go in. I do not see where it is such a terrible thing to have to serve a couple of years.

Under the present bill, is it not true that we have a lot of majors and lieutenant commanders 55 years of age enrolling in colleges? We have them down home. Then they are retiring and getting some of this education money at the same time.

Mr. JACKSON. Yes, I think some of the officers of that rank are still eligible and taking advantage of that eligibility.

Mr. Dorn. Almost 60 years of age, sitting up there in college. Of course, that is commendable, but I am not so sure the education they are getting they hope to return to the country in the future. I rather think it is the money involved.

Mr. HALEY. I might say to the distinguished gentleman from South Carolina that under some of our educational benefits, in my great State of Florida, we have very frequently colonels and brigadier generals and major generals—and the same situation applies to the Navy; men who have spent 25 years in the service--and they come down there and take advantage of additional training that the services afford them and claim to be real estate people and so forth. While that is fine, and we are glad to have people to sell real estate in Florida-we have plenty of it, by the way, if anyone is interested—I do not see how that kind of training would be very helpful to the Defense Department.

Mr. Adair?

Mr. Anjir. Mr. Secretary, how many people are we taking in the draft now; say, for the last vear? Do you have those figures?

Mr. JACKSON. The last call was 6,000. And I think for fiscal 1961 do you have the figures, Mr. Wool?

Mr. Wool. It is in the order of magnitude of a hundred thousand. Mr. ADAIR. Per year!

Mr. Wool. Per year. It is running about that. We will have the precise figures for the record, sir.

Inductions

90, 000

Actual, fiscal year 1959.

111, 000 Estimated, fiscal year 1960Estimated, fiscal year 1961.

102, 000 Mr. ADAIR. And is that for the year past? Mr. Wool. I can get the exact figures. Mr. ADAIR. That is close enough.

Mr. JACKSON. I might say that is for the projected fiscal year 1961, approximately 100,000. This is our planned input this time, and it is borne out as to what we have taken in and what we plan to take in. Around that figure.

Mr. ADAIR. In other words, you do not see any great increase in the draft calls for the foreseeable future?

Mr. Jackson. No, sir; we do not see any substantial change. We do not see any at the present time, and under present conditions; no, sir.

Mr. ADAIR. Since we passed the bill a year or two ago, increasing rates of pay and giving certain other benefits to the armed services, the history has been that people have tended to stay in the services longer; is that not true?

yes, sir.

Mr. JACKSON. Our retention has improved; yes, sir.

Mr. ADAIR. And as you said earlier in your statement, you think that is good?

Mr. JACKSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. ADAIR. You think that is the way it ought to me?

Mr. Jackson. We think it is good in the skills where there is a scarcity of trained men. We have, I think it is only fair to add, taken means to control reenlistment in skills of which we have sufficient numbers and which we are not in need of. But particularly in those skills where there is a large training investment and where there is a shortage, we are very happy to have increased retention. But we are still not at the desirable optimum.

Mr. Adair. It is your feeling that if legislation of the nature of S. 1138 were enacted, it would tend to pull people out of the service. Is that correct?

Mr. Jackson. That is very definitely our feeling and our concern;

Mr. ADAIR. In other words, it would be working at cross-purposes to existing legislation?

Mr. Jackson. It would, we fear, counteract some of the advantages that were intended and indeed are being realized under present legislative action.

Mr. ADAIR. Do you consider that if we would pass legislation similar to this that is now before us, the rate of draft might be increased ?

Mr. Jackson. I would not think so.

It is difficult to say. Some people might go in to get the benefits and get out. This might be the effect. Others might not reenlist, which would cause a greater manpower input to make up the loss.

Our grave concern is the fact that some of these people that we are referring to in these skills where we have shortages require a very considerable inves-ment, a long period of time; and if we lose them, we have to start all over again on the replacement. And that is our main concern in this area, the requirement for skilled people, as our tables indicate, have shown a salutary and decisive increase. As you have indicated, the enactment of this bill would be at cross-purposes to what we have done to build it up.

Mr. ADAIR. And would tend to pull those people out of the services?
Mr. Jackson. Yes, sir.
Mr. Adair. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Mr. HALEY. Mr. Fino?

Mr. Fino. Mr. Secretary, am I correct in saying that your Department's position is that you are all for education, but only if these draftees, enlistees stay in the service?

Mr. JACKSON. Well, I am not so sure that it is that broad, sir. I say we are for education, but we are also extremely anxious to have the military posture from the standpoint of competent personnel to have the maximum degree of effectiveness as a deterrent to war. And the area, as I have indicated before, that we are concerned about, I would not say is retaining the draftees or indeed retaining all the enlistees. But to retain for career purposes the skilled people that We desperately need.

a

Mr. Fixo. What about these young kids who cannot possibly acclimate themselves to military life, and still want an education? Are you going to deprive them? In other words, you are telling them that if they stay in the service they can get all the education they want and need, but, if you go out, you are going to have tough sledding

Mr. JACKSON. I do not think that we guarantee to everyone who comes into the service all the education he will need. As I have indicated, this is primarily designed to enhance their usefulness as military personnel. And the lad that comes in for a couple of years-I agree with what has been said; he has a gain no matter how inadequately he may have been trained in accordance with his capacity, even if he goes out at a couple of years. But I do not think his long-range opportunity for education has been very seriously impeded if he comes in at 17 and gets out a couple of years later.

Mr. Haley. The gentleman from California, Mr. Teague. Mr. TEAGUE of California. I have two observations. The first is that I think you have given us, Mr. Secretary, some very sound and sensible arguments on this matter. If it is any comfort to you, you will have at least one vote against S. 1138, and that is mine.

I have one more comment you might not like so well. We hear a lot of talk these days about the point that Congress does not appropriate enough money for the Defense Department. It seems to me a mistake to have brought so much of the Army with you today. They look like very good people who could have been doing something else rather than attending this hearing.

Mr. Haley. Do you care to comment on that, Mr. Secretary Mr. JACKSON. I would like to have the opportunity of commenting with reference to these distinguished officers who have accompanied

me,

Within the last 2 weeks, Mr. Teague, in my Office, we have had approximately 10 hearings. I have personally had to attend four in a row. I try to familiarize myself as much as I can, and indeed I hope I have a grasp of the broad policies.

Frequently, the committees are anxious to know detailed statistical data, detailed information, and it is just impossible for me to absorb it all and have it available for you gentlemen of the committee. And that is why we have asked from each service those who do have that information and who could give it to the committee in the event that they asked for it.

Mr. TEAGUE of California. I want you to be sure to understand: I was not referring to those with you at the table. I was referring to the people who occupy such a large percentage of the chairs in the room. Now, maybe all the services are needed. And there is no reflection against them as individuals. My point is that there must be something else they could be doing at the Pentagon.

Mr. Jackson. Well, all four armed services are represented here, as well as my office, and it might appear that there is a superfluity.

Mr. HALEY. The gentleman from Kansas.

Mr. GEORGE. Mr. Secretary, I think you mentioned that the surveys indicate that 40 to 50 percent of airmen left for school, and since the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »