« PreviousContinue »
United States Congress to enact legislation implementing the Cordiner Committee Report.” We applaud the motives which caused the Cordiner Committee to devote its time and talent to measures which would serve to steady the manpower of our Armed Forces. Certainly, no one can question the wisdom and desirability of reducing the great turnover in service personnel and the hugh expenditures for retraining such personnel. Today our interest centers on the plight of the Reserve officer on active duty, who would be benefited by the enactment of H. R. 10171 into law. With the exception of a few minor points which I shall discuss later in this statement, we heartily endorse the provisions of this bill. A vital portion of the Cordiner report, term retention, is a major step forward in the solution of the overall manpower problem. We believe the revised pay structure, with certain modifications, will likewise aid in the solution of the problem. For the past 11 years there has existed great tension between the free nations of the World and the Communist bloc. International relations have degenerated to a point where citizens, military leaders, and Members of Congress openly discuss the likelihood of surprise attack against the United States by the Soviet Union. Yet in the face of this ever-present danger we have reduced the strength of our standing forces. The American Legion has no desire whatsoever to oppose reductions in the size of our military forces which result from reorganization of Army divisions or Air Force wings or naval units. In these cases of organic change in which firepower and strength are increased and modernized, no legitimate protest should be made. If the above had been present when the initial reduction of 100,000 men was made last year or when the second cut of 100,000 men was ordered there would be no cause for concern. However, the facts are that the cut was purely budgetary. The services had overspent their budgets or inflation had reduced the amount of security that could be purchased with budgets approved 2 years before. Certainly the state of world affairs had not improved sufficiently to justify the cuts nor had the attendant need for a strong military deterrent posture noticeably diminished. To further compound what appears to be an unnecessary gamble with American security, proposals are now being advanced for a budget which would drastically reduce the size and composition of the Army Reserve and National Guard. Traditionally the United States has followed a policy of replacing strength taken from the Active Forces with equal numbers in the Reserve. Our national commander has already expressed the strong opposition of the American Legion to this new policy of concurrently reducing our Active and Reserve Forces. We fail to see the wisdom or necessity for this action. We are of the opinion that this series of events is a pathetic contrast of unbelievably poor planning: On the one hand, a maximum effort is being exerted by the Inilitary departments to foster the enactment of the Cordiner recommendations designed to retain skilled technicians and needed officer personnel in service. Concomitantly though, we find thousands of good officers being forced out of active service. This intermittent pattern of retention and wholesale discharge of reservists is not new. Thousands of reservists were induced to remain on active duty after World War II and by inference, if not by word, lead to believe that they could count on making the Armed Forces a career. In 1949 and 1950 they discovered to their sorrow that this was not to be so. Korea saw the recall of 600,000 reservists, in the main, veterans of World War II. Many of these men, some of our finest Reserve officers, after contemplating their years of service spent in World War II and Korea, decided in favor of making the military service a career. Again there was no written guaranty that these men would ever be permitted to accumulate the minimum 20 years needed for retirement. Last year many of these same officers were forced out of service with little or no recourse. Requests were made of the military services to accommodate these manpower cuts by attrition. This was not done. We believe that a clear policy statement on the role of Reserve Forces is very sorely needed. If the American leadership believes that the next conflict will be wholly nuclear, thereby abbreviating the necessity for Reserve Forces, then this policy should be proclaimed publicly. To this particular point the American Legion addressed itself at its 1957 national convention by adoption of Resolution No. 303.
“Resolution No. 303. Support Military Establishment With Well-Rounded Capabilities and Oppose Squeezing Our Military Forces Into a Nuclear Straitjacket
“Resolved by the American Legion in mational convention assembled in Atlantic City, N. J., September 16–19, 1957, That we support a Military Establishment with well-rounded capabilities to insure our Government the freedom of action it must have to meet its world responsibilities. We shall oppose any attempt to squeeze our military forces into a nuclear straitjacket.” Term retention contracts for Reserve officers is long overdue. It is a necessary minimum guaranty to the Reserve officer and his family that they are to be given reasonable assurance of a permanent military career. There can be little doubt that shortsighted policies have dimmed the luster of active duty for Reserves. We honestly hope that the passage of H. R. 10171 will increase service attractiveness. We offer for the committees' consideration an amendment to provide for the full payment of the unexpired time of the contract which is presently the practice in private business. As an alternative, we present the recommendation that this legislation be at least strengthened by providing for payment of at least 2 months severance pay for each year the contract has to run rather than for the period of the contract that has been served. Another means of attracting younger qualified officers would be an amendment to Reserve Officers Personnel Act to provide that officers with 15 years of active duty be permitted to complete their 20 years of service. Long-range manpower and fiscal planning appear to be an indispensable requirement for strong national security. The American Legion sees no easy solution to our security requirements. Certainly, we know of no proposition or contingency which, at the present time, would make unnecessary a strong Reserve. We therefore endorse and support H. R. 10171 and express our deep appreciation to your committee for the privilege of this presentation.
STATEMENT ON H. R. 10171 by Col. Joh N T. CARLtoN, USAR, ExEcuTIVE DIRECTOR, RESERVE OFFICERs Association of THE UNITED STATEs
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we appreciate the opportunity of appearing before you to discuss the need for legislative action to prevent the recurrence of injustices to Reserve officers during the reduction in force in the Nation's military strength during the past fall.
This association previously has made known to you our concern about this reduction in force. We have protested before this committee, as well as to every other authority concerned, the unnecessary hardships visited upon the several thousand Reserve officers released. Of greater importance, of course, was the fact that this weakening of our standing military forces came at a time when world tensions were as great as they had been ; that they were enforced as a pure dollar-saving program; and that they occurred while we are in the dangerous transition period between 2 military eras, or 2 weapons systems, which are radically different.
Mr. Chairman, it seems to us that the armed services have not acted as promptly as circumstances demanded to devise and recommend an appropriate Reserve officer retention law. We feel that the Nation deserves highest standard of performance from all officers, including the Reserves. To demand that the highest caliber officers respond to calls to duty is unrealistic unless there are morale incentives, and some assurances of service security.
All we are asking is that the Reserve officer be told what his status is, where he stands, or what the score is.
Since World War II there has been a continuing series of programs by the services. Thousands of our finest Reserve officers who have given the best part of their lives to the services, have been released, irrespective of the hardship inflicted.
In the 2 years immediately following World War II (1946 and 1947) the armed services found it necessary, if our world commitments were to be met and adequate national security provided, to retain thousands of Reserve officers on extended active duty. It is true that in most cases no written promise was made to individuals in this category. By word of mouth from members of the Active Forces, it was either promised or implied that these officers would serve an indefinite time.
Unfortunately, none of the services made provision for any sort of tenure for these officers who stayed on active duty rather than taking advantage of opportunities in the business and professional world. This oversight occurred despite the example of the Air Reserve bonus law which was enacted in the midthirties. Under the provisions of this law, the Air Reserve officers, who remained On active duty for a number of years, were paid, when relieved from active duty, a bonus of $500 per year for each year of extended active duty. No such policy was developed by any of the services after World War II. No plans were made for screening and eliminating mediocre officers, either in the Reserves or in the Regular service, and consequently time passed on until it was necessary to make a cutback. As you gentlemen know, the first real cutback was made in 1949 and 1950 just prior to the Korean incident. Immediately following this cutback, the Korean situation developed and many of these officers who had been involuntarily released were recalled to active duty without their consent. In addition, thousands of officers and enlisted men who had served their country faithfully during World War II were involuntarily recalled. As a result of the injustice done to thousands of our veterans, members of this committee initiated and enacted into law the Armed Forces Reserve Act of 1952 which was the first law on the statute books to direct an orderly and fair recall of Reserves in case of a limited mobilization. Due to lack of planning by the services, it seems to us that the time has come when it is necessary for Congress again to take steps to correct the injustices to reservists and to prevent their recurrence. Your attention is invited to the fact that the Armed Forces Reserve Act of 1952 did provide a contract, but this contract provision was never exercised by the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force. Another matter which has caused us great concern is the attitude of the services with reference to eliminating Reserve officers with long years of service just prior to their attaining sufficient service to qualify for title II retirement under Public Law 810. In the 1953–54 r. i. f., the Army had in the pipeline officers to be relieved from active duty with as much as 18 years and 11 months of extended active duty. We took up this matter with the Department of the Army and finally got an agreement that they would permit officers with 18 years Federal active duty to continue on active duty for 2 more years in order to receive retired pay. Under a provision of law, Regular officers were permitted to continue and by administrative action at that time this was applied to Reserves. In 1955 when the Reserve Officer Personnel Act was enacted into law, this became a provision of law instead of an administrative decision. In the last r. i. f. program hundreds of officers had more than 171% years of active duty and if they had been permitted to continue another 6 months would have come under the provision of law permitting them to complete their 20 years. We are not convinced that all Reserve officers who have completed 17 years are substandard ; at least some of those who are approaching these stipulated years should be permitted to continue on active duty. This right was arbitrarily denied many who had 17.1% years and over. Therefore, we think that there should be a provision in the bill which will guarantee that a certain number of Reserve officers will be permitted to complete their number of years of active duty in order to qualify for retirement. Your attention is invited to the fact that paragraph 680 of H. R. 10171 does not provide an obligation on the Government to pay more than the 2 months' pay for each year of duty performed. There is no provision for payment for the period of the contract which is not fulfilled. Therefore, we recommend that the bill be amended to assure that the contracts executed under its provisions provide an obligation to faithful performance on the part of the Government as well as on the part of the officer. He should be assured that the term retention pay provided by any such contract shall be paid to him for the full term of the contract, despite possible involuntary release of the officer prior to the expiration of the contract. By so doing, if there is a unilateral abrogation by the services, it will thus serve as liquidated damages as would be the case of an employer's similar abrogation of contract in civilian employment. We are in general agreement with the provisions of this bill and with the objective as outlined in it. On page 1, line 8, of the bill, there should be added: AUS, temporary officers, Reserve warrant officers, and AUS warrant officers.
In line 6 through line 9 of page 2, it is not understood why the officers mentioned in these lines are not covered in the bill.
Your attention is invited to lines 6 through 9 on page 6 which provide that a deduction be made from the retired pay except chapter 67, which, I understand, is title III of Public Law 810. However, lines 16 through 25 do Dot make this exception. Therefore, it is believed the language in this paragraph should be clarified.
It is my understanding that lines 16 to 25, page 6, apply to title II retirement and are not applicable to title III.
Inasmuch as there is no economy involved in relieving officers from actire duty who have accumulated 15 or more years Federal active duty, we recommend that the bill be written
(1) To provide an amendment which would in effect add to the provisions of Public Law 381, 80th Congress, the Officer Personnel Act of 1957, a new section to provide
(a) An extra number of officers in grade, consisting of those Reserve officers who accumulate 15 or more years of Federal active duty and who are faced with involuntary relief from active duty due to a re duction-in-force save for the application of the provisions of this see tion, and
(b) Who, while in the status of "extra officers in grade," shall be ineligible for temporary promotion, and (2) To provide what would in effect be an amendment to Public Law 509, 83d Congress (68 Stat. 492), the Grade Authorization Act of 1954, which amendment would provide that officers serving on active duty as "extra officers in grade" shall not be charged against the authorized nunbers in grade as provided by this law, and
(3) To provide what would in effect be an amendment to Publie Law 676, 84th Congress, the Pay Readjustment Act of 1956, to provide that time served in AUS status shall be counted the same as time served on active duty in the Reserve, for Reserve and warrant officers to qualify for par
ments under the provisions of H. R. 10171. Mr. Chairman, this concludes our statement; thank you for your generous attention,
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p. m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a. m., Friday, July 11, 1958.)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 1,
Washington, D.C., Monday, July 14, 1958. The subcommittee met, pursuant to adjournment, at 10 a. m., Hon. Overton Brooks (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.
Mr. Brooks. The subcommittee will please come to order.
Now this morning, as we meet, we recognize the fact that the full committee has one more meeting planned and that is tomorrow morning. So if we have any legislation to present to the full committee, I think it behoves us to have it in shape in the morning to present to the committee. Otherwise, we may not get it heard this year.
Now when we adjourned the other day we were considering this question of the possibility of a r. i. f. this fall occurring in our Military Èstablishment and we were considering a proposal by the Defense Department covering term retention and service pay for r. i. f.'d personnel.
Over the weekend we developed a new proposal. Now, Mr. Ducander, I think it would be proper if you would read the new proposal that has been developed and then you could explain it briefly and perhaps we could have one witness on this matter.
Mr. DUCANDER. The amendment insofar as the lump-sum readjustment payment is concerned is as follows: That the first sentence of section 265 (a) of the Armed Forces Reserve Act of 1952, as amended (50 U. S. C. 1016), is amended to read as follows: "A member of a Reserve component who is involuntarily released from active duty after the enactment of this amended sentence and after having completed immediately prior to such release at least five years of continuous active duty, except for breaks in service of not more than thirty days, as either an officer, warrant officer, or enlisted person, is entitled to a lump-sum readjustment payment computed on the basis of
"(1) two months' basic pay in the grade in which he is serving at the time of release from active duty for each year of active service ending at the close of the eighteenth year, unless he is discharged from his reserve appointment because of failure to achieve the standards of performance prescribed by the Secretary concerned ; and
“(2) one month's basic pay in that grade for each year of such service, if he is so discharged because of failure to achieve those standards." This simply means that we are raising the readjustment pay for Reserve officers who are involuntarily released from active duty from one-half month's pay multiplied by the number of years they have served to 2 months' pay multiplied by the number of years they have served, and providing that if that officer is released from active duty because of substandard performance, he would only get 1 month's basic pay multiplied by the number of years served. This is exactly what a Regular gets. If a Regular officer is twice passed over before he is entitled that is before he can make 20 years for retirement, that regular officer gets 2 months' service pay multiplied by the number of years served, or if that office is boarded and released for substandard performance he gets 1 month's basic pay multiplied by the number of years served.
Mr. BROOKS. And in no event will the pay exceed 2 years!
Mr. DUCANDER. That is an amendment we have to write in here. Mr. Bartimo and I just discussed that this morning. And that is a limitation on the Regulars. And I would recommend to the subcommittee that they make the same for the Reserves.
Mr. BROOKS. So with the amendment, as I see it, tied to this, which would limit the total pay, not to exceed 2 years.
Mr. DUCANDER. Exactly.
Mr. BROOKS. We will have the identical setup for the Regulars and the reservists in the event there is a R. I. F.'ing program?
Mr. DUCANDER. Yes, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. Now, we have this morning Mr. Bartimo, who represents the Defense Department.
Sir, would you mind sitting up here?
Mr. BROOKS. We asked you over the weekend to provide us with some information regarding the cost of this program.
As I see the program, however, if there is no R. I. F.'ing program there should be no cost, should there not, and if there is a R. I. F.’ing program of course the Defense Department really controls the cost by the terms of their program. So
Mr. BARTIMO. Mr. Chairman, with your permission.
Mr. BARTIMO. Before answering your question specifically, I am here actually representing the Acting Assistant Secretary for Man