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Mr. BROOKS. The reason I asked, I put in a bill sometime back to authorize the increase in size of the Military Academy and the Air Force Academy, too, to equal that of the Navy Academy.
I wondered why the Navy needs 1,000 more officers, graduates, than does the military and the Air Force!
General COUNTS. May I turn this question over to
Colonel HAMBLEN. Sir, I am Lt. Col. A. L. Hamblen, Jr. from the Department of the Army and the officer concerned with the Military Academy. We, of course, are very familiar with your H. R. 8558 which we feel is a very sound bill and has many very fine points about it. The reason you do not have that bill at this particular time is that the Department of Defense, all three service Academies becoming involved, are incorporating the features of that particular bill in a larger, all-encompassing bill to arrive at a greater permissive overall strength to meet the ultimate needs of the three services.
We have not completed all that study, but we expect probably in the next session of Congress, or as soon as we complete our final judgment on that bill, to submit that bill to Congress.
Mr. BROOKS. At least my bill is causing you to think about it anyway.
Colonel HAMBLEN. More than that, it is the nucleus, it is the very heart of the bill we have. All of those features that you have brought up, with I think almost no exceptions, are based on it. And we have merely gone a little further to encompass certain bills that are not present.
We are trying not to come over here every year with a lot of Military Academy and service Academy bills, so we have added into that 8558 an additional bill on foreign cadets, an additional bill on whether Congressmen would be required to appoint his cadets only from one district as opposed to the whole State.
We have tried to get them all together so that we have a package. But in view of the fact such legislation will require considerable discussion before the Congress--and I might add we give each Congressman an additional appointment every other year under these present plans—we have this bill that will provide and interim measure for the next few years and will give us an opportunity to use our facilities and get more officers out.
We haven't by any manner of means put that bill aside. It was very close as to whether it was even going to be submitted this year.
Mr. BROOKS. We appreciate that report. Coming back to this particular bill, this will authorize the filling of vacancies which occur at the last moment so that you will have a completely full Academy, isn't it, General?
General COUNTS. It does a little more than that, Mr. Chairman. It not only fills it, but it is authorizing us to take a limited overstrength to start with.
Mr. BROOKS. How many overstrength?
General Counts. We believe that the overstrength would be, under this, probably not more than 80 or 90 in order to end up with an understrength of 80 or 90.
Mr. BROOKS. How would you estimate your overstrength?
General Counts. We estimate the overstrength by taking the attrition in the past 10 years and have taken an average figure for that.
Mr. BROOKS. The average would be 80 or 90.
Mr. Brooks. Then at the end of the year you would end up even then 80 or 90 below. General Cou'xts. That's right, yes.
Mr. BROOKS. You would put in 80 or 90 more than your full strength in your Academy. Then how would you fill attritions as they occur, or would you fill them!
General Counts. You don't fill them during the year.
General COUNTS. They don't have this overstrength. I understood
Colonel HAMBLEN. Sir, the Naval Academy has an authorized strength of 4,365, I believe, sir. They average only about 3,700 midshipmen at their Academy. Their authorization is so much greater than ours there is no requirement on their part to have any additional vacancies. They are presently using their facilities to maximum capacity.
As a matter of fact, they cannot use all the authorization offered them because they do not have the facilities. The Congress has given them authority to build extra barracks so they could get more people into their Academy.
So they do not have the problem. They have more authorization than they can handle now.
Mr. BROOKS. As you increase the size of the Naval Academy, you increase the appointive power of the Secretary of the Navy, do you?
Colonel HAMBLEM. Sír, the authorization is already in existence, and the Congressmen, all Congressmen, of course, who appoint people in the Naval Academy continue to appoint all they desire.
Mr. BROOKS. I am just trying to get information with reference to this bill. As you increase the size of the capacity of the Naval Academy, that increases the right of the executive branch of Government to fill more appointments.
Colonel HAMBLEN. That is correct in one respect. Where they normally are not filling their vacancies is in their regulars and reserves and Presidential areas where they are authorized 160 individuals per year in each of those categories, whereas the Military Academy is only authorized for a 4-year period 90 cadets each in both the regulars and reserves. Since they are not getting enough from that area, they are able to take care of all the Congressmen and still not have to worry about going
Mr. BROOKS. I understand that. But I am trying to find out how they were taking care of themselves, not the Congress.
Colonel HAMBLEN. They still are able to take care of the Congressmen and take care of a certain number of appointees from the Secretary.
Mr. Brooks. How are they taking care of themselves?
Colonel HAMBLEN. They still make certain appointments under this same provision of law, sir, by designating from among qualified officers and competitors.
Mr. BROOKS. We wrote last year, wasn't it, a bill for the Air Force, Mr. Ducander?
Mr. DUCANDER. Yes, sir.
Colonel HAMBLEN. Because the Air Force Academy has an entirely different system now. They may designate, for each Congressman, a principal plus ten individuals. Mr. BROOKS. That is the old law, not the new one!
Colonel HAMBLEN. Under the interim provision, sir, you recall that the Air Force may designate one man from each particular district so they could get representation of all of them. But they didn't go to the complete provisions we have in the Military Academy now.
They won't for another 3 years, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. They gradually move into it at the beginning of this year.
Colonel HAMBLEN. Under the provisions of the revised bill they would gradually do so. At the end of 4 years they would be able to be at this stage, that's right, sir.
Mr. BROOKS. That's right. And here we didn't cover this feature in that bill.
Colonel HAMBLEN. No, sir. In their bill we actually specifically indicated, sir, that only one-our code number is 4,343—provision of that similar to the Air Force codification would be given so that we could maintain the Air Force at a strength they wanted.
We knew approximately how many more they would be authorized. So your committee, sir, decided that you should have so many congressionals and you knew that number specifically.
Then you said there would be so many others that they would be able to make, so that we knew the ultimate strength we were working on-rather a fixed input type of thing, sir.
Our service Academy is not in a fixed input, so we weren't able to do the desirable features you were able to fix. Now that each year a certain fixed number are going in the Air Force Academy, you said so many would be from congressionals, and so many would be from qualified alternates.
That works just fine because of the fixed input.
Mr. BROOKS. But we haven't even put that into effect yet. And here we are amending it.
Colonel HAMBLEN. All we are amending that would apply to the Air Force—is that what you are talking about now, sir, the Air Force ?
Mr. BROOKS. Yes.
Colonel HAMBLEN. Would be that the provisions of this bill, which are premissive, would be that when the Air Force Academy comes to their ultimate use of the full utilization of their Academy, they, too, would be able to exceed their 2,196.
Mr. BROOKS. By how many!
Colonel HAMBLEN. By a number that would result in the average strength of the Corps of Cadets being 2,496—so if the initial strength would be 80 over it would end 80 under. Eighty cadets during a 4year period would average only about 40 maybe per year being added.
We must allow for attrition. Once we add those extra people into the Academy they remain with us. We are not able to disregard them. They are always in the Academy. Mr. Brooks. Any questions? Mrs. St. George : Mrs. ST. GEORGE. General, will you tell me what the graduating class is at the Naval Academy as compared with the Military Academy How many do they graduate? General Counts. Mrs. St. §. I believe they run around SIM) or a litle over, and we are running about 450–550, I guess. That is only approximation. Mrs. St. GEORGE. How is the Military Academy equipped now to take the number of cadets they have Could you handle |. number? General Counts. We could not. Mrs. St. GEORGE. You certainly have plenty of room up there for expansion, though. General Counts...We have a large study on that, as you probably know, of the possibilities for expansion and enlargement. Mrs. St. GEORGE. Yes. I hope you go forward with it. I would like to see you graduate at least as many cadets— General Counts. I will go back and answer the chairman's question about how many we should have. I think we should have more, but that is my personal opinion. Mrs. St. GEORGE. I do, too. Mr. BRooks. It occurred to me, considering the personnel of the three services and the coequal status that they enjoy at this time, that the three Academies ought to be the same size. That is the reason I put in this bill. Mrs. St. GEORGE. Mr. Chairman, I think you are right, too. They should be the same size. General Counts. It is some strange thing the Naval Academy has always been approximately 50 percent larger. When I entered the corps of cadets we had 600. The Naval Academy was about 1,200. Mr. BRooks. I am just expressing the view that they all ought to be the same size. It seems to me that would make good sense. Mrs. St. GEORGE. I think, Mr. Chairman, we want to see the Military Academy increase. We have no problems with the other Academy. Colonel HAMBLEN. Mr. Chairman, what I mean to imply was the bill we are working on now would do just what you have suggested before. We appreciate that point and that is why it takes a while to work all three service Academies to exactly the same input. Mr. Brooks. Mr. Ducander, will you keep in touch with the gentlemen so that we can get a bill up here and perhaps the chairman of the full committee would send it to this subcommittee. Mr. DUCANDER. Yes, sir. Mr. WINSTEAD. Mr. Chairman, I am inclined to think, then, that the Military Academy is far behind the Naval Academy and might be behind the Air Force Academy. But I am still getting more and more confused as we go along. We pay bonuses to get men into the services. We pay bonuses to get them out. Now when we increase the Academy and we rip these officers out from time to time, I am getting lost in all this oil. Understand, I think there is a lot of merit to what you are asking for to get more on a par with the other Academies. If you get this
increase, will it cost additional money for your staff and your facilities to carry on that load? General Counts. The staff would have no addition whatsoever. Mr. WINSTEAD. You see, the point I am worried about, and I don't think we should take it out on you at the Academy, but we kick these officers out from year to year. We have too many of them. We demand they take care of the ROTC trained officers and these other fellows and we expand these Academies from time to time. They talk about cutting down on manpower and I am about to get totally lost as to where we as a committee are going to draw the line. But that has nothing to do with what you are requesting here at this particular time. Mr. BROOKs. Mr. Burns? Mr. BURNs. I understand, Mr. Chairman, there probably will be a change or two. My concern was with where these people would be selected from to make up this average number increase that they i. to put in and what kind of ties there would be in that particuat area. Mr. BROOKs. Mr. Ducander, I might say, has some different language, substitute language here. Are you familiar, General, with Mr. Ducander's language? General Counts. Yes; I saw the one about the percentage basis. Mr. BROOKs. Why not at this time read your suggestion there, Mr. Ducander? I think it would save time. Mr. DUCANDER. Mr. Chairman, before reading it, the committee will remember that last year it considered two bills. One was for interim appointments for the Air Force Academy and the other was to increase Presidential appointments. The committee took a firm stand on both of those bills, that any increase in appointments at the Academy should be for the main, at least, congressional appointments and not appointments from the executive branch. Keeping that in mind, I asked the Department if they would draft this language which would allow for these additional appointments requested by the Department, but would make them on the same ratio as the appointments the Congress now has. The Congress now has approximately 85 percent of the appointments to the Academy. Therefore, I asked that the language for these additional appointments give 85 percent of them to the Congress, which would maintain the ratio. The language is as follows, reading on line 4 of the draft: Cadets appointment: To bring corps to full strength, whenever it is estimated that the number of cadets at the Academy during a school year will be below the authorized number, the qualified candidates who competed for nomination and are recommended and found qualified by the Academic Board but not more than any estimated to be necessary to make the strength of the corps of cadets at the end of the school year equal the authorized strength of that corps, at least 85 percent of those nominated under this section shall be selected from qualified alternates nominated by the persons named in clause 16 of section 4342 (a), and clause 2 of section 4342 (e) of this title— and I will stop right there to say those are the congressional appointments—
and the remainder from qualified candidates holding competitive nominations under any other provisions of law—