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Reserves Officers' Training Corps: Questions Related to Organizational
Restructuring (Letter Report, 02/06/96, GAO/NSIAD-96-56).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the proposed closing
of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) regional headquarters at Fort
Knox, Kentucky, and the impact of ROTC restructuring at Fort Lewis,
Washington, and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

GAO found that: (1) the Army has not approved the proposal to close ROTC
regional headquarters at Fort Knox, since it still must assess the
impact of ROTC restructuring on the training and readiness of combat
units stationed at Fort Bragg and Fort Lewis; (2) the impact on troop
readiness would be severe if Fort Bragg had to support both an advanced
and basic ROTC camp operation; (3) cadet housing at Fort Bragg and Fort
Lewis is inadequate and in need of repair; (4) the Army needs to assess
how best to accommodate its long-term ROTC needs within the context of
the its total base structure; and (5) the ROTC summer camp at Fort Knox
will remain in operation through at least 1996.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-96-56
     TITLE:  Reserves Officers' Training Corps: Questions Related to 
             Organizational Restructuring
      DATE:  02/06/96
   SUBJECT:  Armed forces reserve training
             Army bases
             Military cost control
             Human resources utilization
             Military reserve personnel
             Military housing
             Defense economic analysis
             Combat readiness
             Base realignments
             Military downsizing
IDENTIFIER:  Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Program
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Requesters

February 1996

RESERVE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS -
QUESTIONS RELATED TO
ORGANIZATIONAL RESTRUCTURING

GAO/NSIAD-96-56

Reserve Officers' Training Corps

(709161)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  AR - Army Regulation
  FORSCOM - Forces Command
  ROTC - Reserve Officers' Training Corps
  TRADOC - Training and Doctrine Command
  WWII - World War II

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-270485

February 6, 1996

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
United States Senate

The Honorable Ron Lewis
House of Representatives

This report responds to your June 22, 1995, request that we review
the status of and basis for an Army Cadet Command proposal to close
the Second Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) regional
headquarters at Fort Knox, Kentucky, while maintaining regional
headquarters at Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Bragg, North
Carolina.  This proposal also included discontinuing the ROTC summer
camp at Fort Knox and dividing it between Forts Lewis and Bragg. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Because of questions relating to readiness, housing, and costs, the
proposal to close the ROTC regional headquarters at Fort Knox has not
been approved by the Army.  As a result, the regional headquarters
remains open at Fort Knox and the summer camp operated at Fort Knox
is expected to remain in place through fiscal year 1996 and possibly
1997.  Still unresolved are questions about the (1) impact of the
ROTC program on training and readiness of combat units stationed at
certain bases that house and support ROTC summer camp programs; (2)
adequacy and condition of housing at bases being considered for
consolidation of the ROTC program, both on a short- and longer term
basis; and (3) costs to address the housing problem. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

ROTC was established to supplement the military academies in
preparing students for commissioned military service and to provide
officers for the reserve forces.  The Army's ROTC program currently
produces about 70 percent of its second lieutenants. 

The Army's ROTC program operates under the auspices of the U.S.  Army
Cadet Command, a component of the Army's Training and Doctrine
Command (TRADOC), both headquartered at Fort Monroe, Virginia.  Cadet
Command currently has three regions--the 1st, 2nd, and 4th located at
Forts Bragg, Knox, and Lewis, respectively.  These regions oversee
ROTC programs located at over 300 U.S.  colleges and universities. 
To help prepare ROTC cadets to complete their commissioning
requirements, the Cadet Command, through its regions, also operates
one basic and two advanced summer camp programs from June to August
each year.  The basic camp, located at Fort Knox, provides training
and introduction to military life to college students prior to their
junior year, when they have not previously been a part of the ROTC
program on campus.\1 It also encourages the participants to continue
in the ROTC program on campus and to attend an advanced camp the next
year.  Advanced camps are held at Forts Lewis and Bragg.\2

Their missions are to train cadets to Army standards, develop
leadership, and evaluate officer potential. 

Because the Army is downsizing, the need for new ROTC-produced
lieutenants is decreasing from 8,200 in 1989 to 4,500 in 1995.  This
is expected to be further reduced to about 3,800 in 1998.  There has
also been a reduction in resources available to the ROTC
program--dollars and manpower.  The ROTC funding level is expected to
decrease from $159.1 million in fiscal year 1992 to an estimated
$128.8 million (inflation-adjusted 1992 dollars) in fiscal year 2001. 
Further, its officer strength level is expected to decline from 1,375
in September 1992 to 1,163 in December 1995; additional personnel
reductions are expected. 

As a result of downsizing, the Cadet Command concluded that it must
restructure its command and control framework, camp operations, and
reduce the number of schools sponsoring ROTC programs.  An internal
study by Cadet Command, completed April 10, 1995, resulted in a
proposal to close the ROTC regional headquarters at Fort Knox, and
split its responsibilities for overseeing ROTC college programs among
the two remaining regions.  It also proposed to split
responsibilities for basic camp between the two remaining regions and
have them operate both basic and advanced ROTC camps.  However, Cadet
Command was also facing pressure from other Army officials to
subsequently move its camp operations away from Fort Bragg, with Fort
Benning, Georgia, being a potential location.  Cadet Command wanted
to begin making these changes effective in fiscal year 1996. 


--------------------
\1 Approximately 2,100 cadets attended the basic camp in 1995. 

\2 Approximately 5,500 cadets attended advanced camp in 1995; of
those who attend advanced camp, approximately 75 percent can be
expected to complete the ROTC program and be commissioned as an
officer in the Army. 


   DECISION REGARDING FUTURE OF
   ROTC AT FORT KNOX AND
   RESTRUCTURING ROTC ON HOLD FOR
   NOW
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

Final approval of the Cadet Command proposal is contingent upon
completion and approval of formal documentation of decision-making
required by Army Regulation (AR) 5-10 involving stationing
decisions.\3 The Department of the Army has not approved Cadet
Command's draft AR 5-10.  We reviewed various data that were used to
draft the AR 5-10 Cadet Command's proposal, but did not review the
draft document.  Various Army officials indicated it had not been
approved because it was considered incomplete.  Unresolved issues
include cadet housing and impact on operational units at remaining
and potential receiver locations. 

These issues are not likely to be resolved quickly enough to allow a
program restructuring, such as that proposed by Cadet Command, to be
implemented in fiscal year 1996 and possibly 1997. 


--------------------
\3 The AR 5-10 process is followed when a stationing or realignment
action (military and civilian) results in the involuntary separation
or transfer, outside the commuting area, of 50 or more direct-hire,
permanent U.S.  citizen employees.  This process is followed also
when a stationing or realignment action impacts units or activities
with 200 or more military authorizations.  Additionally, the AR 5-10
process ensures that feasible stationing alternatives have been
thoroughly assessed and operational requirements and environment and
resource impacts have been properly balanced. 


   QUESTIONS RAISED REGARDING
   ROTC'S IMPACT ON READINESS OF
   COMBAT FORCES AT SOME
   INSTALLATIONS, PARTICULARLY
   FORT BRAGG
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

While Cadet Command is a component of TRADOC and its 2nd region is
headquartered at a TRADOC installation, its 1st and 4th regions are
headquartered on installations housing combat forces controlled by
the Army's Forces Command (FORSCOM).  Questions regarding the impact
of ROTC programs on FORSCOM units' training and readiness, and where
best to locate restructured ROTC programs remain unresolved. 

The ROTC basic camp program at Fort Knox is able to satisfy critical
aspects of its camp training requirements through use of drill
sergeants and instructors involved in basic training programs
conducted at Fort Knox.  Those personnel are augmented by Army
Reserve training personnel, as well as ROTC personnel brought in from
various locations. 

ROTC's advanced camps at Forts Lewis and Bragg operate under a
different program of instruction than does the basic camp, and rely
more on personnel available from the FORSCOM combat and combat
support units at Forts Bragg and Lewis.  Officials at these
installations as well as FORSCOM headquarters told us they had
concerns about adverse impacts on their units' readiness from
supporting ROTC camps--support that takes the form of considerable
time, personnel, and training areas. 

Fort Bragg, for example, headquarters for the Army's XVIIIth Airborne
Corps and houses its 82nd Airborne Division.  The 82nd is a rapid
deployment force and must be ready to deploy on short notice. 
Because of their mission and the steady growth in requirements that
must be satisfied at Bragg, FORSCOM and Fort Bragg officials have
expressed concerns about the impact of the ROTC program on training
and operational readiness.  Fort Bragg officials state that while
they consider ROTC's impact on troop readiness to be a significant
issue today, it would be further exacerbated if Fort Bragg had to
support both an advanced and basic camp operation, as envisioned in
the Cadet Command proposal. 

Fort Bragg officials indicated they are also experiencing increased
usage of their facilities for training by the National Guard and
Reserves.  For example, the National Guard's 30th Infantry Brigade,
which is designated as an enhanced brigade,\4 is scheduled to train
and mobilize at Fort Bragg.  This training is normally done in the
summer months, which could conflict with the ROTC advanced camp
schedule.  Fort Bragg officials also were concerned about housing the
advanced camp there in 1996 because of a large training exercise also
scheduled to take place; however, at the time we concluded our
review, Army officials told us that the advanced camp would be held
at Fort Bragg in 1996. 


--------------------
\4 The Army has 15 National Guard combat brigades that are
responsible for reinforcing and augmenting active Army units if the
active units are unable to handle two nearly simultaneous regional
conflicts, as set forth in the Secretary of Defense's Bottom-Up
Review. 


   QUESTIONS RAISED REGARDING THE
   ADEQUACY OF CADET HOUSING
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

Basic camp cadets at Fort Knox are housed in relatively more modern
cinderblock structures, compared with cadets in advanced camps at
Forts Bragg and Lewis who live in World War II (WWII) era wooden
barracks.  Because of their age and condition, these WWII barracks
have been targeted for demolition within the next few years. 

The Cadet Command proposal to increase its ROTC program at Fort Bragg
would require using a larger number of the WWII era wooden barracks
that in our view appear to be in much poorer condition than the ones
currently being used.  For example, the buildings in this category
that we toured frequently had large holes in the interior walls,
bathroom plumbing not in working condition, and stairways that
appeared somewhat unstable.  These additional barracks were scheduled
to be demolished within the next year or so.  However, even with
these additional barracks, the Army would be faced with insufficient
cadet housing at Fort Bragg.  According to one Army estimate, almost
$70 million would be needed to construct new buildings at Fort Bragg
to house approximately 5,000 camp personnel.\5

We were told that a similar housing problem exists at Fort Benning,
where ROTC program cadets would have to use WWII era barracks that
are in need of repair.  Army officials told us that to make them
usable, the barracks at Fort Benning would have to be repaired at an
estimated cost of over $10 million.\6


--------------------
\5 This number is a rough approximation of housing that would have
been required for a basic and advanced camp at Fort Bragg; likewise,
the cost cited represents only a preliminary estimate, not a formal
proposal. 

\6 Army officials also identified significant other start-up and
operational costs of approximately $18 million to move the regional
headquarters to Fort Benning and have it operational for fiscal years
1996 and 1997. 


   MORE BROAD-BASED STUDY NEEDED
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

Cadet Command's study that led to the proposal to close the ROTC
region at Fort Knox focused on a short-term rather than a long-term
solution to its restructuring needs.  It did not fully address the
impact on FORSCOM installations or the issue of cadet housing and
costs.  These issues suggest the need for a broader based study to
examine how best to accommodate the long-term needs of ROTC within
the context of the Army's total base structure.  These issues are
likely to require tradeoffs and decisions that extend beyond the
purview of Cadet Command and TRADOC, its higher headquarters.  They
may require an Army-wide focus on issues affecting stationing and
support of ROTC, particularly ROTC's summer camp programs.  We
believe that an Army-wide focus is desirable to minimize the need for
new military construction.  Should new military construction be
required, an Army-wide focus would be important to determining where
best to make such an investment considering that ROTC would only use
the facilities for a portion of the year.  Likewise, given the
program of instruction currently employed for ROTC advanced camps,
tradeoffs may be required in terms of potentially housing those camps
on FORSCOM installations where personnel needed to support camp
operations are more readily available than on TRADOC installations
where extensive temporary duty travel and costs could be required. 
If one or more FORSCOM installations are to be used and readiness
issues are to be minimized, then tradeoffs may be required in
selecting installations to avoid adversely impacting combat units
having early deployment missions. 


   RECOMMENDATION TO THE SECRETARY
   OF THE ARMY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

We recommend that the Secretary of the Army direct that a broad-based
assessment be made of ROTC restructuring to include readiness,
housing, and cost issues to accommodate the long-term needs of ROTC
within the context of the Army's total base structure. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

While the Army did not provide written comments, the Army did provide
official oral comments concurring with our recommendation.  However,
the Army did not indicate when it expected to initiate or complete
the recommended study. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :8.1

Our scope and methodology are discussed in appendix I.  Unless you
announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of
this report until 15 days after its issue date.  At that time, we
will send copies to the Chairmen, Senate Committee on Armed Services,
and Subcommittee on Defense, Senate Committee on Appropriations; the
Chairmen, House Committee on National Security, and Subcommittee on
National Security, House Committee on Appropriations; the Director of
the Office of Management and Budget; and the Secretaries of Defense
and the Army. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-8412 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
were
Barry W.  Holman, Assistant Director; Stephen G.  DeSart,
Evaluator-in-Charge; and Jacqueline E.  Snead, Evaluator. 

David R.  Warren
Director, Defense Management Issues


SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
=========================================================== Appendix I

We held discussions with officials at the Department of the Army
Forces Command and Cadet Command, including its headquarters and
regions.  We also had discussions with installation officials at
Forts Bragg, Knox, and Lewis, and toured facilities at each of these
locations.  We did not tour base facilities at Fort Benning.  We
collected and performed limited analysis of data related to advanced
and basic camps.  The scope of our review did not extend to examining
Cadet Command's Program of Instruction for its camps.  We obtained
briefings on and made a limited examination of available
documentation associated with Cadet Command's study leading to the
proposed closure of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps region at
Fort Knox.  We reviewed various data that were used in drafting the
Cadet Command's Army Regulation 5-10 proposal, but we did not review
the actual draft document. 

We conducted our work between August 1995 and December 1995 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


*** End of document. ***