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Reserve Forces: Proposals to Expand Call-Up Authorities Should Include Numerical Limitations (Letter Report, 04/18/97, GAO/NSIAD-97-129).

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the adequacy and
completeness of the Department of Defense's (DOD) report for improving
the timeliness, adequacy, and effectiveness of reserve component
responses to domestic emergencies and national contingency operations.

GAO noted that: (1) the DOD report on reserve component responsiveness
appears to be a complete and appropriate response to the matters
identified in the legislated requirement for the report; (2) the report
was the result of a collaborative effort among the key DOD organizations
involved with reserve matters and generally represented a consensus view
based upon military judgment and experience; (3) as required, the
Reserve Forces Policy Board fully participated in the development of
DOD's report; (4) DOD concluded that it would be useful to expand the
statutory authority for involuntarily accessing reserve component
capabilities; (5) specifically, DOD proposed that the service
secretaries' authority to call reservists involuntarily to active duty
should be expanded from 15 to 30 days each year and presented two
reasons for proposing such a change; (6) first, the expanded authority
would provide DOD access to reserves for a longer period, which could be
helpful in responding to domestic emergencies and disasters; (7) second,
expanding the call-up authority would allow DOD to activate reservists
for up to 30 days to perform critical tasks in preparation for an
expected Presidential Selected Reserve Call-Up (PSRC); (8) referring to
this as the "prime-the-pump" requirement, DOD stated that, in preparing
its report, it had revalidated the need to activate 25,000 reservists
for this purpose; (9) representatives from the Reserve Forces Policy
Board and the seven reserve components generally supported the DOD
conclusion that expanded call-up authorities were needed; (10) however,
concerns were expressed that expanded authority could result in more
frequent, longer, and in some cases unnecessary activations, which could
have adverse impacts on reservists, their families, and employers and
ultimately effect reserve component recruitment, retention, and
readiness; (11) to help mitigate potential adverse impacts, GAO believes
the proposal for expanded call-up authority should include limits on the
maximum number of reservists that could be activated in response to a
domestic emergency or in anticipation of a PSRC; (12) these limits
should be in addition to a time period limitation as suggested by DOD;
(13) although DOD stated it requires 25,000 reservists for activities
prior to a PSRC, it has not determined the appropriate maximum number of
reservists needed to respond to a domestic emergency or disaster; and (*

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

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-97-129
     TITLE:  Reserve Forces: Proposals to Expand Call-Up Authorities 
             Should Include Numerical Limitations
      DATE:  04/18/97
   SUBJECT:  Armed forces reserves
             Emergency preparedness
             Defense contingency planning
             Military reserve personnel
             Armed forces reserve training
             Selective service

             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Committees

April 1997

RESERVE FORCES - PROPOSALS TO
EXPAND CALL-UP AUTHORITIES SHOULD
INCLUDE NUMERICAL LIMITATIONS

GAO/NSIAD-97-129

Reserve Forces

(703173)


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

  DOD - Department of Defense
  FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
  PSRC - Presidential Selected Reserve Call-up

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


B-276516

April 18, 1997

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
Chairman
The Honorable Carl Levin
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Floyd Spence
Chairman
The Honorable Ronald Dellums
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

To reduce costs and maintain as small an active peacetime force as
possible, the Department of Defense (DOD) follows a total force
policy that relies heavily upon reserve forces to augment active
forces in wartime and peacetime operations and during national
emergencies.  With over 1.5 million members and a fiscal year 1996
budget of about $20 billion, the reserve forces are an essential
component of the national defense strategy. 

Because of concern over the accessibility and responsiveness of
reserve forces, the Congress required DOD to prepare a report with
recommendations for improving the timeliness, adequacy, and
effectiveness of reserve component responses to domestic emergencies
and national contingency operations.  Section 1231 of the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (P.L.  104-201)
required DOD to address whether

  -- the statutory limitation on the time period for involuntary
     activation of reservists needed in response to domestic
     emergencies should be expanded;

  -- recommendations should be implemented from a 1995 RAND report on
     National Guard responsiveness to domestic emergencies;

  -- changes are needed in the statutory authorities for activating
     reserve units and individuals to facilitate current and future
     use of the reserve components; and

  -- statutory provisions are needed to help mitigate the effects of
     frequent mobilizations on reserve units and individual members,
     civilian employers, and employees of reserve member employers. 

Section 1231 of the act also required DOD to discuss past and planned
initiatives to improve reserve component responsiveness and include
participation from the Reserve Forces Policy Board in the development
of the report. 

In addition, the Congress directed us to assess the adequacy and
completeness of the DOD report.  This letter summarizes our
assessment of the DOD report and recommends additional limitations on
DOD's proposals for expanded call-up authorities.  A detailed
analysis of our position with regard to each of the specific matters
addressed in DOD's report is provided in appendixes I through IV. 
The scope and methodology of our review are discussed in appendix V. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

In 1973, DOD adopted the total force policy, which recognized that
active and reserve U.S.  military forces should be readily available
to support military operations.  As a result, reserve forces were no
longer considered to be forces of last resort; rather, they are now
recognized as indispensable to the nation's defense from the earliest
days of a conflict.  In addition, the reserves' peacetime support to
the active forces has taken on increased importance in areas such as
peacekeeping missions, counterdrug operations, disaster aid, and
exercise support.  The seven reserve components are the Army Reserve,
Army National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Naval
Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.\1

As the role of reserve forces has expanded, concerns have been
expressed over the adequacy of the statutory authorities for
accessing reserve components.  Various sections of title 10 of the
United States Code provide authorities for the President to order DOD
reserve units and individual members to active duty across a wide
spectrum of operations.\2 For example, these sections provide that
(1) in time of national emergency declared by the Congress or the
President, most reservists can be called involuntarily to active duty
and (2) when the President determines that it is necessary to augment
active forces for operational missions, up to 200,000 members of the
Selected Reserve can be called to active duty for up to 270 days.\3
This is known as the Presidential Selected Reserve Call-Up (PSRC)
authority.  Title 10 U.S.C.  12301 also authorizes the service
secretaries to activate reservists for up to 15 days each year
without their consent and for any time period with their consent. 

These authorities were primarily established during the Cold War when
reserve forces were mainly designed to expand active duty forces to
defeat a global threat from the Soviet Union.  With the collapse of
the Soviet Union and subsequent changes in the national defense
strategy, including increased reliance on reserve forces, attention
has focused on whether the existing call-up authorities need to be
modified.  In some instances, the Congress has modified call-up
authorities.  For example, the Congress has increased the maximum
number of Selected Reservists subject to involuntary recall from
100,000 to the current limit of 200,000 \4 and, in October 1994,
expanded the maximum time period for PSRC to 270 days.\5 However, the
Congress did not approve a prior DOD request to authorize the service
secretaries to activate up to 25,000 reservists to perform critical
tasks needed to prepare for mobilization prior to an expected PSRC
declaration.  DOD refers to these tasks as "priming the pump" in
anticipation of a PSRC. 

Concerns have also been expressed that the expanded role of the
reserve forces has increased the frequency that reserve units and
individuals have been called to active duty.  Because most reservists
(a term that includes National Guard personnel) hold civilian jobs
and perform their military duties on a part-time basis, calls to
active duty can cause major disruptions in the lives of the
reservists, their families, their employers, and in some cases their
employees.  For this reason, increased use of reserve forces could
adversely affect the ability of the military to recruit and retain
the quantity and quality of people needed to achieve desired
readiness levels in the reserve components. 


--------------------
\1 The Coast Guard Reserve reports to the Secretary of Transportation
in peacetime but would be under the authority of the Navy during
wartime. 

\2 See 10 U.S.C.  12301, 12302, and 12304. 

\3 The Selected Reserve includes drilling reservists assigned to
reserve units, full-time reserve personnel, and individual
mobilization augmentees assigned to active component commands. 

\4 See section 521(a) of Public Law 99-661, Nov.  14, 1986. 

\5 See section 511(a)(1) of Public Law 103-337, Oct.  5, 1994. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

The DOD report on reserve component responsiveness appears to be a
complete and appropriate response to the matters identified in the
legislative requirement for the report.  The report was the result of
a collaborative effort among the key DOD organizations involved with
reserve matters and generally represented a consensus view based upon
military judgment and experience.  As required, the Reserve Forces
Policy Board fully participated in the development of DOD's report. 

DOD concluded that it would be useful to expand the statutory
authority for involuntarily accessing reserve component capabilities. 
Specifically, DOD proposed that the service secretaries' authority to
call reservists involuntarily to active duty should be expanded from
15 to 30 days each year and presented two reasons for proposing such
a change.  First, the expanded authority would provide DOD access to
reserves for a longer period, which could be helpful in responding to
domestic emergencies and disasters.  Second, expanding the call-up
authority would allow DOD to activate reservists for up to 30 days to
perform critical tasks in preparation for an expected Presidential
Selected Reserve Call-Up.  Referring to this as the "prime the pump"
requirement, DOD stated that, in preparing its report, it had
revalidated the need to activate 25,000 reservists for this purpose. 

Representatives from the Reserve Forces Policy Board and the seven
reserve components generally supported the DOD conclusion that
expanded call-up authorities were needed.  However, concerns were
expressed that expanded authority could result in more frequent,
longer, and in some cases unnecessary activations, which could have
adverse impacts on reservists, their families, and employers and
ultimately affect reserve component recruitment, retention, and
readiness. 

To help mitigate potential adverse impacts, we believe the proposal
for expanded call-up authority should include limits on the maximum
number of reservists that could be activated in response to a
domestic emergency or in anticipation of a Presidential Selected
Reserve Call-Up.  These limits should be in addition to a time period
limitation as suggested by DOD.  Although DOD stated it requires
25,000 reservists for activities prior to a Presidential Selected
Reserve Call-Up, it has not determined the appropriate maximum number
of reservists needed to respond to a domestic emergency or disaster. 
In addition, DOD has not validated that its proposed 30-day time
period is the appropriate time period needed to effectively respond
to domestic emergencies or perform the prime the pump mission. 


   DOD SEEKS EXPANDED CALL-UP
   AUTHORITY FOR DOMESTIC
   EMERGENCIES
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

The governor of each state can call the state's Army and Air National
Guard units to active duty to help respond to domestic emergencies
and disasters, such as those caused by hurricanes, floods, and
earthquakes.  If additional help is needed, a governor can request
federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA).  With a presidential declaration of disaster, FEMA's federal
assistance can include additional military support from DOD. 

If requested to respond to domestic emergencies, DOD normally tasks
active duty units to provide the necessary assistance.  Even if
needed to help respond to an emergency, units and members from the
Army, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps reserve
components are not normally used because of statutory limitations. 
Specifically, 10 U.S.C.  12301(b) allows service secretaries to
activate these forces involuntarily for only 15 days each year. 
However, because this provision is also the authority for the
reservists' 2-week annual training requirement, reservists that have
completed their annual training cannot be activated under this
authority.  DOD stated that determining whether reservists have
completed their training takes time, which limits the value of any
reserve component response.  For example, during the aftermath of
Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the U.S.  Army Forces Command wanted to
activate the 841st Engineer Battalion, an Army Reserve unit located
in Miami, Florida, to assist in debris clearance, but it did not do
so because of these limitations. 

In its report, DOD stated that it would be useful to expand the
authority for using reserve components to support domestic
emergencies.  DOD stated that its preferred option would be to have
10 U.S.C.  12301(b) amended to expand from 15 to 30 days the time
period that service secretaries could activate reservists.  DOD noted
that increasing the time period to 30 days would provide up to 15
additional days each year if needed for other active duty missions,
even if reservists had completed their annual training.  However, DOD
did not perform analyses to validate that 30 days would be the
appropriate time period or determine the maximum number of reservists
needed to effectively respond to most domestic emergencies.  Such
analyses could consider the experiences of National Guard and active
forces used to respond to previous domestic emergencies. 

Representatives from FEMA and each of the seven reserve components
stated that they supported the DOD position because it provides
increased management flexibility to respond to emergencies.  However,
some representatives stated that in most cases existing authorities
were adequate for reserve components to support domestic emergencies. 
They cited the use of volunteers, the authority of reserve unit
commanders to accelerate their units' normal drill schedules to meet
needs during an emergency, and the existing authority of the Congress
and the President to declare a national emergency, which would
provide access to all reserve components.  Representatives from two
reserve components also expressed concerns that increased authority
could result in increased use of reservists, which, in turn, could
have adverse impacts on reservists, their families, and their
employers. 

We agree with DOD that it would be useful to expand the authority to
allow more ready access to reservists during domestic emergencies. 
However, we also agree with the reserve representatives that expanded
authority increases the risk that reservists could be activated more
frequently, which could have adverse impacts.  To help mitigate this
risk, an expanded service secretary authority to activate reservists
for domestic emergencies could include a limitation on the number of
personnel that could be activated.  For example, in addition to the
limit on the number of days, an expanded authority could limit the
number of personnel that could be activated to a number that DOD
validates as the maximum needed to respond to most emergencies.  For
emergencies that require access to a greater number of reservists,
the President already has existing authority to declare a national
emergency, which would provide access to 1 million reservists. 


   DOD SEEKS EXPANDED CALL-UP
   AUTHORITY FOR OPERATIONAL
   CONTINGENCIES
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

DOD was required to assess the adequacy of the statutory authorities
for activating reservists for current and future missions.  In its
report, DOD stated that the current reserve call-up authorities are
sufficient and will be adequate to implement the national security
strategy into the 21st century.  DOD stated that the three-tiered
system of statutory authorities (10 U.S.C.  12301, 12302, and 12304)
gives the President a full menu of options with inherent controls to
satisfy the American people. 

Despite this endorsement, DOD stated that one matter requiring
attention is the lack of authority for DOD to involuntarily activate
reservists to perform critical tasks prior to an expected PSRC
declaration.  DOD referred to this need as the prime the pump
requirement and stated that it has revalidated the need to activate
25,000 reservists for this purpose.  DOD stated that its
recommendation to expand the service secretaries' call-up authority
under 10 U.S.C.  12301(b) from 15 to 30 days for domestic emergencies
would also provide the authority needed for the prime the pump
mission.  However, DOD did not recommend limiting this expanded
authority to 25,000 reservists. 

Representatives from the Reserve Forces Policy Board and the seven
reserve components stated that they supported the DOD position. 
However, several reserve component representatives stated that
expanded authority for involuntary call-up prior to an expected PSRC
could result in unnecessary activations, which could, in turn, waste
funds and have an adverse impact on reserve component retention.  In
addition, representatives from two reserve components noted that the
proposed authority could be viewed as an extension of PSRC authority
from 270 to 300 days because reservists could be activated for 30
days prior to a PSRC and then for 270 days after a PSRC is
authorized.  They stated that the increased risk of call-ups and the
potential for a longer active duty time period could have adverse
impacts on reservists. 

The Reserve Forces Policy Board noted that the activities required to
perform the prime the pump mission would require 30 days.  To provide
for this time, plus the 15 days of required annual training, the
Board stated that a 45-day time period is more appropriate for an
expanded authority than the 30 days recommended by DOD. 

We did not independently validate DOD's stated need for 25,000
reservists to prepare for an involuntary activation.  However, we
noted that there appeared to be agreement within DOD that this need
exists.  To help mitigate concerns that an expanded authority could
have negative impacts on reservists, a proposal for expanded
authority could limit the number of personnel that could be activated
to the 25,000 personnel identified by DOD.  Also, in view of the
Reserve Forces Policy Board's comments, it appears that DOD needs to
validate the time period required to perform the prime the pump
mission to determine whether the suggested 30-day time period is
sufficient. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense, prior to requesting
increased authority to access reserve components,

  -- determine the maximum number of reservists that should be
     subject to involuntary call-up during a domestic emergency and

  -- validate the time periods required to respond to a domestic
     emergency and perform critical preparation tasks in anticipation
     of a PSRC declaration to ensure that the proposed time periods
     are appropriate. 

Should the Secretary of Defense request increased authority to access
reserve components, we also recommend that the proposal include
limits on the maximum number of reservists that could be activated in
response to a domestic emergency or in anticipation of a PSRC
declaration. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD generally concurred with
our conclusions and recommendations.  DOD stated that the intent of
its report was to respond to congressional direction and specific
questions.  Although DOD determined that expanded call-up authority
would be useful, DOD stated that it was not yet at the stage of
drafting proposals for legislation.  However, DOD agreed that limits
must be considered when the legislative proposals actually are made. 
DOD's comments appear in appendix VI. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.1

We are sending copies of this report to other interested
congressional committees; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the
Navy, and the Air Force; the Commandant, U.S.  Marine Corps; the
Commandant, U.S.  Coast Guard; and the Director, Office of Management
and Budget.  Copies will also be made available to others on request. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-5140 if you or your staff have any
questions on this report.  Major contributors to this report are
listed in appendix VII. 

Mark E.  Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
 and Capabilities Issues


EXPANDING CALL-UP AUTHORITY FOR
DOMESTIC EMERGENCIES
=========================================================== Appendix I

The Department of Defense (DOD) was required to assess the need to
expand reserve component call-up authority for domestic emergencies. 
The issue deals with whether reserve forces, other than the National
Guard, should be available, if needed, to help respond to disasters,
such as those caused by major hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. 
Currently, statutory limitations restrict the involuntary use of
Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps reserve units and members for
domestic emergencies.  According to DOD officials, the service
secretaries have no quick way to gain access to these reserve units,
or their equipment, if needed to respond to a domestic emergency. 

The resources needed to respond to major emergencies and disasters
often exceed the resources available at the local level.  In these
cases, the governor of each state may activate the state's Army and
Air National Guard units to provide additional assistance.  The Guard
is usually viewed as the first line of support in responding to large
emergencies and natural disasters.  However, if a state's National
Guard and other resources are not sufficient to handle a crisis, the
governor can request federal assistance through the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).  With a presidential declaration of
disaster, FEMA's federal assistance can include requests to DOD for
additional military support. 

DOD normally answers requests for military support during domestic
emergencies by tasking active duty units to respond.  Even if needed,
reserve units, other than the National Guard, normally are not
considered to be available to provide assistance because of
limitations in the call-up authorities.  Specifically, under 10
U.S.C.  12301(b), service secretaries can activate reserve forces
involuntarily for only 15 days each year.  However, because this time
includes the reservists' 2-week annual training requirement,
reservists that have completed their annual training cannot be
activated under this authority.  DOD stated that determining whether
reservists have completed their training takes time, which limits the
value of any reserve component response. 


   STATUTORY AUTHORITIES FOR USING
   RESERVISTS FOR DOMESTIC
   EMERGENCIES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1

The authorities that provide for activating reserve components for
domestic emergencies are generally the same authorities that provide
for activating reserve components for operational contingencies.  For
example, sections of title 10 of the United States Code provide
authorities for the President to order DOD reserve units and
individual members to active duty across a wide spectrum of
operations.  These authorities vary by (1) the number of reservists
who may be ordered to active duty at one time, (2) the duration of
their service, (3) the categories of reservists subject to be called,
and (4) the purpose or conditions that must prevail to warrant use of
the statutes. 

Title 10 U.S.C.  12301(a) provides that, in time of war or national
emergency declared by the Congress, the entire membership of all
reserve components or any lesser number can be called to active duty
for the duration of the war or national emergency plus 6 months. 
Although this statute normally is viewed as the call-up authority for
responding to a major threat to national security, DOD stated that it
could be used to activate reservists for a domestic emergency. 
However, it has never been used for this purpose. 

Title 10 U.S.C.  12302 provides that, in time of national emergency
declared by the President, up to 1 million members of the Ready
Reserve can be called to active duty for not more than 24 consecutive
months.  Similar to the previous authority, DOD stated that this
statute could also provide access to reservists for a domestic
emergency, although it has never been used for this purpose. 

Title 10 U.S.C.  12304 provides that, when the President determines
that it is necessary to augment the active forces for any operational
mission, up to 200,000 members of the Selected Reserve can be called
to active duty for not more than 270 days.  This is known as
Presidential Selected Reserve Call-Up (PSRC) authority.  This
provision also states that no unit or member may be ordered to active
duty under this authority to provide assistance to either the federal
government or a state in time of a serious natural or manmade
disaster, accident, or catastrophe.  Thus, this authority cannot be
used to access reservists for domestic emergencies. 

Title 10 U.S.C.  12301(b) provides that at any time a service
secretary can order any reservist to active duty for up to 15 days
each year.  This authority traditionally has been viewed as the
authority allowing the services to enforce the reservists' 2-week
annual training requirement.  However, DOD's Office of General
Counsel provided an interpretation in 1994 stating that this
authority could be used for operational missions as well as annual
active duty for training.  The legal opinion noted that this
authority could not be used if a unit or member had already completed
15 days of annual training for the calendar year.  DOD stated,
however, that this authority has not been used to call reservists
involuntarily to active duty for a domestic emergency. 

In addition to the involuntary activation of reservists under the
above conditions, 10 U.S.C.  12301(d) provides for call-up of
reservists who volunteer for active duty.  The number of volunteer
reservists called to active duty and the length of time they may be
kept on active duty generally depends upon the availability of funds
and the end-strength authorizations for the active force.  In an
April 1996 report on reserve volunteers, we noted that thousands of
reservists have volunteered for recent peace operations and have
performed well.\1

In contrast to DOD, the Secretary of Transportation has specific
statutory authority allowing involuntary call-up of Coast Guard
reservists during domestic emergencies.  Under provisions of 14
U.S.C.  712, the Secretary of Transportation can activate members of
the Coast Guard Ready Reserve involuntarily to support domestic
emergencies.  Each reservist may be required to serve up to 30 days
in any 4-month period and up to 60 days in any 2-year period. 

Coast Guard representatives stated that the Coast Guard's mission is
primarily to prevent and respond to emergencies on a daily basis. 
Since this mission continues when a major disaster occurs, the Coast
Guard Reserve call-up authority provides ready access to additional
resources needed to respond to a disaster.  According to Coast Guard
officials, Coast Guard reservists have been called involuntarily to
active duty to respond to 10 domestic emergencies since 1990,
including the Midwest floods of 1993 and Hurricanes Andrew, Marilyn,
and Fran.  For the 10 emergencies, 956 reservists were activated and
served a total of 16,218 days.  The length of service during these
emergencies ranged from 1 to 38 days and averaged about 17 days. 


--------------------
\1 Peace Operations:  Reservists Have Volunteered When Needed
(GAO/NSIAD-96-75, Apr.  26, 1996). 


   DOD RECOMMENDS EXPANDING
   AUTHORITY
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2

In its report, DOD stated that one of its goals is to maximize the
reserve component contribution to the total force and relieve active
duty units from operational tasks when feasible.  To help achieve
this goal, DOD stated that it would be useful to expand the authority
for using reserve components during domestic emergencies.  DOD's
preferred option would be to amend 10 U.S.C.  12301(b) by expanding
the time period that service secretaries could activate reservists
from 15 to 30 days. 

The DOD report stated that a service secretary could activate
reservists now under this authority but would have to ensure that
affected reservists had not performed their annual active duty
training.  According to the report, checking the annual training
status of units and members in the area of a domestic emergency would
slow the response time and therefore reduce the value of the
assistance provided by the reserves. 

DOD stated that, since 15 days are generally used by the Selected
Reserve for annual training, increasing the statute to 30 days would
provide up to 15 additional days each year for operations.  The
report stated that a 30-day call-up authority for the service
secretaries would, among other things, (1) make it clear that the
statute is for more than just training, (2) make the authority
similar to that already provided for activating members of the Coast
Guard Reserve, and (3) streamline access to local reserve components. 
Although DOD stated that 30 days would be sufficient to satisfy
immediate response requirements for domestic emergencies, DOD did not
perform any analyses to validate that this time period is
appropriate.  Also, the DOD proposal did not include a limitation on
the maximum number of reservists that could be called to active duty
under the expanded authority. 


   OUR ASSESSMENT OF THE DOD
   POSITION
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3

We discussed the DOD proposal to expand the authority from 15 to 30
days with representatives from FEMA, the Reserve Forces Policy Board,
and each of the seven reserve components.  All of the representatives
stated that they supported DOD's position.  However, some
representatives expressed concerns that were not fully discussed in
DOD's report. 

Representatives from the Army and Navy reserves stated that they
generally supported DOD's proposal but were not convinced that any
change was needed.  The representatives stated that they believed
existing authorities were adequate for reserve components to support
domestic emergencies.  They cited the use of volunteers and the
authority of reserve unit commanders to accelerate their units'
normal drill schedules to meet needs during an emergency.  Army
Reserve representatives cited numerous cases in which Army reservists
volunteered to help during domestic emergencies, including 801
reservists who volunteered for the relief efforts after Hurricane
Andrew.  The Army and Navy reserve representatives also expressed
concerns that increased authority could result in an increased use of
reservists, which, in turn, could have an adverse impact on the
reservists, their families, and their employers. 

A representative from FEMA stated that the agency supported DOD's
recommendation primarily because it added management flexibility for
cases in which reserve support might be needed for a major domestic
disaster.  However, the representative noted that the likelihood of
such a case was small.  The representative emphasized that most
emergencies are handled at the local or state level with support from
the National Guard.  Also, for larger emergencies that required
additional military support, the use of active duty units was
preferred over the use of reserve units because active units normally
can respond more quickly. 

In our June 1993 report on DOD's support for Hurricanes Andrew and
Iniki and Typhoon Omar, we noted that the availability of DOD forces
to respond to domestic emergencies is largely dependent on what else
is going on in the world.\2 A major conflict abroad would limit the
type and quantity of support that active forces could provide during
a domestic disaster.  As a result, we concluded that expanding the
authority to provide easier access to reserve forces would provide
additional backup resources if needed to respond to major disasters. 

We continue to believe that it would be useful to expand the
authority to involuntarily activate reservists for domestic
emergencies, and we therefore agree with the intent of DOD's
recommendation.  However, we also agree with Army and Navy reserve
representatives that expanded authority increases the risk that
reservists could be activated more frequently, which could have
adverse impacts on reservists and their families and employers.  To
help mitigate this risk, a limitation could be placed on the number
of personnel that could be activated.  For example, an expanded
authority could limit such activations to a number that DOD validates
as the maximum needed to respond to most emergencies.  For
emergencies that require access to a greater number of reservists,
the President already has existing authority to declare a national
emergency, which would provide access to 1 million members of the
Ready Reserve. 


--------------------
\2 Disaster Assistance:  DOD's Support for Hurricanes Andrew and
Iniki and Typhoon Omar (GAO/NSIAD-93-180, June 18, 1993). 


PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS TO
IMPROVE RESERVE COMPONENT RESPONSE
TO DOMESTIC EMERGENCIES
========================================================== Appendix II

In its report, DOD was required to address recommendations from a
1995 RAND study on the state and federal missions of the National
Guard.\1 With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold
War, and the adoption of a national military strategy focused on
regional conflicts, DOD developed plans to downsize military forces,
both active and reserve, including the National Guard.  Plans to
downsize the National Guard in view of its state domestic missions
created concerns among the governors and in the Congress. 

One result of this concern was congressional direction that DOD
conduct a study to assess the ability of a smaller National Guard to
meet both state and federal mission requirements.  RAND performed the
study for DOD.  The study included four recommendations to assist
states during major emergencies and disasters, especially during
times when National Guard units could be faced with federal and state
missions simultaneously. 


--------------------
\1 Assessing the State and Federal Missions of the National Guard,
National Defense Research Institute, RAND, 1995. 


   NEED FOR EXPANDED AUTHORITY TO
   USE RESERVES IN DOMESTIC
   EMERGENCIES
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:1

The first RAND recommendation stated that federal law should be
clarified and amended to authorize presidential call-up of federal
reserves of all military services during domestic emergencies and
disasters without any time constraint.  Although National Guard
forces are available to respond to domestic emergencies and
disasters, access to the other DOD reserve forces, as discussed in
appendix I, is limited by statute.  RAND concluded that, in times of
peak demand, greater access to reserve forces for domestic use would
be beneficial and cost-effective. 

In its report, DOD stated that the RAND recommendation was to amend
PSRC authority under 10 U.S.C.  12304 to allow use of reserves in
domestic emergencies.  DOD stated that it did not concur with the
recommendation because the President has several other authorities at
his disposal that allow access to reserve forces.  For example, DOD
noted that, in the event of a truly major disaster, the President
could declare a state of national emergency and gain access to 1
million reservists under 10 U.S.C.  12302.  Representatives from all
of the reserve components agreed with DOD's position. 

We believe that the DOD response to the RAND recommendation is
misleading because of DOD's interpretation of the recommendation. 
Although the recommendation calls for expanded presidential
authority, it does not specifically call for expanded PSRC authority. 
RAND representatives told us that the intent of the recommendation
was to ensure that the federal government has access to all of its
resources if needed to respond to a domestic emergency.  The intent
was not to specify which statutory authority should be changed.  The
RAND representatives also stated that DOD's proposal to expand the
service secretaries' call-up authority from 15 to 30 days generally
meets the intent of the recommendation, since the service secretaries
are under the President's authority.  However, they said that the
30-day limit could be insufficient for some domestic emergencies. 

We agree that DOD's proposed expansion to a 30-day call-up authority
generally meets the intent of the RAND recommendation.  As stated
previously, however, we believe that having a time limit, as well as
a total personnel limit, on the expanded authority provides important
safeguards for reservists and their families and employers. 


   NEED FOR A NATIONAL COMPACT FOR
   SHARING RESOURCES
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:2

The second RAND recommendation stated that DOD should develop and
support the establishment of an appropriate national-level compact
for interstate sharing of resources, including the domestic
capabilities of the state National Guards, during emergencies and
disasters.  RAND noted that peak state demands for disaster
assistance can require assets and capabilities that exceed the
available state supply.  Compacts and mutual support agreements could
help ensure access to added personnel and equipment resources needed
during emergencies.  This type of support structure could also
provide increased state access to scarce or special capabilities
otherwise not available to the states. 

The RAND study noted that several state compacts or mutual sharing
agreements already existed.  For example, during the Midwest floods
of 1993, the Texas National Guard provided CH-47 helicopter support
to Iowa because Iowa and its Guard lacked the capabilities this
aircraft provided.  However, RAND concluded that a national-level
compact would be preferable over state or regional compacts.  A
national compact would (1) ensure universal access for special
capabilities, (2) provide equal access to other state resources, and
(3) eliminate the establishment of unnecessary regional coordinating
organizations. 

Since issuance of the RAND report, the Congress already has taken
action to help implement this recommendation.  In October 1996, the
Congress passed House Joint Resolution 193 (P.L.  104-321), which
provided congressional consent to the Emergency Management Assistance
Compact sponsored by the Southern Governors' Association.  The
compact provides for mutual assistance in managing emergency
disasters among the states entering into the compact.  The compact
also clarified several cost and liability questions associated with
the assets of one state being used to provide assistance in another
state.  Further, the compact provides a framework to become a
national compact because other states can join it.  The President
signed the resolution on October 19, 1996. 

In its report, DOD noted that the RAND recommendation is already
being implemented and that DOD supported the Emergency Management
Assistance Compact.  Representatives we interviewed from all of the
reserve components agreed with DOD's position.  RAND representatives
also stated that they agreed that the compact provides a basis for
implementing their recommendation. 

We believe that DOD's response was appropriate. 


   NEED TO CREATE CONTINGENCY
   STOCKS TO SUPPORT DISASTERS
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:3

The third RAND recommendation stated that federal-level contingency
stocks should be created to support the National Guard during
domestic disasters.  RAND noted that contingency stocks are available
to support the National Guard during civil disturbances.  However,
contingency stocks to support other domestic emergencies and
disasters did not exist.  RAND suggested that DOD, by coordinating
with FEMA, could identify and provide standing stockpiles of
equipment and items, such as emergency lighting, cots, blankets, and
tents, to assist National Guard responses to domestic emergencies. 

In its report, DOD stated it agreed that contingency stocks for
domestic emergencies constitute a worthwhile and beneficial asset. 
DOD supported the continuation of the National Guard sites that stock
items to support the military during civil disturbance missions.  DOD
also noted that FEMA has three regional sites in Georgia, Texas, and
California that stock items needed during domestic disasters. 
Because FEMA already has these sites, DOD stated that additional DOD
stockpiles were not needed. 

Representatives we interviewed from all of the reserve components
agreed with DOD's position.  FEMA also supported DOD's position. 
FEMA stated that its logistics support centers are strategically
located and stock critical items that states most often ask the
federal government to provide during emergencies and disasters. 
Also, the centers' resources are available to the National Guard
during declared emergencies and disasters.  RAND representatives
stated that FEMA's centers were established after the RAND study was
completed and that the centers appear to fulfill the intent of the
RAND recommendation. 

We believe that DOD's response was appropriate. 


   NEED FOR SUPPORT FOR
   FEDERAL-STATE DISASTER PLANNING
   EXERCISES
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:4

The fourth RAND recommendation stated that federal funding and
regulatory support should be provided for federal-state disaster
emergency response planning exercises.  RAND reported that
federal-state exercises were beneficial in assessing plans for
integrating the resources of all involved agencies prior to an actual
disaster.  However, certain funding and regulatory limitations
hindered participation of key National Guard planners in
federal-state emergency response planning exercises largely because
such exercises were not considered to be related to military
functions. 

In its report, DOD stated that, although it agreed that a civil
exercise program is important, funding for such exercises should come
through channels other than DOD.  DOD also stated that the exercise
planning and funding process is a state responsibility and the issue
should be addressed by the states in conjunction with FEMA.  DOD did
not address the matter of regulatory support or state whether any
regulatory changes were needed to foster Guard participation in
federal-state emergency response planning exercises. 

Representatives we interviewed from the reserve components generally
agreed with DOD's position.  Also, Army National Guard
representatives noted that, after the RAND report was issued, the
Congress amended
32 U.S.C.  503(a) to allow the National Guard to participate with the
Army or the Air Force in disaster and emergency response training and
exercises.\2 These representatives stated they knew of no existing
regulatory limitations that restricted Army National Guard
participation in federal-state emergency response exercises. 

A FEMA representative also agreed with DOD's position, stating that
planning for and performing emergency response exercises is a state
and local function.  In this regard, he stated that FEMA provides
annual grants to each state to plan and prepare for disasters. 
According to this representative, many states fund their own
emergency response exercises and usually invite federal agencies to
participate. 

Because of the reserve components' and FEMA's concurrence with DOD's
position and the absence of specific examples of regulatory
limitations on reserve components' participation in federal-state
emergency planning exercises, we believe that DOD's response was
appropriate. 


--------------------
\2 See section 517 of the National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 1996, Public Law 104-106, February 10, 1996. 


ADEQUACY OF STATUTORY AUTHORITIES
FOR ACTIVATING RESERVE COMPONENTS
========================================================= Appendix III

DOD was required to assess the adequacy of the statutory authorities
for activating reservists for current and future missions.  The
adequacy of statutory authorities for accessing reserve components
has been a subject of concern over the past several years as the role
of reserve forces has expanded.  For the most part, the laws and
policies providing access to the reserves were established during the
Cold War when reserve forces were mainly designed to expand active
duty forces to defeat a global threat from the Soviet Union.  With
the collapse of the Soviet Union, continued reliance on reserve
components during major regional conflicts, and increased use of
reservists during peacetime operations and in some domestic
emergencies, attention has focused on whether the existing access
authorities need to be changed. 


   PREVIOUS ACCESSIBILITY REPORTS
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:1

In response to the changing military strategy after the Cold War, DOD
conducted a study in 1994 on how to improve access to the reserve
components.  DOD issued a report in March 1994 that recommended
several actions to improve accessibility, including the following: 

  -- Seek legislative change in PSRC authority to increase the
     maximum duration of active duty time from 180 to 360 days. 

  -- Seek legislative change to provide the Secretary of Defense
     authority to activate 25,000 members of the Selected Reserve to
     support time-sensitive missions associated with mobilization
     while allowing the President time to determine whether greater
     numbers of reservists should be ordered to active duty under
     existing authorities. 

  -- Use existing authorities within DOD to provide involuntary
     access under PSRC to individuals currently assigned to the
     Individual Ready Reserve.\1 These reservists would be used to
     fill vacancies in early deploying units.  One option for
     achieving this access would be to create a new reservist
     category by changing future enlistment contracts and officer
     agreements to require service in this category for a period of
     time after release from active duty. 

On the basis of these recommendations, DOD requested that the
Congress make its proposed legislative changes and directed the Army
to prepare an implementation proposal for the new reserve category. 
The Congress approved an extension of the duration of a PSRC call-up
to 270 days, rather than the 360 requested by DOD.\2

According to DOD, the Congress did not approve implementation of
call-up authority for the 25,000 reservists largely because of
concern that not enough attention had been given to the possible
effects on reservists, their families, and their employers.  Instead,
through section 511 of the National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 1995, the Congress directed DOD to prepare a separate
report on the desirability of increasing the President's authority to
call reservists involuntarily to active duty. 

As a result of this direction, DOD studied the matter and in June
1996 issued a report that included the following points: 

  -- DOD continued to report a need for early access to some
     reservists to support certain crises prior to an expected PSRC. 
     One option to achieve this access continued to be a legislative
     change to provide the Secretary of Defense authority to activate
     25,000 reservists.  However, since the Congress had rejected
     this proposal, DOD reported that instead it would expedite
     access to critical reserve forces by (1) streamlining its
     procedures for requesting PSRC and (2) using existing authority
     to order members of the Selected Reserve to active duty for up
     to
     15 days--provided these members had not already performed their
     annual reserve training. 

  -- DOD continued to report a need to obtain access to members in
     the Individual Ready Reserve to fill vacancies in early
     deploying units during a PSRC call-up.  Rather than using
     existing authorities to create a new category of reservists as
     proposed in the 1994 report, DOD reported that it would propose
     legislation to create a new subcategory of volunteers within the
     Individual Ready Reserve that would be subject to involuntary
     call-up under PSRC. 

  -- DOD reported that no other changes were needed in legislative
     authority to access reserve forces for domestic emergencies or
     operational contingencies. 

The Congress did not pass the proposed legislation for a new
subcategory of reservists in the Individual Ready Reserve.  However,
because of continued concern over the adequacy of reserve
accessibility, the Congress mandated a new DOD study of accessibility
issues--the subject of this report. 


--------------------
\1 The Individual Ready Reserve is a category of non-drilling
reservists who have previous military experience.  PSRC authority
provided by 10 U.S.C.  12304 does not include call-up of reservists
in the Individual Ready Reserve. 

\2 See section 511(a)(1) of Public Law 103-337, Oct.  5, 1995. 


   DOD RECOMMENDS EXPANDING
   AUTHORITY
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:2

In its current report, DOD stated that the present system of reserve
call-up authorities are sufficient and will be adequate to implement
the national security strategy into the 21st century.  DOD stated
that the three-tiered system of statutory authorities (10 U.S.C. 
12301, 12302, and 12304) give the President a full menu of options
with inherent controls to satisfy the American people.  Further,
these authorities contain sufficient flexibility to ensure that the
forces required are available without mission-inhibiting constraints. 

Despite this endorsement, DOD stated that two shortcomings in the
statutory authorities need to be addressed.  The first is the lack of
authority to involuntarily activate reservists to perform critical
preparation tasks prior to an expected PSRC declaration--the same
issue discussed in the two prior DOD accessibility reports.  DOD
referred to this need as the "prime the pump" requirement and stated
that it has revalidated the need to activate 25,000 reservists for
these tasks.  DOD also stated that its recommendation to expand the
service secretaries' call-up authority under 10 U.S.C.  12301(b) from
15 to 30 days for domestic emergencies would also provide the
authority needed for the pre-PSRC mission.  DOD did not recommend
limiting this expanded authority to 25,000 reservists. 

The second shortcoming noted in the DOD report is the lack of
authority to activate selected members in the Individual Ready
Reserve when a PSRC is authorized.  According to DOD, since most Army
units are not maintained at full strength during peacetime, it needs
individual replacements to bring both active and reserve units to
wartime strength.  Existing authority allows access to the Individual
Ready Reserve only after a congressional or presidential declaration
of national emergency. 

To provide a mechanism to access Individual Ready Reserve members
under a PSRC, DOD recommended an amendment to 10 U.S.C.  12304 to
accommodate its proposed Voluntary Early Access of Ready Reserves
Program.  Under the proposed program, a new subcategory in the
Individual Ready Reserve would be created that consisted of
volunteers.  Upon PSRC authorization, DOD could access up to 30,000
members of this subcategory to bring units up to their wartime
strength.  The proposed Voluntary Early Access of Ready Reserves
Program is derived from similar proposals discussed in the two prior
DOD accessibility reports. 


   OUR ASSESSMENT OF THE DOD
   POSITION
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:3

We discussed with representatives from the Reserve Forces Policy
Board and the seven reserve components the DOD position that it needs
access to 25,000 reservists prior to an expected PSRC.  All of the
representatives stated that they supported the DOD position. 
However, some representatives expressed concerns that were not fully
discussed in the DOD report.  For example, Army National Guard, Army
Reserve, and Naval Reserve representatives stated that expanded
authority to allow involuntary call-up of reservists for up to 30
days prior to an expected PSRC could result in unnecessary
activations.  Unnecessary activations could, in turn, waste funds and
have an adverse impact on reserve component retention.  A Naval
Reserve representative noted that, under the existing authority,
reservists, their families, and their employers are somewhat assured
that any call-ups will be truly warranted because of the significant
effort that goes into the decision process leading to a PSRC
declaration. 

Army and Navy reserve representatives also noted that an expanded
authority could be viewed as an extension of the PSRC call-up
authority from 270 to 300 days because reservists could be activated
for 30 days prior to a PSRC and then for 270 days after PSRC is
authorized.  They stated that the increased risk of call-ups and the
potential for a longer active duty time period could have adverse
impacts on reservists and their families and employers. 

The Reserve Forces Policy Board agrees with the DOD position that
access to critical reserve capabilities is needed prior to an
involuntary activation.  However, the Board believes that the
statutory authority should be increased to 45 days instead of 30 days
as proposed by DOD.  Board representatives noted that the activities
required to perform the prime the pump mission would require 30 days. 
To provide for this time plus
15 days of annual training, the Board believes that 45 days is more
appropriate than the 30 days DOD recommended.  In its report, DOD did
not state the time period required to complete the pre-PSRC tasks or
note why 30 days was recommended as the appropriate time period. 

We did not independently validate DOD's stated need for 25,000
reservists to prepare for an involuntary activation.  However, there
appeared to be agreement within DOD that this need exists.  One way
to help mitigate concerns that an expanded authority could have
adverse impacts on reservists would be to have an expanded authority
that limited the number of personnel that could be activated to the
25,000 personnel identified by DOD.  Also, it appears that DOD needs
to validate the time period required to perform the prime the pump
mission to ensure that its proposed 30-day period is sufficient. 

We also discussed with representatives from the Reserve Forces Policy
Board and the seven reserve components the DOD position that it needs
access to Individual Ready Reserve members under PSRC.  All of the
representatives stated that they supported the DOD position. 
However, some representatives expressed concerns that were not fully
discussed in the DOD report.  For example, several reserve component
representatives stated that only the Army has a need to access
Individual Ready Reserve members.  For the most part, the Army's
mission is personnel intensive.  As such, it is less costly for the
Army to rely on Individual Ready Reserve members to bring units up to
wartime strength because these members do not regularly drill and do
not get paid unless activated.  A Marine Corps reserve representative
expressed concern that the Army's practice of relying on Individual
Ready Reserve members could be forced on the other reserve
components.  The concern is that these reservists might not have the
skills needed when called up because they do not regularly drill or
otherwise train.  In such cases, a unit's readiness could be
affected. 

We did not independently validate DOD's need to access Individual
Ready Reserve members during a PSRC.  However, we noted that there
appeared to be agreement within DOD that this need exists.  Also, as
currently envisioned, only volunteers would be included in the
Individual Ready Reserve subcategory that would be subject to
activation under PSRC. 


MITIGATING THE EFFECTS OF FREQUENT
MOBILIZATIONS
========================================================== Appendix IV

Calling reserve component members to active duty can cause major
disruptions in the lives of the reservists, their families, their
employers, and in some cases their employees.  According to DOD
officials, attention must be given to ensure that reservists called
to active duty are released as soon as possible and that appropriate
programs exist to minimize the impacts from frequent mobilizations. 
Failure to do these actions can have an adverse impact on the ability
of the reserve components to recruit and retain the quantity and
quality of people needed to achieve desired readiness levels. 

DOD was required to address (1) procedures for releasing reservists
from active duty, (2) ways to minimize the impact of frequent
call-ups on reserve component recruitment and retention, and (3)
other matters related to the needs of reservists and their employers. 


   RELEASING RESERVISTS FROM
   ACTIVE DUTY
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix IV:1

According to DOD officials, many reservists involuntarily activated
for Operation Desert Storm believed that they were retained on active
duty for a longer period than was necessary.  Some reservists and
others perceived that some reserve component units unnecessarily
remained overseas after active duty units had returned home.  Such
perceptions created a concern that some reservists had not been used
as intended under DOD policy. 

In its report, DOD stated that DOD's policy is to use reserve
component forces only during the most essential portions of an
operation.  DOD stated that reserve component forces would normally
be deployed into an area after active component forces and would be
first in line for return and release from active duty at the
conclusion of an operation.  DOD also noted that its policy for
releasing reservists from active duty was clarified and published on
July 1, 1995, in DOD Directive 1235.10, "Activation, Mobilization,
and Demobilization of the Ready Reserve."

DOD Directive 1235.10 states that reservists ordered involuntarily to
active duty will be retained on active duty for no longer than
absolutely necessary.  These reservists will receive priority for
redeployment from the area of operations over active component units
and be released from active duty as expeditiously as possible,
consistent with operational requirements.  The policy recognizes that
the only capability to perform certain functions, such as the Army's
water supply battalions, resides in the reserve components.  In such
cases, some reserve units may be required to be deployed for a longer
period than some active duty units. 

DOD concluded that its policy and procedures for releasing reservists
called to active duty are sufficient and that no additional
directives or statutory provisions are needed at this time. 
Representatives we interviewed from the Reserve Forces Policy Board
and the seven reserve components agreed with DOD's position. 

Because DOD has given attention to this issue, as evidenced by
issuance of its 1995 directive, and because we found no evidence that
this matter continues to be a major concern, we believe that DOD's
response was appropriate. 


   MINIMIZING IMPACTS OF FREQUENT
   MOBILIZATIONS ON RECRUITMENT
   AND RETENTION
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix IV:2

To improve responsiveness and help keep recruitment and retention
levels at acceptable levels, several initiatives have been
implemented over the past several years.  These initiatives attempted
to improve the support provided to reserve component members and
their families and help mitigate the impacts from active duty
service. 

One key initiative was the Uniform Services Employment and
Reemployment Rights Act (P.L.  103-353), signed into law in October
1994.  This act clarified and strengthened the employment and
reemployment rights of military service members.  The act supports
the premise that, upon completion of a period of military service,
returning service members are to be reinstated to their civilian jobs
without loss of seniority, status, or pay.  In its report, DOD noted
that the act does not protect approximately 2,000 reservists employed
abroad by foreign companies.  DOD stated that it is working with
other U.S.  government departments and organizations to extend as
much protection as possible in these cases.  Also, DOD stated that it
is considering proposing changes to the act that would extend
coverage to reservists employed overseas by U.S.  employers. 

The DOD report did not discuss several other recent initiatives that
were designed to help reservists and have a positive impact on
reserve component recruitment and retention.  For example, at the
direction of the Congress, DOD implemented the Ready Reserve
Mobilization Income Insurance Program in October 1996.  This
self-funded, voluntary program was intended to protect reservists
against loss of income during activation.  The program is currently
under review because of questions concerning the program's financial
and actuarial soundness. 

In its June 1996 accessibility report, DOD noted another initiative
that had strengthened reserve component family support programs.  DOD
issued an instruction in September 1994 that required all reserve
components to ensure that reservists and their families are
adequately informed of their benefits and entitlements and prepared
in the event of mobilization.  The June 1996 accessibility report
also noted that the National Committee for Employer Support to the
Guard and Reserve had improved its outreach program to employer
groups, its ombudsman program, and mechanisms to gather employer
views. 

In its report, DOD stated that reserve component accession rates were
steady over the last several years with neither a clear increase nor
decline.  DOD stated that present evidence seemed to indicate that
increasing the use of reserve members was not having an adverse
effect on reservists' willingness to participate.  However, DOD noted
that RAND was conducting a major study for DOD to assess the impact
of frequent mobilization on recruiting and retention.  Results from
the study, due in September 1997, should provide DOD with additional
information to assess the need for future initiatives in this area. 
Representatives we interviewed from the Reserve Forces Policy Board
and the seven reserve components agreed with DOD's position. 

Although the DOD report did not fully discuss recent initiatives
associated with reserve component recruiting and retention, we
believe that DOD's response was appropriate. 


   OTHER MATTERS RELATED TO THE
   NEEDS OF RESERVISTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix IV:3

In its report, DOD noted that volunteerism should be the mode of
choice for accessing reserve component capabilities because of its
minimal impact on reservists and the civilian community.  According
to DOD, the most important factor affecting the willingness of
reservists to volunteer for active duty is the attitude of their
families and civilian employers.  Reservists say they are more likely
to volunteer if their spouses and employers are supportive and
capable of carrying on without them while they are gone. 

DOD reported that recent surveys indicated that employers generally
supported reserve component involvement in major regional conflicts. 
The surveys showed that employers were less likely to support their
employees' participation in other operations, such as humanitarian or
peacekeeping missions.  However, since Operation Joint Endeavor/Joint
Guard began in Bosnia in December 1995, there has not been a marked
increase in complaints filed through ombudsman channels with the
National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. 

DOD stated that the need still exists to create employer incentives
that will build support for their reservist employees to volunteer
for active duty when needed.  DOD identified the following areas as
potential directions to explore to increase support for voluntary
reserve active duty: 

  -- Tax breaks for employers of reservists.  DOD stated that this
     issue was being addressed in a separate report, as required by
     section 1232 of the National Defense Authorization Act for
     Fiscal Year 1997. 

  -- Low-cost loans to reservists' small businesses.  DOD stated that
     this issue was being addressed in a separate report, as required
     by section 1234 of the National Defense Authorization Act for
     Fiscal Year 1997. 

  -- Dental and medical insurance for reservists and their families. 

  -- Preferential consideration to employers of reservists for
     government contracts. 

We discussed DOD's position with representatives from the seven
reserve components and the National Committee for Employer Support of
the Guard and Reserve.  The National Committee representatives stated
that they agreed with DOD that employers continued to be generally
supportive of their reservist employees.  They noted the results from
a 1996 Air Force Reserve employer survey that included 1,318
responses.  The survey found that (1) 62 to 64 percent of the
employers believed reservists should serve as long as necessary
during domestic emergencies, (2) 57 percent of the employers believed
reservists should serve as long as necessary during regional
conflicts, and (3) absences of 14 to 30 days were tolerable for the
majority of employers. 

The National Committee representatives also stated that they agreed
with the DOD position that additional employer incentives are still
needed to continue employer support for the Guard and reserves. 
Representatives from the reserve components also agreed with the DOD
position. 

We believe that DOD's response to this matter was appropriate. 


SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
=========================================================== Appendix V

Our work focused at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at the
headquarters level of the military services and the reserve
components, including the Coast Guard reserve.  We also performed our
work at FEMA, the Reserve Forces Policy Board, the National Committee
for Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve, RAND, the National
Academy of Public Administration, the National Guard Association of
the United States, and the Reserve Officers Association of the United
States.  At each location, we interviewed responsible agency
personnel and reviewed applicable policies, procedures, and
documents. 

To explore the issues addressed in DOD's report, we (1) researched
the matters identified in the legislation, (2) reviewed the current
statutes related to reserve component call-up authority, (3) reviewed
reserve component recruitment and retention statistics, (4) obtained
information on recent and planned DOD initiatives designed to support
reservists and mitigate the impacts from frequent mobilizations, (5)
discussed the RAND study recommendations with cognizant officials
from RAND, and (6) interviewed reserve component officials and other
knowledgeable representatives to obtain their views of the issues
discussed in the DOD report. 

To assess the adequacy and completeness of DOD's report and its
recommendations, we (1) reviewed the methodology and criteria used to
develop the report's findings and recommendations, (2) reviewed the
DOD report to determine whether all of the matters required by the
legislation were addressed in a complete and adequate manner, (3)
considered whether the views of representatives from the seven
reserve components and other interested organizations concurred with
the report and its recommendations, and (4) determined whether the
Reserve Forces Policy Board participated in report development as
required by the legislation. 

We conducted our review between October 1996 and March 1997 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix VI
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
=========================================================== Appendix V


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================= Appendix VII

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Sharon A.  Cekala, Associate Director
Valeria G.  Gist, Assistant Director

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL

Herbert I.  Dunn, Senior Attorney

NORFOLK FIELD OFFICE

Gary W.  Phillips, Evaluator-in-Charge
James E.  Ellis, Senior Evaluator

*** End of document. ***




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