Defense Management:

Army Needs to Address Resource and Mission Requirements Affecting Its Training and Doctrine Command

GAO-03-214: Published: Feb 10, 2003. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2003.

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The Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) trains soldiers and develops doctrine and future warfighting concepts to fight the battles of today and tomorrow. As such, the Command has been designated as the lead in the Army's transformation from a Cold War-oriented force into a rapidly deployable and responsive force better able to meet the diverse challenges of the future. Concerns have been raised at congressional hearings about TRADOC's readiness to perform its mission, particularly within the context of Army transformation and associated funding priorities. GAO assessed the impact of budget, workload, and personnel changes, as well as ongoing transformation plans, on TRADOC's ability to perform its mission and deliver well-trained soldiers to the combat forces.

Since fiscal year 1995, while TRADOC's workload has grown as a result of new mission requirements, the number of personnel authorized to meet those requirements has declined. Also since fiscal year 1995, the Command's operation and maintenance funding increased, but TRADOC allocated these and other operations money to support its highest mission priority--training--while other areas received less emphasis. The table below depicts the number of personnel TRADOC believes are needed to perform its workload (personnel requirements), as well as the number of personnel the Army has authorized for this purpose. Unresolved differences exist between TRADOC and Army Headquarters over TRADOC's personnel requirements. Amid the increases in workload and reductions in personnel authorizations, TRADOC has met its training mission, but with difficulty. Moreover, the Command has workload backlogs in other mission areas, such as developing training materials and Army doctrine. The effect of these backlogs is illustrated in TRADOC's monthly status reports, which show that the Command assigned the lowest readiness rating to more than two-thirds of its units during fiscal year 2001 and into 2002 and attributed the low ratings primarily to the lack of personnel. Furthermore, two Army leadership panels concluded that TRADOC's training and development standards had deteriorated, and mechanisms for evaluating training and leader development programs were lacking. Several ongoing and planned Army initiatives may affect TRADOC's ability to perform its mission in the future. These include efforts to reassess TRADOC's process for determining personnel requirements and ongoing efforts to transfer forces from TRADOC and other noncombatant commands to warfighting forces. At the same time, TRADOC is losing flexibility to shift funds from one mission area to another because the Army established the Installation Management Agency to manage its facilities. TRADOC is developing a reengineering plan that Command officials believe will increase TRADOC's efficiency and improve its ability to meet mission requirements; however, the costs, benefits, performance measures, and human capital issues associated with the plan are not yet clear.

Status Legend:

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  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: To ensure that TRADOC retains sufficient resources to carry out all of its missions in an effective and efficient manner--supporting current forces as well as the transformation effort--the Secretary of the Army should direct the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) to work with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, as part of their personnel and force management oversight responsibilities, to examine TRADOC's workload requirements, the adequacy of TRADOC's resources, and TRADOC's mission performance as it finalizes plans for its reengineering efforts. In doing this, action is needed to establish performance measures to gauge progress and identify the costs and benefits associated with the reengineering effort.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: TRADOC's re-engineering plan states that it will assess all TRADOC processes to identify the processes that support TRADOC core competencies. According to the plan, once the core processes have been identified, a set of metrics for each process will be developed. According to TRADOC, the metrics will be used to guide the re-engineering effort, which will continue through fiscal year 2005. To identify the metrics, TRADOC representatives told GAO that the command is reviewing studies, organizational assessments, and recent transformation initiatives being implemented by DOD and the Joint Forces Command to ensure that the metrics are properly focused on desired outcomes. Also, as part of developing the standards and metrics, they are expected to link TRADOC into DOD's new Strategic Readiness System (SRS). As part of the overall effort, TRADOC has identified the following core processes: (1) doctrine development, (2) concept development, (3) training development, (4) training support, (5) materiel development, (6) capabilities development and integration, and (7) accession of the force. TRADOC does not expect metrics to be identified until sometime in fiscal year 2005. Update: TRADOC representatives stated that the Transformation Campaign Plan contains metrics to address GAO's recommendation. The plan was completed on November 1, 2004. According to DOD documentation the metrics in the plan have matured and TRADOC continues to monitor the metrics. TRADOC officials from the Army Capabilities and Integration Center (ARCIC) stated that they believe they have met the intent of the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that TRADOC retains sufficient resources to carry out all of its missions in an effective and efficient manner--supporting current forces as well as the transformation effort--the Secretary of the Army should direct the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) to work with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, as part of their personnel and force management oversight responsibilities, to examine TRADOC's workload requirements, the adequacy of TRADOC's resources, and TRADOC's mission performance as it finalizes plans for its reengineering efforts. In doing this, action is needed to develop a human capital plan in conjunction with TRADOC's reengineering plan that addresses issues associated with the mix and skills of civilian, military, and contractor personnel.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In response to GAO's report, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Program Integration) noted that the department supported GAO's recommendations suggesting improvements in TRADOC's re-engineering process, which included developing a human capital plan to address issues associated with the mix and skills of civilian, military, and contractor personnel. TRADOC's human resources are being reviewed as part of the Army's response to DOD's efforts to analyze military essentiality of all non-operating force positions with a view toward replacing military personnel performing commercial or non-military jobs with civilians or contractors. The effort is expected to consider career progression, rotational requirements, and personnel cost. According to representatives of the Army DCS (Plans and Operations), the effort, underway Army-wide, is subject to funding constraints and could result in workforce changes in fiscal year 2005.

    Recommendation: To ensure that TRADOC retains sufficient resources to carry out all of its missions in an effective and efficient manner--supporting current forces as well as the transformation effort--the Secretary of the Army should direct the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) to work with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, as part of their personnel and force management oversight responsibilities, to examine TRADOC's workload requirements, the adequacy of TRADOC's resources, and TRADOC's mission performance as it finalizes plans for its reengineering efforts. In doing this, action is needed to reassess TRADOC's backlog of current work and future work requirements across all mission areas to ensure that all personnel requirements are identified and validated before further reducing TRADOC's personnel authorizations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on a draft of GAO's report, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Program Integration) expressed various concerns about GAO's recommendations related to reassessing TRADOC's personnel requirements. DOD closed the recommendation without taking any action.

    Recommendation: To ensure that TRADOC retains sufficient resources to carry out all of its missions in an effective and efficient manne--supporting current forces as well as the transformation effort--the Secretary of the Army should direct the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) to work with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, as part of their personnel and force management oversight responsibilities, to examine TRADOC's workload requirements, the adequacy of TRADOC's resources, and TRADOC's mission performance as it finalizes plans for its reengineering efforts. In doing this, action is needed to develop a feedback system so TRADOC is acquiring the best information possible about the quality and relevance of the products and services it provides to its customers.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The following are in place to provide feedback on quality and relevance of products and services. HQ TRADOC Quality Assurance Office (QAO): the QAO has a web site with an on-screen feedback button that is accessible to all soldiers. In addition, training development (TD) proponents have been requested to add a feedback button on their web sites to provide soldiers and leaders the capability to give direct feedback. Regulations: feedback is a vital component of the education and the TD process used by the Army (the Systems Approach to Training (SAT)). Feedback is obtained from soldiers in operational units. It provides feedback on the quality of education and training provided and uses lessons learned for improving training. Examples of ways soldiers provide feedback into the TD process include the Job Analysis Survey Module. There is a job analysis survey module in the AUTOGEN program. TD proponents acquire information directly from soldiers in operational units, including AC, RC and NG units. External Surveys: there is a regulatory requirement that TD proponents conduct external surveys. A survey is administered to graduates and supervisors of graduates 6-12 months after graduation to obtain feedback on how well they were trained to perform the critical tasks. The survey provides opportunity to give feedback and recommendations on tasks to be trained or improved. The survey covers both resident and non-resident training. Center for Lesson Learned: another feedback mechanism is TD proponent's review of the lessons learned files maintained by the Center for Lessons Learned (CALL). Automation: long-term initiative is under development to assist TD proponents and trainers. Army Training Information Architecture (ATIA) architecture details the integration of education/training information and identifies the requirement to collect and distribute feedback. There are a variety of subsystems that support ATIA that include feed back mechanisms. They are: (1) Training and Doctrine Development Configuration (TDDC), (2) Unit Training Management Configuration (UTMC), and (3) Learning Management System (LMS). The UTMC and LMS will provide the capability to collect feedback data from soldiers in units and provide the data to TDDC for use in improving the doctrine and education/training products produced. The TDDC is to include quality control/quality assurance feedback mechanisms. The programming of the ATIA is contingent upon receipt of funds. Other feedback processes include the Strategic Readiness Review (SRS), Monthly Status Report (MSR), and Training Leader General Officer Steering Committee (TL GOSC), which are worked in conjunction with external leads from HQDA G3 and G1.

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