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(25) Section 6374 is amended by striking out the words “not restricted in performance of duty” in the catchline and the words “not restricted in the performance of duty" in the text.
(26) Section 6375 is repealed.
(27) Section 6376 is amended by striking out the words “not restricted in performance of duty" after the word "colonels” in the catchline and the words “not restricted in the performance of duty” in the first sentence of the text before the words “serving in the grade of colonel”. (28) Section 6377 is amended
(A) by striking out the words “; Regular Marine Corps, colonels designated for supply duty” in the catchline;
(B) by striking out the words “and each officer designated for supply duty serving in the grade of colonel on the active list of the Marine Corps” in subsection (a); and
(C) by striking out, in subsection (e), the words "or colonel in the Marine Corps” in the first and second sentences and the words “or colonel”
in the second sentence. (29) Section 6378 is amended
(A) by striking out the words “; Regular Marine Corps, colonels designated for supply duty” in the catchline;
(B) by inserting the word "and" after the words "in any staff corps," in the first sentence of subsection (a) and by striking out the words “, and each officer designated for supply duty serving in the grade of colonel on the active list of the Marine Corps” in that sentence;
(C) by striking out the word “, colonel,” in the last sentence of subsection (a); and
(D) by striking out clause (8) in subsection (b). (30) The analysis of chapter 573 is amended by striking out the following items: “6374. Regular Marine Corps; brigadier generals not restricted in performance of duty:
retirement for failures of selection for promotion. “6375. Regular Marine Corps ; brigadier generals designated for supply duty : retention
on active list ; retirement. "6376. Regular Navy, line captains not restricted in performance of duty ; Regular Marine
Corps. colonels not restricted in performance of duty : retirement for length of
service. "6377. Regular Navy, line captains restricted in performance of duty, staff corps captains,
and Nurse Corps commanders : Regular Marine Corps, colonels designated for
supply duty: retirement for length of service or for age. "6378. Regular Navy, line captains restricted in performance of duty, staff corps captains,
and Nurse Corps commanders ; Regular Marine Corps, colonels designated for
supply duty : continuation on active list ; retirement." and inserting the following items in place thereof: “6374. Regular Marine Corps ; brigadier generals: retirement for failures of selection for
promotion. “6376. Regular Navy, line captains not restr ted in performance of duty ; Regular erine
Corps, colonels : retirement for length of service. “6377. Regular Navy. line captains restricted in performance of duty, staff corps captains,
and Nurse Corps commanders : retirement for length of service or for age. “6378. Regular Navy, line captains restricted in performance of duty, staff corps captains,
and Nurse Corps commanders : continuation on active list; retirement.” Passed the House of Representatives May 15, 1961. Attest:
RALPH R. ROBERTS, Clerk. Chairman RUSSELL. General Shoup, we are glad to have you before the committee.
You may proceed with your statement.
STATEMENT OF GEN. DAVID M. SHOUP, COMMANDANT, U.S. MARINE
General SHOUP. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee; the single purpose of H.R. 4328 is to improve the effectiveness of the Marine Corps.
It will do so by removing the restricted supply duty officer designation which now applies to about 400 of our officers. The supply duty officer concept is one which has outlived its usefulness in the Marine Corps.
We have moved beyond the point where a small group of officers restricted in numbers and range of assignments can adequately meet the needs of the corps in supply matters.
It is a situation which has come to pass in the Marine Corps because supply matters cannot be isolated and set apart in a neat little compartment sufficient unto themselves. Instead, we are right in the middle of an era when the related fields of sound fiscal management and logistics planning and operations have become so merged with this thing called supply that the restrictive supply duty designation has become unrealistic and artificial.
The ever-increasing responsibilities we place upon our commanding officers, at all levels, for sound fiscal, supply, and logistics performance provide one practical illustration of how outdated our present arrangement has become.
The obsolescence of our SDO system has been hastened during the past 7 or 8 years by our procedure of placing personal responsibility upon the commander for strict management of his command's fiscal affairs. To successfully meet this requirement, he must be knowledgeable and competent in both supply and fiscal matters, for neither can be dealt with separate and apart from the other.
I have had the opportunity in recent years as Fiscal Director of the Marine Corps, a division commander in the United States and Far East, and commander of one of our major bases, to watch the effect which the restrictive nature of our present SDO system has on our efforts to increase the peacetime efficiency and combat effectiveness of our total service support field-supply management, fiscal management, logistic functioning.
The importance of these matters is so great in the successful accomplishment of the missions of the corps that we must broaden the base of our competence in dealing with them. In consonance with the provisions of present supply duty officer legislation, approximately 400 officers are designated for duty with the supply field, which contains some 1,340 billets. Thus, only about 30 percent of the supply billets are filled by supply duty officers. These officers are also denied the experience and training in command billets considered necessary for maximum effectiveness throughout their Marine Corps careers. In an already small officer corps, these restrictions seriously limit our endeavor to achieve the broad, overall level of competence we must have in the service support functions.
The bill before you contains provisions to protect the career opportunities of those officers below the rank of colonel now serving under the SDO legislation. The promotion opportunities of SDO colonels and general grade officers remain substantially unchanged. Existing law provides that the Secretary of the Navy may direct selection boards to select officers with specific qualifications for promotion to general officer grades. This feature will be used to select former ŠDO colonels and general grade officers for promotion to meet the needs of the Marine Corps. The proposed bill also provides that the officer presently serving as Quartermaster General under a Presidential appointment of January 1, 1960, will serve out his present appointment. I will be glad to discuss these provisions fully should you have questions concerning them.
Enactment of this proposed bill will have no effect on the budgetary requirements of the Marine Corps.
The bill is based on my firm belief that the interrelated problems of supply, fiscal management, and logistic support in all their aspects are of such importance to the corps that they must have the emphasis this bill will permit us to give them.
Mr. Chairman, this is the end of my prepared statement.
Chairman RUSSELL. General Shoup, the trend in our Armed Forces today is very decidedly in the direction of more specialization rather than less specialization.
This bill seems to be directed at less specialization in the Marine Corps, at least since the supply duties of the officers affected would have to be discharged by unrestricted officers.
Would abolishing this specialized category contribute to the efficiency of the Marine Corps
General SHOUP. As I pointed out, we have 1,340 supply duty billets in the Marine Corps right today and only 400 of them are filled by these officers in the SDO category. That, in itself, is ample proof that unrestricted officers can perform all of the duties that are commonly related to those in the SDO category today.
In addition, I think it is proper to say that we have a good example of how a young service, more modern, let us say, in terms of years of age, even though they were a splinter from an older service, never started out with any such thing as an SDO category.
The Air Force does not have it.
The specialization that you talk about, for example, we have electronics officers, we send people to schools, we have all of the specialization we need.
We do not propose that we will discontinue sending officers to the schools that are related to efficient supply management. We will continue to send such officers as we need them to those schools.
However, they can do other duties.
For example, we have any number of unrestricted officers today doing supply duty. We also have today supply-duty-only category officers who have tremendous capabilities to do other things in this Marine Corps, but they are restricted to this kind of duty.
And, further, they do not have the opportunity under the provisions that are operating today to get the broad command experience.
For example, there is no better way to learn the requirements of supply in our small organization, which is devoted mostly to combat organization, than to get out and command a combat organization and understand why, understand what the supply is all about.
Now, these supply-duty-only officers are restricted in this manner. They can by a stretch of the imagination command maybe a service battalion. I have given SDO officers command of the service regiment. But those are not the categories of duties in which the initial SDO category was intended for.
Chairman RUSSELL. Would a man holding a commission as brigadier general in the Supply Corps be qualified to take over command of a regimental combat team immediately and go ahead with it?
General Shoup. He will be, if he comes up through the unrestricted basis.
And right today, for example, we have two fine brigadiers—I speak of two—they are commanding our big supply depots. Either one of those officers has almost a tailored background to be put in command
of our big stations like Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune, but I cannot do it under this setup that we have.
Chairman RUSSELL. In other words, it is sometimes a handicap to an officer?
General SHOUP. Yes, sir.
Well, for example, right now I am quite confident, were this legislation in effect, that our selection board sitting today would certainly select one or both of these two officers as a major general. But they will be deprived of that opportunity.
Further, it is interesting to note that this is one of the features of it:
That the people in the SDO category in one sense are not getting equal treatment with the others, and in another sense they are getting restricted protection. For example, at this point we have some colonels in the Marine Corps because of some of the restrictions that are presently on SDO; and there is no way except an act of God, which we do not like to call upon in this kind of predicament, to get these people out unless they have 35 years of service.
Well, now, what does that do?
We have a situation now, for example, the last SDO officer who waited about a year to get promoted will be with us until 1972, and the only chance that he could possibly have to make major general is Quartermaster General, and there is only one of those under the present setup.
Now, the colonels below these people, we have today three who do not have to get out until 1965. That means between now and 1965, again, barring acts of God, there is no promotion opportunity whatsoever for colonels in the SDÓ.
Yet, there are colonels here that I am sure ought to be promoted, and in the course of less years than that. And then after that period, it will again be 6 years before any colonel in the SDO category can make brigadier general. I do not think that is good at all, particularly when we have officers in this category in equal percentages qualified to make these higher ranks.
In other words, we broaden the base and more of the colonels in the SDO will become brigadier, and some of the brigadiers in SDO will become major general.
Further, in the unrestricted category of brigadier general today he is coming up for selection for major general at the end of about 3 years service, and if he is passed over twice, he goes out.
No so with these people. There is no chance to select them. If, as is sometimes the case—but very seldom—there is no opportunity after 3 or 4 years to determine whether this officer should go on into the higher grade and continue service, he is guaranteed until he has 35 years service, and now they are being selected to where they have 12 years to go here before this officer most recently promoted could be relieved of duty or retired or anything else except by his own request.
Chairman RUSSELL. The answer to my original question, though, I assume, is that any of these supply officers are qualified by training and experience to assume their grade in combat and lead Marines in combat?
General SHOUP. I would not say that without equivocation. There are a number of the colonels today, just sticking with the grade of colonel, that I would have no reservation whatsoever to give an infantry regiment to. There are some I would not do it with, obviously, because they have not had the background.
Some of these officers that are in this supply area here now have had previous experience before they became SDO, in combat battalions during World War II.
Chairman RUSSELL. In the event this legislation were to pass, of course, this committee would be very much concerned to see that these supply duty officers who are serving in that capacity at the present time would have a fair chance, along with line officers and others, for promotion. There is a section, I believe 3(b), of the bill that is apparently intended to insure that that will be the case, but I want to make the record perfectly clear that in the event this bill does pass, supply duty officers would have the same percentage of selection for their first promotion opportunity as officers in the same grade who have never had such supply duty.
General SHOUP. Yes, sir.
And it will be equal or better to what it would have been if they stayed in the SDO category.
Further, the provision is such that the officer, the first time he comes up for selection after the passage of this bill, of the ranks below colonel, has this equal opportunity for selection, and then, if selected, as he goes up the grade he will average from 5 to 12 years in the unrestricted category before he again comes up for selection.
So he has between 5 to 12 years in the various ranks before he would come up for selection again, which I consider ample opportunity to get in sufficient tasks and jobs and experience that he would have again, when he came up with his contemporaries, equal opportunity for selection.
Chairman RUSSELL. It has also been suggested to me in the same connection, following that question, that some of these supply duty officers have not had
an opportunity to attend the company and field officer schools, and, therefore, have not had as much opportunity for training as line officers and those of similar rank in the line.
Do you propose to give these former supply duty officers, in the event we pass this legislation, an opportunity to attend school before they are in line for promotion ?
General SHOUP. We will certainly give every one of them an opportunity to attend the school commensurate with their rank and potential, and be selected on the same basis that others are.
Now, I would not say that we could waste the time of the school on every colonel on this list. I think we would be wasting our time.
But in the same manner that we have boards to select those who go to schools, these people will be considered on the same basis, and
assure you that any number of these officers below the rank of colonel, down in the major, captain, and lieutenant colonel categories, there will be more of them go to our schools of the type you are speaking of in the event of the passage of this legislation than there would before. There would be a goodly number more, although our schools are not devoid, Mr. Chairman-I do not want to let you think that our schools are devoid or that these people are barred from our regular schools now.
That is not true.