Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO monitored and evaluated
the Department of Defense's (DOD) congressionally mandated study of
officer requirements. GAO found that the DOD study sought to
describe the: (1) nature and importance of the growth in the number
of commissioned officers; (2) force and impact of officer
reductions scheduled for fiscal years (FY) 1988 through 1990; and
(3) rigor and validity of the services' manpower requirements
determination processes. GAO also found that the DOD study: (1)
explained, rather than validated, about 77 percent of the growth in
officer strengthen during FY 1980 through 1986; (2) concluded that
the growth resulted from force expansion and modernization and
directly enhanced force capability; and (3) accurately described
the impacts of and best areas for further reductions and its
manpower requirements determination processes. In addition, GAO
found that, although the services are improving their manpower
requirements determination processes, the: (1) Army did not use the
required DOD format to maintain manpower data; (2) Navy relied on
the users of shore manpower to determine their own manpower needs;
and (3) services tended to rely more on corporate judgment than on
rigorous analyses in determining areas for reductions. GAO believes
that DOD could achieve manpower reductions without necessarily
reducing capability by reexamining the number of people needed to
perform a given function and the necessity of performing that
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