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Page 6, line 4, preceding the words “the Regular Army" insert the word "of".
Page 6, line 4, following the word “Scouts” strike out the word “to” down through and including the following “thereto,” and insert in lieu thereof the words “below the grade of major,”.
Page 6, line 7, following the word "and" strike out the word "who" down through and including the word "list" in line 8, and insert in lieu thereof "whose application for retirement”:
Page 6, line 8, following the word "section" insert the words "has been approved by the President".
Page 6, line 8, following the word "shall” strike out the word "have” down through and including the word “discharge” in line 9, and insert in lieu thereof the words "be retired”.
Page 6, line 10, following the word “pay” strike out “or honorable discharge gratuity”.
A subcommittee of the Military Affairs Committee, having held hearings on S. 1404, and the committee having gone into this bill carefully, the measure has been reported favorably to the Senate with the recommendation that it do pass with the above-noted amendments.
The commissioned personnel of the Army has reached a promotion stagnation which, if no relief is afforded, will have a most serious effect on morale and contentment and, as a consequence thereof, on efficiency. Following the World War the enlargement of the Regular Army made necessary the appointment of some 6,000, additional officers. These appointments were made from those emergency officers who had demonstrated by active war service, in most cases combat service at the front, their fitness. Since being commissioned in the Regular Army in 1920, very few of these officers have been promoted, most of them having served for 15 years in the same grade in which originally appointed, and will continue so to serve for years to come unless there is remedial action as proposed in this bill. These officers with service differing by not more than a year and a half, created a so-called “hump", with the result that, with a normal annual attrition rate of commissioned personnel of 4 percent, or approximately 400 per year, those at the top of the "hump separated from those at the bottom of the equivalent of approximately 15 years' service. All officers who entered the Army after July i, 1920, and who are therefore now behind the "hump blocked, with no prospect of early advancement. It was realized as early as 1926, that some measure of legislative promotion relief must be afforded. Time has accentuated the stagnation until now the situation is deplorable. Captains commissioned in 1920 still remain in that grade. In fact, some 400 World War officers commissioned as first lieutenants in 1920, have received no advancement.
The proposed bill (S. 1404) was submitted to the President, who, in a letter dated January 17, 1935, to the Secretary of War, stated as follows:
Your plan for a revision of the Army's promotion system appears desirable from every viewpoint and I wish you would take the necessary steps to present it to the Congress for enactment.
It has my approval.
While promotion is one of the main considerations of the bill, an equally important feature is that officers are provided with appropriate rank for mobilization requirements. The entire system of our national defense is based upon a skeletonized organization with command groups organized in time of peace and functioning, when the emergency arises, to mobilize our citizen soldiers. Without officers of appropriate rank in key positions in these groups, mobilization will be retarded and confusion will result as it did at the entrance of America into the World War, and in all previous wars. Valuable time is utterly wasted in reorganizing and in promoting officers after declaration of war. The first 5 to 6 months of every war in which we have participated have been spent in reaching a set-up capable of enlisting and training the forces to fight the war. The proposed bill is designed to place officers in appropriate grades in time of peace in the skeletonized set up and in so doing automatically provide the necessary flow of promotion.
The bill does not increase the number of general officers. It affords no promotion for colonels. The main promotion relief is in behalf of World War officers in the “hump” and of lieutenants who follow and are thereby blocked by the “hump.” The automatic promotion of second lieutenants after 3 years' service and of first lieutenants after 10 years' service, will do much to relieve their stagnated situation and will bring them into higher grades more appropriate to their age and service.
Voluntary retirement after 15 years' service with adequate compensation is especially applicable to the World War group. The bill offers to officers in that group, some of whom may not be able to reach the higher field grades in the Army, an opportunity to retire if they so elect, in which event promotion acceleration for their juniors will automatically result.
No officer under the terms of the bill will be selected for promotion over his seniors except in the appointment of colonels to general officers as now provided by law. No efficient officer will be involuntarily separated from the service.
Promotion relief was afforded the Navy and Marine Corps at the last session of Congress with the result that naval and marine officers are now from 3 to 10 years in advance of Army officers in promotion. Even with the relief afforded by the accompanying bill, the Army will be behind the Navy and Marine Corps in that respect.
The increased cost of the commissioned personnel over what it would otherwise be under existing law for the fiscal years 1936, 1937, and 1938 is $705,000; $620,000, and $510,000, respectively, thé principal part of which will be incident to the advancement of the junior officers
Estimated cost of proposed promotion plan, cost by fiscal years
Attention is called to the fact that the entire cost of this bill in increased pay goes to the junior, lowest paid officers.
COMPARISON OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE BILL TO PROMOTE THE EFFICI
ENCY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF EXISTING LAW
SECTION 1. Hereafter the promotion Section 24a of the National Defense list of the Regular Army and Philippine Act as amended provides that the proScouts shall include all officers on the motion list shall contain all officers active list in the grades of second below the grade of colonel, except lieutenant to colonel, inclusive, except officers of the Medical Department, officers of the Medical Department, chaplains, and professors who constichaplains, and professors of the United tute the nonpromotion list. States Military Academy; promotionlist colonels shall be placed immediately above the lieutenant colonels on the promotion list provided for in section 24a of the act of June 4, 1920 (41 Stat. 771; U. S. C. 10:553), in the order of their standing on the relative rank list of colonels on the date of this act; officers on the promotion list as above defined shall be known as “promotion-list officers," all other officers, except general officers, shall be known as “nonpromotion-list officers”
At present colonels are carried on the relative rank list only. Much confusion has resulted therefrom. Under existing law colonels are appointed to the grade of general officer by selection and the proposed law makes no change whatever in existing law in that respect.
Section 1 (continued).
Section 24a of the National Defense Nothing in this Act shall be so con- Act as amended provides that the strued as to change the respective rela- names on the promotion list shall be tive positions held by officers on the arranged, in general, that the promotion list, hereinbefore prescribed, first name on the list shall be that of nor the method of determining the posi- the officer having the longest commistion of officers on that list as prescribed sioned service; the second name that by the Act of June 4, 1920, as amended, of the officer having the next longest except as hereinbefore provided. commissioned service, and so on.
The proposed bill provides only for placing colonels on the promotion list in the order of their standing on the relative rank" list of colonels on July 1, 1935, the effective date of the act, without disturbing the relative positions of other officers on said list.
Section 1 (continued).
Section 24c, National Defense Act, All promotions provided for in this as amended, provides for physical Act shall be subject to the examination examination only for promotion of prescribed by existing law.
promotion-list officers. The proposed law does not change existing law with respect to examination for promotion.
SEC. 2. From and after the effective As the result of the provisions of secdate of this Act the authorized number tion 4 of the National Defense Act, as of promotion-list officers in the grade of amended by the Acts of June 30, 1922, colonel shall be 6 per centum; the num- and September 14, 1922, the authorized ber of such officers in the grade of lieu- number of colonels is 4.5 percent, of tenant colonel shall be 9 per centum; lieutenant colonels 5.5 percent, and and the number of such officers in the of majors 16.5 percent of the aggregrade of major shall be 25 per centum gate number of promotion-list officers of the aggregate number of promotion authorized by law. list officers authorized by law: Provided, That in making any computation under the provisions of this section whenever a final fraction of one-half or more occurs in the number of officers involved in any such computation the next higher whole number of officers shall be regarded as the authorized or required number thereof.
The above percentages are based on 10,460 promotion-list officers, including colonels. The proposed bill, under the foregoing percentages, increases the number of colonels from 470 to 628, an addition of 158; increases the number of lieutenants colonels from 577 to 941, an addition of 364; and increases the number of majors from 1,725 to 2,615, an addition of 890.
Sec. 3. All vacancies, including origi- Section 24c of the National Defense nal vacancies resulting from the opera- Act, as amended, provides that vacantion of section 2 hereof, occurring on or cies in grades below that of brigadier after July 1, 1935, in the respective general shall be filled by the promotion grades of colonel, lieutenant colonel, of officers in the order in which they and major of promotion-list officers stand on the promotion list, without shall be filled by the promotion of regard to the branches in which they promotion-list officers in the manner are commissioned. provided in section 24c of the said Act of June 4, 1920.
There is no change in the method of promotion under the proposed bill from that under existing law, except the limitation set forth in the following proviso.
Section 3 (continued).
There is no such provision under No promotion-list officer shall be existing law. promoted in time of peace under the provisions of this Act to the grade of colonel until he shall have completed twenty-six years' service; to the grade of lieutenant colonel until he shall have completed twenty years' service, or to the grade of major until he shall have completed fifteen years' service, the service to be counted for purposes of this proviso to be only active commissioned service of the same classes prescribed for promotion-list purposes in section 24a of the said Act of June 4, 1920; but this proviso shall not apply to lieutenant colonels and majors whose first appointments in the permanent service were in grades above those of
PROPOSED BILL captain and second lieutenant, respectively, or who were appointed to the Regular Army under the provisions of the first sentence of section 24 of the Act of June 3, 1916, as amended by the said Act of June 4, 1920, nor to captains whose first appointments in the permanent service were in a grade above second lieutenant, or whose present rank dates from July 1, 1920, or earlier.
Under existing law there is no possibility of officers entering the field grades with less service than that stipulated, except officers covered in the saving clause in the proviso. The ideal time for an officer to enter the grade of colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major is upon completion of 26 years', 20 years', and 15 years' commissioned service, respectively, but not less, hence the limitation. The saving clause in the limitation does not change existing law which requires promotion to the grades of colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major by seniority alone on the promotion list.
Section 3 (continued).
Paragraph 8, section 127a, National All officers promoted under the pro- Defense Act, as amended by the act of visions of this paragraph shall take February 28, 1925, provides that when rank in the grade to which promoted dates of rank are the same, precedence according to the dates stated in their shall be determined by length of active commissions in said grade; and when commissioned service in the Army. the dates of rank of two or more officers in said grade are the same, such officers shall take rank among themselves according to their standing on the promotion list.
While section 24a of the National Defense Act, as amended, provides that the names on the promotion list shall be arranged in general so that the first name on said list shall be that of the officer having the longest commissioned service the second name that of the officer having the next longest commissioned service, and so on, section 24 of said act permits certain exceptions to this rule. The provision in the proposed bill will prevent junior officers on the promotion list from ranking relatively their seniors on said list when promoted to rank from the same date.
EXISTING LAW Section 3 (continued).
Section 4 of the National Defense The number of promotion-list officers Act as amended by the Acts of June 30, that shall be in the respective grades of 1922, and September 14, 1922, authorizes captain and first lieutenant at any time 3,450 captains, 2,667 first lieutenants, after the effective date of this Act and 1,571 second lieutenants, and secshall be such as results from the opera- tion 24c of the National Defense Act, tion of the promotion system hereinafter as amended, provides that vacancies in this paragraph prescribed. Promo- shall be filled by promotion of officers tion-list second lieutenants and first in the order in which they stand on the lieutenants shall be promoted to the promotion list. respective grades of first lieutenant and captain immediately upon completing respectively three years and ten years' commissioned service in the Regular Army, but not otherwise; and all such