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and joint interests, the functional structure which mirrors the Services' organizational arrangements tilts the balance toward the Services. If the Joint Staff were focused on missions, as the unified commands are, it might be more supportive of the operational requirements of the combatant commands. 2. INADEQUATE QUALITY OF THE OJCS STAFF

The second problem area is the inadequate quality of the OJCS staff. In this context, quality has three dimensions: (1) the inherent skills and talents as professional military officers; (2) the necessary education and experience; and (3) a sufficiently long tour to become effective and to provide continuity.

As Table 4-2 shows, there are about 9,000 active duty military officers assigned to joint duty” in the Department of Defense. Joint, or non-Service, duty in the broader context includes service in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (including the Joint Staff), unified command headquarters, Joint Deployment Agency, NATO headquarters, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Defense Agencies. The number of active duty officers so assigned represents 5 percent of all officers, 19 percent of all flag rank officers, and 11 percent of all colonels and Navy captains. (Chairman's Special Study Group, page 2)

one hand and the services on the other. Except for the chairman, the chiefs themselves -institutionally, though not necessarily personally -by virtue of their service roles have an interest in not having an effective joint staff. (AEI Foreign Policy and Defense Review, Volume Two, Number One, February

1980, page 17) There are six causes of the problem of the inadequate quality of the OJCS staff: (1) an unfavorable historical pattern of promotions and assignments; (2) negative attitudes of parent Services; (3) limited OJCS staff influence; (4) complex staffing procedures; (5) limited joint experience or education; and (6) rapid turnover rates. The first four causes contribute to the first dimension of inadequate quality: the assignment to OJCS of military officers who are not among the most skilled and talented. The fifth and sixth causes directly relate to the two other dimensions: insufficient education and experience and brief joint tours.

a. Unfavorable Historical Pattern of Promotions and Assignments

The historical pattern of promotions and assignments of military officers subsequent to tours of duty on the OJCS staff is a major disincentive. Overall, officers in OJCS staff assignments have not been as successful as their peers in competing for promotions and command positions. As the Chairman Special Study Group notes, this negative pattern has had an impact on attitudes toward joint assignments within the professional officer corps:

The general perception among officers is that a Joint assignment is one to be avoided. In fact, within one Service it is flatly believed to be the "kiss of death" as far as a continued military career is concerned. In contrast, Service assignments are widely perceived as offering much greater possibilities for concrete accomplishments and career enhancement. As a result, many fine officers opt for Service assignments rather

than risk a Joint-duty assignment. (page 44) Recently, however, the Services have attempted to enhance advancement opportunities for their officers on the OJCS staff.

b. Negative Attitude of Parent Services

The Services do not generally believe that it is vital to their interests to be represented by their best officers on the OJCS staff. Rather, the Services seek to retain their best officers for more important “in-house" or joint positions (e.g., in the Office of the Secretary of Defense). The Steadman Report cites this approach by the Services:

The problem (of Joint Staff performance) has been compounded by the historic unwillingness of the Services to heed the pleas of various Secretaries of Defense and Chairmen of the JCS to assign their most highly qualified officers to the Joint Staff. The Services have not perceived such duty as being of the highest priority and have made their personnel assignments accordingly. Many of the best officers have noted this fact and thus avoid a Joint Staff assignment if at all possible. In consequence, while the Joint Staff officers are generally caIn this subsection, the focus will be on the roughly 750 military officers assigned to OJCS which includes the 400 officers on the Joint Staff. While previous discussions of staff quality have focused on the Joint Staff, addressing the larger and all-encompassing OJCS staff is more useful for the purposes of this study. While the focus here is on the OJCS staff, the range of identified problems frequently apply to other joint duty assignments, especially on the joint staffs serving the unified commanders. In this regard, the Chairman's Special Study Group noted:

They (the CINC's] have practically nothing to say about the officers assigned to them; just as the Joint Staff has difficulty getting officers qualified in Joint duty, so too do the

CINCs. (page 32) The problem of the inadequate quality of the OJCS staff also contributes to the first problem of inadequate unified military advice. The absence of a high quality OJCS staff would obviously diminish the work product of the JCS system. Despite this relationship, the inadequate quality of the OJCS staff is of sufficient concern that it merits discussion as a distinct problem area.

However the OJCS staff is organized, the officers assigned to it should be among the best of their Services and fully prepared for joint duty. Unfortunately, the quality of these officers has been uneven and disappointing. As General W. Y. Smith, USAF (Retired) notes: "...Like it or not, the image of the Joint Staff is not a good one...” (“The U.S. Military Chain of Command, Present and Future”, pages 28 and 29) This is not to say that OJCS officers are not on the whole very capable. They are, but they do not include an appropriate portion of the most talented officers. Despite the capable nature of the OJCS staff, the constraints under which they operate greatly diminish the quality of their work. For the most part, officers do not want OJCS assignments; are pressured or monitored for loyalty by their Services while serving in OJCS; are not prepared by either education or experience to perform their joint duties; and serve for only a relatively short period once they have learned their jobs. In his book, A Genius for War, Colonel Trevor N. Dupuy, USA (Retired) states that the objective of the Prussian General Staff was to institutionalize excellence. (page 24) Whatever the real or imagined deficiencies of the General Staff concept, it is clear that the OJCS staff is at the other end of the spectrum; at best it can be described as the institutionalization of mediocrity. The discussion of the causes of this problem area will further explain why this is the case.

It should also be noted that the Services have no interest in improving the quality of OJCS staff work. An ineffective OJCS staff permits Service perspectives to dominate. John Kester reaches this conclusion in his paper, "The Future of the Joint Chiefs of Staff":

. . It is no accident that the joint staff has gone on for this long with little improvement, even though the deficiencies have been recognized for decades. The difficulties have their roots not in lack of management skill, but in the JCS itself and the power balance struck between the forces of jointness on the one hand and the services on the other. Except for the chairman, the chiefs themselves -institutionally, though not necessarily personally - by virtue of their service roles have an interest in not having an effective joint staff. (AEI Foreign Policy and Defense Review, Volume Two, Number One, February

1980, page 17) There are six causes of the problem of the inadequate quality of the OJCS staff: (1) an unfavorable historical pattern of promotions and assignments; (2) negative attitudes of parent Services; (3) limited OJCS staff influence; (4) complex staffing procedures; (5) limited joint experience or education; and (6) rapid turnover rates. The first four causes contribute to the first dimension of inadequate quality: the assignment to OJCS of military officers who are not among the most skilled and talented. The fifth and sixth causes directly relate to the two other dimensions: insufficient education and experience and brief joint tours.

a. Unfavorable Historical Pattern of Promotions and Assignments

The historical pattern of promotions and assignments of military officers subsequent to tours of duty on the OJCS staff is a major disincentive. Overall, officers in OÍCS staff assignments have not been as successful as their peers in competing for promotions and command positions. As the Chairman Special Study Group notes, this negative pattern has had an impact on attitudes toward joint assignments within the professional officer corps:

The general perception among officers is that a Joint assignment is one to be avoided. In fact, within one Service it is flatly believed to be the "kiss of death” as far as a continued military career is concerned. In contrast, Service assignments are widely perceived as offering much greater possibilities for concrete accomplishments and career enhancement. As a result, many fine officers opt for Service assignments rather

than risk a Joint-duty assignment. (page 44) Recently, however, the Services have attempted to enhance advancement opportunities for their officers on the OJCS staff.

b. Negative Attitude of Parent Services

The Services do not generally believe that it is vital to their interests to be represented by their best officers on the OJCS staff. Rather, the Services seek to retain their best officers for more important "in-house" or joint positions (e.g., in the Office of the Secretary of Defense). The Steadman Report cites this approach by the Services:

The problem [of Joint Staff performance) has been compounded by the historic unwillingness of the Services to heed the pleas of various Secretaries of Defense and Chairmen of the JCS to assign their most highly qualified officers to the Joint Staff. The Services have not perceived such duty as being of the highest priority and have made their personnel assignments accordingly. Many of the best officers have noted this fact and thus avoid a Joint Staff assignment if at all possible. In consequence, while the Joint Staff officers are generally ca

pable, the very top officers of the Services more frequently are

on the Service staffs. (page 51) Of course, the attitude of their parent Services strongly discourages excellent officers from volunteering for duty on the OJCS staff.

c. Limited OJCS Staff Influence

The widely held perception is that the OJCS staff exercises little influence in resolving significant defense questions. As a result, many military officers foresee limited opportunities to make meaningful contributions as a member of OJCS.

d. Cumbersome Staffing Procedures

Another disincentive is the cumbersome staffing process followed by the OJCS staff to integrate the views of the Services into a JCS position. These procedures were identified previously in this section as a cause of inadequate unified military advice; they also have a negative effect on the quality of the OJCS staff. The perception among OJCS action officers that this cumbersome staffing process is unproductive inhibits outstanding officers from seeking Joint Staff duty. The Chairman's Special Study Group in 1982 concluded that the JCS staffing process:

... tends to water down or 'waffle' both the exposition of the issue and the recommended position as the constraints imposed by the protection of Service interests are applied at each echelon. The process is viewed as unproductive by most action officers, one of the reasons many fine officers do not seek Joint Staff assignments. It is also perceived as unproductive by its civilian consumers, one of the reasons that JCS formal advice is

frequently not requested or heeded. (page 9) e. Limited Joint Experience or Education

Most OJCS staff officers lack previous joint experience or education. The Chairman's Special Study Group determined that in 1982 only 2 percent of the officers serving in OJCS had any previous Joint Staff experience and only 36 percent had ever worked on a Service staff and noted:

Most (Joint Staff officers) have come directly to Washington from specialized field operations where they have had little contact with the complex issues with which the Joint

Staff must deal. (page 7) Moreover, only 13 percent had attended the 5-month resident course at the Armed Forces Staff College, the school specifically designed to train young officers for joint duty. (Report for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, by the Chairman's Special Study Group, The Organization and Functions of the JCS, April 1982, page 41.) The obvious effect of this lack of prior experience or training is to require new OJCS staff officers to learn "on the job” how to analyze major political-military issues, develop national security objectives, and oversee the preparation of joint military plans. The result of this situation was summarized by the Chairman's Special Study Group:

The combination of lack of staff experience, lack of practical knowledge of Joint activities, and lack of formal preparation

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