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Military

PERSONNEL SERVICE SUPPORT


OBSERVATION : Determining solder deployability was aggravated by subsequent exclusions or exceptions imposed on the deployability criteria.

DISCUSSION: After the criteria were established, exemptions to deployability began to emerge. These exemptions involved personnel scheduled to attend formal training programs. For example, officers slated to attend CAS3 (i.e. those "already encumbering a seat") would not deploy. This determination came 10 days into the deployment cycle. Seven company commanders in one division were affected. This meant their units had to deploy with newly assigned commanders. Other soldiers were also affected even though their school start dates ranged from Jan through Apr 91.

LESSON(S): Determine deployability of personnel, especially leaders and soldiers with critical skills, as soon as possible after deployment orders are received. A deploying unit must know up front what its personnel profile is and what critical shortages exist so that it can request fills against valid vacancies.

OBSERVATION: The percentage of nondeployable female soldiers was significantly higher than that of nondeployable male soldiers.

DISCUSSION: In some units, 18 to 20 percent of female soldiers were nondeployable. The primary reasons for nondeployability among female soldiers were disqualifying physical profile and pregnancy.

LESSON(S): Commanders of CS and CSS units should anticipate a higher rate of nondeployability among female soldiers.

OBSERVATION: Personnel skill requirements and the fielding of new equipment were not synchronized.

DISCUSSION: Fielding of new equipment wasmuch faster in the contingency operation but was not linked to a corresponding fill of personnel with the requisite skills. For example, the "Trailblazer" for the MI Bn was issued early but was not accompanied by the necessary 30 qualified soldiers. Also, the required 21-soldier team of water chiller specialists was not assigned to a division when the water chillers were issued from operational project stocks.

LESS0N(S): Equipment fielding needs to be synchronized with the personnel management system so that fielding of equipment is complemented by the simultaneous assignment of appropriately skilled soldiers to operate the equipment effectively and safely.

OBSERVATION: Units exhibited confusion as to the purpose of the Preparation for Overseas Movement (POM).

DISCUSSION: POM is the process of getting units ready for deployment and sustaining unit readiness through periodic update of personnel records. Items in POM which need to be updated periodically include ID cards/tags; shot records; medical and dental records/panorex; enlistment contract options; pending personnel actions, such as courts-martial and chapter discharge; family care plans and special family member considerations; clothing and equipment records; security clearances; individual training records [weapons, NBC, and personal qualification records (PQR)]; emergency data records; SGLI; finance options; allotments; wills; general and special powers of attorney; inventory and disposition of privately owned personal property (POVs, sporting arms, TVs, stereos, etc.) in event of deployment.

Some soldiers arrived at their new units without orders, POM packets and medical records. This made it difficult to attach them, prepare battle rosters or manifest them for deployment. Many had to be processed through POM again after their arrival.

During the POM of a major nondivisional command, the following were required: 3,000 pairs of eyeglasses; 1,500 pairs of sunglasses; 1,700 mask inserts; 500+ panorex; 900+ dental exams; 2,200+ wills; 4,100 powers of attorney; 2,200+ SGLI; and 5,000+ ID tags. These large numbers of requirements indicate a significant degree of unpreparedness.

POM references include ARs 220-10 and 612-2. In addition, TC 12-17, Adjutant's Call, The S-1 Handbook, provides excellent guidance on POM as well as a POM Checklist.

LESSON(S): Commanders and 1SGs must use POMs to verify soldier deployability. Annual or semiannual updates are not sufficient. TC 12-17 recommends informal, battalion-level POMs every 2 months.

Commanders must conduct accurate, periodic updates of personnel records to minimize last-minute actions which overload supporting activities. Individual soldiers are responsible for eyeglasses, dental care, wills and powers of attorney. However, commanders must be alert to complacency in the individual readiness of soldiers to avoid problems during contingency deployments.

Installation support, or assistance from nondeploying units, is required so that deploying units can prepare for deployment.

Parent units must ensure that soldiers sent to other units are POM-qualified (deployable) and have all necessary documents on arrival at their unit of attachment.

OBSERVATION: At the time of deployment, the Tactical Army Combat Service Support Computer System (TACCS) software could not accommodate personnel requisitioning and replacement flow requirements of task-organized forces.

DISCUSSION: The system's Command and Control Strength Reporting System (C2SRS) module was not capable of processing requests for replacements through the headquarters to which an element was task-organized. The Soldier Support Center (SSC) has produced a software change package which permits units to submit requests for replacements through the task force to which they are attached or task-organized. The SSC dispatched a team to Southwest Asia to install the software change package in the TACCS of deployed units.

LESSON(S): Follow-on units should update their TACCS software with the improved C2SRS module before deploying.

OBSERVATION: Medical Corps officers assigned under the Professional Officer Filler System (PROFIS) often were not experienced in using TOE equipment.

DISCUSSION: At one installation, names on the PROFIS list changed several times for various reasons. For example, two physicians were alerted for deployment although their names were not on the original PROFIS list. However, they were deemed the "most available," since their deployment caused the least disruption to their TDA organization. The fillers were not released to deploying units until 96 hours prior to movement. This adversely impacted on individual and collective training and the proficiency of PROFIS officers in performing their medical mission using unfamiliar TOE equipment.

LESSON(S): Medical officers included in PROFIS need to train with tactical units to gain and sustain proficiency in the use of TOE medical equipment.

OBSERVATION: There was a significant demand on medical units to support a variety of missions during the deployment cycle.

DISCUSSION: In addition to supporting POM processing, medical units were also needed for range support, physical exams and other services. Deploying medical units also had to prepare their own personnel and equipment for movement.

LESSON(S): Relieve medical units of their support missions in time for them to prepare themselves for deployment.

Use nondeploying medical units for installation support.

Request RC medical augmentation.

OBSERVATION: The callup of RC forces increases medical and dental workloads at mobilization stations.

DISCUSSION: During callup, activated reservists add to the normal patient volume, increasing the strain on an installation's medical and dental staff. Consider additions to the normal staff to preclude long waiting time by reservists for health care. The length of time reservists stay at the mobilization station may be limited. If medical and dental care is delayed, valuable preparation, maintenance and training time is lost.

LESS0N(S): Plan for an increase in patient load during callup of reserve personnel. If staffs cannot be increased, arrange to have medical and dental treatment done after the training/ validation period unless the condition adversely affects the soldier's qualification for deployment.

OBSERVATION: Placing units in seclusion (lock-in, isolation) during the deployment adversely affected the consolidated dining facility.

DISCUSSION: At a predetermined point during the deployment process, deploying units were placed in seclusion away from the day-to-day installation activities and other distractions to concentrate on final deployment tasks. As units were pulled out of normal activities and placed in seclusion, their mess personnel went with them so they could concentrate on getting ready for deployment. This left only a few cooks at the consolidated dining facility to feed personnel of units not in seclusion.

LESSON(S): Consider staffing consolidated dining facilities with civilians during the deployment cycle or arrange catering for the consolidated mess. Arrange catered messing at the seclusion site to give mess personnel time to prepare for deployment.

OBSERVATION: The Public Affairs Office of one major command developed a comprehesive guidance sheet on news media interviews.

DISCUSSION: News media relish the opportunity to interview military personnel or family members during military operations. Interviewers focus on the sensational, the emotional or the controversial; these areas supposedly "sell" news. The following guidance has been helpful in the past in dealing with the media.

LESSON(S): American news media play a vital role in democracy. It is not harrassment when they ask for an interview. It is harrassment when they persist after you've declined to comment. Before answering questions, write down the name of the reporter and his/her news organization. This will discourage the reporter from persisting if you decline to Comment.

Before an interview, set the ground rules. Tell the interviewer what you will or will not discuss, especially when talking to a TV or radio reporter. If the interviewer breaks your ground rules once the taping session starts, end the interview. Keep in mind that, with today's technology, even the enemy has access to your comments the moment you make them.

Do not address specific units, personnel strength, or anything that would identify your (or your spouse's) mission. Talk only about those areas in which you have first-hand knowledge. Do not speculate about future operations.

Do not attempt to speak for your unit, installation, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.

Do not comment on our national policies, especially foreign affairs; leave this to the highest levels of government.

Don't say anything, even in jest, that you don't want to read, see or hear later. Be aware of these levels of attribution:

  • On the Record; You will be quoted directty or indirectry by name.
  • Background Information: The interviewer agrees to report your remarks only if they're attributed to a nonspecriic source. For example: "According to a family member,..."Do not make "background" remarks if you are being taped.
  • Off the Record: Your remarks are to be held in confidence and are not to be used in any form. "Do not quote me" is not the same as "off the record." If you tell a reporter not to quote you, he/she assumes you are providing "background" information and will use the information as long as he/she does not attribute it to a specific source.

Always assume you are speaking "on the record."

OBSERVATION: Unit Ministry Teams (UMTs) did not have adequate ecclesiastical supplies at time of deployment.

DISCUSSION: UMTs should deploy with at least a 90-day supply of the items identified in an AR 5-5 study as essential materials for UMTs on the battlefield. However, of these items, only the hymnal field chest is available through standard supply channels. Currently, the immediately needed materials are purchased with chaplain (NAF) funds. Contracting for these supplies using appropriated funds was too slow to meet the needs of the initially deployed UMTs.

LESSON(S): Installations should maintain a minimum of a 90-day supply of ecclesiastical supplies identified in the AR 5-5 study. UMTs should deploy with a 90 day supply of ecclesiastical supplies when feasible.

OBSERVATION: Chaplains and chaplain assistants constantly need to have their survivability skills refreshed and sustained.

DISCUSSION: Survivability skills have a short shelf life and must be practiced frequently to be available when needed. The demands of ministry often cut into training time for the UMT.

LESSON(S): Commanders should include their UMTs in tactical training.

OBSERVATION: A shortage of Chaplain assistants exists.

DISCUSSION: A UMT consists of a chaplain and chaplain assistant. At the outset of Operation DESERT SHIELD, FORSCOM units had an 82 percent fill of chaplain assistants. While deploying units should be filled first with chaplain assistants, the religious coverage mission of the Installation Chaplain continues after deployment of tactical units which requires the retention of some chaplain assistants for the installation religious program.

LESSON(S): Since the UMT has been validated as the most effective method of providing religious support, full UMTs should be deployed.

OBSERVATION: On installations where division size units deployed, workloads for Installation Chaplains increased dramatically.

DISCUSSION: TOE UMTs are involved in the entire installation religious program. The Installation Chaplain depends upon them to provide ministry to persons other than just their units of assignment. When TOE UMTs deploy, some religious programs and services must be consolidated because of shortages of personnel to provide the full range of services.

LESSON(S): RC or contract UMT augmentation is necessary to provide religious support to the military community left behind.

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Preface
Transportation Management



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