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PROVIDING THE GRADE OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL FOR AN OFFICER SERVING AS CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1970
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 212, Old Senate Office Building, Senator John Stennis (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Stennis, Jackson, Cannon, Young, Inouye, McIntyre, Byrd, Smith, Thurmond, Murphy, Brooke, and Goldwater.
Also present: T. E. Braswell, Jr., chief of staff; L. R. Garcia, professional staff member, and Herbert Atkinson, acting chief clerk.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. Members of the committee, we are meeting today instead of on Thursday, our regular meeting day. In addition to some bills, we also have nominations to consider, one of which is General Miley who has been nominated for Chief of Materiel, Army. It is a very important position. We will have an open session now and then, if it is the will of the committee, we will have an executive session for discussion of a few bills and some other matters.
Some time ago a bill came over from the House providing for the grade of lieutenant general for the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Last year that was included in the authorization bill as passed by the House and we did not agree to it in conference. This year the House passed a separate bill, H.R. 15143, and a question came up about whether it would be in the general authorization bill again this year. I told them we would have a hearing on H.R. 15143, that it is my idea not to put it in the authorization bill and the House agreed. So this is an open hearing, and I will make a very brief statement. The bill is before you, and we have witnesses here who represent the different viewpoints.
H.R. 15143 would provide for the grade of lieutenant general for the officer serving as Chief of the National Guard Bureau. This bill would repeal the existing authority authorizing the grade of major general for the Chief of the Bureau and substituting a new provision containing three elements: (1) That the Chief of the National Guard Bureau will hold the grade of lieutenant general in the reserve grade of his service. That makes it mandatory. (2) That the position of Chief of the Bureau will be an extra number and, therefore, excluded from the strength limitations for general officer grades. (3) That retired pay would be authorized in the grade of lieutenant general for the Bureau Chief.
(H.R. 15143 follows:)
[H.R. 15143, 91st Cong., second sess.) AN ACT To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide the grade of lieutenant general
for an officer serving as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That title 10, United States Code, is amended as follows:
(1) Section 3015 (c) is amended to read as follows:
"(c) The Chief of the National Guard Bureau holds office for four years, but may be removed for cause at any time and may not hold that office after he becomes sixty-four years of age. He is eligible to succeed himself. An officer now or hereafter serving as Chief of the National Guard Bureau shall be appointed as a Reserve in his armed force in the grade of lieutenant general for service in the Army National Guard of the United States or the Air National Guard of the United States, as the case may be, while serving as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The position of Chief of the National Guard Bureau is in addition to the number of lieutenant general positions authorized by section 3066, 3202, 8066, or 8202 of this title, or any other provision of law."
(2) Section 3962 is amended by adding the following new subsection:
“(d) Upon retirement or being granted retired pay, a reserve commissioned officer of the Army who has served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau in the grade of lieutenant general may, in the discretion of the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, be retired in, and granted retired pay based on, that grade."
(3) Section 8962 is amended by adding the following new subsection:
"(c) Upon retirement or being granted retired pay, a reserve commissioned officer of the Air Force who has served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau in the grade of lieutenant general may, in the discretion of the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, be retired in, and granted retired pay based on, that grade.”
(4) The catchlines of sections 3962 and 8962 are each amended by deleting “: regular commissioned officers.”
(5) The analysis of chapter 369 is amended by striking out "regular commissioned officers " in item 3962.
(6) The analysis of chapter 869 is amended by striking out "regular commissioned officers " in item 8962.
Passed the House of Representatives March 16, 1970.
W. PAT JENNINGS,
The CHAIRMAN. The first witness on this bill will be Mr. Roger T. Kelley, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, to be followed by Maj. Gen. James F. Cantwell, president of the National Guard Association of the United States.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense's testimony, I understand, will not be in favor of the bill as passed by the House.
We are delighted to have you here this morning, Mr. Kelley, and we appreciate your coming in. You heard what I said concerning the bill we are considering this morning and I think this is an important matter that primarily concerns the office, not the individual now holding that office. It is in this way different from any other. The National Guard Bureau is a nationwide bureau that deals with the 50 States.
You may proceed, Mr. Secretary.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROGER T. KELLEY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF DEFENSE FOR MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS
Mr. KELLEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Members of the committee, I appreciate this opportunity to appear before your committee on behalf of the Department of Defense in connection with H.R. 15143, a bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to provide the grade of lieutenant general for an officer serving as the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and for other purposes.
While the total size of the Armed Forces is decreasing the Department of Defense recommends against requiring a higher grade for any statutorily authorized position than that presently contained in the law. The distribution of three- and four-star general and flag officer positions within each service should be regulated by the President as Commander in Chief in order to respond to changing requirements as opposed to being bound by the inflexibility of statutory positions. Although the addition of one required lieutenant general position would only limit by one space the ability of the Department of Defense to respond to total needs, a precedent would be established under which more such requirements might be generated.
An additional problem would be created by the mandatory language of the proposed bill which requires that the incumbent serve in the three-star grade. It is our feeling that grade authorizations for a position should not necessarily apply to the individual occupying the position. The existence of a mandatory grade might force the selection of a senior individual who was not as well qualified for the position as some other officer. Furthermore, promotion upon appointment could destroy the incentive toward greater effectiveness contained in the possibility of promotion after proven performance.
For the foregoing reasons, the Department of Defense recommends against the enactment of H.R. 15143.
The CHAIRMAN. We have General Miley's nomination before us. So it is unusual maybe to have a statutory requirement of three stars for a certain place, but we actually have these positions that carry the automatic number of stars or promotions.
Mr. KELLEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. KELLEY. Yes, sir; and we are not taking issue with previous judgments made as regards particular positions that have been designated as four-star positions, for example. But as a general principle, in this environment, we think it is inadvisable to limit flexibility by designating certain positions as such. This does not, of course, preclude the opportunity to promote the incumbent in the position to the rank of lieutenant general or in the case of the Navy, vice admiral.
The CHAIRMAN. How do you compare the duties of this position? As I said, he is Chief of the National Guard Bureau that deals with 50 Governors and 50 State legislatures and so forth.
How do you compare the duties of that position with other important positions that you have in the service?
Mr. KELLEY. Well, it is different, Mr. Chairman, in that this position does not carry command responsibility over the components of the Army and Air Guard. It is an administrative position which requires considerable skill in dealing with people at the 50 State levels and