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MILITARY PERSONNEL: General and Flag Officer Requirements Are Unclear Based on DOD's 2003 Report to Congress


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The Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense (DOD) to assess whether general and flag officer authorizations were sufficient to meet all requirements. GAOs objectives were to determine whether DOD (1) fully disclosed the results of its study in its March 2003 report to Congress and explained the rationale for any recommendations, (2) used an established methodology to meet the objectives of its study, and (3) incorporated lessons learned from a GAO review of DODs 1997 general and flag officer study. The 2003 act also directed DOD to review legislation affecting general and flag officer management. DOD included the results of its review in the March 2003 report, making several recommendations. GAO plans a separate review of these issues and recommendations. GAO recommends that DOD take the following actions: (1) clarify the magnitude and impact of the gap between DODs validated requirements for general and flag officers and congressional authorizations, (2) periodically update its general and flag officer requirements, (3) enhance the precision and usefulness of the study results, and (4) incorporate the results of an ongoing study to assess civilian conversion of general and flag officer positions. In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with the recommendations.



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