Peace Time: November 30, 1999


The Army has shut down two installations (Military Ocean Terminal Bayonne and Oakland Army Base) and has turned two others (Fort McClellan Alabama and Fort Missoula, Montana) over to Reserve and Guard units which train there. This was part of the 1995 Base Closure and Realignment Commission.--Stephen V Cole

During 2000, the US Army will transfer 6,000 enlisted personnel from non-divisional support units and 2,000 from non-divisional combat units into the 10 combat divisions and three armored cavalry regiments. The goal of this mass transfer is to keep the fighting divisions fully manned so that they can conduct realistic training as complete units, and will be ready to deploy quickly without having to absorb thousands of transfers at the last minute. Commanders are curious as to how the corps-level support units will function with fewer personnel, and quietly ponder whether the newly-assigned troops will be informally reassigned back into support units. For decades, most combat units have seen many of their personnel given "temporary" assignments in support functions that turn into full-time jobs.--Stephen V Cole

Due to a shortage of lieutenants in National Guard units, the Army will allow 150 active duty lieutenants with more than two but less than three years of service to serve the last year of their contracts in a National Guard unit. --Stephen V Cole

Under the new law signed by President Clinton on 5 Oct, all funerals of qualifying veterans who request a military honor detail must be sent two uniformed service members, at least one of whom must be from the branch of the deceased. This changes the law from the previous year, which required a three-member honor guard but allowed these to be members of veterans organizations rather than current military members. The problem is that the World War II generation is reaching the end of their lives, and the smaller US military lacks enough people to provide all of the requested honor guards. The Retired Officers Association complains that honor guards are often missing, late, in shoddy uniforms, or play a poor quality recording of Taps on a boom box. The new law allows reservists to serve on the honor details (but not to count this as part of their training time) but also provides that no honor guards may be available during times of mobilization for a war or crisis.--Stephen V Cole


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