Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House amended (07/21/1986)

(Reported to House from the Committee on Armed Services with amendment, H. Rept. 99-700)

Bill Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 - Title I: Combatant Commands - Amends general military law to direct the President to establish unified and specified combatant commands to perform military missions and to prescribe the force structure of such commands. Authorizes the President, if a situation warrants it, to establish a special combatant command. Requires the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to periodically (not less frequently than every other year) review the overall structure of the unified and specified combatant commands and make appropriate recommendations to the President. Directs the President to promptly notify the Congress of any action taken in response to such recommendations.

Directs the Secretary of each military department to assign all forces under their jurisdiction (except forces assigned to recruiting, organizing, training, or supplying the armed forces) to unified and specified combatant commands as established under this Act. Outlines provisions concerning the command hierarchy of such assigned forces. Provides that commanders of combatant commands shall be supervised by the Chairman of JCS, and be responsible to the President and the Secretary of Defense (the Secretary) for their missions. Makes the Secretary of each military department responsible for the support and administration of forces assigned by that department to combatant commands. Authorizes the commander of a combatant command to request the Secretary for the transfer to such commander of support or administrative functions.

Directs the Secretary to include in the annual budget of the Department of Defense (DOD) a separate budget proposal for activities of each of the unified and specified combatant commands. Outlines information concerning activities of such combatant commands to be included in such proposals. Requires the commander of each such command to submit to the Chairman of JCS, for review and recommendations, annual program and budget proposals for such commands. Provides that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of any net assessment conducted by an organization of DOD shall be made available to the commanders of the unified and specified combatant commands. Requires the Chairman of JCS and the Secretary to establish specified procedures relating to the use of such net assessments.

Outlines provisions concerning the selection and tenure of combatant command subordinate commanders and staff officers.

Establishes in DOD the Joint Commanders Council, consisting of the Chairman of JCS and the commanders of the combatant commands. Directs such council to advise the chairman, the President, and the Secretary on appropriate matters.

Requires the Chairman of JCS to submit to the Secretary recommendation for the allocation of defense resources under the proposed national defense budget for each fiscal year, and to take certain other specified actions in connection with activities of the unified and specified combatant commands.

Directs the Secretary to provide for the transfer of staff personnel to the staffs of the commanders of the unified and specified commands in conformity with the reorganization under this Act. Limits the total staff size of the unified and specified commands to a number no greater than the staff size of the military departments before such transfer. Outlines considerations to be included in the initial review of the structure of the unified and specified commands. Requires the first report from the Secretary to the President concerning such review no later than one year after the enactment of this Act.

Repeals specified provisions of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1983 and the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1986, which prohibited: (1) the consolidation of functions of the military transportation commands; and (2) altering the command structure for military forces in Alaska.

Title II: Defense Agencies - Directs the Secretary, in appropriate cases, to provide for the performance by one agency or organization of supply or service activities common to more than one military department. Directs the Secretary to periodically (and not less frequently than every two years) review the services and supplies provided by the defense agencies to ensure that such provision is more economical than the provision of such services by the military departments. Specifies various officers and directors whose views are required as part of the Secretary's review.

Requires the Chairman of JCS to periodically (and not less frequently than every two years) report to the Secretary concerning the combat support agencies. Outlines information to be included in each report.

Directs the Chairman to: (1) provide for the participation of the combat support agencies in joint training exercises; and (2) assess the performance of each agency in such exercise and provide for any necessary changes. Requires the chairman to develop a uniform system for reporting each such agency's readiness to perform in a war or threat to national security. Requires the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of Central Intelligence, to establish policies and procedures for the review of the combat readiness of the National Security Agency (NSA) with respect to the functions that NSA performs for DOD. Directs the Secretary to report any revision of such policies and procedures to the Congress.

Requires the director of a combat support agency, upon request, to assign a representative of that agency to the headquarters of a unified or specified combatant command. Defines "combat support agency."

Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study of the functions and organizational structure of the defense agencies. Outlines determinations to be made in such study.

Directs the Chairman of JCS and the Secretaries of the military departments to each conduct a study of the functions and organizational structure of the defense agencies, including the NSA. Requires each study to be submitted to the Secretary of Defense. Outlines matters to be considered in each study. Directs the Secretary, within one year after the enactment of this Act, to report to the Congress concerning such studies, together with recommendations. Directs the Secretary to include as part of such report a report describing a plan for the improved application of computer systems to defense agency functions and activities.

Title III: Joint Officer Personnel Policy - Directs the Secretary of Defense to establish an occupational category for officers in each branch of the armed forces who (in addition to their principal military occupational specialty) are particularly oriented and trained in joint matters. Refers to such category as the "joint specialty." Outlines provisions concerning the number, selection, training, and experience requirements for officers in the joint specialty. Directs the Secretary to establish career guidelines for officers in the joint specialty.

Directs the Secretary to establish policies to ensure that officers being considered for senior military positions shall be required to have joint specialty experience. Requires each officer selected for promotion to the grade of brigadier general or rear admiral to attend a military education course specifically designed to prepare such officer to work with the other armed forces. Authorizes the waiver of such educational requirement in specified circumstances.

Directs the Secretary to revise the curriculum of schools of the National Defense University in order to enhance the education and training of officers in joint military matters. Requires officers graduating from a joint military school in a joint specialty to be assigned to a joint position in that officer's next duty assignment. Defines the length of such joint duty assignments, authorizing a shorter duty length for certain officers with critical combat operations skills. Directs the Secretary to establish procedures for monitoring the careers of officers in the joint specialty or other joint officers.

Requires the Chairman of JCS to advise the Secretaries of the military departments with respect to the duty assignments of officers in the joint specialty and other joint officers.

Requires the Secretary to establish personnel policies emphasizing training and experience in joint matters for reserve officers not on the active-duty list. Requires the Secretary to include in the annual report to the Congress certain information regarding activities within the joint specialty for the previous year.

Sets forth the promotion policy for joint service officers (including faster promotions).

Revises provisions concerning the review of promotion lists by the Chairman of JCS to allow the Chairman, in a limited number of instances, to recommend for promotion officers who: (1) have served in joint assignments; and (2) were considered by a review board but not recommended for promotion. Allows the Secretary of the military department concerned to disagree with the Chairman's promotion recommendations. Requires the Secretary concerned to record their disagreement as part of their transmittal to the Secretary of Defense of the selection board's report. Requires the Secretary of Defense to resolve any such disagreements before transmitting the report to the President.

Requires previous joint officer assignments for officers promoted to brigadier general or rear admiral (lower half). Authorizes the Secretary to waive such prerequisite in appropriate cases. Requires the Secretary to include in the annual reports to the Congress from 1987 through 1991 a detailed report on the implementation of such joint specialty provisions.

Directs the Secretary to make the initial selection of officers for the joint specialty, following certain special rules. Terminates such authority two years after the enactment of this Act. Sets forth deadline dates for other provisions of this title.

Title IV: Military Department Organization - Directs the Secretary of Defense to reorganize the executive part of the military departments, following specified reorganization policies. Defines the executive part of each military department. Outlines the functions of the Assistant Secretaries of a military department as reorganized under this Act. Limits to 30 the size of the personal staff of the Secretary of a military department. Limits the size of the staff of each military department to 85 percent of the size of such staff before the reorganization.

Requires the Secretary to provide that operation and planning responsibilities that are duplicated by the staff of the JCS shall be shifted to that staff.

Requires the Secretary, as well as the Secretaries of the military departments, to provide that functions able to be performed by commands outside the Washington, D.C. area shall be reassigned to those commands.

Provides that the Secretary of each military department shall be responsible for: (1) intelligence activities; and (2) operational readiness within their respective departments.

Directs the Secretary to complete implementation of this title no later than September 30, 1987, and to report to the Congress on such implementation 30 days after such date.

Title V: Miscellaneous - Directs the President, at the same time as the President's annual budget submission to the Congress, to report to the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Affairs of the House a comprehensive written report on the national security strategy of the United States.

Directs the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of JCS, and the Secretaries of the military departments to each conduct a study of the functions and organization of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Requires the Chairman and the Secretaries to report on such study to the Secretary of Defense at a time specified by the Secretary. Requires the Secretary, as part of an analysis of civilian control in such Office, to examine the functions performed in such Office by active-duty members versus the functions performed by retired members in civilian positions.

Directs the Secretary to provide for an independent study to be carried out by an independent contractor to consider the same matters considered in the studies, above.

Directs the Secretary, within one year after the enactment of this Act, to report to the Congress on the Secretary's findings, conclusious, and recommendation relating to the management studies of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Requires the Secretary to include in such report the reports of the Chairman of JCS, the Secretaries of the military departments, and the independent contractor.