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ANNUAL REPORT THE SURGEON GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY Fiscal Year 1959

Annual Report the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1959

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL

Career Planning

During the fiscal year, the Army Medical Service initiated career-management programs for civilian employees in OTSG and at class II installations and activities. The primary objective is to attract, develop, and maintain a civilian work force of maximum effectiveness for the accomplishment of the AMEDS mission by providing organized and systematic opportunities for employees with demonstrated abilities to advance into progressively higher jobs.

The first step in implementing such programs is to identify the career fields that are important in carrying out the work of the Army Medical Service and that have sufficient numbers of careerists as well as a wide enough range of distribution of grades to warrant establishment of career-management programs. During the year, programs were started in five major occupational groups: (1) Comptroller (professional accounting, budget analysis, and management analysis), (2) biological sciences (biology, bacteriology, and physiology), (3) supply (general supply, supply requirements and distribution, and stock control), (4) civilian personnel administration, and (5) information and editorial work.

Basic to any career-planning program is the establishment in OTSG of a qualifications inventory of all employees in the designated occupational group and the maintenance of a local inventory file at the class II installations and activities. Such inventories have been completed for three of the selected occupational fields (comptroller, supply, and civilian personnel administration) and are being prepared for the other two. Each inventory file, kept current, will provide the basis for a referral system to be used in filling vacancies in the Army Medical Service, in the Office of DCSLOG, and throughout the Department of the Army. Inherent in the career-management programs are provisions for effective recruitment of careerists and appropriate individual training and development.


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Studies are underway to determine the other occupational fields in which such programs can be established.

Training

The Government Employees Training Act (Public Law 85-507, dated 7 July 1958) authorized all types of employee training, including training within the Federal service and in non-Federal facilities (such as colleges, universities, manufacturing plants, and laboratories), when such training is essential and not reasonably available in the Government. It also allows Federal employees to accept certain types of contributions, awards, and payments (such as Rockefeller Foundation scholarships) when made by nonprofit organizations. To be eligible for out-service training, employees must have at least 1 year of Government service and must agree in advance to remain with his agency for at least three times the length of the training period or, failing to do so, to repay the costs. Only 1 year of out-service training is permitted an individual for each 10 years of total service, and the number of employees receiving training cannot exceed 1 percent of the civilian strength provided for in the budget. Training of 40 hours or less is not subject to limitation.

Although Department of Defense appropriations in recent years have included special funds for the out-service training of civilian personnel in the Army Medical Service, this has been a tentative year-to-year arrangement. Public Law 85-507 assures the continuance of the program on a permanent basis and makes possible a wider application. Approximately 30 AMEDS employees received out-service training during the fiscal year. About two-thirds of these were in the Office of The Surgeon General. With the passage of the act and the emphasis on civilian career-management programs, a considerable increase is anticipated in the number of AMEDS employees receiving this training. Previously, the Under Secretary of the Army had to approve all contracts for non-Government training. It is now proposed that this authority be delegated to major commanders with provision for redelegation when the training does not exceed 40 hours per employee.

Procurement of Top-Grade Medical Scientists

The Army Medical Service continues to encounter serious difficulties in its attempts to procure capable medical scientists even at the top-grade salaries for important civilian positions in the research and development program. Although The Surgeon General requested in fiscal year 1958 that the number of high-level positions ($12,500 to $19,000) under the provisions of Public Law 313 be increased from 6 to 11, ef­


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forts to procure the additional number have been unsuccessful. Moreover, the retirement of one scientist during the fiscal year further reduced the number employed to five, and, despite extensive efforts to obtain a replacement for this critical research position at the U.S. Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory, there are presently no prospects of filling the post, owning to the inadequate salary.

Under the present system of administering and controlling these Public Law 313 positions, the primary difficulties stem from the salary limitations and the elaborate and time-consuming justifications that are required to obtain the spaces. Employment commitments are not possible until after a position is authorized, and the uncertainty of justification efforts discourages interested candidates. The situation will become increasingly critical in view of the growing need for medical scientists because of the ever-widening research and development activities.

No further authorizations of advanced in-hiring rates for scientific and engineering personnel is being considered by the Civil Service Commission, primarily because of the increase in the basic salary rates under the Federal Employees Salary Increase Act of 1958.

Revision of Army-Air Force Wage Board Pay System

Implementation of the revisions in the wage board pay system, approved by the Army-Air Force Wage Board at the end of fiscal year 1958, was discussed at a seminar attended by the salary and wage representatives of AMEDS class II installations and activities, on 27-29 October 1958, at Fitzsimons Army Hospital, Denver, Colo. The revisions simplify the pay system by reducing the number of pay grades for regular nonsupervisory employees and working leaders from 28 to 15, and the number of steps within each pay grade from 4 to 3. Laundry employees are not affected. Several AMEDS installations have already converted to the new system, and it is expected to be in effect at all of them by May 1960.

Survey of Civilian Personnel Administration

A command survey covering civilian personnel administration within AMEDS was conducted by the Office of Civilian Personnel, DCSPER, from February to April of 1959 under the provisions of Department of the Army General Orders 32, 1956. At several of the installations, this survey was made jointly with Civil Service Commission inspections that had been scheduled for the same period. The results of the survey reported by the DCSPER inspection team to the Deputy


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Surgeon General were favorable and indicative of the good-quality civilian personnel program in the Army Medical Service. An AMEDS Civilian Personnel Officers Conference was held at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center late in June 1959 to discuss the various aspects of the command report and of their effect on the civilian personnel administration program at each of the field installations.

Recruitment and Strength

The greatest deterrent to recruitment during the past year was the curtailment imposed by DCSLOG on the hiring of civilians during the period from the middle of October 1958 through the middle of May 1959. All requests for exceptions to this employment freeze had to be reviewed and approved personally by The Surgeon General or the Deputy Surgeon General. The vacancies filled were those considered to be of the utmost importance in accomplishing the AMEDS mission. This reduction by attrition, coupled with a reduction in the number of authorized civilian spaces allotted to both field and headquarters, placed a heavy burden on operating personnel and in some installations brought about some reductions in force to meet the lowered ceiling. During the year, The Surgeon General was reduced 473 civilian spaces or 5.3 percent of the total civilian spaces in the class II system. At the same time, the downward trend in both inpatient and outpatient workload in the hospitals was reversed because of the restrictions imposed on the use of civilian medical facilities under the Medicare Act.

The number of civilian employees in the Army Medical Service declined from 9,748, on 30 June 1958, to 9,055 as of 30 June 1959. Of the latter number, 644 were in OTSG and 8,411 were in class II installations and activities. The number employed in the field at the end of the fiscal year included 4,648 classified employees and 3,763 ungraded employees.

Incentive and Suggestions Awards

Continuing use was made of monetary and honorary awards as a means of giving recognition to deserving employees for their achievements and of encouraging improvement in operations. Recognition awards were presented during the fiscal year to 6,973 civilians in the Army Medical Service. Cash awards were made to 347 for sustained superior performance and to 33 for special acts or service. The 6,593 honorary awards included 977 written commendations, 173 outstanding performance ratings, 86 certificates of achievement, 5 meritorious


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civilian service awards, 2 exceptional civilian service awards, and 5,350 special recognitions. The latter figure includes the recipients of length-of-service emblems presented to employees who completed 10, 20, 30, or 40 years of service in the Federal Government, with at least the last year of service in the Department of the Army. This is an Army-wide program that was initiated during the fiscal year.

Two AMEDS employees were granted the Army's highest civilian award for performance of duty-the Exceptional Civilian Service Award. One of the recipients was Miss Naomi Benjamin, a hematologist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, who devised a simple method for counting white blood cells, which provides a rapid means of identifying radiation casualties in the event of mass exposure. This makes it possible to screen thousands of persons in a short time and determine those seriously affected. She was also nominated for the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award. The other Exceptional Civilian Service Award was presented to Miss Agnes Adam who is retiring as an employee of the Supply Division, OTSG, after more than 40 years of service.

Suggestions submitted by AMEDS employees during the fiscal year resulted in an estimated first-year savings to the Army Medical Service of $114,548. The number of suggestions received declined from 2,545 in fiscal year 1958 to 1,566, and 473 were adopted, as compared to 755 the previous year. The employees whose suggestions were adopted received awards totaling $7,822.

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