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«INTRODUCTION I am not an expert on military manpower, nor am I an academic like many who presented papers in this symposium. Perhaps I was asked to ...»

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Chapter Eight


Spencer Kim


I am not an expert on military manpower, nor am I an academic like

many who presented papers in this symposium. Perhaps I was asked

to make a presentation from my point of view as a businessman with

quite a number of years of experience and some knowledge acquired

through doing things wrong. And while the proceedings of this conference will be published as a learned symposium, my contribution is not a research paper. Pacific Century Institute, which is cosponsoring this forum, has an interest in stimulating thought and discussion that will benefit the lives of people beyond the academic circle. I offer some observations to stimulate discussion of the topic of how to obtain the greatest benefit for the expenditure of funds in military manpower utilization.

I am a U.S. citizen and my business is located there. What I am most familiar with is events in the United States. The premise of this chapter is rather basic: there is a cost-benefit in maintaining military manpower strength through the use of reserve forces. I have not studied the Korean reserve system, and I do not suggest that I am in a position to advocate a structure for their reserve. I began with a single idea, that of getting more “bang for the buck.” This is the kind of thing businessmen do. The objective of this chapter is to examine the development of the military reserve system of the United States 162 Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea to determine if, and how, it gets more “bang for the buck.” How can military spending be stretched to accomplish more?

If there are lessons to be learned from this history, then I feel others will be able to apply them.

As I contemplated our second conference on air power, I reflected that to determine an air power structure, we should specify the goal we are trying to achieve through air power. In other words, why do we have military air power; what do we intend for it to accomplish?

The question is deceptively simple. We have air power for national defense. But what is it we are defending? In the case of Korea, we do not want North Koreans or anyone else invading this country again.

A strong military is conceived of as a deterrence to the abhorrence of war. We want the economy to continue to develop without the setback of an armed conflict or the despoiling of a plundering invader. We want the political system to be developed by citizens rather than have one forced upon us. We want personal freedoms.

We want to protect and continue our national traditions and heritage.

I am at the age and stage in my professional career that I find myself thinking more and more about what I have worked for. What do I want to pass on to my children? I am not much concerned that I pass on to them a wealthy estate, but rather that I can succeed in passing on a rich family legacy. Our family tradition has its roots in the background my father passed on to me, the culture of my first homeland, Korea. Throughout the world there are large communities of expatriate Koreans who, like me, look back to that same heritage. It is important that we recognize the importance of not only defending and preserving this legacy but also considering what we can do to strengthen it so that it can endure.


As I visit with my friends in Korea, I hear of the following problems in its political-economic community.

–  –  –

2. There is much underemployment of college graduates who are not being hired or are underutilized in their employment.

3. There exists a very high cost of infrastructure building due to: (i) high wages, (ii) high material cost, (iii) high land price, and (iv) inefficient management.

4. We see a need for renewed commitment to ethical practices in all aspects of society: police, tax collection, tax evasion, political practices, education, and business practices.

5. There are out-of-work people becoming homeless, which is creating social problems.

6. Unemployment benefits of up to one half of salary are being offered for up to six months, and political pressure is building to extend this.

7. Make-work is becoming widespread due to disorganization and inexperience in those agencies trying to cope with an economic downturn.

8. Military costs are escalating arising from the need to modernize technology and maintain high manning levels. Between 1974 and 1996, Korea spent US$246 billion on domestic/foreign military material procurement which represents 31.8 percent of the total defense budget. The balance of 68.2 percent was used to maintain armed forces at a high degree of readiness due to the often tense military environment. The 1998 defense budget was originally US$3.1 billion which was cut to $2.91 billion due to IMF actions.


I read the scriptures and try to guide my life by their teachings.

Sometimes I fall short. In business, Peter Drucker has come to be looked upon as having written business dogma. He has said that one should not try to solve two separate problems with one solution because the parameters of two problems are not the same. If they were the same, they would not be two separate problems. I have always found this to be sound advice, and maybe I am violating Peter Drucker’s doctrine by suggesting we look at a particular solution to maximizing manpower utilization.

164 Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea I am going to suggest that there is good reason to look at the concept of a “total force” integration of Korea’s military reserve and regular manpower. As I said, I am not an authority in this area, but I have read materials prepared by the experts. Using the publications to which I am going to refer, I suggest that those responsible for Korean Air Force manpower planning can learn a lot from others’ experiences.

Reserve forces can have both military (conflict) and nonconflict objectives. These might include employment of underused manpower;

supplementing the police force in national disasters; training of skills with beneficial application to military or civilian life; instilling of work force discipline; inculcating patriotic attitudes that support military and national will in crisis situations; and utilization of reserve forces in infrastructure building. For example, in the United States, the Marine Corp Reserve sees community outreach as its secondary mission, and includes: (a) the Drug Demand Reduction Program aimed at youth drug prevention, (b) the Young Marines Program aimed at instilling pride, discipline, patriotism and personal commitment, and (c) Toys for Tots, providing toys at Christmas for needy children.1 It has even been suggested that the reserves could be used for military-based training to improve basic skills of high school dropouts in accomplishing rehabilitation and renewal of community facilities. I think that may be getting too far into Peter Drucker’s warning about solving two problems with one solution. However, in thinking about national manpower as a resource, it is appropriate that these items be given consideration as supplemental benefits. It is even possible that is the area where there may be the greatest marginal return on expenditures that could alleviate some of the problems mentioned above.

Another principle that Peter Drucker is fond of promoting is that it is the job of an effective manager to change problems into opportunities. This is a good mental set when approaching problems. During the “Great Depression” of the 1930s the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was given the task of creating employment ______________

1 Marine Corps Order 5726.14E and MCO P1001R.1H (Marine Corps Reserve Administrative Manual).

Maximizing Manpower Utilization 165 through public works. While the problem was unemployment, the opportunity was to develop many projects which the Corps had previously studied and had proposals ready to advance. The Corps of Engineers predated their involvement in the depression-fighting public works projects, but it was largely because they had an inventory of project studies that enabled them to be in the forefront in the federal government’s efforts to overcome the Depression.

The Corps recognizes that a future economic crisis if and when it happens will occur in a different context, and so the range and type of potential projects will be much different now and need to be given careful consideration.

Possibly, in addition to new projects, consideration would be given to reconstruction or modernization of many of the older projects completed before, during, or after the Depression. New areas such as massive urban renewal, energy, fuel storage and pipeline systems, sewer and sanitation systems, and rebuilding the nation’s railroads might be suitable, labor-intensive endeavors that would benefit the general public.

No matter what happens in a future Depression, the Corps of Engineers will be well served by recalling some of the key factors of

its success during the 1930s:

1. An efficient, decentralized organizational structure that delegated authority to professionally staffed offices that were responsive to local needs and requirements.

2. Special single-project districts were set up for major projects to assure their completion without undue disruption of other Corps work.

3. Professional, cautious, politically astute leadership at the headquarters level retained the respect and cooperation of the president, the Congress, the general public, the New Deal agencies, and other departments of the Executive Branch.

4. A carefully developed collection of surveyed, useful, and feasible (both from engineering and political aspects) projects was readily available for execution by the Corps or other federal construction agencies.

166 Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea

5. There developed a cadre of well-trained, knowledgeable engineering experts, both military and civilian, with solid administrative and management experience.2 Because there has been little attention given to nonconflict purposes in the writings I have surveyed, this chapter can do little more than suggest that consideration ought to be given to them.


The issue to which I will direct the rest of this chapter is that of the potential for reducing regular military manning levels with reserve forces. In the United States the history of the reserve goes back to the founding of the nation when the constitution set up a federal military component and a state militia in each state. For more than two hundred years, the role of reserve forces in the United States has ebbed and flowed in different directions, seeking to find a structure that is both effective and politically acceptable. There was never a master plan. What has evolved has been a pragmatic solution to the tugs and pulls of the differing points of view of military practitioners and civilian politicians. Much can be learned of how politics and experience have produced compromises that have generated an effective reserve structure under the concept of total force.

The total force concept is defined by the U.S. Department of Defense as (1) reliance on reserve forces as the primary augmentation for the active forces and (2) the integrated use of all available personnel, both active duty and reserve. The key idea is the concept of integration. Reserves elements are trained and administered to be an integral part of the total military force. 3 State militias evolved into state National Guard units, which have become federalized and integrated into the reserves, but which are still available for call-up by state governors.


2 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Great Depression (1929–1941), the U.S.

Corps of Engineers Historical Division, July 2, 1980, unpublished.

3Assessing the Structure and Mix of Future Active and Reserve Forces: Final Report to the Secretary of Defense, RAND National Defense Research Institute, RAND, Santa Monica, 1992.

Maximizing Manpower Utilization 167 In addition to serving federal missions, the National Guard also has responsibilities for state missions. During fiscal year 1989, the National Guard was called upon to assist state governors in four civil disturbances and 53 natural disasters. 4 Aircraft, of course, were not part of the military service until the beginning of the century, but airplanes were quickly incorporated into the military soon after their development even when they still had to be considered to be in their introduction stage. The Air Service acquired more definite status with the passage of legislation on July 18, 1914, which directed the creation of the aviation section of the Signal Corps. Anticipating the need for more trained personnel than provided by law, in 1914 the Chief Signal Officer requested legislation establishing a reserve aviation service.5 The Air Force Reserve was begun because it was desired to have more Air Force components than Congress had allowed, and a recognition that air power could offer an important advantage in military action. The number of Reserve Military Aviators that had completed military and civilian flying school programs before the United States entered World War I was negligible. After entry into the war, however, flying schools sprang up overnight. By November 1918, nearly 9,000 Reserve Military Aviators had graduated from schools in the United States.6 After WWI, the United States was quick to demobilize the military.

This included the reserve as well as the regular forces. The military leaders fought to maintain at least a minimum of strength and were able to obtain some recognition from Congress, but as the experience of WWII disclosed, the military had not been well supported.

The Organized Reserve contemplated by the National Defense Act of 1920 was unlike any of its predecessor reserve programs. With the past offering no guidelines, the War Department was without guiding experience in developing the reserves. Although the Organized ______________

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