Budgets block services from issuing PCs to all recruits

Budgets block services from issuing PCs to all recruits

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Army and Navy officials want to give PCs to all incoming recruits to boost recruitment and retention but say their fiscal 2001 budgets probably won't allow it.

Navy undersecretary Jerry M. Hultin said last month that he wants every sailor to have a PC and Internet access, but the money to do so is not there. Hultin spoke at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association conference in San Diego.

Chief of naval operations Jay Johnson said during a question-and-answer period that he supports Hultin's goal, but he agreed that funding could be a problem.

Johnson said he will provide all commissioned officers with personal digital assistants. 'Gimme a break. I'm starting somewhere,' he said.

Navy officials call their proposal to lease PCs for recruits for three years the CyberSeabag project.

Army officials have named a similar proj-
ect Green to Grad, an Army spokesman said. 'It's out there, but it hasn't been approved. It's in the planning stages,' said the spokesman, who requested anonymity.

The Army had 74,000 recruits last year and wants to enlist 80,000 more this year, the spokesman said.

Army and Navy officials have not explained how they would handle the bandwidth, security and training problems that would come with issuing thousands of PCs.

Because of those potential problems and budget concerns, Marine Corps officials have no plans to provide all recruits with PCs and Internet access, said Brig. Gen. Robert M. Shea, assistant chief of staff for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence.

Air Force officials have no plans to give PCs and Internet access to all recruits, said Maj. Donna Nicholas, an Air Force spokeswoman.

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