Last year, Congress allowed the Navy "relief" from its statutory promotion grade tables by increasing the number of overall 0-4 to 0-6 manning by 6%. The Navy considered this essential to meet its manpower requirements. In the January-February 1997 Perspective , the Bureau of Naval Personnel stated that, "for fleet manning, the change does not mean we can have more officers on active duty, it just means that we can have a slightly more senior force to meet changing manpower requirements." Through this action, the Navy is clinging to a bloated, top-heavy, force-manning structure to satisfy artificially high staffing requirements for officers. The following juxtaposition is illustrative: The Chief of Naval Operations announced that we are further reducing ships to 335 and personnel to just over 380,000. Then, in the same week, he announced that 156 captains would be added this year to total 0-6 end-strength. The Bureau of Personnel also recently released specifics on the drawdown plan for manning between now and 1999; as the overall Navy end-strength diminishes by slightly more than 7%, end-strength for captains will be reduced by 6%; for commanders by a negligible .2%; and for lieutenant commanders, it will increase by 5%. As we lose more ships, submarines, and aviation squadrons, should we not also proportionately reduce our senior leadership, rather than incrementally increasing it?