Gen. David C. Jones, the nation's top soldier as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, does not intend to fade away when he retires from the military at month's end, but expects to hit the lecture circuit in a big way.
Jones confirmed through a spokesman that he is negotiating for speaking engagements but denied reports circulating among lecture agents that he is looking for a guarantee of a speech every two weeks for a fee of $10,000 per speech, which would be $260,000 a year. The fee would be less than that, according to Jones, who makes $63,600 a year now as a four-star Air Force general. He will be 61 in July.
Jones' tour as chairman of the nation's highest military body expires June 30, the end of his second two-year term. The chairman's powers are limited when it comes to setting military policy, but he is the designated senior military adviser to the president.
After an eight-year association with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, starting as chief of staff of the Air Force from 1974 to 1978, Jones has come to deplore the bureaucratic restraints imposed on this military body. He is expected to continue to urge reform if he goes out on the lecture circuit as a retired general.
One of Jones' major recommendations is to strengthen the chiefs' chairman because "many areas cannot be be addressed effectively by committee action, particularly when four out of five committee members"--the uniformed heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps--"have institutional stakes in the issues and the pressure is on to achieve unanimity in order to act."