Military Recruiting: Trends, Outlook, and Implications

Military Recruiting: Trends, Outlook, and Implications

Military Recruiting: Trends, Outlook, and Implications

Military Recruiting: Trends, Outlook, and Implications

Synopsis

Based on indications of increased difficulty in meeting recruiting goals, in spring 1994 the Army Chief of Staff and the Deputy of Secretary of Defense asked RAND to examine recent trends in the recruiting market and to assesss their implications for meeting accession requirements. An initial examination of the 1994 market concluded that the pool of interested high-quality young men was adequate to meet DoD needs. But the system appeared to be less effective in tapping into this supply of potential enlistees. The longer-term analysis, reported here, confirms the reduced effectiveness of recruiting, and also finds that the significant increase in FY97's accessions required to sustain the postdrawdown force, coupled with a smaller decline in youth's interest in military service, translates into a possible supply shortage.

Excerpt

Based on RAND's past body of research and on indications of increased difficulty in meeting recruiting goals, in early 1994 the Army Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary of Defense asked rand to examine recent recruiting trends and assess their implications for meeting accession requirements. the request consisted of two parts: (1) a quick initial examination of the trends and (2) a longer-term research agenda to study the recruiting outlook in depth. the results of the preliminary examination were briefed widely in spring 1994; emerging results from the longer-term analysis were initially briefed in late 1996-early 1997. the recruiting challenges identified in these briefings continue to plague the services. This report provides an overview and synthesis of the final study results, which should be helpful to policymakers concerned with resolving these difficulties.

The research underlying the results presented in this report is described in greater detail in separate rand documents: MR-549A/OSD, Recent Recruiting Trends and Their Implications: Preliminary Analysis and Recommendations (Asch and Orvis, 1994); MR-677A/OSD, Military Recruiting Outlook: Recent Trends in Enlistment Propensity and Conversion of Potential Supply (Orvis, Sastry, and McDonald, 1996); MR-845-0SD/A, Encouraging Recruiter Achievement: a Recent History of Recruiter Incentive Programs (Oken and Asch, 1997); MR-818-0SD/A, Estimating afqt Scores for National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) Respondents (Kilburn, Hanser, and Klerman, 1998); MR-847-0SD/A, Recent Recruiting Trends and Their Implications for Models of Enlistment Supply (Murray and McDonald, 1999); and MR-944-0SD/A, Enlistment De . . .

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