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Distance learning techniques can improve the efficiency of the Army's processes for educating its officers and NCOs. This report summarizes the results of a project carried out by RAND Arroyo Center (documented in RAND reports MR-1317-A and MR-1318-A) that studied ways in which distance learning (DL) technologies could be employed to enhance Army personnel readiness. Distance learning technologies can be used, for example, to improve the efficiency of strategies designed to alleviate shortages of enlisted personnel in key military occupational specialties. DL can also enhance personnel stability and reduce the need for officers and noncommissioned officers to make frequent moves to complete their required training. The research concludes that the Army should make improving personnel readiness a primary goal of the DL program, and it recommends changes to the Army's investment plans to support this goal. For example, the Army should enhance investment in courseware relative to infrastructure, such as developing courseware for reclassifying active component soldiers from surplus to shortage military occupational specialties. The Army should also employ the most flexible DL training methods to support this goal, e.g., expand development of asynchronous courseware in officer and NCO professional development courses.

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The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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