Army Reserve Component Accessions from Personnel Completing Their First Active-Duty Enlistment

by Richard Buddin, Stephen J. Kirin

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The planned restructuring of the Army Active Component (AC) will affect the size and composition (occupation, paygrade, recruit quality) of the prior service accession pool available to the Reserve Component (RC). This report examines factors that affect whether prior-service personnel affiliate with RC units. The goal is to identify soldiers who are likely to join the RC and understand what can be done to improve the rate of transition of prior-service soldiers into the reserves. The study focuses on the transition rates of active-duty first-term soldiers into the RC. A major finding of the research is that recruits with shorter terms of service in the AC are substantially more likely to join the RC at the completion of their AC tour. Holding constant other recruit characteristics, about 50 percent of two-year enlistees join the reserves as compared with 40 and 30 percent of three- and four-year enlistees, respectively. This finding suggests that a shift to shorter terms might ease RC manning problems because it would cycle people who are disposed to joining the RC more quickly through the AC.

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