The Role of the Job Counselor in the Military Enlistment Process

by Beth J. Asch, Lynn A. Karoly


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This report describes a theoretical framework of the enlistment process that accounts for the joint role of counselors, the person-job-match algorithm, and the supply of recruits in determining the number of enlistments, occupation, term of service and enlistment benefits chosen. Using hypotheses generated by this framework, the authors conducted empirical analysis. Results indicate that the counselor incentive plan is cost-effective in filling occupations and priority jobs when compared with educational benefits and enlistment bonuses for recruits. However, the plan should be changed to provide more challenge for the counselor and to reward counselors on the basis of individual, not group, productivity.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Role of Army Guidance Counselors: Institutional Background

  • Chapter Three

    Theoretical Framework: Incorporating the Role of the Job Counselor

  • Chapter Four

    Army Job Counselors: Characteristics and Incentive Plan Performance

  • Chapter Five

    Filling Priority Jobs: Estimated Effects of Counselors and Their Incentive Plan

  • Chapter Six

    Filling Occupations: Estimated Effects of Counselor and Enlistment Incentives

  • Chapter Seven

    Conclusions and Policy Implications

  • Appendix A

    The Role of Job Counselors and Their Incentive Plans in the Other Services

  • Appendix B

    Data Sources and Description

  • Appendix C

    Coefficient Estimates from Logit and Multinomial Logit Models of Enlistments into High Priority Jobs

  • Appendix D

    Data Inputs and Coefficient Estimates for Analysis of Occupational Enlistments

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) under RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation 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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