Dec 31, 1981
Text of a briefing on a nationwide experiment offering special educational benefits for military enlistees. In 1981, the Department of Defense offered four Congressionally-mandated benefit programs in balanced sets of geographical areas to test the effects on enlistments by "high quality" youth. RAND analyzed the experimental data and results from two national surveys to evaluate the programs. The briefing reports that educational benefits can increase enlistments substantially, but that a uniform benefit offered to all recruits could have undesired effects, such as reducing enlistments in the Army and in combat specialties. Results imply that a benefit program targeted on specific subgroups can improve manning in hard-to-fill occupational specialties, while at the same time increasing the overall number of high-quality recruits.