Relationship of Enlistment Intention and Market Survey Information to Enlistment in Active Duty Military Service

by Bruce R. Orvis, Martin T. Gahart

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This Note investigates the relationship between survey enlistment intention data and actual enlistment rates, and develops methods of predicting respondents' Armed Forces Qualification Test scores. The research should facilitate applications of survey information in targeting recruiting and advertising efforts, anticipating aggregate enlistment rates, and measuring effectiveness in policy option tests. Results indicate that enlistment intentions are significantly related to actual enlistment decisions, and improve enlistment predictions based on demographic characteristics alone. Nonetheless, because they are so numerous, persons expressing negative intentions account for almost half the enlistees. Both recent and longer-term factors motivate enlistment. The factors appear similar for persons expressing positive and negative enlistment intentions, suggesting the feasibility of a common recruiting approach.

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