The Air Reserve Forces and the All-Volunteer Force

A Statement before the Defense Manpower Commission

by Bernard D. Rostker

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In examining the effects of the All-Volunteer Force on the personnel structure of the Air Reserve Forces, Rostker views the pending shortage of nonprior enlistees not with alarm but as an opportunity for developing a more rational pattern of personnel utilization. Instead of providing for maximum use of previously trained people, the Reserves continue to pursue additional capability by training recruits having no prior military experience. The author proposes three alternatives to the present recruiting policy: (1) exchange first-term positions for career positions on a one-to-one basis; (2) substantially reduce authorizations for nonprior service personnel and increase career personnel; (3) exchange one active-duty year for two years of reserve service. Studies show that career airmen are slightly less expensive than nonprior service airmen and provide more man-years of service per person. Based on past performance and the potential for total force procurement, there should be sufficient prior service personnel to support an increased emphasis on the career force.

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