Active Enlisted Supply

Prospects and Policy Options

by James Hosek, Richard L. Fernandez, David W. Grissmer


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In this paper the authors show how the forces shaping enlisted supply in the 1980s will affect the services' abilities to attract and retain the numbers and types of individuals they want. They give special attention to the Army because its past recruiting problems have sparked greatest concern. For both the Department of Defense (all services together) and the Army, they present forecasts of high-quality male enlistments, of first- and second-term retention rates, and of the enlisted force structure. They also examine some alternative policy options that could be used if the predicted enlistment levels, retention rates, and force structures deviate from those desired. Finally, they indicate areas in which further analysis would be useful.

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