The conversion to an all-volunteer military has greatly increased interest in the cost of training first-term enlisted personnel. This report (1) develops a method of estimating military on-the-job training (OJT) costs and relationships between these costs and the personal attributes of trainees, and (2) evaluates the feasibility of this technique. The method of estimation is a straightforward application of modern human capital theory; investment in OJT is measured as the present value of the sum of positive differences between an individual's military pay and productivity over time. In a pilot study conducted at Norton Air Force Base with members of the largest Air Force specialty (Aircraft Maintenance Specialists), OJT costs were estimated to average $6600 even though all trainees had attended an Air Force technical school costing about $3200. Results suggest that the "typical trainee" approach used in previous studies gives biased estimates. Estimated relationships between trainee attributes and OJT costs are presented.
Gay, Robert M., Estimating the Cost of On-the-Job Training in Military Occupations: A Methodology and Pilot Study. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1974. https://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/R1351.html.
Gay, Robert M., Estimating the Cost of On-the-Job Training in Military Occupations: A Methodology and Pilot Study, RAND Corporation, R-1351-ARPA, 1974. As of December 8, 2023: https://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/R1351.html