The Military Enlistment Process

What Happens and Can it be Improved?

by Sue E. Berryman, Robert M. Bell, William Lisowski


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Examines the military enlistment process by tracing the outcomes of individuals who applied for active duty in fiscal year 1977. The analysis located previously unsuspected, major losses of applicants who met service educational and medical standards, but did not take the medical examination. Since the All Volunteer Force was introduced in 1973, the military services have annually screened hundreds of thousands of applicants. To monitor the performance of the recruiting process, service and OSD managers need routine information on what happens in the process, to whom, and why. The military's applicant data systems have an information potential not now realized, although it easily could be with only small changes in what kinds of data are entered, how promptly, and in what form, and in the information processing technology (i.e., computer hardware and software) required to support these changes. This report shows how these changes would let service and OSD managers monitor and manage the recruitment process more effectively as its parameters change during the 1980s and the 1990s.

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