Reducing the Air Force Male Enlistment Requirement

Effects on Recruiting Prospects of the Other Services

by Richard Buddin, Christina Witsberger


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If the Air Force filled a larger share of its enlistment requirement with women, how many of the displaced male Air Force recruits would join the Army, Navy, or Marines instead? This is the key question raised by a Congressional proposal calling upon the Air Force to make a rapid increase in the number of its female nonprior service enlistees. The proposal is intended to increase the numbers of high-quality male personnel available to the Army. It would help the Army if young male Air Force accessions consider the other services to be close substitutes and would enlist in another branch of the armed forces even if denied their first service choice. This study examined individual intentions and individual behavior, and used a multivariate model to predict the likelihood of an individual's choosing a particular service or civilian alternative. It concludes that, if the Air Force reduced its male enlistment requirement, most of the displaced male Air Force recruits would choose to remain civilians. Few would enlist in other service branches.

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