Read Online Version

This research brief describes work documented in Attracting College-Bound Youth into the Military: Toward the Development of New Recruiting Policy Options (MR-984-OSD).

Excerpt: Although the military's need for enlisted personnel has declined by almost one-third since the end of the Cold War, the armed services are currently finding it difficult to meet their recruiting goals. The Department of Defense (DoD) has traditionally responded to such difficulties by increasing advertising, assigning additional personnel to recruiting, and raising recruiting incentives. However, because of ongoing and permanent changes in the civilian labor market, as well as other changes that have occurred in the recruiting environment, these measures may no longer be adequate to help the services meet their recruiting goals. In particular, the strong demand for skilled labor has prompted an increasing number of "high quality" youth [1] to pursue post-secondary education and subsequent civilian employment. Because of this competition from post-secondary institutions and subsequent skilled employment, the DoD may want to explore new options for attracting high quality youth into the armed forces that will directly address this source of competition.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.