Accuracy of Records and Reported Quality of Military Male Enlistees

FPCD-76-73: Published: Aug 12, 1976. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1976.

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GAO made verification tests to determine how widespread and serious improper recruiting practices are and the effect of such practices on the quality of recruits obtained by the services. The tests were made of a randomly selected sample of 1,600 male enlistees from the four military services who entered the services during January through June 1974 and who were still in the service when the sample was selected. The tests included verifying the services' records concerning (1) police records at the time of enlistment, (2) educational attainment, and (3) age at the time of enlistment.

The records concerning education and age were reasonably accurate. Because of the inaccessibility of local and State police data and the incompleteness of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files, the military services do not know how many enlistees in the sample had police records. Of the records that were available, 21 enlistees would have been barred had their records been disclosed. Some of the police record problems may be resolved because the responsibility for national agency checks will be transferred from basic training commands to the entrance stations, and the Department of Defense is proposing legislation to improve its access to the records.

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