Improvements Can Be Made in the Management of Naval Recruit Training

FPCD-79-22: Published: Feb 9, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 1979.

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The Navy Recruit Training program is the largest single-purpose training program in the Navy, costing an estimated $150 million in fiscal year 1979, with approximately 80,000 individuals receiving basic introductory and indoctrination training. GAO reviewed the program at the Naval Recruit Training Center in San Diego, California, and the centers at Great Lakes, Illinois, and Orlando, Florida, were also visited. Studies were examined and recruits were observed during the training cycle from inprocessing through graduation. Discussions were held with officials at the recruit centers; the skill training schools in San Diego; the Naval Technical Training Command in Millington, Tennessee; and the Naval Training and Education Command at Pensacola, Florida.

The results of the GAO review indicated the following problem areas: lack of recruit training effectiveness assessment; opportunities to reduce training length; need for greater curriculum standardization; opportunities to use skill training to reinforce recruit training goals; use of special recruit units, such as drum and bugle corps, drill teams, etc.; and unexplained differences in recruit training time.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to: (1) restate recruit training goals in terms which can be measured, with input from the fleet; (2) establish a more systematic feedback system from the fleet on the required and actual performance of recruit graduates; (3) reevaluate, using the restated training goals and fleet input, the length and content of the Navy's recruit training program; (4) provide greater management oversight to assure optimum standardization of the training program curriculum and testing procedures or provide more centralized management of the program; (5) review the need for special recruit units and the reasons for variances in recruit training delay times among the three training centers; and (6) find out the reason and justification for the differences in average training time among the three training centers. The Secretary of Defense also should review the applicability of these issues to the other services, particularly the need for more explicit training goals and an improved feedback system from operational units on the requirements for and performance of recruit graduates.

    Agency Affected:


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