Recruiting Management in the Armed Services

FPCD-80-78: Published: Aug 15, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1980.

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GAO conducted a limited review of recruiting management practices of the armed services. GAO found some service-unique problems which were reported to the services in question. Many of the problems have either already been corrected or are now being corrected.

Problem areas noted in the Navy included: recruiters' quality of life, treatment of urban versus rural recruiters, control operations, delayed entry program usage, and recruiter training. Areas of Army recruiting in which GAO noted problems were: training of supervisory personnel, coordination of management control systems, and performance evaluations of management at district recruiting commands, area commands, and recruiting stations. Areas which contained problems in the Marine Corps were: operational control policies, goal inflation practices, enlistment processing and recruiting reporting systems, training provided to recruiting personnel and adequacy of training records, perceptions about awards and management support, and policy adherence by station commanders. A review of the Army National Guard found that their practices may be hindering recruiting effectiveness, recruiting management tools are not being fully utilized, and recruiting monitoring and evaluation can be improved. GAO reviewed the Army investigation of recruiter malpractice. The investigation represented a reasonable, systematic effort to detect recruiters who violated regulations or procedures, particularly those who furnished inappropriate test assistance to applicants on tests. Inaccuracies on the database were, for the most part, beyond the Army's control. The methodology was an attempt to reach a reasonable balance between the need to identify violators and the need to minimize the demoralizing effects of placing large numbers of innocent recruiters under suspicion.

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