Recruiting Malpractice:

Extent, Causes, and Potentials for Improvement

FPCD-81-34: Published: Jul 20, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 1981.

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A survey was conducted of the armed forces recruiting personnel in all services, including active, National Guard, and Reserve. The results indicate the perceptions of recruiters, noncommissioned officer supervisors, and commanding officers on: the extent of malpractice within the respective service recruiting programs; possible causes for these actions; and probable corrective actions.

On the basis of the survey, malpractice was found to be a continuing problem in every service component except the Air National Guard. The types of problems and their extent varied by service component, but there were some predominant trends. Most respondents believed that the major reason for malpractice was the goals or quotas that recruiters were required to meet. The desire to help applicants was the next most frequent reason given. The respondents were asked to evaluate the likely success of specific corrective actions. The most frequently endorsed corrective action was reducing or eliminating unnecessary recruiter administrative and processing responsibilities. The written comments of recruiting personnel concerned such things as: (1) the need to return to a draft, (2) the impact of pressure to meet quotas, (3) a questioning of the need for various enlistment standards and requirements, and (4) the negative effect of recruiting duty on a recruiter's financial status and family life.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should use the survey results in making future oversight reviews.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should use the results of GAO work to assess actions the services have taken to correct recruiting malpractice.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to periodically measure, on an anonymous basis, the incidents and causes of recruiting malpractice, using the current GAO database as a baseline.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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