Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Recruiting

FPCD-75-169: Published: Mar 5, 1976. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 1976.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The military services under shelter of the draft had 3 years to design and organize resources to recruit an All-Volunteer Force (AVF). Although all services except the Air Force encountered initial problems recruiting in a nondraft environment, the Department of Defense (DOD) has essentially met the services' strength goals without any appreciable drop in quality in fiscal year 1974, the first full year of operation under the AVF concept. Recruiting successes were even better in fiscal year 1975, but were probably helped by depressed economic conditions.

No central focus for monitoring quality control, recruiter malpractice, and fraudulent enlistment exists. As a result, many unqualified recruits slip through the enlistment process, fail training, and receive early discharges. Many of these problems are difficult, if not impossible, to detect during preenlistment screening. All services recognize the damage such practices can cause and have worked hard to prevent them. The principle thrusts of their efforts have been after the fact, such as identifying those instances that occur and attempting to relate them back to the recruiter. Inefficiencies caused by distorted workload standards, monthly enlistment quota systems, varying service-imposed paperwork requirements, and double contract processing of individuals who delay entry into the military also wasted valuable time and increased examining station costs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: To help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of recruiting, GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense: (1) remove the examining stations from operational control of the recruiting organizations; (2) adjust staffing levels between recruiting stations and recruiting services to give examining stations resources to perform quality control and monitoring functions; (3) insure that the examining stations assess reliability of revised workload standards; (4) insure that the recruiting services change the system of month-end enlistment quotas and establish common boundaries and a common entrance examination; and (5) establish uniform procedures to monitor recruiting results and assess recruiting force needs.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 13, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Feb 15, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 31, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Jan 10, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here