Additional Cost of the All-Volunteer Force

FPCD-78-11: Published: Feb 6, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 1978.

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The move from a conscripted to an all-volunteer force (AVF) has caused annual cost increases of more than $3 billion since 1973. The cost of implementation of the AVF as reflected in the budget was examined; the budgetary approach represents a reasonable assessment of the costs associated with creating and establishing the AVF.

Annual cost increases attributable to the all-volunteer force were about $90 million in 1971, $1.5 billion in 1972, $3 billion in 1973, $3.3 billion in 1974, $3.4 billion in 1975, $3.3 billion in 1976, $0.8 billion in the 1976 transition quarter, and about $3.1 billion in 1977. The majority of the annual cost increases resulted from additional compensation paid to junior service personnel to support the AVF. If the Nation chooses to return to the draft, costs would vary by changes which would occur in the compensation and benefits of junior officers and enlisted service personnel. Questions exist about the accuracy of data used by several independent organizations in studies of the cost of the AVF. Department of Defense officials expressed reservations about the budgetary approach to determining the cost of the AVF, claiming that the method is oversimplified because it does not consider future financial implications. (RRS)

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