Needed--A More Complete Definition of a Quality First-Term Enlisted Person

FPCD-79-34: Published: Apr 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1979.

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In congressional debates and public discussions about the success or failure of the All-Volunteer Force, the quality of enlisted recruits is a major concern. However, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not yet defined a "quality" first-term enlisted person.

With the help of DOD and using various data, factors were identified as determinants or most important to quality. The quality enlisted person performs effectively in military training and job environments and behaves at an acceptable level, contributing to mission accomplishment. In addition to trainability and completion of enlistment, other factors were freedom from discipline problems, adaptability, and job performance. Regarding one aspect of the discipline factor, it was more cost effective to recruit high school graduates. The last two factors were harder to measure, and it generally was not shown how indicative high school graduation and mental aptitude are to those factors. Considerable research on these other factors is underway within each of the services to better understand quality.

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