Military Training Options:

Feasibility of Using Civilian Institutions

PEMD-91-17: Published: May 1, 1991. Publicly Released: May 1, 1991.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor's report regarding the practicality and desirability of using civilian educational institutions to provide technical training to military personnel.

GAO found that: (1) the contractor's report presented sufficient evidence concerning the feasibility and effectiveness of civilian training for certain specialties and provided a reasonable experimental design to further test the effectiveness of such an approach for both active and reserve service components; (2) civilian-provided training was more likely to offer greater benefits for reserve and National Guard forces than for active duty forces; (3) both the military and the civilian communities lacked data to systematically evaluate the feasibility of civilian-provided training on cost, quality, and other grounds; (4) substantial cost savings could result from a Department of the Air Force Air Training Command preacession training model which would provide enlisted recruits with a modest stipend and living allowances while attending specialized skill training at a community college; and (5) no differences existed in promotion, retention, and disciplinary problems among personnel who had attended traditional technical training and those who had been directly assigned to the field because of previously acquired skills.