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Highlights

Congress authorized the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct the Educational Assistance Test Program to determine whether expanded educational assistance would improve enlisted recruiting levels and, if so, whether one form of the program was more successful than another. GAO reviewed the program to determine whether it provides sufficient information for Congress to determine the answers to those questions.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Congress should enact legislation which would authorize selected educational assistance benefits for the period of the test. These benefits could be similar to those provided under the Educational Assistance Test Program.
Closed - Not Implemented
Whether or not to enact a new peacetime GI Bill continues to be hotly debated in both the House and Senate. Numerous versions of a GI Bill have been introduced and extensive hearings have been held, some at which GAO has testified. Given these circumstances, it seems that the recommendations of this report have been overtaken by events.
Congress should enact legislation which would task the Secretary of Defense with (1) conducting the test in a controlled environment; (2) developing an implementation evaluation plan; and (3) to the extent possible, preventing the reoccurrence of the problems encountered in the Education Assistance Test Program.
Closed - Not Implemented
Whether or not to enact a new peacetime GI Bill continues to be hotly debated in both the House and Senate. Numerous versions of a GI Bill have been introduced and extensive hearings have been held, some at which GAO has testified. Given these circumstances, it seems that the recommendations of this report have been overtaken by events.
Congress should enact legislation which would task the Secretary of Defense with expanding the scope of the bonus test program to measure the relative cost effectiveness of bonuses and other incentives and management prerogatives, including, but not limited to, educational assistance benefits, proficiency pay, increased recruiting resources, and increased advertising.
Closed - Not Implemented
Whether or not to enact a new peacetime GI Bill continues to be hotly debated in both the House and Senate. Numerous versions of a GI Bill have been introduced and extensive hearings have been held, some at which GAO has testified. Given the circumstances, it seems that the recommendations of this report have been overtaken by events.
Congress should not approve a permanent educational assistance program until DOD has performed a comprehensive test to determine the most cost-effective mix of recruiting incentives needed to attract the necessary quantity and quality of enlistees.
Closed - Not Implemented
While GAO still opposes enactment of a GI Bill because it is not a cost effective recruiting or retention incentive, this specific recommendation has been overtaken by events in Congress.

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