Military Personnel: Services Need to Assess Efforts to Meet Recruiting Goals and Cut Attrition

NSIAD-00-146 Published: Jun 23, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2000.
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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the military services' efforts to meet their recruiting goals and cut attrition, focusing on the services': (1) responses to recent recruiting shortfalls; and (2) efforts to reduce their historically high attrition rates for first-term enlistees.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army To maximize the effectiveness of DOD's recruiting efforts, the Secretary of Defense and the service Secretaries should assess the relative success of their various recruiting strategies in meeting DOD's future needs. This assessment should address how one service's best practices might be applied to the other services, how the services can minimize competition with each other for the same limited number of enlistees, and how the services can create the most cost-effective mix of numbers of recruiters, amounts of enlistment bonuses, college incentives, advertising, and other recruiting tools.
Closed – Implemented
In response to this recommendation, DOD worked with RAND to undertake the assessment. The RAND assessment, dated June 2003, addresses the services' success of their various recruiting strategies. The research is part of a larger effort that is examining whether more service cooperation could improve recruiting efficiency.
Department of Defense To maximize the effectiveness of DOD's recruiting efforts, the Secretary of Defense and the service Secretaries should assess the relative success of their various recruiting strategies in meeting DOD's future needs. This assessment should address how one service's best practices might be applied to the other services, how the services can minimize competition with each other for the same limited number of enlistees, and how the services can create the most cost-effective mix of numbers of recruiters, amounts of enlistment bonuses, college incentives, advertising, and other recruiting tools.
Closed – Implemented
In response to this recommendation, DOD worked with RAND to undertake the assessment. RAND's assessment, dated June 2003, addresses the services' success of their various recruiting strategies. The research is part of a larger effort that is examining whether more service cooperation could improve recruiting efficiency.
Department of the Navy To maximize the effectiveness of DOD's recruiting efforts, the Secretary of Defense and the service Secretaries should assess the relative success of their various recruiting strategies in meeting DOD's future needs. This assessment should address how one service's best practices might be applied to the other services, how the services can minimize competition with each other for the same limited number of enlistees, and how the services can create the most cost-effective mix of numbers of recruiters, amounts of enlistment bonuses, college incentives, advertising, and other recruiting tools.
Closed – Implemented
In response to this recommendation, DOD worked with RAND to undertake the assessment. RAND's assessment, dated June 2003, addresses the services' success of their various recruiting strategies. The research is part of a larger effort that is examining whether more service cooperation could improve recruiting efficiency.
United States Marine Corps To maximize the effectiveness of DOD's recruiting efforts, the Secretary of Defense and the service Secretaries should assess the relative success of their various recruiting strategies in meeting DOD's future needs. This assessment should address how one service's best practices might be applied to the other services, how the services can minimize competition with each other for the same limited number of enlistees, and how the services can create the most cost-effective mix of numbers of recruiters, amounts of enlistment bonuses, college incentives, advertising, and other recruiting tools.
Closed – Implemented
In response to this recommendation, DOD worked with RAND to undertake the assessment. RAND's assessment, dated June 2003, addresses the services' success of their various recruiting strategies. The research is part of a larger effort that is examining whether more service cooperation could improve recruiting efficiency.
Department of the Air Force To maximize the effectiveness of DOD's recruiting efforts, the Secretary of Defense and the service Secretaries should assess the relative success of their various recruiting strategies in meeting DOD's future needs. This assessment should address how one service's best practices might be applied to the other services, how the services can minimize competition with each other for the same limited number of enlistees, and how the services can create the most cost-effective mix of numbers of recruiters, amounts of enlistment bonuses, college incentives, advertising, and other recruiting tools.
Closed – Implemented
In response to this recommendation, DOD worked with RAND to undertake the assessment. RAND's assessment, dated June 2003, addresses the services' success of their recruiting strategies. The research is part of a larger effort that is examining whether more service cooperation could improve recruiting efficiency.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should direct the service Secretaries to: (1) continue to identify groups of enlistees whom they believe could be rehabilitated and retained, both during and after training; and (2) put in place tools for measuring the long-term success of the rehabilitative efforts. These measurement tools should allow the services to verify that attrition that is being reduced is not simply being delayed until later in enlistees' first terms. These measurement tools should also allow the services to determine what effect their recruitment of persons outside their traditional market has on attrition.
Closed – Implemented
Services work first term attrition and DOD monitors the services efforts on a quarterly basis. Attrition data is now presented as part of the monitoring status of the force briefing.

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