Research for Enlistment

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July 31, 2013

The Navy is considering options for changing the length of the initial employment contract. The “T+X” pilot program, currently in place, changed the length of the first tour in several ratings, bringing about alignment of the end of obligation and the end of the first sea tour. In this research, we focus on a larger sample, including data on all new sailors over the last decade. We examine several aspects of contract length changes.

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July 31, 2013

Traditionally, the Navy has set sailors’ initial contract lengths to ensure a return on investment (ROI) from sailors’ training. The current mix of 4-, 5-, and 6-year Navy enlistment contracts is partially a result of this ROI framework. However, this approach is not necessarily aligned with the sea-shore flow. We find that many sailors’ end of active obligated service (EAOS) comes before the end of their first prescribed sea tour (PST), which follows training. Because those sailors whose EAOS doesn’t cover their PST complete their PSTs at much lower rates, we conclude that aligning PST and EAOS by increasing initial obligation would increase overall sea tour completion rates.

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March 1, 2009

The National Guard Youth Challenge (ChalleNGe) program is a quasi-military residential program for young high school dropouts. The ChalleNGe model includes a number of core components, with a focus on academics, physical fitness, and service. In this research, we examine how various aspects of the ChalleNGe model affect cadets, detail the types of schools cadets previously attended, and report on the military performance of those ChalleNGe cadets who go on to enlist.

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April 1, 2008
The National Guard Youth Challenge (ChalleNGe) program enrolls young high school dropouts into a system that combines classroom instruction with a quasi-military environment. Most graduates also earn a GED (or other credential) while enrolled. We find evidence that the first term attrition rate of ChalleNGe graduates has fallen over time. In addition, there are significant differences between programs both in terms of program completion and eventual military attrition of those who enlist. This variation may arise from differences either in how the program is implemented or in the population served by the program. We find both factors influence outcomes – those who come from more advantaged neighborhoods not only perform better in the ChalleNGe program but also perform better in the military if they enlist, and programs with a higher degree of militarization have higher graduation rates. Finally, we make the case that non-cognitive skills are likely to be a driving factor in explaining the performance of ChalleNGe cadets.
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April 1, 2006
The National Guard Youth Challenge (ChalleNGe) program enrolls young high school dropouts into a system that combines classroom instruction with a quasi-military environment. Most graduates also earn a GED (or other credential) while enrolled. Furthermore, we find that the program has positive effects on those who complete it as ChalleNGe graduates who subsequently enlist in the military have much lower attrition than those who fail to complete the program before enlistment. Outcomes differ across programs; graduates of some ChalleNGe programs have attrition rates that are consistently below those of typical high school diploma graduates. However, some portion of this difference most likely stems from unobserved differences in state populations, school quality, admissions procedures, and/or program policies. To separate program differences from other unobserved differences, we recommend following up on our results in two ways. First, matching the ChalleNGe program data to Census data will allow for the inclusion of variables measuring state and local area characteristics that are now unobserved. Second, qualitative analysis of how policies relating to admission and discipline differ across programs could reveal the source of some program-level differences, and could provide an opportunity for programs to learn from each other.
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January 1, 2004
The Marine Corps has been very successful at recruiting Hispanics, and Hispanic recruits do well in the Marine Corps. This study highlights several challenges that may affect the services' ability to recruit Hispanics in the future—including high levels of high school dropout rates, language fluency of recruits and their parents, and citizenship status.
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March 1, 1998
This paper summarizes FY 97 efforts to increase the recruitment of community college graduates, specifically targeting the recruitment of graduates with allied health care specialties. It compares the efforts and results for the last two years and offers recommendations for FY 98. Despite many new efforts initiated in FY 97 aimed at the community college market, only 17 more recruits had Associate degrees in FY 97 than in FY 96. Since the shift from recruiting from high school to the community college market is a major change, it will take some time to make significant progress. It appears more resources are needed for the general recruiting effort and possibly a further increase is necessary to expand community college recruiting.
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February 1, 1997

In the fall of 1995, CNA began working with personnel in the Bureau of Medicine (BuMed), Bureau of Personnel (BuPers), and Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC) on an experiment to conduct active Navy recruiting on community college campuses. This research memorandum summarizes the first 11 months of this initiative.

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May 1, 1989
The number of recruits enlisted from a target population varies significantly by aptitude score. This memorandum calculates the ratio of recruits to population by AFQT category for the fiscal years 1980 to 1987.
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November 1, 1988
The Navy Selected Reserve (SELRES) has experienced enormous growth during the 1980s. The need to meet manpower goals with limited personnel resources places a premium on the effective utilization of the personnel resources within the Selected Reserve. Tools for managing personnel resources include the allocation of recruiters and the efficient use of affiliation and retention bonuses. This memorandum summarizes a series of studies analyzing recruiting and retention in the Naval Reserve, with the objective of helping the Navy meet its manpower requirements at minimal cost.
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