In addition to the data sources mentioned here, the Committee also examined
current recruiting practices and advertising strategies. Based on all
this input, several conclusions and recommendations emerged. These included:
- No evidence was found that there will be major changes in manpower
needs in the foreseeable future. Further, the anticipated increase in
the size of the recruiting pool should offset other less positive trends
(e.g., smaller proportions of veteran parents).
- Despite recruiting difficulties, the enlisted force remains highly
qualified and the supply of qualified youth should remain stable.
- The Committee recommended that military performance requirements and
training be reviewed periodically to ensure that recruiting goals and
training practices reflect military needs.
- The compensation and benefits structure should be reviewed to make
the military a more attractive option in today's job market. In particular,
the effects of increased investments in recruiting, educational benefits,
enlistment bonuses, and advertising should be evaluated to determine
the most cost-effective mix of strategies. The Committee concluded that
across-the-board increases in compensation are the least cost-effective
approach to improving recruiting and retention.
- Influencers of youth should also be targeted as part of recruiting
efforts, particularly mothers.
- Advertising should focus on aspects of military service that are attractive
to youth such as more time off, pay, job security, and service to country.
- There will need to be an increased focus on college aspirants and
older youth as potential recruits, and efforts to allow for in-service
education should be continued.
For information on obtaining the complete report, contact the National
Academy Press (www.nap.edu).
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