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Recruiting Older Youths

Recruiting Older Youths: Insights from a New Survey of Army Recruits

Bernard D. Rostker
Jacob Alex Klerman
Megan Zander-Cotugno
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 84
  • Book Info
    Recruiting Older Youths
    Book Description:

    The group of high school graduates who did not enlist immediately after graduation but later join the Army has made up a significant and increasing portion of total enlistments. This report presents the results of a survey of 5,000 Army recruits designed to answer questions about why they did not immediately enlist and why they later chose to do so.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8647-1
    Subjects: Business, Management & Organizational Behavior, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Since the advent of the all-volunteer force, considerable research has focused on the contributions to recruiting of recruiters (Dertouzos, 1985), advertising (Dertouzos, 2009), cash incentive programs (Asch et al., 2010), educational benefits (Dertouzos, 1994), and targeted bonus programs (Warner, Simon, and Payne, 2001). Research has focused on specific markets, such as college-bound high school graduates (Asch, Kilburn, and Klerman, 1999), college students (Kilburn and Asch, 2003), and minorities (Asch, Heaton, and Savych, 2009). Little attention, however, has been paid to the high school graduates who do not enlist and do not go to college. Over time, this group has made...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Who Are the Older Recruits and How Successful Are They in the Army?
    (pp. 5-10)

    This chapter reviews what administrative records from MEPCOM reveal about older recruits.

    Table 2.1 presents select statistics for the active Army, using MEPCOM data from FY2009.

    The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple-choice computer adaptive test used to determine qualification for enlistment in the armed forces. Generally, high school students take it, and high school guidance departments and the military use the results to help guide high school students into career paths for which they have a particular aptitude. The test contains nine sections: Word Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning, Mechanical Comprehension, Automotive and Shop Information, Electronics Information, Mathematics...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Why Do Older Youths Join the Military?
    (pp. 11-14)

    The traditional economic models of enlistment, both theoretical and econometric, are based upon the economic theory of occupational choice (McFadden, 1983) as applied to the modern all-volunteer force (Fechter, 1970). The economic model posits that an individual considers the military and his or her best civilian alternative as two mutually exclusive choices.¹ Generally, these models assume that the decision to join or not to join is made once; that is, these are single-period models. We have seen, however, the path into the military is not as simple as such a model implies. In reality, those who graduate from high school...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Surveys of Army Enlistees and the American Youth Population
    (pp. 15-24)

    To compare Army recruits who joined soon after leaving high school with those who joined later, RAND developed a new survey instrument that was administered to Army recruits during basic training. For all respondents, the survey recorded demographic information, family associations with the military, perceptions about recruiting activities in high school, and their reasons for joining or not joining after high school. For those who did not join the Army directly after high school, additional information was collected, including an extensive socioeconomic history of their situation after high school and preenlistment, their accounts of what had changed, and their reasons...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE What We Learned About Older Recruits: An Analysis of Survey Results
    (pp. 25-32)

    This chapter describes the results of the RAND survey of older recruits. We begin our discussion with results obtained from the Army survey data and conclude with observations about how the results from our survey of older recruits, weighted by key characteristics to produce a more comparable sample, compare with American youth from the NLSY97. Note that, in many cases, survey respondents could select more than one answer; therefore, the percentages presented below often add up to more than 100 percent.

    Our survey data suggest that the military has become a family business. In our total sample of those who...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 33-34)

    The survey of Army recruits we conducted for this study provided insights into older recruits—those who do not join the military directly after high school graduation but, after embarking on a different path, join the military later. We learned several things about these recruits:

    More than one-half of the Army’s recruits do not join immediately after high school graduation.

    Both older recruits and those who join early had close family associations with the military.

    Older recruits rely less on school-related resources to connect with the military. They are self-motivated and far more likely to stop by recruiting stations and/or...

  15. APPENDIX The Survey
    (pp. 35-64)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 65-66)