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The Impacts of Budget Cuts on Recruit Quality and the United States Marine Corps: Executive Summary
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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In the current fiscal environment, all government agencies including those beyond the Department of Defense DOD are being asked to take budget cuts and to consider how to reallocate resources to yield efficiencies. Within DOD, the United States Marine Corps USMC is evaluating how the effects of resource cuts may vary depending on where they occur. Marine Corps Recruiting Command MCRC is perhaps more at risk than other USMC commands because of its ongoing success MCRC is surpassing historical norms in terms of recruit quality. Although some of this success is certainly attributable to the lack of civilian employment opportunities in the currently weak economic environment, it raises questions as to whether MCRC could meet its mission with fewer resources. If MCRC s resources are cut via a decrease in its advertising budget currently 80 million, its recruiting operations budget currently 97 million, andor its recruiter endstrength currently 3,760 what would be the implications for both MCRC and the USMC CNA was tasked with helping MCRC answer this question. Even in difficult recruiting environments when resources, recruiter endstrength, the civilian unemployment rate, andor military propensity are low the services tend to meet their overall recruiting missions. This is because these are missions for which recruiters and their commanding officers are personally responsible and, thus, that greatly affect their careers and continued professional development. Recruiters are personally incentivized to meet their missions, regardless of how hard they might have to work to make this happen.1 As a result, there is little variation over time in the gap between accessions and missions, and we cannot identify a systematic relationship between resource cuts and the mission-accession gap. In most cases, this gap simply does not exist, as illustrated in figure 1.
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