An Updated Look at Military and Civilian Pay Levels and Recruit Quality
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA SANTA MONICA United States
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Quadrennial reviews of military compensation seek to ensure that pay and benefit levels for those serving in the military are adequate and able to attract the quality and quantity of recruits necessary to maintain readiness. This report, in support of the 13th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, builds on earlier RAND work Hosek et al., 2018by examining the current state of military compensation relative to civilian pay for workers of comparable ages, education levels, and labor-force participation. The Ninth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation recommended that military pay for active-component enlisted personnel be at about the 70th percentile of civilian pay for full-time workers with some college and that military pay for active-component officers be at about the 70th percentile of civilian pay for full-time workers with four or more years of college. We compare relative pay for enlisted and officers in 2017 with their relative pay in 2009. We also examine how changes in military pay affect the quality of recruits across branches of the military, as well as how pay percentiles vary by geography.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Economics and Cost Analysis