Results and Recommendations from a Survey of Army Deserters and Leaders
Final rept. Jan 2002-Jul 2004
HUMAN RESOURCES RESEARCH ORGANIZATION ALEXANDRIA VA
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In 2001, the Army experienced over 4,500 cases of enlisted Soldier desertion, a rate more than double that of a decade prior. The Army 6-1 requested that the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences undertake a study to obtain a better understanding of why Soldiers desert and what can be done to prevent it. Accordingly, over 400 deserters who were returned to military control were surveyed about why they took unauthorized leave and how it could have been avoided. A sample of 241 Army supervisors completed a survey in which they provided information about a specific case of desertion with which they were familiar, as well as general opinions regarding AWOL and desertion. Among the findings were that most deserters leave without giving the move much consideration, many do not seek assistance before taking this step, and only about one quarter leave with no intention of returning. Deserters felt that receiving more information about Army life prior to entry and allowing more family contact may have prevented them from taking this step. Supervisors indicated that better screening of recruits and increasing the punishment for going AWOL may have helped prevent the desertions with which they were familiar.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations