Reserve Recruiting and the College Market: Is a New Educational Benefit Needed?
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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The success of the active and reserve components in meeting their national defense missions is contingent on their ability to attract and retain high-quality personnel. Recruiting for the active components has become more challenging as the proportion of high school graduates seeking to attend college directly after high school has increased. Studies of active duty recruiting find that potential high-quality recruits view military service as a substitute for college attendance, not a complement. In an effort to make military service more complementary with college attendance, the active components have enhanced existing educational benefit programs and experimented with new enlistment programs in which enlistees attend college first and serve on active duty second. How the heightened interest in college attendance among American youth has impacted reserve recruiting is less clear. In general, reservists can and do attend college while serving in the Reserves. Some potential recruits, however, may wish to pursue college more intensively than is permitted by a reserve career, especially when one considers the increasing likelihood that a reservists academic studies will be interrupted by activation. The RAND Corporation was asked to assess whether new programs, such as those offered by some active components, would help the reserve components meet their current and future recruiting goals with respect to high-quality non-prior and prior service recruits. The findings of this project, entitled Reserve Recruiting and the College Market, are reported in this document. The report is intended to inform policy makers and should be of interest to researchers and policy analysts concerned with military recruiting.
- Humanities and History
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations