Desertion in the Volunteer Army: A Projection on in absentia Policy,
ARMY ADMINISTRATION CENTER FORT BENJAMIN HARRISON IN
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This study addressed the problems raised by the GAO report concerning possible excessive costs in apprehending, controlling and re-integrating deserters. Results indicated that present Army policy offers a viable deterrent to desertion and thus should be retained. Additionally, results indicated that given an in absentia policy, an increase in deserters, desertions and their apprehension costs would occur. Alternative Army proposals for dealing with deserters are in part meritorious and can further improve the Armys ability to conserve manpower in an all-volunteer force. Finally, there were indications that an in absentia policy would adversely affect troop morale.