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Military Personnel: Active Duty Benefits Reflect Changing Demographics, but Opportunities Exist to Improve


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The basic goals of the military's compensation system are to attract, retain, and motivate the number and quality of people needed to maintain national security. In fiscal year 2002, Congress appropriated more than $100 billion in compensation for military personnel. DOD is the single largest employer and trainer of youth and recruited about 196,000 individuals into active duty in 2001. Although a unique institution, the military nevertheless competes with academia and other organizations for qualified people. The military may face increased competition for qualified people over the next few years because of continued increases in the number of high school graduates going on to college and labor shortages projected through at least 2010. The U.S. Department of Education projects that the number of high school graduates will increase by 11 percent by 2010-2011, and enrollment in degree-granting institutions is predicted to increase 20 percent by 2011. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the civilian labor force will increase by 12 percent by 2010, while total employment will increase by 15 percent.



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