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Appendix F
PERSONNEL READINESS FACTORS BY RACE AND GENDER

PERSONNEL READINESS FACTORS BY RACE AND GENDER

This appendix responds to the National Defense Authorization Act FY 1996 (Public Law 103-337, Section 533) which requires that the Department submit a report of readiness factors by race and gender as part of its annual report.

INDISCIPLINE TRENDS

The Department of Defense has issued a directive requiring the Services and DoD components to submit reports on criminal incidents to a central repository under the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System (DIBRS). This system was designed to incorporate the crime reporting requirements of the Uniform Federal Crime Reporting Act of 1998, the Victims Rights and Restitution Act of 1990, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994. The DIBRS includes a requirement to report information on incidents involving sexual harassment and race-motivated offenses.

The military departments began partial reporting of data to DIBRS in 1997. Funding and other problems, however, have prevented the Services from fully implementing DIBRS.

Military Equal Opportunity Complaint Trends

Since FY 1987, the Services have reported annually to DoD the number of resolved equal opportunity (EO) formal complaints from active duty personnel of sexual harassment and other types of unlawful discrimination (e.g., complaints based on race, sex, national origin, and religion) filed by military personnel. Formal EO complaints are complaints that have been documented on a Service EO complaint form. At the end of FY 1998, the number of formal complaints of sexual harassment and other types of unlawful discrimination totaled 1,281, representing about one complaint per each thousand active duty military personnel.

The percentage of confirmed sexual harassment complaints has remained at 50 percent or above since FY 1991. The percentage of confirmed other types of unlawful discrimination complaints remained over 30 percent from FY 1992 through FY 1996. In FY 1998, the percentage of confirmed other types of unlawful discrimination complaints decreased to 20 percent. While complaint confirmation rates may appear to be a positive sign, they are not clear-cut indicators of the effectiveness of Service military equal opportunity programs. Because several factors may lead to allegations of sexual harassment or discrimination (i.e., misperceptions, mismanagement, failures to communicate, etc.), complaints that were not confirmed may be indicative of other forms of organizational problems or morale issues. Service military equal opportunity programs are composed of several dimensions (e.g., formal and informal complaint systems, education and training, climate assessment, and affirmative action initiatives) which must be assessed collectively to rate program effectiveness.

Sexual Harassment Complaints

The total number of sexual harassment complaints began at 513 in FY 1987, fluctuated through FY 1994, and declined steadily through FY 1998. The number of sexual harassment complaints peaked at 1,599 in FY 1993. The percent of substantiated sexual harassment complaints reflects an upward trend from 38 percent in FY 1987 to a high of 59 percent in FY 1995 and 1996. The percentage of confirmed sexual harassment complaints has remained at 50 percent or above since FY 1991. In FY 1998, 53 percent of formal sexual harassment complaints were confirmed.

Other Types of Unlawful
Discrimination Complaints

The total number of other types of unlawful discrimination complaints in FY 1987 was 523. This number has fluctuated over the last 11 years, though never falling below the starting figure. The number of other types of unlawful discrimination complaints peaked at 2,103 in FY 1992. The percent of other types of unlawful discrimination complaints that were substantiated reflects an upward trend from 26 percent in FY 1987 to a high of 41 percent in FY 1995, with a decline to 20 percent in FY 1998.

NONDEPLOYABILITY TRENDS

The Office of the Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Services, annually reviews permanent and temporary limitations on the deployability of service members and addresses the issue of nondeployability in relation to readiness. Current Department policy recognizes Service-unique and unit-unique circumstances and provides the Services with the flexibility to manage those situations to meet readiness goals.

Nondeployability is measured in four permanent condition categories: HIV-Positive, Medical Permanent, Hazardous Duty Restriction, and Country Restriction. A service member can be counted as nondeployable in one category only. Since the Services are given some latitude in determining who is or is not deployable based on certain conditions, a meaningful comparison between Services in a number of categories is not always possible (e.g., not all Services report Hazardous Duty and/or Country Restriction categories).

Permanent medical limitations (i.e., HIV-Positive, cancer, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and other progressive medical conditions) are a small part of the overall nondeployable population. The actual number of members with permanent conditions remains relatively small and is manageable, through the assignment process, minimizing readiness impact.

Tables F-23 to F-32 present the data for all DoD and each of the Services as of the end of FY 1999.

Retention Rates

Retention remains a top priority across the Department. The Army and Marines met or exceeded aggregate enlisted retention objectives in all categories. The Navy missed initial term retention, however, in the aggregate they achieved 99 percent of their total annual mission. The Air Force missed retention in all categories for FY 1999, however, they were able to achieve 97 percent of their total annual mission.

While aggregate retention across all Services shows signs of improving, this masks significant challenges in highly technical skill sets such as communications/computer, aviation maintenance, electronic technicians, intelligence analysts, and linguists. The level of technical training and hands-on experience provided to personnel makes them very competitive in the private sector.

Today's economy is the strongest witnessed in the history of the all-volunteer force, that economic promise has opened a range of opportunities in the private sector for those in uniform who may be sitting on the fence when it comes to pursuing a military career. Attractive salary and benefits packages, coupled with geographic stability and a predictable lifestyle, are influencing many experienced, mid-career noncommissioned and commissioned officers to pursue private sector opportunities.

The new pay and retirement package provides a great start towards stabilizing retention, which in turn benefits recruiting. But pay improvements alone will not resolve all current concerns. The focus must now shift to adding predictability to the tempo of operations and the time away from home service members currently experience. This is a significant challenge because tempo exerts such a strong influence on retention and job satisfaction.

The Department's continued commitment to treat people fairly has allowed it to sustain the best-qualified, most experienced, and most diverse force in the history of the nation. This force of dedicated professionals continues to mirror the society they are sworn to defend.

First-Term Reenlistment Rates

First-term retention experienced a decline in the Navy and Air Force in 1999. This decline is predominantly in highly technical skills sought after within the private sector employment market. The Army and Marines met first-term retention goals, but also experienced challenges in several of the same skill sets.

One of the greatest concerns is the under accessed drawdown cohorts now making initial retention decisions. This reduced population serving within the first-term retention window presents unique challenges. Each Service continues to monitor this critical population, utilize all available retention incentives, and develop new initiatives to increase retention.

TRENDS IN PROPENSITY TO ENLIST

Since 1975, the Department of Defense annually has conducted the Youth Attitude Tracking Study (YATS), a computer-assisted telephone interview of a nationally representative sample of 10,000 young men and women. This survey provides information on the propensity, attitudes, and motivations of young people toward military service. Enlistment propensity is the percentage of youth who state they plan to definitely or probably serve on active duty in one of the Services in the next few years. Research has shown that the expressed intentions of young men and women are strong predictors of enlistment behavior.

Enlistment Propensity Trends

Results from the 1999 YATS show that, overall, young men's propensity for military service increased over the last several years (see Table F-20). In 1999, 29 percent of 16-21 year-old men expressed interest in at least one active-duty Service, a significant increase over 1997 and 1998 (26 percent in both years).

Following the Cold War, young black men's propensity dropped from 54 percent in 1989 to 32 percent in 1994. In 1999, black men's propensity was up to 36 percent. White male propensity also dropped following the Cold War. In 1989, it was 26 percent.

Although down to 20 percent in 1998, white male propensity increased in 1999 to 22 percent. In 1999, Hispanic propensity returned to Cold War levels (46 percent) even though it had been down to 37 percent in 1997. The 1999 increase in young men's propensity is encouraging, but white and black propensity remains substantially below Cold War levels.

In recent years, career opportunities for women in the Services have opened, and more women are enlisting. As men's propensity declined following the Cold War, women's propensity remained at approximately the same level. Women's propensity is up slightly in 1999 (15 percent), compared to 1997 and 1998 (12 and 13 percent, respectively).

To downsize the military following the Cold War, the Services reduced their accession objectives below levels required to replace individuals leaving military service. Although the post-Cold War decline in young men's propensity was troubling, propensity figures nevertheless indicated a sufficient number of young men were interested in the military to allow the Services to meet reduced recruiting goals. Today, recruiting missions have risen to levels required to sustain the force. While 1999 results show some increase in propensity over the past few years, propensity was still lower than before the end of the Cold War. Thus, recruiting high-quality youth into the armed forces will continue to be a challenge.

Factors Influencing Propensity

Regardless of their propensity for military service, YATS respondents are asked to provide, in their own words, reasons for joining and not joining the military. The most frequently mentioned reasons for joining are money for college, job training and/or experience, duty to country, pay, travel, and self-discipline.

Most young men and women see postsecondary education as the key to prosperity and job security in America. The percent of youth going to college is increasing, and YATS results show that young people are aware that the military offers money for a college education. Educational funding is the most frequently cited reason for enlisting. In 1999, 33 percent of men and 39 percent of women identified money for college as a reason for joining; comparable 1991 figures were 24 percent of men and 31 percent of women. Many young people have the will and the talent for college, but lack the funds. The Montgomery GI Bill, the Army/Navy/ Marine Corps College Funds, the Service academies, and Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship programs provide the Services with an effective means of attracting talented young men and women to the military and provide these youth the means to gain a college education.

For many non-college bound youth, military service offers an opportunity for job experience and specialized training. In 1999, job training and experience were listed as the second most frequent reason for joining the military-behind money for college. Twenty-four percent of men and 17 percent of women mentioned job training and experience as a reason for entering service. Other reasons for joining were mentioned much less frequently. Pay was mentioned by 13 percent of men and 11 percent of women; duty to country was mentioned by 12 percent of men and 9 percent of women; travel by 9 percent of men and 8 percent of women; and discipline by 6 percent of men and 4 percent of women. The percentages of men and women mentioning job training, pay, duty to country, travel, and discipline as reasons for joining have not changed significantly in the past few years.

The most frequently cited reason for not entering military service concerns military lifestyle, mentioned by 19 percent of men and 24 percent of women in 1999. Military service evokes images of discipline and regimentation for most youth. These images tend to deter many youth from interest in the military. Many college-bound young people believe they have the self-discipline to achieve their goals and see regimentation as stifling. Others, however, see externally imposed discipline as beneficial. Following the 1995 and 1997 YATS surveys, extended interviews were conducted with young men and women who seemed likely to enter the military. Some noted that learning discipline served an important maturing role in their lives; others indicated they looked forward to learning this critical life lesson in military service and that the military would provide a guiding structure within which to get their priorities straight. It is ironic that the reason most frequently cited for not entering military service might, for some, be an important motivation for enlisting.

Other reasons cited by youth for not entering military service suggest not a rejection of the military, but consideration of a commitment to other options in life. In fact, in 1999, 9 percent of men and 8 percent of women mentioned other career interests as a reason for not joining. Eight percent of men and 16 percent of women mentioned family obligations. From extended interviews, many enlistment-age youth feel they are not able to enlist because they are needed to care for ailing parents or for their own families. Some youth (10 percent of men; 8 percent of women) suggested the length of commitment to the military is too long. While youth acknowledged that some military service might be beneficial, many were reluctant to defer their career or education plans for four years. Finally, about 11 percent of men and 9 percent of women cited danger as a reason for not entering military service; 6 percent of both men and women stated military service was against their beliefs.

Relative to whites and Hispanics, young black men and women were more likely to mention pay and travel as reasons for joining, and less likely to mention duty to country. In 1999, as in previous years, white men and women were more likely to mention other career interests as a reason not to join the military. White men and women also tended to object to the length of commitment, perhaps because they have more career opportunities than minority men and women. Finally, familial obligations were mentioned as an obstacle to military service more frequently by women (compared to men) and Hispanics (compared to whites and blacks).

CONCLUSION

Both men's and women's propensity remained substantially below pre-drawdown levels and, if past experience is a guide, indicated recruiting will continue to be challenging. These findings underscore the need for education benefits to attract an important segment of college-bound youth (those needing money). Many other youth, however, are attracted by the prospects of job training and experience, and by the discipline universally viewed as intrinsic to military service. To meet recruiting goals, the needs of all market segments must be addressed.

Table F-1 to F-2 (Equal Opportunity Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaints)
Table F-3 (First-Term Retention Rates)
Table F-4 to F-6 (Army Retention Trends)
Table F-7 to F-9 (Navy Retention Trends)
Table F-10 to F-12 (Marine Corps Retention Trends)
Table F-13 to F-15 (Air Force Retention Trends)
Table F-16 to F-18 (Coast Guard Retention Trends)
Table F-19 (Total DoD Retention Trends)
Table F-20 to F-22 (Trends in Enlistment Propensity)
Table F-23 to F-32 (Nondeployable Unit Personnel)

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