Expanding Enlisted Lateral Entry: Options and Feasibility by Dina Levy

By Dina Levy

Can the U.S. army larger meet its body of workers wishes through permitting extra recruits to eneter laterally into army provider from civilian existence?

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We therefore make the following recommendations: • In the near term, refrain from launching pilot studies or new programs that focus on introducing lateral entry of non-priorservice personnel into enlisted occupations that do not currently accept lateral entrants. Our analysis suggests that they are unlikely to be successful in reducing training costs on a meaningful scale without introducing serious force management risks. • Explore options for increased lateral entry of prior-service personnel—both active-duty and reserve component.

Conclusions and recommendations are presented in Chapter Four. CHAPTER TWO Lateral Entry Goals and Program Options Potential Goals of a Lateral Entry Program A lateral entry program can be designed to meet several goals, including reducing training costs, filling gaps in personnel profiles, expanding recruiting markets or opening new markets, and avoiding the disruption of units and general service culture. The potential goals of a lateral entry program are each discussed in turn, below. Reduce Training Costs As mentioned previously, initial skills training is a costly enterprise with high fixed and variable costs.

The Canadian system cannot train enough recruits fast enough to fill its personnel requirements. Recruiting laterally has allowed the Canadian military to bypass its saturated training infrastructure to fill gaps in its force structure. For the Canadians, a lateral entry strategy avoids additional costs associated with augmenting the existing training structure. S. military training infrastructure is large enough to support military personnel requirements. Recruiting small numbers of lateral entrants would only result in savings equal to the marginal cost of training those entrants but would not reduce the more substantial costs associated with operating and maintaining training infrastructure.

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