Detailed Information on the
Department of Defense Recruiting Assessment

Program Code 10000064
Program Title Department of Defense Recruiting
Department Name Dept of Defense--Military
Agency/Bureau Name Operation and Maintenance
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Assessment Year 2002
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 80%
Strategic Planning 100%
Program Management 72%
Program Results/Accountability 75%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $7,532
FY2008 $5,420
FY2009 $6,549
*Note: funding shown for a program may be less than the actual program amount in one or more years because part of the program's funding was assessed and shown in other PART(s).

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Creating a quarterly execution report to track program performance and program efficiency.

Enacted The Undersecretary of Defense receives a quarterly report on recruiting outcomes and performances. Included is the cost per recruit, quality and quantity goals, and critical skill updates.

Creating better information systems to allow more management information flow to the program managers. This new system should support separating out and measuring fixed and variable costs, measures of management efficiency, and performance information for the results of particular inputs. Such a system would increase the information available to the program mangers about the effectiveness of each of the elements of the program, allowing them to take a broader look at the available resources and apply them more efficiently.

Action taken, but not completed DoD is building an integrated human resouce database which will provide this type of information. Initial operation is currently secheduled for FY 2007, with full implementation scheduled for 2014

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term/Annual Outcome

Measure: Recruit number and quality of personnel required to meet military needs


Year Target Actual
1999 195,000 186,000
2000 202,000 203,000
2001 195,000 196,000
2002 196,000 196,000
2003 185,000 185,000
2004 177,000 181,000
2005 169,000 163,000
2006 179,707 180,540
2007 180,377 181,172
2008 184,767
2009 180,000
2010 184,000
2011 184,000
2012 184,000
2013 184,000
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Average cost of recruiting a new member into the Armed Forces (The numbers in this table represent the total cost of the program divided by the number of recruits. This measure is not currently used as a performance goal - it is only a measure of the expected cost of the program. The Administration recommends this performance measure.)


Year Target Actual
2004 N/A $15,074
2005 N/A $15,442
2006 $16,278 $15,342
2007 $17,001 $16,019
2008 $19,210 includes sup
2009 $21,000
2010 $22,000
2011 $23,000
2012 $24,000
2013 $25,000
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Program efficiency metrics currently under development


Year Target Actual

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: Recruiting is responsible for providing a sufficient number of physically and mentally qualified young Americans to ensure the continuation and abilities of the U.S. armed forces.

Evidence: Manpower is a primary requirement of the armed forces. Manning the force is required under Title 10, U.S. Code.

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific interest, problem or need?

Explanation: "The United States Armed Forces must be manned with quality personnel. The recruiting program is designed to place the right person at the right place with the right skill-set, to enhance the readiness and institutional strength of the armed forces. "

Evidence: The Armed Forces need thousands of new members each year and must fill many different positions requiring a wide variety of skills, necessitating a process of matching interested and qualified youth with the needs of the Department of Defense (DoD)

YES 20%

Is the program designed to have a significant impact in addressing the interest, problem or need?

Explanation: All the services require new high quality personnel annually to sustain force levels to meet mission requirements both domestically and abroad. The program addresses those manpower needs.

Evidence: Recruiting was established specifically to provide manpower for the Armed forces. Recruiting, for example, annually provides the Army and Army Reserve approximately 120,000 new recruits and all the military services combined with more than 200,000 recruits.

YES 20%

Is the program designed to make a unique contribution in addressing the interest, problem or need (i.e., not needlessly redundant of any other Federal, state, local or private efforts)?

Explanation: Each of the services has different personnel requirements for their jobs. Recruiting allows them to meet their manning requirements.

Evidence: The Services must recruit more than 200,000 personnel each year. This is a DoD-specific mission ordinarily performed by uniformed military recruiters. However, to test other methods of addressing the need, Army is conducting a Congressionally mandated test using civilian contract recruiters to enlist personnel in the Army.

YES 20%

Is the program optimally designed to address the interest, problem or need?

Explanation: The recruiting program must be constantly adjusted to react to changing factors influencing its success, i.e., youth unemployment, economic conditions, current or imminent war efforts. However, the Services regularly evaluate their programs covering to see if the right mix of tools is being used. The Army, for example, is experimenting with recruiter selection/screening initiatives and advances in informational technology to further develop recruiter efficiencies and effectiveness.

Evidence: The services continuously adjust the mix of funding between advertising, bonuses, number of recruiters, and other factors to try to reach the program goals. There are not, however, program efficiency measures in place which can provide easy modeling for success. The services have generally increased spending on advertising, added recruiters, and/or increased or added bonuses at the same time, making it impossible to determine the relative value of each initiative.

NO 0%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 80%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific, ambitious long-term performance goals that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: All of the services want to effectively manage their force with the proper quality, quantity, and skill mixes. There are excellent program performance goals, but few program efficiency goals.

Evidence: The military services constantly track their needs and apply resources where necessary to plug holes in the recruiting program. Performance goals are only adjusted annually, as the yearly requirements change. The real goal for each service is meeting its yearly requirements. Currently, the program does not compare its yearly results against prior years' results.

YES 14%

Does the program have a limited number of annual performance goals that demonstrate progress toward achieving the long-term goals?

Explanation: Base line annual performance is measured against the official service goals for quality and quantity of new personnel.

Evidence: Basic program goals include the required number of recruits per service and the quality of those recruits, as measured by percentage of high school graduates and scores on aptitude tests. Other annual performance goals include changing demographics such as "Increase in College representation to 15,800 contracts" or "Increase Hispanic contracts to 12,320 contracts". Again, while program performance goals are clear, there are no year-to-year measures which could track program improvement.

YES 14%

Do all partners (grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, etc.) support program planning efforts by committing to the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: Partners, such as advertising agencies and contracted recruiters, provide quarterly updates and are integrated in the development of the strategic objectives and annual goals/objectives. In the Army, contract recruiting companies are measured on a monthly basis against their mission achievements. All partners support achieving the yearly goals.

Evidence: Ad agencies are involved with the development of strategic objectives and programs. The Army, for example, awards quarterly incentives to its partners based upon their ability to achieve their portion of the recruiting program's goals and objectives. Contracts are generally performance-based, compensating partners based on their ability to deliver good products.

YES 14%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs that share similar goals and objectives?

Explanation: There are no external programs that have a similar size and scope. Closest analogies are probably the Peace Corps and/or Americorps. Both of these, however, are dwarfed by the Services' need for hundreds of thousands of people each year. The services do have good internal coordination and information sharing.

Evidence: Navy, for example, shares information within the Reserve Officers Training Corps, United States Naval Academy and Joint Accession group. Also, several summits are held each year to ensure that the Navy evaluates how well it accesses and shares data to ensure best working effort. The other services have similar programs, and all services meet together several times a year to share best practices.

YES 14%

Are independent and quality evaluations of sufficient scope conducted on a regular basis or as needed to fill gaps in performance information to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness?

Explanation: This program is reviewed for effectiveness by many sources. Program results are published in the newspaper and trumpeted on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. In this way, performance is adequately reviewed. However, efficiency and productivity measures are rarely, if ever, examined.

Evidence: Although the program is examined by many groups, most reviewers are either within the service (e.g. Navy budget) or independent within the service (e.g. Army IG). OSD and OMB does review the program, generally for effectiveness rather than efficiency. GAO also occasionally audits the program. And the Congress also looks at the program. But there are no non-governmental evaluations.

YES 14%

Is the program budget aligned with the program goals in such a way that the impact of funding, policy, and legislative changes on performance is readily known?

Explanation: Recruiting budget models are determined using past financial data and revised cost factors for program elements like the number of recruiters, amount of advertising, and recruiting incentives. Based on the increased or lowered recruiting missions, different resources will be varied, changing budget requirements. Resource amounts are changed in response to legislative, policy or other changes.

Evidence: Various tools available to enhance program performance. For example, the Air Force missed its goals in 1999 and began national advertising, which had a measurable impact. Changes in the available tools (enlistment bonuses, college funds, advertising) can be targeted to ensure both quality and quantity requirements for all services. Generally, however, there are no tradeoffs made between these tools and no information about which tool would be a more effective tool for addressing the issues. Each element of the program competes for available funding from outsde, not inside, the program. For example, if the Administration wanted to use the available funding more efficiently, there is no central evaluation point to determine the best use of that funding. Instead, each part of the program would argue that it had to keep all of its resources and any additional requirements or increased productivity would require external funding.

YES 14%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: From an effectiveness standpoint, yes. From an efficiency standpoint, no.

Evidence: The services continuously review their personnel requirements, skill mixes, the country's demographics and youth trends and attitudes; adjust recruiter staffing to cover the most fertile recruiting areas of the country, and adjust their monetary and other tools to fulfill the mission. There are not, however, long-term goals designed to make the process more efficient.

YES 14%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 100%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: Recruiting is examined monthly or even more often to ensure the yearly goals, for both quality and quantity of recruits, are met.

Evidence: Updated information on recruits appears monthly or more often, allowing the services to respond to emerging needs. For example, after 9/11, all the services needed more security forces, so bonus funding and recruiter efforts flowed toward that specialty to ensure enough recruits were brought in to fill the school.

YES 14%

Are Federal managers and program partners (grantees, subgrantees, contractors, etc.) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: For military and civilian personnel, program effectiveness is evaluated. Efficiency, while reviewed each year, does not appear to influence significant program decisions. Outside contractors are being held to a higher standard and performance measures.

Evidence: Recruiters, trainers and commanding officers are held accountable in reviews. In addition, advertising agencies generally provide service based a performance based contract directly tied to recruiter production. But, while performance goals are measured, the efficiency of the program itself is not.

YES 14%

Are all funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: Funds are obligated as planned and spent for intended purposes with only limited amount of funding held back for contingencies. In one of the programs, this was not the case, but corrective action has now been taken.

Evidence: All funds are obligated by the end of the year. Execution is monitored very closely, since the funding lapses each year.

YES 14%

Does the program have incentives and procedures (e.g., competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: There are no efficiency goals in the program itself. There is a single measure of the cost of recruiting, but this "cost per recruit," is not used as a benchmark for efficiency. It can be difficult to create benchmarks, because of the variable nature of the manning needs, which fluctuate each year, but generally, there are few, if any, reductions or efficiencies from year to year.

Evidence: There are some efficiencies - joint buying of prospect lists, an executive agent for facilities, and attempts to collocate or consolidate facilities for all the services. Also, some of the services use incentives to get recruits to enter services evenly throughout the year and ensure the training pipeline stays as full as possible. But there are no specific efficiency goals.

NO 0%

Does the agency estimate and budget for the full annual costs of operating the program (including all administrative costs and allocated overhead) so that program performance changes are identified with changes in funding levels?

Explanation: Resources for military recruiting are spread among several accounts. The vast majority of cost data is available but is not budgeted in a single place nor identified as a single number. DoD does track the budgeted costs of recruiting in its "804 report." It does not tie funding levels to program performance.

Evidence: The function is spread through Operations and Maintenance and Military Personnel accounts. Building maintenance costs are not included, although leased building costs are. The Military Personnel Procurement Resources Report (Report 804) does collect most of the total cost of recruiting and separates it by enlisted, officer, and medical recruiting efforts. There is no Congressional or internal budget hearing solely devoted to recruiting, as it is segmented among appropriations. Two or three hearings are held with OSD and OMB per year to assess program performance.

YES 14%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: This program is not itself audited. The program mangers say they are able to track their obligations but do not always get good data from their accounting systems. DoD is unable to get a clean audit opinion.

Evidence: Financial reporting is often unreliable. The recruiting commands track their own obligations, rather than relying on the certified accounting reports. Real-time financial information as a management tool does not exist.

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: Since the program is effective, there is little incentive to change or even seek out efficiencies. There are not significant management difficulties, but efficiency is only now beginning to be more of an issue.

Evidence: Program managers continuously adjust their strategies to ensure success based on the such measures as the quality and quantity of recruits. Long-term success is reflected in the attrition and retention rates for enlisted personnel. From an efficiency standpoint, the services are focused on inputs - giving recruiters better tools (laptops, cars, cell phones) and special and incentive pays rather than examining the tradeoffs which should occur with greater usage of technology. They are continuing to look at some efficiencies in the areas of facilities and information sharing.

YES 14%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 72%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term outcome goal(s)?

Explanation: Military services have generally achieved the quality and quantity of forces needed to be fully ready and well manned.

Evidence: Services are manned to their legislated end strengths. Accession mission in some services is being reduced due to the success of both the recruiting and retention programs.

YES 25%

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: Military services have generally achieved the quality and quantity of forces needed to be fully ready and well manned.

Evidence: Services are manned to their legislated end strengths. Accession mission in some services is being reduced due to the success of both the recruiting and retention programs.

YES 25%

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies and cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: No coherent measures of efficiency or cost-effectiveness.

Evidence: Cost per recruit has continued to rise, driven by advertising, among other things. The program focus is only on performance outcomes; little thought is given to managing the program or even determining efficiency goals. Some consolidation in recruiting locations has occurred, but there is no way of measuring either the impact on recruiting or savings attributable to these consolidations and no recognition of this type of efficiency initiative as a program performance measure. The Administration proposes to create such performance measures.

NO 0%

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: There are no external programs of this magnitude to compare against.

Evidence: Americorps, for example, brings in a few thousand folks (compared to more than 200,000 for the armed services) at a cost of around $19,000 per person, including lodging and subsistence for the year. There is no directly comparable figure for DoD.

NA 0%

Do independent and quality evaluations of this program indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: All the evaluations of the program are positive in terms of effectiveness.

Evidence: The force is has the necessary quantity and quality of recruits.

YES 25%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 75%

Last updated: 09062008.2002SPR