Study: Military Recruits Trending Older

Posted April 23, 2014 at 12:03pm

A new Rand study shows that “Since 2005, the majority of the Army’s recruits has not joined directly out of high school but has instead made the decision to join at a later time. Why these recruits initially chose not to join when they had the opportunity after graduating from high school and why they changed their minds several years later and enlisted are the subjects of this report.”  

“Given the importance of older recruits to the Army, the authors examine what is known about these recruits, their performance during military service, and why they came to join the Army after first choosing another postsecondary path. The results of a survey of 5,000 Army recruits designed to answer this question are presented. Finally, the implications of the survey results are discussed, along with suggestions of ways to gain additional insights by tracking this survey cohort through their Army careers.”  


  • “Most of Those Who Did Not Enlist Immediately After High School Sought Jobs or Further Education Instead”
  • “Some Who Did Not Enlist Immediately Faced Opposition from Family or Friends”
  • “Others Were Concerned About Current Commitments Overseas”
  • “Those Who Enlisted Later Were Concerned About the Job Market”
  • “They Were Also Less Concerned About External Factors”