Youth in Transition: Volume V, Young Men and Military Service

This book is the fifth in a series of monographs documenting the Youth in Transition project, a longitudinal study covering the high school years of a nationwide representative sample of 2213 young men. The project began by collecting data on the sample as they entered Grade 10 in 1966 and has continued by re-interviewing the sample at the end of Grade 11 (1968), Grade 12 (1969), and one year after graduation (1970). Data from the most recent interview was examined to determine which factors influenced a young man to select the alternative of military science instead of finding a job or continuing his education. From the data, it appears that even prior to entrance into Grade 10 many young men are keyed to the choice of advanced education after high school. Such a choice is highly predictable from aptitude and family background. The same is not true for work or military choice; these choices were adopted only in the later years of high school and then somewhat reluctantly. There were almost no background characteristics distinguishing enlistees from those who took jobs. In addition to discussing the plans, attitudes, and behavior of young men from 1969-70, the monograph also contains an examination of some of the issues surrounding the debate over an all-volunteer armed forces and an indication of the feasibility of attracting volunteers to such a force using various incentives. (SB)