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U.S. Military Poll

The About.comDelayed Enlistment Program

The Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) allows individuals to join the active duty military, reserve a job, and then wait until a "slot" in basic training opens up.

Individuals in the DEP are technically in the inactive reserves. They take the enlistment oath, sign a contract, and can be legally called to active duty.

However, each of the services currently have policies which make it relatively easy for a recruit to drop out of the DEP with little or no consequences. In fact, about 30 percent of recruits drop out of the DEP in any given year. This results in increased workload for recruiters, and a waste in resources spent in qualifying a recruit for enlistment.

One the other hand, some may argue that it's a bigger waste of time and resources to force someone onto active duty who doesn't want to be there. Such an individual is statistically unlikely to be very successful in the military.

What should the policy be about voluntarily withdrawing from the DEP?



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