The Defense Advisory Committee on Military Personnel Testing (DACMPT) was established in response to congressional guidance in reports accompanying the Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1981. The direction came as a result of the Department of Defense (DoD) “mis-norming” event from 1976-1980 whereby the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) was incorrectly calibrated, leading to an inflation of the scores and erroneous enlistment of over 400,000 recruits. In the report, Congress indicated it was seriously concerned by errors in measuring the aptitude of new recruits and to ensure the “difficulties in administering and evaluating the entry test results did not recur,” Congress requested the Secretary of Defense establish an independent review board composed of professionals in the field of psychological and educational testing. By virtue of the professional expertise of the committee, they would be competent to advise the Secretary on issues pertaining to military personnel testing and ensure the validity of the test and the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) was not jeopardized in the future.
The Committee consists of an independent review board composed of eminent authorities from the fields of psychological and educational testing procedures. Although the Committee is authorized up to seven members, historically the board has maintained no more than five (currently there are five committee members) with two meetings per year. The Committee provides independent, objective recommendations that ensure the Defense Department accession testing program aligns with evolving psychometric principles and professional testing standards.
The DACMPT ensures the military’s primary means of selecting and classifying recruits accurately measure their aptitude and potential for service in the AVF. The Committee has provided timely advice on the continuing development and fielding of the primary recruit aptitude screening tool, the ASVAB, and various cognitive and non-cognitive testing measures used to qualify applicants for military service. The key metric for recruit quality indicators is based on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), the mathematics and reading comprehension components of the ASVAB. ASVAB scores are further used to make job classification and promote training and job performance success. The Committee also provides oversight of the ASVAB Career Exploration Program (ASVAB CEP), used in thousands of high schools nationwide. The ASVAB CEP combines the traditional ASVAB with an interest assessment and occupational data component that allows students to identify skill strengths and match those skills to careers in the military and civil sector. The ASVAB CEP leads to over 100,000 qualified recruiting leads annually to the Military Services. It is only because the ASVAB is one of the most researched and respected aptitude assessments in the world, overseen by highly respected academic and industrial leaders in their field, that educators welcome it into schools across the country.
With over one million administrations to applicants and students each year, the ASVAB is also one of the most technologically advanced test batteries in the world, utilizing a number of advanced statistical and psychometric procedures. This 40-year transition from the mis-norming to a premier state-of-the-art testing program has been facilitated in large part by the DACMPT.
Today, this Committee provides state-of-the-art, objective review for the Department of Defense on R&D, accession testing, and enlistment of high-quality recruits.
The public or interested organizations may submit written statements about the Committee’s mission, functions, and meeting agendas. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of planned meeting. All written statements shall be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Committee, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration. Contact information is below.