The Navy is concerned that in the next 20 years, during which time the fleet will grow, under current plans, the size of the traditional manpower supply pool, men 17 to 21, will drop sharply. Thus it wants to see what chances it will have in getting new recruits from among 23- to 29-year-olds.

There is no source of data on these individuals, and particularly what it would take in the way of pay and other benefits to lure them into Navy blue.

So the Navy has drawn up a "national survey of 23-29-year-olds," according to the April 23 Federal Register (page 23173). The plan calls for "telephone screening of approximately 20,000 households to yield a sample of 3,050 individuals to be divided equally between men and women."

A prospect group of about 460 men and women will be gleaned, based on responses to various job opportunity/incentive options."

Among the questions being proposed for this survey:

"If the government paid for up to 75 percent of your college or vocational school tuition while you were in the service, how likely is it that you would enlist in the military?

"If your required term of active duty was one year including training time, how likely is it that you would enlist in the military?

"If because of your civilian job training or experience you were able to receive a starting basic pay of $100 more a month and have the time you spent on your civilian job or job training credited to retirement eligibility, how likely is it that your would enlist in the military?"

Different versions of such questions are asked of different respondents, as the survey is not constructed, to give the Navy some idea of what combination of lures could be counted on to attract recruits.

"Owing to urgency of data requirement, data collection will begin within one week" after the Navy gets notification that the OMB has cleared its survey.