Exploring Marine Corps officer quality: an analysis of promotion to lieutenant colonel
Stolzenberg, Matthew R.
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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is an elite organization, considered one of the most formidable military branches in the world. Through its talent management policies the Marine Corps seeks to retain and promote the highest quality personnel. This study explores the question of identifying and measuring factors associated with Marine officer quality. This thesis analyzes five years of USMC lieutenant colonel (LtCol) promotion board data to identify career factors that predict promotion to LtCol. Multivariate regression models are used in this thesis to assess the effects of FITREP scores, specific FITREP attribute scores, and career performance factors on the probability of promotion to LtCol. The results suggest that both subjective scores on officer FITREPs as well as objective measures of performance, such as awards and career accomplishments, are important in predicting promotion and tend to be complementary in capturing Marine quality. The findings also show that different factors predict LtCol selection across military occupational specialties (MOS), indicating a potential influence of MOS-specific subcultures on evaluations. Based on these findings, the study presents policy recommendations as well as suggestions for future research on quality of Marine Corps personnel.
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