The value of the 1999 USMC retention survey in explaining the factors that influence Marines' subsequent stay/leave behavior
Hocevar, Susan Page
Kocher, Kathryn M.
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This study examines the factors that influence active duty Marines in their retention decisions. Data from the 1999 US Marine Corps retention survey are matched with actual retention data from personnel files and limited to Marines eligible to make a stay/leave decision within 24 months of the survey. Four subgroups are defined: enlisted first-term males, enlisted first-term females, enlisted career males and officer junior grade males. Bivariate analysis of explanatory control variables (personal characteristics and military background) and focus variables (responses to questionnaire items about civilian employment opportunities and satisfaction with aspects of military life) indicates significant associations with retention. Factor analysis is used to create seven satisfaction dimensions from the satisfaction variables. Multivariate logistic regression model results show that all the satisfaction dimensions are significant for the enlisted first term male model. Satisfaction dimensions for pay and benefits, health benefits, work equity, current job characteristics, and future career opportunities are significant in one or more of the remaining models. Searching for a civilian job is significant in all models and perceptions of civilian job opportunities are significant in most. Among control variables, the interaction of marital status, dependents, and working spouse has a significant effect on retention for first term enlisted males, the only group large enough to test.
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