The relationship of initial assignment and personal background variables to first term enlisted attrition from the Navy.
Gardner, Daniel E.
Elster, Richard S.
Arima, James K.
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This thesis was conducted to compare the characteristics and attrition rates of first term enlisted personnel initially assigned to ships with those assigned to non-ship duty stations. Identification of traditional and non-traditional variables with emphasis on ship characteristics were evaluated as predictors of first term attrition rates. A cohort of non-prior service male recruits was tracked over their first 33 to 36 months in the Navy. The attrition rates for ship and non-ship duty personnel were compared using regression analysis techniques. Overall, the cohort initially assigned to ships had significantly lower attrition rates than those assigned to non-ship duty. Submarines experienced an attrition rate approximately one-half that of other ship types. The relatively low attrition rates from submarines may be due to high screening criteria and to the fact that sailors found to be inadequate performers are often transferred to the surface fleet. Observation of the mental group mix assigned to ships was not representative of the mental group mix of the entering cohort. The data showed underrepresentation of upper mental group and A-school trained personnel assigned to ship duty. This finding warrants further investigation. Ships unique variables (e.g., ship type, engineering plant, homeport) did not appear to have a significant relationship with attrition. The analysis of these variables should aid Navy managers in understanding the Navy's first term attrition problem.
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