A study of promotion and attrition of mid-grade officers in the U.S. Marine Corps: are assignments a key factor?
Morgan, Jerry R.
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This study analyzes the relationship between selection to major in the Marine Corps, and the survival of midgrade officers to the promotion point of major, by investigating the effects of billet assignments. Specifically, this study looks at the influence of the percentage of time spent in the Fleet Marine Forces (FMF), the percentage of time spent in primary military occupation (PMOS) billet assignments, and the effect of having served in combat, recruiting, security forces, joint, and drill field duties. Models were formulated using groundwork established in previous promotion, retention, and attrition studies. Assignment variables were then introduced to the models. To account for officers' choice for continued service vice forced attrition, the sample was restricted to officers who had attained five years of service. Probit regression was used to find the influence of career assignments on the probability of selection; Heckman's correction was used to control for self-selection bias; and, Cox proportionalhazard regression was used, utilizing the same assignment factors, to find the influence of assignments on the likelihood of attrition. The findings indicated that FMF and PMOS ratios above 60 percent had a negative effect on promotion and retention. Also indicated was that time spent outside the PMOS, in "B" billets, had a positive effect on retention. In a time of budgetary constraints, this information may provide assistance to personnel planners as an alternative to pecuniary measures used to maintain and shape the force.
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