Forecasting retention in the United States Marine Corps Reserve
Schumacher, Joseph F.
Buttrey, Samuel E.
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This is an empirical study using a logistic regression model to assess the impact of mobilization and unemployment on an individual's decision to stay in or leave the reserves. The goal is to find out the attrition behavior of USMCR participants in order to better establish recruiting and retention goals in the Reserve population. Questions regarding attrition influencers, effects of mobilization, and applicability to both officer and enlisted personnel were reviewed in this process. The effects of being called to active service are shown to have a positive effect on retention in the reserves. Similarly, serving in the SMCR and Stand-by Reserves are both shown in the model to have a positive effect on reserve retention. This makes sense, in that when an individual volunteers in the Marine Reserves, he or she evidences a desire to serve his country when called to do so. The negative effect of an increase in the number of days served on active duty, as shown in the results of the model, follows similar logic. Had the individual wanted to serve on a full-time active duty basis he would have volunteered for the active duty component. The longer he is asked to remain on active duty, the more dissatisfied he is, on average, with his participation in the reserves. The negative effect of an increase in the individual's home of record unemployment rate is also consistent with previous findings, and when combined with the negative effect of continued mobilization and recall from the IRR or a retired status, a significant negative impact is seen on the individual's decision to stay in. The findings indicate that multiple short activations have a positive impact, whereas the impact of fewer, lengthy activations is negative This study validated previous research regarding the likelihood to continue to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves. As a result, the Marine Corps has the potential to better allocate resources and schedule individual activations, reducing attrition. This can assist in shaping the force structure when the Marine Corps are needed.
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