Surface warfare attrition: does ship type make a difference?
Kear, William James
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Elster, Richard S.
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This thesis seeks to determine if there is a relationship between ship type and first-term enlisted attrition in the Surface Warfare Navy. The data used in this thesis were taken from the Department of Defense (DOD) Enlisted Master Record (EMR) . Information on male sailors aboard ships with 33 months or less of completed service was extracted from the EMR. Three cohorts were examined—those who joined their first ship in fiscal 1977, 1981, and 1985, respectively. A total of 77,502 personnel serving in 300 ships were analyzed in three data formats: individual ship, ship class, and ship mission category. The results revealed wide variation in attrition rates between individual ships and respective ship classes across different cohorts. In addition, a distinct trend in attrition was observed between ships in different mission categories. For example, oilers generally had the highest rate of attrition across all three cohorts--followed (in order) by amphibious ships, minesweepers, and repair ships with cruisers, destroyers, and frigates having the lowest rate. Further research is recommended to determine the causes for differences in attrition between ship types. Understanding this aspect of enlisted attrition may further aid Navy manpower planners and leaders in reducing personnel attrition and its consequences for the Surface Warfare Navy.
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