The impact of the military drawdown on USN aviator retention rates
Turner, Russell S.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
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The objective of this thesis is to design and construct a unique analytical data base to be used to examine the effects of the military drawdown on the retention of Naval aviators. Past analyses of retention have focused primarily on the individual retention decision. This thesis uses grouped data defined by year of commission, fiscal year, and aviator type. The analysis quantifies the relationship between various downsizing policies and cohort continuation rates while controlling for the effects of time-since-MSR (minimum service requirement) and civilian unemployment. Separate regression models are specified for the jet, prop, and helo pilot communities, and for the jet and prop NFO communities, with the continuation rate as the dependent variable. The models are estimated using weighted OLS. The samples contained observations on a total of 1,907 cohort continuation rates for each fiscal year between 1977 and 1993. The study found that the percentage of Aviation Continuation Pay bonuses available in a given year is directly related to the grouped continuation rate. The effect of the VSI/SSB and IRAD progrnas was found to be statistically insignificant. Thus, it was concluded that the downsizing policies have had only a minor effect on the underlying, baseline continuation rate.
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