Study of first-term attrition among racial/ethnic minorities in the Navy
Espiritu, Emilson M.
Eitelberg, Mark J.
Flyer, Eli S.
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The objective of this study is to gain a better understanding of first-term enlisted attrition among racial/ethnic groups in the Navy. Previous research on attrition is limited with respect to racial or ethnic variables. The study uses a special data base developed by the Defense Manpower Data Center in Monterey, CA. The data base contains the records of over 500,000 male recruits who enlisted in the Navy during fiscal years 1983 through 1992. These people are tracked over a 48-month period to determine rates of first-term attrition. Cross-tabulation and frequency analysis are used to examine attrition rates by race, racial/ethnic group, and ethnicity (including 20 categories). Attrition rates for these groups are also evaluated according to several variables: Armed Forces Qualification Test category; high quality status (a combination of education and aptitude test scores); reasons for separation; and occupational area. The exploratory results reveal several trends between and within racial and ethnic groups, based on the selected variables. The results also confirm that a number of racial or ethnic groups have comparatively low rates of attrition. Further research is recommended to more fully explain underlying reasons for the relatively lower rates of attrition experienced by certain minorities.
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