Optimization of United States Marine Corps Officer Career Path Selection
Baumgarten, Peter B.
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The Marine Corps Manpower System is responsible for managing the Marine officer inventory. The system's primary objective is to maximize the Marine Corps' operational readiness through the assignment of officers to billets. While striving to fulfill billet requirements, the manpower system simultaneously develops the professional skills, or core competencies, that each officer must possess to be assigned to billets requiring more authority and responsibility. Therefore, officer careers (or career paths) must reflect a balance between fulfilling billet requirements and developing core competencies. Currently, Marine Corps manpower planners lack rigorous methods to assist them in understanding the effects of various personnel policy decisions on the average officer career path or the system's ability to meet future billet requirements. To assist these planners, this thesis presents an integer program, the Officer Career Path Selection (OCPS) model. The goal of OCPS is to assign officers to acceptable career paths in order to best meet billet requirements while satisfying, among others, core competency and tour length constraints. This thesis uses data from the Infantry Marine Occupational Specialty (MOS) to illustrate that outputs from OCPS provide useful information regarding the number of annual Infantry officer accessions and the effects of potential manpower policy decisions.
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