An analysis of Naval Officer accession programs
Lehner, William D.
Horner, Donald H., Jr.
Mehay, Stephen L.
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This thesis conducts an extensive literature review of prior studies on the three major commissioning programs for United States naval officers --the United States Naval Academy, Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, and Officer Candidate School. Three areas are covered: historical patterns in officer accessions and historical changes in Navy pre-commissioning training and education philosophy and policy; cost comparisons of the three major commissioning programs; and comparisons of job performance of junior and field grade officers from each program. The primary purpose of this research is to derive the implications for current Navy accession policies with respect to officer commissioning programs. The analysis finds that the Naval Academy has been and continues to be the primary source of officer accessions during periods of reduced officer requirements in the Navy. Additionally, it finds that, while all naval officers perform superbly, U.S. Naval Academy graduates generally tend to have an advantage in performance during various points of their career. Due to this retention and performance differential, the larger initial cost of the education of Naval Academy graduates tends to yield a positive return to the Navy over an officer's career. Recommendations include operating the Naval Academy at full capacity, while maintaining the necessary flow of ROTC and OCS graduates.
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