Factors affecting the performance of Hispanic and non-Hispanic Marine Corps enlistees
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In its 2011 Final Report, the Military Leadership Diversity Council directed the Armed Forces to develop a demographically diverse leadership. Using multivariate probit and linear regression analysis, and a dataset of 204,000 non-prior service active duty enlisted accessions who entered service between 2003 and 2009, I examine the factors that explain differences in Hispanics’ and non-Hispanics’ performance outcomes such as first-term attrition, reenlistment and promotion, which ultimately affect senior enlisted leadership demographics. The findings show that Hispanics are more likely to complete their initial term of obligated service than non-Hispanics; however, the Hispanics effect disappears or becomes negative later in the career. In this thesis, I also propose and test a performance metric, called Success Score, derived from commander evaluations, physical fitness tests and rifle marksmanship scores. The findings of the statistical analysis suggest that the Success Score measure is the most significant factor in explaining differences in attrition, reenlistment and promotion among Hispanics and non-Hispanics. They also show that mathematical aptitude, as measured by the AR and MK ASVAB subtests, is as important as AFQT in predicting an enlistee’s Success Score. I recommend that the Marine Corpsestablish a trial group using AR, MK and AFQT scores to assess cognitive ability, along with more stringent waiver and body composition requirements to improve the quality of the enlisted applicant pool.
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