The effect of active duty presence on high quality enlisted accessions in the Marine Corps
Fergerson, Johnathan R.
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This study examines the relationship between active duty Marine Corps locations and the accession of high quality enlisted personnel from 2000–2014. The population includes all individuals who accessed into the Marine Corps between 2000 and 2014. Information on their home of record at time of enlistment is merged with Marine Corps location data using geographic information system (GIS) models. The GIS models construct measures of distance between individual enlistees and active duty Marine Corps locations. Using the distance measures from the GIS models as key independent variables, we estimate the correlation between proximity to Marine Corps locations and test scores of enlisted personnel using multivariate linear regression and logit models. The results suggest that women, African Americans and high school graduates receive lower scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test compared to men, whites and college graduates. Furthermore, the quality of personnel typically declines as distance increases, except for enlisted accessions located beyond the 100-mile radius, suggesting that the majority of high quality accessions come from rural regions. We also find that there is a greater probability of accessing exceptionally high quality enlistees if an individual's home of record is located beyond a 100-mile radius from an active duty location.
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