Effectiveness of the Marine Corps' junior enlisted performance evaluation system: an evaluation of proficiency and conduct marks
Larger, Richard B., Jr.
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This thesis analyzes the effectiveness of the U.S. Marine Corps' proficiency and conduct marks as measures of job performance for promotion decisions. The analysis uses big data techniques (factor analysis) and multivariate regressions on data of 360,690 active duty Marines who held the paygrade of E3 or E4 between 2006 and 2016 to estimate the reliability, validity, accuracy, and practicality of proficiency and conduct marks. Overall, results show that proficiency and conduct marks are effective indicators of performance, with some room for improvement. Marks are statistically inconsistent between raters, and proficiency and conduct marks essentially measure the same type of performance. The factor analysis does show that proficiency and conduct marks together are the most important factors in the composite score for E4s and the second most important, behind experience, for E3s. Lastly, proficiency and conduct marks are the most predictive of future performance compared to all other composite score variables. The author recommends that the Marine Corps continue to use proficiency and conduct marks as a basis for promotion decisions, but that the Marine Corps should redefine the marks in order to improve interpretability and minimize redundancies.
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