An analysis of the effect of commissioning source on the retention and promotion of U.S. Air Force officers
Karakurumer, Cagri K.
Mehay, Stephen L.
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This thesis investigates the effect of commissioning program on career progression for U.S. Air Force Line officers. This study specifies and estimates three logistic regression models to analyze the relationship between commissioning source and officer performance using retention and promotion to O-4 as performance measures. Two measures of retention were used: the retention after expiration of the initial minimum service requirement, and retention to the O-4 promotion board. The data used in the models was provided by Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) and contained information about demographics, professional and educational background, and reasons and dates for separation for officers who were commissioned between 1992 and 2006. The analysis of all three logistic regression models finds out that commissioning source is a significant determinant of retention and promotion in the Air Force. Commissioning through the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) increases the probability of staying in the Air Force. Although USAFA graduates were initially expected to have higher promotion rates, the results suggest that they are less likely to promote to the grade of O-4 than officers commissioned through OTS and the ROTC Non-Scholarship program. However, USAFA graduates have a higher probability of promotion than officers from the ROTC scholarship program.
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