Advanced infantry training: an empirical analysis of (0341) Mortarman success while attending Advanced Mortarman Course
Larkin, Joseph P.
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Much of a Marine's training happens on the job. Therefore, it is crucial that small-unit leaders are themselves capable and competent. In this thesis, I study the Advanced Mortarman Course (AMC), a program that trains small-unit leaders who in turn disseminate the knowledge they learned to Marines in their units who have not attended the school. In 2016, the AMC had an attrition rate of over 40 percent, which brings into question both the course content and the screening and selection process. It appears that the course content is appropriate, and so my analysis focuses on the screening and selection process. Using personnel records of students who attended the AMC between 2013 to 2014, I explore the statistical relationship between the likelihood of graduation and observable characteristics of the students. I find that General Technical scores, proficiency and conduct marks, and experience as a Marine, are significant determinants of success, while physical fitness is not. These findings can help operational commanders make better-informed decisions on which Marines should attend advanced training, thus ultimately reducing costs and increasing unit readiness.
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