COMPLACENCY KILLS: A SYSTEMIC ANALYSIS OF THE USMC COMMAND SCREENING PROGRAM
Tarsiuk, Alissa L.
Seagren, Chad W.
Heissel, Jennifer A.
Augier, Mie-Sophia E.
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In a profession where people are the greatest assets, the Marine Corps has an institutional imperative to understand its manpower processes and continuously seek out ways to improve them. This includes understanding how and why we select our lieutenant colonel commanders. The lieutenant colonel command billet is one of the most influential billets in the Marine Corps. Officers selected for these commands not only have a profound impact on the current and future readiness of the Marine Corps, they also influence every military manpower system from recruiting to retention. As such, it matters how the Marine Corps selects these commanders. In this thesis, I conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the United States Marine Corps Command Screening Program (CSP). Using data from Fiscal Years 2015–2019 Lieutenant Colonel Command Selection Boards, I examine the mechanics of the CSP, the factors influencing selection outcomes, and whether or not the selection outcomes are affected by any relationships between the composition of the board and those officers being screened for command. I find that the CSP can be improved to meet its desired intent, and factors influencing selection outcomes vary between Primaries and Alternates, command types, and across years.
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