NUMERACY AND LITERACY SKILLS AND EARLY PROMOTION
Franyutti Limon, Oscar Rene
Menichini, Amilcar A.
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This paper will report to what extent cognitive ability plays a role in predicting future promotion. This knowledge could be useful for those who are more likely to fill a higher position during their military careers, given their cognitive ability. U.S. Navy leaders could use this information to allocate resources to these Sailors in advance in order to help them achieve a higher margin of productivity and better set of skills to help them later in their careers. By doing so, the Navy would be incentivizing Sailors with the greatest cognitive ability to stay longer in the military; in turn, the Sailors will see that they get a better payoff for staying in the military longer. This study looks specifically at promotions from E-3 to E-7 between 2001 through 2011. The results of this study suggest there is a significant positive correlation between promoting early and basic cognitive ability. In fact, in most cases, the higher the score, the more likely a Sailor will promote early across the whole Navy and at the community level. Furthermore, the relevance of being more cognitively advanced becomes more important as the military member ascends the hierarchy. Given that the Armed Forces Qualification Test’s (AFQT) formula emphasizes literacy skill more than math knowledge, I argue that the AFQT’s metric captures literacy better. Therefore, by displaying higher literacy capacity, an enlistee has a better chance of early promotion.
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