Theses

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  • Publication
    WAIVING THE STANDARDS: THE EFFECT OF RECRUITMENT WAIVERS IN THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2024-03) Woodside, Jennifer K.; Tick, Simona L.; Ahn, Sae Young; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Department of Defense Management (DDM)
    The Australian Defence Force faces a recruitment challenge, prompting all services to increasingly rely on recruitment waivers to temporarily match enlistment standards with personnel requirements. This study assesses the growing utilization of waivers by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), evaluating how they may affect RAAF’s ability to both achieve its recruiting requirements and not incur losses during time spent under training. Using linear probability models to analyze historic enlistment and waiver issuance data from 2016 through 2021, this study reveals a statistically significant yet negligible effect of recruitment waivers on the successful service of past aviator cohorts. An examination of waiver categories, characteristics and military occupation groups uncover further positive and negative effects. Medical waivers exhibit a significant negative impact on service, while waivers related to driver’s license, physical fitness, security background and criminal history can positively influence select occupation groups. The findings serve as positive indicators for the effectiveness of the current recruitment waiver policy. Based on the observed impact from prior usage, the continued strategic deployment of waivers is recommended ensuring their use aligns with RAAF’s risk tolerance and recruitment needs. It is essential for RAAF to recognize that waivers are not a solution for the recruitment challenge but rather a tool to enhance the strategy into the future.
  • Publication
    UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF INCREASED TIME-IN-SERVICE PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS ON NCO RETENTION AND PERFORMANCE IN THE USMC
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2024-03) Young, Mark W.; Ahn, Sae Young; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Bacolod, Marigee
    In 2019, the Marine Corps announced that the minimum required time-in-service and time-in-grade for promotion to sergeant and staff sergeant would increase in 2020. Since that policy was enacted, a 2,700-sergeant deficit has been identified. This study confirms that deficit is linked to the promotion policy change by estimating the impact of the increased promotion requirements on the retention and job performance of corporals and sergeants. To estimate the policy impact, I mimic an experimental research design and employ a difference-in-differences framework, comparing Marines in jobs where the average time to promote increased the most against Marines in jobs where promotion timing stayed the same or changed minimally. The results show that corporals in the treatment group were significantly more likely to separate after the new policy was enacted, while sergeants in the treatment group were less likely to separate. Additionally, corporals in the treatment group were more likely to be meritoriously promoted to sergeant after the new policy was in effect, though the effect of the policy on the performance of treated corporals was negligible. Based on these results, I recommend that the Marine Corps focus retention incentives and lateral entry initiatives towards military occupational specialties that have been most affected by this policy, as well as further evaluate meritorious promotion management to enhance its effectiveness in selecting individuals for early advancement.
  • Publication
    THE SEXTORTION PHENOMENON: CREATING A LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO EFFECTIVELY SAFEGUARD MINOR VICTIMS
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2024-03) Vera, Brittany J.; Matei, Cristiana; Brannan, David W.; National Security Affairs (CHDS)
    This thesis studies the prevalent and complex issue of sextortion, focusing on its detrimental effects on minors. It critically analyzes how this form of exploitation, which involves blackmailing minors for sexual content, sexual activity, or money, unfolds across the digital world. The current legal framework in California, Penal Code 518(b), fails to differentiate between adult and minor victims sufficiently and does not classify sextortion as a sex crime. To test the adequacy of current laws to prosecute sextortion in California, this thesis compared two case studies involving sex offender registration/community notification and human trafficking and conducted interviews with district attorneys, defense attorneys, and law enforcement officers across California. It also explored legal frameworks from Utah, South Carolina, and New Jersey, which have enacted more targeted sextortion laws for minors. This thesis underscores the need for laws that are adaptable to technological advances, especially artificial intelligence, and that can more effectively protect vulnerable young children. The thesis concludes that a combination of legislative reform and educational initiatives is crucial for combating sextortion. This approach addresses the legal gaps and raises awareness and prevention, aiming to offer comprehensive protection and justice for minors affected by this heinous crime.
  • Publication
    THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF ZERO-EMISSION VEHICLES FOR MILITARY POLICE PATROL AT MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2024-03) Vacchio, Daniel M.; Nussbaum, Daniel A.; Tick, Simona L.; Department of Defense Management (DDM); Friedman, Mitchell
    Executive Order 14057 requires all federal government agencies to transition to vehicles that do not generate carbon pollutant emissions. While environmentally conscious, this order has unique implications for law enforcement agencies that rely extensively on police vehicles to ensure the security of their communities. My research examines the changes that law enforcement agencies may realize in transitioning to a zero-emission fleet. Specifically, I perform a cost-effectiveness analysis that compares the Dodge Durango police pursuit vehicle (PPV), the most common gasoline-vehicle in use by the Marine Corps, to the Chevrolet Blazer PPV, a newly developed zero-emission PPV. I analyze cost data from the General Services Administration and vehicle test results from Michigan State Police for model year 2024 police vehicles. As a result, I find that the Blazer is 40% more effective than the Durango, but over a seven-year period, the zero-emission PPV is 14% ($537-thousand) or 27% ($1.1-million) more expensive depending on the type and quantity of charging infrastructure procured to support the fleet. However, the zero-emission fleet is 26% ($2-million) or 19% ($1.4-million) less expensive when accounting for the social cost of carbon. I recommend the Marine Corps further this research by commencing limited-scale implementation with the Blazer PPV.
  • Publication
    UPDRAFT FORCING MECHANISMS IN DEEP MARINE CONVECTION DRIVEN BY COLD POOLS
    (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2024-03) Wasserman, Jessica B.; Powell, Scott; Meteorology (MR); Witte, Mikael
    Aircraft and rawinsonde data collected during the CALifornia Investigation of Convection over Ocean (CALICO) field experiment between February and March of 2022 were analyzed to detail the size and magnitude of in-cloud cumuliform updrafts. Sampled convection generally occurred following wintertime cold-front passages off the central California coast, with much of the convection growing to the 6 km high tropopause and organizing into “arcs” driven by cold pools. Large-eddy simulations using Cloud Model 1 (CM1) were conducted to augment observations and characterize the three-dimensional cloud properties within cold-pool-driven convection to subsequently investigate what processes (both thermodynamic and dynamic) within the atmospheric boundary layer and free troposphere control the upward acceleration of negatively buoyant updrafts located behind a cold pool boundary. The effect of vertical wind shear on isolated and organized mesoscale convection is simulated. Organized convection is able to reach the tropopause despite the presence of strong vertical wind shear that inhibits isolated convection. Within the cold pool, the presence of negative buoyant but ascending updrafts was due to the presence of small pockets of strong upward acceleration caused by an upward-oriented pressure gradient force associated with the dynamic perturbation pressure.