The development of career naval officers from the U.S. Naval Academy : a statistical analysis of the effects of selectivity and human capital
Reardon, Matthew G.
Bowman, William R.
Mehay, Stephen L.
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This research analyzes the United States Naval Academy's (USNA) admissions and professional development processes and their impact on the career development of its graduates in the Unrestricted Line (URL) communities. Three hypotheses are advanced to explain the high level of fleet performance and retention of USNA graduates: selectivity of applicants; Navy-specific human capital investment; and institutional favoritism. Non-linear LOGIT regression models for the USNA Classes of 1980 through 1985 are developed to analyze the influence of the hypothesed factors on the probability of a midshipman: (a) graduating from the USNA, and (b) developing into a career officer. Both the USNA's composite "whole-person" and individual selection criteria play a significant role in the probability of graduation. Non-scholastic affective selection criteria, and both affective military performance and Navy-specific cognitive skill development at the US NA, are positively associated with the development of career officers. Additionally, several key predictors of career potential are identified. A paradigm shift in perspective from the current short-term context to a life-cycle career context is recommended in the "whole- person" selection and development of USNA midshipmen
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