The impacts of academic background on submariner performance, retention, and promotion
Woelper, Eric P.
Mehay, Stephen L.
Bowman, William R.
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This thesis analyzes the relationship between pre-commissioning academic background and submarine officer performance. Four measures of officer performance are used: (1) probability of completing the nuclear training pipeline; (2) probability of receiving an early promotion recommendation on greater than 75 percent of LT fitness reports; (3) probability of remaining in the Navy for 10 years of commissioned service (until the O4 board); and (4) probability of promoting to LCDR. Navy Promotion History files, Officer Data Cards, Fitness Report files, and Loss files are used to statistically analyze the impacts of college grades and major, college quality, and commissioning source on submariner performance and retention. Non-linear maximum likelihood techniques are used to estimate the four performance models. The findings reveal that good grades and engineering majors have a significant positive impact on all four performance measures including retention. There are exceptions among OCS graduates. Grades have an insignificant effect on the probability of completing the training pipeline and of remaining in the Navy until the O4 board. Also, non-technical majors are more likely to remain in the Navy than engineering majors. USNA graduates fare best on all performance measures with the exception of completing the training pipeline. ROTC graduates generally fare better than OCS graduates. Among ROTC and OCS graduates, greater college selectivity leads to higher performance but lower retention rates for OCS graduates. There is no difference in retention rates for ROTC graduates with respect to college selectivity.
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