Predictors of aviation service selection among U.S. Naval Academy graduates
Gonzalez, James Mario
Mallory, Linda D.
Mehay, Stephen L.
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The purpose of this study is to investigate U.S. Naval Academy student predictors of aviation selection for graduates between 1995 and 2002. The main hypothesis is that the background characteristics that predict aviation selectees will differ from the characteristics that predict non-aviation selectees. Although prior research suggests that several characteristics (academic, cognitive, athletic, and personality traits) play an important role in predicting success in aviation, other research suggests that many of those characteristics have not been included in the service selection process at the Naval Academy. Two empirical models were estimated to investigate this hypothesis. The models were used to determine whether the significance of predictive factors differ between all aviation selectees and non-aviation selectees, and likewise between pilot aviation selectees and non-pilot aviation selectees. The results show that of all of the variables in both models PFAR (an ASTB score) was the most important factor in predicting aviation selection. Both PFAR and academic grade point average at USNA had a large impact on aviation selection and separately on pilot selection. These results were representative of both aviation and pilot selection. It is also important to note that some variables were strong negative predictors in the models, although prior research suggested they would be positive predictors of aviation success. Apparently, the factors that predict success in aviation flight training are not the same that predict selection of the aviation community.
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