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How Has PERSTEMPOs Effect on Reenlistments Changed Since the 1986 Navy Policy

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Technical Report

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CNA Corporation Alexandria

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The Navy has been operating under either a heightened state of alert or wartime conditions since the terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001. To respond to the new threats, the Navy has had to increase its personnel tempo of operations PERSTEMPO. The Director of Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division N13 asked CNA to examine the retention implications for Sailors who experience high PERSTEMPO during wartime or heightened tensions. A previous CNA study explored the relationship between high PERSTEMPO and reenlistments it focused on PERSTEMPO patterns through the mid-1980s. In 1986, however, the Navy restricted deployment length and frequency, and high PERSTEMPO became less routine. In this annotated briefing, we update that study using 1990s personnel and ship employment data. In the pre-1986 period, long deployments were not necessarily associated with crises, whereas the extra-long deployments from the post-1986 period were typically associated with crises. Anecdotally, Sailors identified such deployments as important and worth the extra hardships. Because of this, we expect that high PERSTEMPO in the 1990s has not been associated with lower reenlistments. This paper investigates this hypothesis. We use statistical methods to measure the effects of PERSTEMPO on the first-term reenlistment decisions of Sailors.

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