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Identifying and Retaining Quality Naval Officers: A Quantitative Analysis of Job Matching and Lateral Transfers

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The Secretary of the Navys Sailor 2025 and Talent Management initiatives aim to improve the Navys personnel management processes in an effort to attract, train and retain high-quality personnel. This study examines job performance measures among Navy officers on their initial job assignment and among officers who completed a lateral transfer and redesignation. Using longitudinal data on several cohorts of Navy officers, and a multivariate regression analysis approach, the findings suggest that officers who lateral transfer have higher retention and promotion rates than other officers. When the analysis is conducted by community, the findings show mixed retention and promotion effects. Performance is further examined via fitness reports scores, showing lower individual trait averages for males who lateral transferred into the Unrestricted Line communities, and higher trait averages for females who lateral transferred into Restricted LineStaff communities. These results suggest that lateral transfers might increase the quality of the job match. Further research should consider using detailed lateral transfer board data in order to differentiate between lateral transfers or redesignations, as well as to account for the characteristics of those who are approved or denied a lateral transfer.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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