A Statistical Analysis of the U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Command Screening Process
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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In 1992, the U.S. Marine Corps instituted a Command Screening Program CSP to annually select the most qualified Lieutenant Colonels LtCols to command. Prior to the CSP, the selection of Commanding Officers COs was left to the decision of the Commanding Generals. This thesis establishes the methodology, conducted with the current data available, to determine if the CSP is a better CO selection process and if there is an overall career advantage for LtCols who command. Fitness report information, without performance markings, was obtained for 3,417 officers. Each officer was placed into one of four mutually exclusive groups, first dependent on whether the officer was a CO as a LtCol or not and second whether retired or promoted prior to June 1, 1993 the date the CSP took effect or not. Measures of Effectiveness MOEs include the mean duration of a command tour, the proportions promoted, passed over, and voluntarily retired, and the proportion promoted early, on time, or late. Hypothesis tests are conducted on the pairwise comparison of group proportions for each MOE. The results, based on the MOEs, are somewhat mixed but generally indicate that the CSP is selecting more effective COs and that there is a career advantage for LtCols who command. The results will be more convincing as the CO group that began command after June 1, 1993 gains more time in service and more time in rank. Currently only 8.9 of this group has voluntarily retired or been in the promotion zone for Col.
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