Military Personnel: Systematic Analyses Needed to Monitor Retention in Key Careers and Occupations
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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Widespread reductions in retention rates were not evident at the aggregate level across the services from 1988 through 1998. Aggregate measures of retention, however, mask significant reductions that occurred among specific groups of military personnel in different career stages and occupational specialties. These drops in retention were more evident among groups of enlisted personnel than among officers. Although aggregate retention rates declined to some extent in the early 1990s, enlisted and officer rates in 1996-98 after the drawdown were very similar to those in 1988-90 before the drawdown. Enlisted retention rates increased in the Army and the Navy by about 2 percent and 7 percent, respectively, decreased in the Marines by about 5 percent, and remained unchanged in the Air Force. However, when examining recent trends 1998 compared with 1996-97, we found that retention rates declined for enlisted personnel in the Army, the Air Force, and the Marines by 4 to 8 percent. Among officers, retention rates changed by about 1 percent over both the long and the short term.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations