Noncitizens in the U.S. Military
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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The authors examine the history of immigrant military service in the United States, explore the motivations of non citizen enlistees, and analyze the military performance of noncitizens relative to that of citizen enlistees. Information sources include a comprehensive review of literature, focused interviews with a small sample of non citizen enlistees, and cohort data files of enlisted personnel who entered the military from 1990 through 1998. The history of noncitizen service corresponds roughly to the nations history of immigration and naturalization policy, with military service having offered immigrants economic benefits, as well as a path toward assimilation. Service by noncitizens has also provided the country a way to meet its military manpower needs. The results of statistical analyses suggest non citizens have lower predicted rates of first-term attrition, and higher estimated rates of retention beyond the first term and promotion to E-4. The authors conclude that non citizens provide a valuable source of manpower, and fulfill important roles as influencers for the next generation. Thus, it may be worthwhile to provide noncitizens more information about enlistment opportunities, and to implement unique reenlistment incentives including expedited green-card status for family members. Future research should examine specific ethnic categories of interest within the population of noncitizens.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations