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An Empirical Examination of the Impact of JROTC Participation on Enlistment, Retention and Attrition

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Master's thesis

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Our primary research interest is whether participation in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps JROTC program influences youths propensity to enlist and for those who subsequently enlist, the influence on retention rates and propensity to reenlist. The novelty of this thesis lies in conducting multivariate analysis of the impact of JROTC participation on enlistment, retention and reenlistment. Our data sources are 1 the 1980 High School and Beyond HSB survey and 2 Defense Manpower Data Center DMDC enlisted personnel cohort files from Fiscal Year FY 1980 to 2000. We employ a number of econometric models with the HSB data, including single equation PROBIT and LOGIT models, two-stage least squares 2SLS with instrumental variables IVs and bivariate PROBIT equation. Our results show that JROTC positively influence enlistment when we treat JROTC participation as exogenous for both high school seniors and sophomores. The impact of JROTC participation on military enlistment decisions becomes negligible however, when we account for self-selection into the JROTC program of high school students. Using PROBIT and LOGIT models on the DMDC data, we find that enlisted personnel who graduated from JROTC are more likely to reenlist than non-JROTC graduates. Using the Cox proportional hazard survival analysis method, we find that JROTC graduates personnel tend to stay longer and complete their first-term than non-JROTC graduates. Synthesizing the results, we conclude that policy-makers might find it worthwhile to actively target JROTC cadets for enlistment because in the long run, it pays off in terms of higher first-term completion rates which results in cost savings in the form of enlistment bonuses and training costs.

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  • Statistics and Probability
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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