Perspectives on Minority Officer Success Rates in the Marine Corps
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Each year, the Marine Corps screens about 2,000 officer candidates through its Officer Candidate School OCS. For example, more than half of the FY 1991 candidates did not become commissioned officers either they failed to complete OCS, or they later failed to accept a commission. Such a high attrition rate is worrisome it is expensive to recruit and to screen officer candidates. OCS attrition has been especially high among minority candidates, and the Marine Corps has been charged with discrimination. A differential continues at the next phase of officer training, The Basic School TBS, where the average class rank of minority candidates is lower than that of white candidates. Recent controversy over lower rates of minority success in OCS, TBS, and early career promotions highlights the need to learn the underlying issues, problems, and mechanisms. In 1992, the Marine Corps began to examine the relatively poor outcomes1 of minority officers early in their careers. It had observed, for example, that a larger proportion of minorities than whites failed to complete the initial pre-commissioning course at OCS. Efforts to understand this gap continue.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations