NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA MONTEREY United States
The Marine Corps dedicates itself to ensuring quality retention and promotion. To accomplish this, we must analyze the effects of policy and the quality of Marines currently serving. This thesis considers data from 97,013 enlisted infantry Marines who entered the Marine Corps from 2001 to 2016 to determine which factors contribute toward promotion for the ranks of lance corporal, corporal, sergeant and staff sergeant. To assess which ranks proportionally promote more high-quality Marines, we compare two performance evaluation methods proficiency and conduct marks and reporting senior and reviewing officer values. Our analysis of the data shows that the most important factors for promotion are conduct scores, reporting senior relative values, the number of deployments, combat fitness test CFT and physical fitness test PFT scores and zero adverse fitness reports. From the two performance evaluation methods we find that the Marine Corps promotes proportionally more high-quality Marines as reflected in fitness reports than with proficiency and conduct marks. Promoting and retaining the highest-performing Marines will ensure they are fully prepared to meet current and future challenges to national security. We must develop new methods for retaining more top-quality Marines to ensure their greatest probability of success.