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Marine Corps Officer Modeling: Retention Analysis Based on Source of Accession


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The annual Marine officer accession mission is achieved through five primary commissioning sources: U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), Platoon Leaders Class (PLC), Officer Candidate Class (OCC), and Enlisted to Officer programs. Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) is tasked with finding, selecting, and commissioning qualified applicants that meet quality, diversity, and gender goals. Due to the extensive length of the officer accession pipeline, force generation decisions can take years to manifest in the form of a newly commissioned officer cohort. As Force Design 2030 identifies changes to the structure and capability of the Marine Corps, we seek to equip MCRC with a study of the different sources of accession. This thesis uses survival analysis and logistic regression to model officer retention and selection board performance using data from MCRC and Manpower and Reserve Affairs (M and RA) about active-duty Marine officers commissioned between fiscal years 2006 and 2016. We find that officer survival patterns are different across the commissioning sources, even when controlling for contract type. Additionally, we demonstrate that early indicators of performance are useful predictors when modeling early- and mid-career milestone achievement. MCRC can use these tools and results to inform talent management modernization efforts and help achieve Marine officer procurement objectives to support Force Design 2030.



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