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Are increased deployments in the U.S. military associated with decreased retention? This report looks at retention of military officers in the decade following the Gulf War, as deployments increased and force numbers decreased. The study casts doubt on hypotheses that say "more deployment causes lower retention" or "hostile deployment causes lower retention." While servicemembers often give negative opinions of deployment in surveys of likes and dislikes of military service, these opinions do not seem to translate into actual behavior. In fact, this report, which evaluates the actual behavior of officers leaving military service in relation to how much deployment they experienced, does not find an association between increasing deployment and increasing separation rates. Officers were modeled at two major phases in their careers; hostile and nonhostile deployments were accounted for and measured accordingly in analyzing retention rates.

Table of Contents

  • Preface

  • Figures

  • Tables

  • Summary

  • Acknowledgments

  • Abbreviations

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Deployment Rates and Measures

  • Chapter Three

    Analytic Approach and Data

  • Chapter Four

    The Effects of Perstempo on Retention

  • Chapter Five

    Discussions and Conclusions

  • Appendix A

    Modeling Methodolgy

  • Appendix B

    Detailed Regression Results

  • Appendix C

    Officer Retention with Respect to Other Demographics

  • Appendix D

    Definition of Occupational Categories

  • Refences


The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division.

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