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As a competitive employer in the United States, the Department of Defense (DoD) strives to maintain benefits comparable to those of the public and private sector. Throughout the 1990s, as the state of the economy improved, many companies began offering their employees a variety of extended leave, or "sabbatical," options to increase morale, meet employees' needs, improve retention rates, and compete with other employers. In response, DoD recently asked RAND to explore the greater use of extended leaves as part of the department's strategic human resource plan. This report looks at the possible use of extended leaves for military officers. In particular, the authors focus on the different kinds of existing civilian leave programs, how the programs might work if implemented in the military, and how such programs could be evaluated. The authors offer recommendations and observations on which extended leave programs would most benefit the military as well as ideas on how to implement such programs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Existing Programs

  • Chapter Three

    Possible Extended Leave Programs for the U.S. Military

  • Chapter Four


  • Chapter Five


  • Appendix A

    Assumptions and Methodology

  • Appendix B

    Human Capital Value

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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