Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback146 pages $22.00 $17.60 20% Web Discount

Despite relatively high levels of officer retention overall, U.S. Army personnel management officials have noted that junior officer retention is lowest for the individuals in whom the Army has made the largest investment. These officials are concerned that these officers might not have a full and accurate picture of the socioeconomic environment that they will face if they leave active-duty service. If these personnel currently underestimate the additional costs of civilian employment, a more complete picture of the socioeconomic environment could raise retention and assist the Army in its competition with civilian employers. This monograph develops a comprehensive picture of the socioeconomic environment officers will encounter if they leave active-duty service and analyzes the potential impact of these factors on Army retention. Ultimately, officers' expectations about civilian employment affect their retention decisions. Therefore, the monograph also considers how major differences between military and civilian employment can be effectively communicated to officers making stay/leave decisions. It reports results from projects that aimed to help the U.S. Army optimize the return on investment from retention policies by evaluating economic trends in the private sector and the perceived merit of civilian versus military employment. The projects also evaluated different measures of potential and performance and identified areas in which the U.S. Army has been least successful in retaining its highest-performing officers. The authors present and discuss the results of a review of the existing literature concerning these topics; analyses of military personnel data, as well as civilian employment and earnings data; and incorporation of these results into existing theoretical models of retention.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Junior Officer Retention

  • Chapter Three

    Socioeconomic Differences Between Military and Civilian Employment

  • Chapter Four

    Unemployment and Cash Compensation

  • Chapter Five

    Noncash and Deferred Compensation

  • Chapter Six

    Other Characteristics of Jobs

  • Chapter Seven

    The Potential Impact on Retention

  • Chapter Eight

    Communicating the Socioeconomic Differences to Officers

  • Chapter Nine


  • Appendix

    Are U.S. Military Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship Graduates Above Average?

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.