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Analyzes the influence of preservice experiences and initial military job match on military attrition of first-term enlisted males during their first six months of service (early attrition). The dynamics of attrition behavior are examined in terms of recent firm-specific human capital and job matching models. The determinants of early attrition are compared across services and with those of civilian job separations of young workers. Some of the conclusions drawn are: enlistees with a history of frequent civilian job changes or a recent spell of unemployment are attrition-prone; aspects of the initial military occupational assignment like individual suitability and satisfaction do not significantly influence early attrition; the early attrition rate of nonhigh-school graduates is nearly twice that of graduates even after controlling for previous work experiences, aptitude, and other variables that influence attrition; and older recruits are more attrition-prone than younger recruits.

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