Modeling Career Enlisted Aviator Retention in the U.S. Air Force
Aug 5, 2020
The authors develop the analytic capability to calculate the efficient amount of special and incentive pay for Air Force career enlisted aviators (CEAs). They also estimate the trade-offs between retaining CEAs and increasing accessions for a given force size and the value that recruiting and training costs would need to reach for retaining more experienced CEAs to become more cost-effective than increasing accessions.
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To justify budgets for special and incentive (S&I) pays for career enlisted aviators (CEAs), the Air Force needs rigorous analyses on how to efficiently set S&I pays for CEAs to achieve and maintain required end strength.
The authors of this report develop an analytic capability to calculate the efficient amount of S&I pays for CEAs, using RAND's Dynamic Retention Model to create separate models for each CEA specialty. They use these models to estimate the per capita cost for each CEA specialty under different policies to show the trade-offs between increasing accessions versus retaining more experienced CEAs for a given force size. They also calculate tipping-point values: the values that recruiting and training costs would need to reach in order for retaining more experienced CEAs using selective reenlistment bonuses (SRBs) to become more cost-effective than increasing accessions.
Dynamic Retention Model Overview, Data, Estimates, and Model Fits
Retaining Career Enlisted Aviators Versus Expanding the Training Pipeline
Background on Career Enlisted Aviator Occupations and Special and Incentive Pays
Retention Profiles of Career Enlisted Aviators
Simulations of the Retention and Cost Effects of Alternative Special and Incentive Pay Policies
The research described in this report was sponsored by AF/A1P and conducted within the Manpower, Personnel, and Training Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.
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