The Relationship Between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms and Career Outcomes of Army Enlisted Servicemembers

by Jennifer Walters

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has emerged as one of the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having provided more troop-years to these engagements than all the other services combined, the toll of PTSD has been especially burdensome for U.S. Army servicemembers. While the adverse mental and physical health outcomes associated with PTSD are well documented, the relationship between PTSD symptoms and military career milestones are often overlooked. This dissertation study endeavors to answer the question: To what extent do servicemembers with PTSD symptoms experience negative career outcomes?

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Chapter Three

    The Army Promotion System

  • Chapter Four


  • Chapter Five


  • Chapter Six

    Descriptive Statistics

  • Chapter Seven


  • Chapter Eight

    Conclusion and Policy Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Probability of Career Outcomes (Most Recent Deployment)

  • Appendix B

    PC-PTSD Validation

  • Appendix C

    Regression Output

  • Appendix D

    PDHA Survey Versions

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2014 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Lisa S. Meredith (Chair), Paul Heaton, and Sarah O. Meadows.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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