U.S. Air Force (USAF) senior leaders have increasingly expressed concerns about the diversity and representation of the force, stating that diversity is a "military necessity" (Air Force Instruction 36-7001, 2012). Simultaneously, these senior leaders believe that the growing complexity of the USAF mission, its weapons systems, and its opponents require ever-greater technical aptitude and ability from its personnel (Panetta, 2017). Taken together, these factors represent a significant challenge for military recruiters — particularly those responsible for soliciting applicants to the relatively higher skilled and relatively less diverse officer corps (Lim et al., 2014).
The goal of this dissertation is to improve understanding of the factors indicative of applications to the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps' (AFROTC) High School Scholarship Program (HSSP) as well as to provide an analytic method to determine where those applicants might best be found and how best to allocate its limited recruiting force to reach these applicants. Through the use of a data set of past applicants to the HSSP merged with a data set of school and community attributes, both an improved understanding of the determinants of applications to the officer corps is gained as well as the creation of targeted, school-level outreach recommendations. These recommendations assist AFROTC's limited outreach and recruiting force to more efficiently conduct outreach in order to broaden the pool of youth exposed to opportunities to serve as Air Force officers. Together, this research and recommendations can help AFROTC to improve the diversity and quality of its applicant pool.
Table of Contents
Current Recruiting Practices
Determinants of Recruit Generation
Recommendations and Conclusion
Data Cleaning Methodology
AAR Qualitative Code Book
Complete Variable Codebook