The Dynamic Retention Model for Air Force Officers

New Estimates and Policy Simulations of the Aviator Continuation Pay Program

by Michael G. Mattock, Jeremy Arkes

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The U.S. Air Force (USAF) needs accurate models to develop retention policies that ensure the force has a sufficient number of experienced officers to meet current and future requirements. The dynamic retention model (DRM) can be used to take into account the effect of the availability of multi-year contracts to certain classes of Air Force officers. Unlike the annualized cost of leaving (ACOL) model long used by researchers working on USAF personnel issues, the DRM takes into account the value an officer may place on future career flexibility in the face of uncertainty, and thus is particularly well suited to examining the effect of bonus programs that have service commitments, such as the Aviator Continuation Pay (ACP) program, which pays an annual bonus to pilots and certain groups of navigators and air battle managers who commit to extend their service for specified numbers of years or to a specified length of service.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    A Dynamic Retention Model

  • Chapter Three

    Comparing the Dynamic Retention Model and the Annualized Cost of Leaving Family of Models

  • Chapter Four

    Results of the Dynamic Retention Model

  • Appendix A

    Implementation Details and Model Estimates

  • Appendix B

    Computer Program and Data

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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