Cover: The Department of the Navy's Civilian Acquisition Workforce

The Department of the Navy's Civilian Acquisition Workforce

An Analysis of Recent Trends

Published Jan 14, 2009

by Susan M. Gates, Edward G. Keating, Bryan Tysinger, Adria D. Jewell, Lindsay Daugherty, Ralph Masi


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The defense acquisition workforce (AW) is responsible for providing a wide range of acquisition, technology, and logistics support to the nation's warfighters. This report provides a descriptive overview of the Department of the Navy's (DoN's) civilian AW over the past decade and presents the results of preliminary analyses of data related to specific workforce management issues: retention, professional development, and leadership. It demonstrates the utility of workforce analysis and focuses attention on issues that deserve further analysis and policymaker attention. The authors find that DoN AW managers may need to consider new strategies that could help retain individuals beyond the point that they become eligible for retirement, since the number of DoN AW civilians becoming fully retirement-eligible will increase in the coming decade. They find no evidence that early and mid-career retention is an issue for the DoN civilian AW as a whole, but the analysis reveals differences in early career retention patterns by career field, with lower retention rates in the contracting career field.

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Navy. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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