Military Personnel Retention

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The retention of qualified military personnel—enlisted forces as well as officers—is essential to preserving morale and unit readiness and to avoiding the costs associated with training replacement personnel in essential skills. By examining issues from PERSTEMPO and the effects of multiple deployments to family readiness and child care, RAND research supports military leaders' efforts to monitor and successfully maintain an optimal force structure.

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Krystyna Duffy, a boatswain's mate assigned to Coast Guard Station Golden Gate in San Francisco, drives a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat near the Golden Gate Bridge, February 8, 2018, photo by PO3 Sarah Wi/U.S. Coast Guard

    Research Brief

    Why Do Women Leave the Coast Guard, and What Could Encourage Them to Stay?

    Mar 29, 2019

    Women leave the Coast Guard at higher rates than men. Focus groups raised concerns about work environment, career issues, and personal life matters. More inclusive personnel policies could help the Coast Guard address these concerns and retain more women.

  • Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing's 4th Fighter Squadron participating in Red Flag 19-1 at Nellis AFB, Nevada, January 31, 2019, photo by R. Nial Bradshaw/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Is It More Cost-Effective to Retain Pilots or Train New Ones?

    Mar 27, 2019

    Instead of relying on retaining its current pilots, the U.S. Air Force could hypothetically find and train new ones. But expanding the pilot training pipeline is costly. What is the best way for the Air Force to allocate its resources and sustain its number of pilots?

Explore Military Personnel Retention

  • Research Brief

    The Retention of High-Quality Military Personnel

    This research brief summarizes analysis contained in the RAND Corporation report, "The Retention of High Quality Personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces" (R-3117-MIL).

    Jan 1, 1985

  • Report

    The Dynamic Retention Model

    This Note is a nontechnical description of the Dynamic Retention Model (DRM), which facilitates analyses of the costs and benefits of proposed changes in the major policies affecting military personnel, including the level and structure of military c...

    Jan 1, 1985

  • Report

    Analysis of Early Military Attrition Behavior

    Analyzes the influence of preservice experiences and initial military job match on military attrition of first-term enlisted males during their first six months of service (early attrition).

    Jan 1, 1984

  • Report

    Optimal Wage Rates and Force Composition in Military Manpower Planning.

    A mathematical model of a military manpower system is presented which seeks to determine the optimal steady state wage rate and force distribution by length of service. Accessions and retention are the transition parameters of a steady state manpowe...

    Jan 1, 1974

  • Report

    Some Analytical Techniques for Personnel Planning

    An application of operations analysis to the determining of the retention rate, for a force of airmen in an Air Force service code, which has the best possible qualities on the average over the next 5 years.

    Mar 14, 1960

  • Report

    A Concept of Stability in Manpower Planning

    An attempt to predict future skill composition by devising a method for computing stable skill distributions for an extremely simple model.

    Sep 27, 1957

  • Content

    Irina A. Chindea

    Associate Political Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in international relations, Tufts University; M.A. in international relations, Tufts University; B.S. in business administration, ASE Bucharest, Romania

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    Brandon Crosby

    Associate Behavioral Scientist
    Education M.S. in organizational science, University of Maryland; B.A. in psychology, Morehouse College; Ph.D. in organizational psychology, University of Maryland

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    John S. Crown

    Senior Management Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in statistics, Texas A&M University

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    Hannah Acheson-Field

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.S. in computational biology (computer science), Brown University

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    Beth J. Asch

    Senior Economist
    Education Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, University of Chicago; B.A. in economics, University of California, Los Angeles

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    John A. Ausink

    Senior Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in public policy, Harvard University; M.S. in mathematics, Oxford University; B.S. in mathematics and physics, U.S. Air Force Academy

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    John B. Halstead

    Senior Operations Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in systems and information engineering, University of Virginia; M.S.S. in strategic studies, Army War College; M.S. in operations research, Kansas State University; B.S in mathematics of operations research, United States Military Academy

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    Michael L. Hansen

    Acting Director, Personnel, Training, and Health program, RAND Arroyo Center; Senior Economist
    Education Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, Boston College; B.A. in economics, Kalamazoo College

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    James Hosek

    Adjunct Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, University of Chicago; B.A. in English, Cornell University

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    Kirsten M. Keller

    Senior Behavioral Scientist; Associate Director, Manpower, Personnel, and Training Program, RAND Project AIR FORCE; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology, University of Maryland; M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology, University of Maryland; B.A. in psychology, Franklin and Marshall College

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    Katherine L. Kidder

    Associate Political Scientist
    Education MA in security studies, Kansas State University; BS in history, Kansas State University

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    Nelson Lim

    Senior Social Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in economics, University of California, Los Angeles

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    Molly F. McIntosh

    Associate Director, Forces and Resources Policy Center; Senior Economist
    Education Ph.D. in economics, Princeton University; M.A. in economics, Princeton University; B.A. in economics, UC Berkeley

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    Bruce R. Orvis

    Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. and M.A. in psychology, University of California, Los Angeles; A.B. in psychology, University of Rochester