Date of Conferral
Generational differences directly impact the culture and discipline in the U.S. Marine Corps. Previous research suggests that Generation Y's characteristics do not align with traditional military service. The specific problem is that there is a gap in the research and scholarly literature on the level of commitment of Generation Y compared to Generation X Marines. The purpose of this nonexperimental, quantitative study was to examine the influence on Marine Corps culture due to the level of commitment of active duty, enlisted Generation Y Marines compared to active duty, enlisted Generation X Marines. The theoretical frameworks for this study were the theory of generations and the organizational culture theory. The central research question was focused on the influence of Generation Y's experiences, ideas, and opinions on Marine Corps culture. In order for Marine Corps leaders to be effective, they need a better understanding of the people who work for them. This quantitative, cross-sectional survey study used a sample of 264 active duty, enlisted Marines from the 1st Marine Logistics Group in Southern California. The t tests revealed that Generation X has a higher level of commitment than Generation Y. However, the t tests also revealed that Generation Y's commitment profile indicates that the generation continues to serve because they want to or desire to remain in the Marine Corps. Lastly, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that each type of commitment was affected differently by the independent variables (age, gender, generation, and pay grade). The results provide the Marine Corps with a better understanding of generational issues. The positive social change from this research is the ability to sustain an essential and successful military culture and as a consequence, to improve the combat capability of the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense.