Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Junior enlisted personnel are the workforce of the U.S. Army and a recruiting pool for Warrant and Officer Candidate School training programs. Before fulfilling their initial obligation of 8 years, 25 to 30 percent of enlistees receive separation orders from the Army. Consequently, attrition in this group has created a substantial problem in maintaining a trained and ready Army. The purpose of this correlational study was to understand what factors contribute to unfilled service of enlisted personnel. Specifically, this study focused on the number of years of service before departure, the cause of the early separations, and the subcategories as factors contributing to early separations. This was in comparison to the recruiting results of first-term, junior enlisted personnel. The data for this study came from the U.S. Department of Defense Demographics reports for years 2008 through 2013. These data were analyzed using a factor analysis procedure. The findings indicated 5 subcategories of early separations: Failure to meet military requirements, behavior unbecoming a soldier, inability to achieve the minimum Army standards, individual voluntarily requests for discharge, and serving their minimum active duty contractual obligations. The factor analyses revealed the percentage of variance of the early separations were most significant for individual voluntary requests for discharge and serving the minimum active duty contractual obligations. The positive social change implications stemming from this study include recommendations to the Defense Department to support eliminating the females’ exemptions from registering. This will allow all eligible individuals to register with the Selective Service, thereby advancing the integration of women into combat arms positions throughout the military services.