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Military officer quality in the all-volunteer force

Author: Matthew F Cancian; Michael W Klein; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 21372.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
We show a statistically significant and quantitatively meaningful decline in the quality of commissioned officers from 1980 to 2014 as measured by the scores of Marine officers on the General Classification Test (GCT), using data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request. This test has been shown to be a good predictor of success in the military. This result differs from the widely-studied increase in the  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Matthew F Cancian; Michael W Klein; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 921255865
Notes: "July 2015"
"This paper was revised on August 19, 2015"
Description: 1 online resource (34 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 21372.
Responsibility: Matthew F. Cancian, Michael W. Klein.

Abstract:

We show a statistically significant and quantitatively meaningful decline in the quality of commissioned officers from 1980 to 2014 as measured by the scores of Marine officers on the General Classification Test (GCT), using data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request. This test has been shown to be a good predictor of success in the military. This result differs from the widely-studied increase in the quality of enlisted personnel since 1973 when conscription ended and the All-Volunteer Force (AVF) began. We consider a range of possible causes for this decline. We focus on the fact that, during this period, Marine officers had to have a four-year college degree and there has been an expansion of the pool of young Americans in college. We find that other factors, such as the increasing diversity of the pool of incoming officers, have not contributed in any meaningful way to the decline in average annual GCT scores.

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