oversight

Military Personnel: Perspectives of Surveyed Members in Retention Critical Specialities

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-08-16.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                     United States General Accounting Office

GAO                  Briefing Report to Congressional
                     Requesters



August 1999
                     MILITARY
                     PERSONNEL

                     Perspectives of
                     Surveyed Service
                     Members in Retention
                     Critical Specialties




GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR
United States General Accounting Office                                                  National Security and
Washington, D.C. 20548                                                            International Affairs Division



                                    B-281031                                                                  Letter

                                    August 16, 1999

                                    The Honorable Pete V. Domenici
                                    Chairman, Committee on the Budget
                                    United States Senate

                                    The Honorable Ted Stevens
                                    Chairman, Committee on Appropriations
                                    United States Senate

                                    The Honorable George R. Nethercutt, Jr.
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Concern has been expressed within the Congress and the Department of
                                    Defense (DOD) regarding the ability to retain members of the Armed
                                    Forces and maintain an adequate level of overall quality of life. The
                                    percent of military personnel who were away from home due to military
                                    deployments or training in fiscal year 1998 increased by more than
                                    60 percent from the percent deployed 10 years earlier, during the Cold War
                                    period. This increase in personnel tempo has occurred against the
                                    backdrop of a 34-percent decrease in the number of active duty military
                                    personnel between 1988 and 1998 and a 34-percent decrease in real defense
                                    outlays during the same period.

                                    At your request, we are reviewing quality of life and retention in the
                                    military. One component of your request asked us to address how quality
                                    of life and retention varies among the military services and between ranks.
                                    As part of our review of this issue, from December 1998 through March
                                    1999, we administered a survey on quality of life and retention to
                                    approximately 1,000 Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps active duty
                                    military personnel at 5 military installations. Participants were selected
                                    from the population of individuals at the five military installations working
                                    in job specialties that DOD believed were experiencing retention problems.
                                    Given the basis for selection, the results may not be generally applicable to
                                    other personnel in these or other job occupations located at these or other
                                    installations.

                                    DOD has traditionally defined quality of life broadly, including factors
                                    ranging from military pay to family support services. We adopted the broad
                                    definition to be as inclusive as possible. We did not examine the validity of



                   Leter            Page 1                           GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
                      B-281031




                      DOD’s definition of quality of life. We examined which of the quality of life
                      factors that had been identified and could reasonably be articulated had an
                      impact on decisions to stay or leave the military and how satisfied or
                      dissatisfied the military personnel we surveyed were with that array of
                      factors.

                      We briefed your staff on April 21, 1999, on the preliminary survey results.
                      This report responds to your request for a report of that briefing. We
                      discuss the following survey outcomes in this report: (1) overall intentions
                      to stay or leave the military, (2) levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction
                      with the military, (3) factors that affect dissatisfaction and intent to leave
                      the military, and (4) factors that affect satisfaction and intentions to stay in
                      the military. We plan to conduct a further analysis of these survey results
                      and prepare a more detailed report later this year.1 For example, we will
                      examine the relationships that may exist between certain variables, such as
                      time in service, marital status, and personnel tempo, and differences
                      regarding satisfaction and career intentions.



Results in Brief      Overall, more than half of the approximately 1,000 officers and enlisted
                      military personnel we surveyed said they were dissatisfied and intended to
                      leave the military after their current obligation or term of enlistment was
                      up.2 Dissatisfaction and intentions to leave the military were more
                      apparent among enlisted personnel than officers. On average, 52 percent of
                      enlisted personnel surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the military,
                      whereas 46 percent of officers were dissatisfied. Similarly, 62 percent of
                      enlisted personnel surveyed said that they intend to leave the military after
                      their current obligation is up, whereas 40 percent of officers said they
                      intend to leave.




                      1
                       We have several ongoing reviews requested by the Congress that relate to military personnel issues,
                      including an historical examination of military retention rates, an examination of issues related to pilot
                      shortages, and an analysis of data from a broad DOD/GAO military personnel survey to be implemented
                      later this year.
                      2
                        We had outside experts, including retired senior military officers, academic and general content
                      experts, and a former private industry executive, review our findings. They indicated that the results
                      align with findings from some of their recent research efforts on broader samples of some service
                      populations.




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B-281031




No single factor appeared to account for these results; rather, many factors
were sources of dissatisfaction and reasons to leave the military.3 The
majority of factors (62 percent) were associated with work circumstances
such as the lack of equipment and materials to successfully complete the
demands of daily job requirements, the undermanning of units, the
frequency of deployments, and the lack of personal time for family. The
nature of military compensation such as base military pay and retirement
pay was also important, but these factors accounted for less than a quarter
(23 percent) of all the factors military personnel were dissatisfied with. In
addition, the nature of military benefits such as medical care for military
dependents and access to medical care in retirement accounted for
15 percent of all the factors military personnel were dissatisfied with.

The quality of life factors that are top sources of satisfaction for military
personnel were traditional Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)
activities and services, such as fitness and sports activities, as well as
commissaries and exchanges, and chaplain services. Military personnel
support programs, including youth and adolescent programs and military
family support services, were also sources of satisfaction for the officers
and enlisted military personnel we surveyed. One factor associated with
work circumstances that both officers and enlisted personnel were
satisfied with was their immediate supervisors. Although there was relative
uniformity among officers and enlisted personnel in terms of the factors
they were satisfied with, officers were unique in conveying satisfaction
with military values and lifestyle, sense of esprit de corps, and living in new
locations.

The survey findings generally suggest that actions to address the retention
of military personnel in retention critical specialties or to develop effective
and reliable assessments of military quality of life, should place special
attention on aspects of military servicemembers’ work circumstances.
Many of these aspects, including lack of equipment and parts to perform
day-to-day job functions, inadequate personnel levels, and high deployment
pace and demands, reduce morale and create barriers that make it difficult
for servicemembers to spend time away from the job and maintain a
satisfactory personal life. Improving pay and benefits is an important
concern for military personnel, but there seems to be a much greater need


3
 Our review of comparable survey data obtained from a recent and broad-based Army personnel survey
indicated similarities in findings concerning dissatisfaction with the amount of personnel available to
do work, the amount of time separated from family, retirement benefits, and the quality of family
medical care.




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             to address other quality of life issues in the retention of military personnel,
             including the nature of their work circumstances.



Background   In 1994, the Secretary of Defense proposed a 6-year plan to address military
             quality of life in response to senior military leaders’ concerns regarding
             personnel tempo, compensation, health care, housing, and community
             support activities. The changing nature of DOD’s mission, changes in
             deployment, a reduction-in-force structure, base closures and
             realignments, and smaller defense budgets had culminated to create
             concerns about military readiness and the ability to retain servicemembers.
             In November 1994, the Secretary added $2.7 billion to the defense budget,
             over 6 years, to fund increases in allowances, barracks, family housing, and
             community support activities. Separately, a $7.7 billion commitment was
             provided to fund military pay raises through fiscal year 1999.

             The Secretary’s 1994 quality of life initiative also chartered a Defense
             Science Board Task Force to study military housing, personnel tempo, and
             community and family services. The task force was not directed to study
             other elements of quality of life, including compensation and medical care,
             because these elements were being reviewed by other organizations. In
             October 1995, the task force reported and made recommendations to
             improve military quality of life. DOD officials indicate that improvements
             include (1) upgrading standards of living (housing) and enhancing
             unaccompanied housing; (2) providing better child care facilities, more
             child care spaces, and more funds for the family advocacy program and the
             new parent support program; (3) improving fitness facilities; and
             (4) establishing a standard measure of personnel tempo and setting
             personnel tempo goals. The officials also indicate that the fewest
             accomplishments have been made regarding changes in personnel tempo
             and privatization of military housing.

             To support and implement the task force recommendations, an internal
             DOD Quality of Life Executive Committee was also chartered under DOD’s
             1994 quality of life initiative. This committee continues to meet to work
             quality of life issues in a forum, inviting leadership from all services.

             Today, DOD identifies the following as its quality of life priorities:
             (1) funding raises in basic pay and improving the fairness and efficiency of
             other elements of compensation; (2) driving personnel tempo as low as
             possible without jeopardizing mission and readiness; (3) providing
             servicemembers and their families’ safe, modern communities and housing;



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                      B-281031




                      (4) making education opportunities a cornerstone of DOD’s quality of life
                      programs; (5) ensuring parity in quality of life programs across installations
                      and services; and (6) building a solid communication line to
                      servicemembers and their families so as to understand their perceptions on
                      quality of life.



Agency Comments and   DOD provided written comments on a draft of this report (see app. IV).
                      DOD stated it did not disagree with “the overall thrust” of our report. DOD
Our Evaluation        said its efforts to improve overall quality of life is fairly well documented in
                      our report and that the report reflects DOD’s efforts to “Put People First.”
                      DOD stated that our survey validates its position that no single factor
                      impacts individual retention decisions.

                      DOD agreed that the survey results may not be generally applicable to
                      other personnel but expressed concern that several of the generalizations
                      made from the survey could suggest that shortcomings exist DOD-wide in
                      the general workforce climate. We did not, however, generalize the results
                      of our survey. Our survey results reflect the views of approximately 1,000
                      military personnel in retention critical specialties. Given the basis for
                      sample selection, we stated that the results may not be generally
                      applicable.

                      DOD disagreed with the draft report’s reference that few accomplishments
                      have been made regarding changes in personnel tempo and privatization of
                      military housing. We did not state that few accomplishments had been
                      made. We stated that DOD officials indicate that the fewest
                      accomplishments have been made regarding changes in personnel tempo
                      and privatization of military housing. DOD officials told us that, in
                      response to the 1995 Defense Science Board Task Force recommendations
                      to improve military quality of life, some improvements had been made in
                      the areas of housing, childcare, fitness facilities, and personnel tempo.
                      However, they noted that the fewest accomplishments had been made in
                      the areas of personnel tempo and the privatization of military housing.4




                      4
                       We did not review DOD’s progress on the Defense Science Board’s quality of life recommendations.
                      However, we previously reported on DOD’s progress on the military privatization housing initiative in
                      our report entitled, Military Housing: Privatization Off to a Slow Start and Continued Management
                      Attention Needed (GAO/NSIAD-98-178, July 17, 1998).




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DOD stated that our definition of quality of life was expanded beyond the
traditional DOD definition to issues that included spare parts and
equipment and unit manning. We agree that there are quality of life factors
in our survey, including one that pertains to the availability of needed,
parts, and equipment and another concerning the level of unit manning that
are not within DOD’s traditional definition of quality of life. Our study
approach began by adopting the definition of quality of life consistent with
DOD’s broad definition. However, in our efforts to be as inclusive as
possible, as we note in our methodology description, we also obtained
input from independent experts and active duty military personnel and we
reviewed quality of life and general personnel surveys developed or used in
academic settings, the private sector, and individual military services. The
final instrument we used contained 44 military quality of life factors that
were identified through this process and that could reasonably be
articulated. DOD’s most recently developed survey to assess attitudes and
perceptions of military life, scheduled for implementation in October 1999,
now also includes items to measure military personnel satisfaction with the
availability of parts and equipment as well as the level of unit manning.

DOD expressed concern with our finding that actions to address the
retention of military personnel in retention critical specialties or to develop
effective and reliable assessments of military quality of life, should place
special attention on aspects of military servicemembers’ work
circumstances. DOD stated this may infer that less attention needs to be
paid to other areas of quality of life. DOD believes that a “holistic
approach,” as outlined in its overall quality of life strategy, is more
conducive to achieving desired organizational outcomes. While we agree
that obtaining information across a broad spectrum of quality of life issues
is appropriate, priorities must be set given limited resources. Specifically,
there is a need to target options to maximize the return on related
investments.

We believe that our survey results provide relevant information on the
quality of life factors that are most dissatisfying among a sample of military
personnel in retention critical specialties and that this information has
implications for the priorities in DOD’s overall quality of life strategy. The
views of approximately 1,000 military personnel converged to show that
62 percent of the quality of life factors they were most dissatisfied with
were related to work circumstances, including the lack of equipment and
materials to successfully complete the demands of daily job requirements,
the undermanning of units, the frequency of deployments, and the lack of




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              B-281031




              personal time for family.5 Further, three of the top five most frequently
              selected reasons to leave the military were also related to military
              personnel’s work circumstances, including the frequency of deployments,
              the lack of materials and equipment to successfully complete the demands
              of daily job requirements, and the undermanning of units.

              DOD’s quality of life strategy recognizes that “military personnel want good
              pay, educational opportunities, meaningful work, challenging off-duty
              opportunities, and good places to live.” While we recognize this strategy
              and the themes it emphasizes, we believe that work circumstances are
              central to quality of life for the military personnel we surveyed and warrant
              attention. Our study highlights the relative distinction of work
              circumstances compared to other issues, including pay and benefits; in
              accounting for the majority of quality of life factors a sample of military
              personnel working in retention critical specialties were dissatisfied with
              and most frequently identified as reasons to leave the military. In addition,
              the results of both of DOD’s most recent (1995;1998) Health Related
              Behaviors Surveys of military personnel have shown that being away from
              family and increases in workload, both related to work circumstances,
              were the two most frequently cited sources of causing “a great deal” or a
              “fairly large amount” of stress among military personnel.



Scope and     A total of 986 active duty military personnel completed the survey.6 We
              administered the survey between December 1998 and March 1999 at the
Methodology   Army’ s Fort Drum, New York; the Navy’s Norfolk Navy Base, Virginia; the
              Air Force’s Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; and the Marine Corps’ Camp
              Lejeune and New River Air Station, North Carolina. We administered the
              survey in person at the military installations in group sessions of 10 to 20
              people typically over the course of 2 days or until all scheduled participants
              had completed the survey.7 The survey was anonymous.




              5
               Of the 44 quality of life factors included in our survey, 41 percent were broadly related to work
              circumstances.
              6
               A total of 739 enlisted military personnel, 210 commissioned officers and 34 warrant officers
              participated. Three participants did not indicate their paygrade/rank. Warrant officers are not included
              in the data reported.
              7
               We also conducted focus groups with approximately 400 survey participants. We plan to discuss these
              results in our final report.




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Participants were selected from the population of individuals at five
military installations working in occupational specialties that were among
service-identified specialties judged to be critical from a retention
standpoint. Examples of these occupations include intelligence analysts,
military police, computer programmers and operators, electronics
technicians, avionics specialists, and pilots and navigators. 8 Installations
were selected where a reasonable mix of individuals in those occupations
were located. We sought to obtain equal numbers of participants from each
service and to randomly select survey participants to the extent possible
from installation personnel roster data, using the targeted job occupations
as the primary selection criterion. However, not all randomly selected
individuals participated. Some selected participants were unavailable the
day we administered the survey, some of the installation personnel roster
information was incomplete or inaccurate, and therefore, some selected
personnel were not at the designated location, and a bomb threat during
one installation visit required us to cancel two survey sessions. As a result,
we asked DOD officials at each of the five installations to help us identify
additional military personnel to participate in the survey. Randomly
selected individuals who were unavailable to participate were replaced,
where possible, with individuals from like military specialties. We did not
ask participants to provide their name or other personally identifying
information on the survey. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the
final proportion of the sample that was randomly or nonrandomly selected.
Given the basis of sample selection, the results may not be generally
applicable to other personnel in these or other occupations located at these
or other installations.

In developing the survey, we began by adopting the definition of quality of
life consistent with DOD’s broad definition. However, we also reviewed
published and available survey instruments used to measure quality of life
or to survey general personnel issues developed in academic settings, the
private sector, DOD, and the individual military services. To further guide
the inclusion of appropriate items, we reviewed the literature on quality of
life and employee retention for both military and civilian populations and
we interviewed active duty military personnel. The survey was field tested
to check for clarity, relevance, and completion time and changes were
made where appropriate.



8
 Tables I.1-2 include a list of the occupations of the enlisted military personnel and officers who
participated in the survey.




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B-281031




We had a panel of independent experts, including retired senior military
officers, academic and general content experts, and a former private
industry executive, review the survey and provide comments that were
incorporated where appropriate. In addition, at the start of focus group
discussions, we solicited feedback from the participants regarding the
survey’s adequacy (or inadequacy) in addressing relevant quality of life
issues. The consensus was that the survey adequately covered the quality
of life areas that mattered to them in thinking about decisions to stay or
leave the military.

The survey contained eight general categories of questions representing
different elements of military quality of life. Each category had
approximately six items that the participants rated their satisfaction or
dissatisfaction with on a 5-point scale.9 The survey also included items to
obtain intentions to stay or leave the military, background and
demographic information, workload and deployment tempo, training, and
other issues.10 Since the survey did not include an exhaustive list of all
possible quality of life factors, participants were given an opportunity to
provide written comments on any quality of life issue they wished to on the
last page of the survey.11 Approximately 500 participants, more than half of
the sample, provided written comments that were predominantly negative
in tone. They included references to multiple military personnel issues that
needed to be addressed to improve quality of life, including recurrent
references to career-related issues such as promotions and the quality of
the force. We plan to systematically analyze the written comments and
discuss the results in our final report.

We conducted our review between October 1998 and June 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

This report is organized into four briefing sections. Section I discusses the
survey results concerning intentions to stay and leave the military. Section
II discusses the survey results concerning levels of satisfaction and

9
 The eight quality of life categories included in the survey were Current Monetary Compensation;
Current Military Benefits; Retirement Benefits; Military Career Issues; Work Circumstances; Military
Culture; Family Support Services; and Other Issues. Examples of items under the Work Circumstances
category include personal workload,availability of needed equipment, parts and materials, and level of
unit manning. In summarizing the results, we collapsed the eight categories to three broad categories:
Work Circumstances, Military Compensation, and Military Benefits.
10
    Tables II.1-4 include a profile of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps survey participants.
11
    The survey form is in appendix III.




Page 9                                          GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
B-281031




dissatisfaction with the military. Section III discusses the survey results
concerning sources of dissatisfaction and reasons to leave the military.
Section IV discusses survey results concerning sources of satisfaction and
reasons to stay in the military.


As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from its
issue date. At that time, we will send copies of this report to other
appropriate congressional committees. We will also send copies to the
Honorable William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Louis
Caldera, Secretary of the Army; the Honorable Richard Danzig, Secretary of
the Navy; the Honorable F. Whitten Peters, Secretary of the Air Force; and
General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps. We will also
make copies available to others upon request.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact me
at (202) 512-3092. Key contributors to this assignment were
John Oppenheim, Carolyn Copper, and Yeewan Tom.




Kwai-Cheung Chan, Director
Special Studies and Evaluation Issues




Page 10                           GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Page 11   GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Contents



Letter                                                                        1


Briefing Section I                                                           14
Intention to Stay or
Leave the Military
Among Surveyed
Military Personnel

Briefing Section II                                                          16
Satisfaction and
Dissatisfaction With
the Military Among
Surveyed Military
Personnel

Briefing Section III                                                         18
Quality of Life Factors
That Were Dissatisfiers
and Reasons to Leave

Briefing Section IV                                                          28
Quality of Life Factors
That Were Satisfiers
and Reasons to Stay

Appendix I                                                                   34
Occupational
Specialties of Survey
Participants


                          Page 12   GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
                        Contents




Appendix II                                                                                          36
Profile of Survey
Participants

Appendix III                                                                                         40
Survey Instrument

Appendix IV                                                                                          48
Comments From the
Department of Defense

Tables                  Table I.1: Occupations of Enlisted Military Personnel                        34
                        Table I.2: Occupations of Officers                                           35
                        Table II.1: Profile of Army Sample (Fort Drum)                               36
                        Table II.2: Profile of Navy Sample (Norfolk Naval Base)                      37
                        Table II.3: Profile of Air Force Sample (Langley Air Force Base)             38
                        Table II.4: Profile of Marine Corps Sample (Camp Lejeune and
                          New River Marine Corps Air Station)                                        39




                        Abbreviations

                        DOD        Department of Defense
                        MWR        Morale, Welfare, and Recreation




                        Page 13                             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Briefing Section I

Intention to Stay or Leave the Military Among
Surveyed Military Personnel                                                                                                           onISn
                                                                                                                                          iB
                                                                                                                                           g
                                                                                                                                           ectfri




                     Percent of Surveyed Servicemembers in Retention Critical
                     Specialties Who Intend to Stay or Leave the Military


                              Officers                                        Enlisted
                             Leave        Stay                             Leave          Stay


        Army                 53%          35%                              55%            26%

        Navy                 33%          37%                              75%            15%

        Air Force            31%          42%                              70%            18%

        Marine               44%          39%                              48%            34%
        Corps




                                   Note: Sample size for officers; Army n = 40; Navy n = 55; Air Force n = 45; Marine Corps n = 70.
                                   Sample size for enlisted personnel; Army n = 175; Navy n = 217; Air Force n = 166; Marine Corps
                                   n = 180. The percents above do not add to 100 because respondents who indicated they were unsure
                                   of their decision to stay or leave are not included.




                                   Page 14                                       GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Briefing Section I
Intention to Stay or Leave the Military
Among Surveyed Military Personnel




Participants were asked to indicate, on a 5-point scale, whether they
intended to stay or leave the military after their current obligation/term was
up.1 A greater proportion of surveyed officers in the Navy and the Air Force
indicated an intention to stay in the military rather than leave. More than
half of the Army officers indicated intentions to leave the military and a
higher percentage of Marine Corps officers indicated intentions to leave,
rather than stay in the military.2

In contrast to officers, in all services more of the enlisted personnel
surveyed indicated intentions to leave the military after their current term
of enlistment was up.3 In the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, more than
50 percent of enlisted personnel indicated an intention to leave the military.
The percent of Navy enlisted personnel indicating an intention to leave was
the largest relative to the other services. Less than 50 percent of Marine
Corps enlisted personnel indicated an intention to leave the military. This
is the smallest percent relative to the other services.




1
 The results reflect the percentage that said (1) they somewhat intended to leave, definitely intended to
leave or had to leave and (2) they somewhat intended to stay or definitely intended to stay.
2
 One possible reason for the differences in these service-specific rates may be related to differences in
the years of service of the survey participants from each service. For example, while the Army officers
indicated the highest intent to leave among the services, they also had the lowest average number of
years of service invested in a military career.
3
  Between 1988 and 1998 officer continuation rates were higher than enlisted personnel retention rates
across the services, indicating that officers were more likely to stay than leave the military compared to
enlisted personnel.




Page 15                                            GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Briefing Section II

Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction With the
Military Among Surveyed Military Personnel                                                                                                     nIo
                                                                                                                                                 Sn
                                                                                                                                                  B
                                                                                                                                                  iegctfri




                      Percent of Surveyed Servicemembers in Retention
                      Critical Specialties Who Are Satisfied and Dissatisfied
                      With the Military

                                   Officers                                                     Enlisted

                        Dissatisfied           Satisfied                    Dissatisfied                   Satisfied




         Army              43%                 50%                             46%                         31%


         Navy              65%                 29%                             59%                         29%


         Air               36%                 53%                             64%                         28%
         Force

         Marine            39%                 57%                             37%                         47%
         Corps


                                       Note: Sample size for officers; Army n = 40; Navy n = 55; Air Force n = 45, Marine Corps n = 70.
                                       Sample size for enlisted personnel; Army n = 175; Navy n = 217; Air Force n = 166; Marine Corps
                                       n = 180. Some respondents indicated that they were neither dissatisfied nor satisfied, therefore, the
                                       percents do not add to 100.




                                       Page 16                                          GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Briefing Section II
Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction With the
Military Among Surveyed Military Personnel




Participants were asked to indicate, on a 5-point scale, their overall
satisfaction with the military.1 At least 50 percent of surveyed officers in the
Army, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps were satisfied with the military.
However, 65 percent of Navy officers were dissatisfied with the military.
More Navy officers were dissatisfied with the military than any other
officer or enlisted group.

In contrast, in all services except the Marine Corps, more enlisted
personnel were dissatisfied than satisfied with the military. The percent of
Air Force enlisted personnel who were dissatisfied was the highest among
the services. The percent of Marine Corps enlisted personnel who were
satisfied with the military was the highest among services. This was also
the case regarding the percent of Marine Corps enlisted personnel
indicating an intention to stay in the military, although a higher percent
indicated they were satisfied (47 percent) than would stay (34 percent).




1
 The results reflect the percents that were very or somewhat dissatisfied and very or somewhat
satisfied.




Page 17                                          GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Briefing Section III

Quality of Life Factors That Were Dissatisfiers
and Reasons to Leave                                                                                                           nB
                                                                                                                               Io
                                                                                                                                Sg
                                                                                                                                 iefcrti




                       The findings in the next two briefing sections summarize survey
                       respondents’ opinions regarding quality of life factors. First, briefing
                       section III shows (1) the factors that survey respondents indicated the most
                       dissatisfaction with and (2) the factors that were most frequently identified
                       as being reasons to leave by the respondents who said that they intended to
                       leave at the end of their current enlistment/obligation. Second, briefing
                       section IV shows (1) the factors that survey respondents were most
                       satisfied with and (2) the reasons that were most frequently identified as
                       being reasons to stay by those servicemembers who said that they intended
                       to stay in the military.

                       Two analytic points regarding the information in briefing sections III and IV
                       are pertinent. First, factors that are dissatisfiers may also be reasons why
                       people leave the military, although not everyone who is dissatisfied will be
                       inclined to leave. Similarly, not everyone who is satisfied will stay in the
                       military and factors that servicemembers are most satisfied with may not
                       necessarily be the strongest reasons to stay in the military. Additional
                       analyses will be included in our final report, examining these more
                       complex relationships.

                       Second, at about the same time that our survey began, DOD announced
                       that it would include in its fiscal year 2000 budget proposal a change in the
                       military retirement system reinstating the opportunity to receive 50 percent
                       of base pay after 20 years of service, rather than the current level of
                       40 percent of base pay after 20 years of service for military personnel who
                       entered the service after 1986. Further, DOD announced that a military pay
                       increase would also be included as part of its fiscal year 2000 budget
                       proposal.1 DOD officials stated that the rationale for the change in
                       retirement was that the current level of retirement pay was a major factor
                       in the ability to retain military personnel and that military personnel were
                       dissatisfied with their retirement benefits. The proposed military pay
                       increase was also said to address retention concerns. DOD’s pay and
                       retirement proposals were highly publicized and received extensive news




                       1
                         At the time this report was being prepared Congress was considering DOD’s budget request as part of
                       its authorization and appropriations process for fiscal year 2000.




                       Page 18                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section III
Quality of Life Factors That Were
Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




coverage that could have affected the salience of retirement pay and base
pay as a dissatisfier and/or a reason to leave the military among the
participants in our survey who became aware of them. However, after the
fact, it is impossible to precisely quantify the effect this may have had on
the survey respondents.




Page 19                              GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
                       Briefing Section III
                       Quality of Life Factors That Were
                       Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




         Rank Order of Quality of Life Factors Surveyed
         Servicemembers in Retention Critical Specialties Were
         Dissatisfied With

             Officers                                                         Enlisted
1. Availability of needed equipment,                  1. Retirement pay
   parts, & materials                                 2. Availability of needed
2. Medical care for military                             equipment, parts, & materials
   dependents                                         3. Level of unit manning
3. Level of unit manning                              4. Base pay
4. Retirement pay                                     5. Frequency of deployments
5. Access to medical and dental care                  6. Reenlistment bonus program
   (in retirement)                                    7. Morale in unit
6. Frequency of deployments                           8. Ability to spend time with
7. Civilian military leaders                             family and friends
8. Ability to spend time with family                  9. Medical care for military
   and friends                                           dependents
9. Amount of personal time I have                    10. Nature of deployments




                       Note: Officers, n = 210; Enlisted personnel, n = 739




                       Page 20                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section III
Quality of Life Factors That Were
Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




Participants were asked to indicate their level of satisfaction or
dissatisfaction with 44 quality of life factors. Factors that received a mean
score between 1.00-2.60, on a 5-point scale, were in the dissatisfied range.2
Nine of the 44 quality of life factors rated by officers and 10 rated by
enlisted personnel met this criterion.

There were differences between surveyed officers and enlisted in terms of
the specific ranking of the quality of life factors they were dissatisfied with,
and there were unique dissatisfiers for both groups. First, officers were the
most dissatisfied with the availability of needed equipment, parts, and
materials. On the other hand, retirement pay was the top ranked dissatisfier
for enlisted personnel and availability of needed equipment, parts, and
materials ranked second. Retirement pay was ranked 4th among officers.
Unfortunately, the survey results did not enable us to fully ascertain the
nature of certain dissatisfiers. For example, it is unclear whether concern
about retirement pay is based on the lack of vesting before 20 years of
service, the unavailability of tax-deferred savings plans, or the current
accrual formulas. These issues will be explored further in a separate
DOD/GAO survey later this year.

Differences between officers and enlisted personnel concerning
dissatisfaction with retirement pay may be partially explained by the fact
that a larger percent of the enlisted personnel surveyed (79 percent),
compared to officers (59 percent), entered the service after July 31, 1986,
and are therefore under the “Redux” retirement plan. Military personnel
under the Redux retirement system receive a smaller percentage of their
base pay in retirement than personnel not under the Redux plan.

Officers had three unique dissatisfiers and enlisted had four. The three
dissatisfiers that were unique to the officers we surveyed were civilian
military leaders, amount of personal time, and access to medical and dental
care in retirement. The four dissatisfiers that were unique to the enlisted
personnel surveyed were base pay, reenlistment bonus program, morale in
the unit, and the nature of deployments.




2
 Factors meeting this criterion are referred to as “dissatisfiers”. We chose 2.6 as the criterion because
there was a clearer separation in mean scores at this level than at 2.5.




Page 21                                       GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section III
Quality of Life Factors That Were
Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




Our preliminary analysis indicated that the nature of work circumstances
for military personnel generally accounted for the majority of all the factors
that military personnel were dissatisfied with (62 percent).3 These include
the availability of needed equipment, parts, and materials; levels of unit
manning; frequency of deployments; civilian military leaders; amount of
personal time available; ability to spend time with family and friends;
morale in the unit; and the nature of deployments. The nature of military
compensation accounted for less than a quarter (23 percent) of all the
factors military personnel were dissatisfied with.4 These include
retirement pay, base pay, and reenlistment bonus programs. The nature of
military benefits accounted for 15 percent of all the factors military
personnel were dissatisfied with.5 These include medical care for military
dependents and access to medical and dental care in retirement.




3
 Forty-one percent of the 44 quality of life factors included in the survey were broadly related to work
circumstances.
4
 Fourteen percent of the 44 quality of life factors included in the survey were broadly related to military
compensation.
5
 Forty-five percent of the 44 quality of life factors in the survey were broadly related to military benefits.




Page 22                                         GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Page 23   GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
                           Briefing Section III
                           Quality of Life Factors That Were
                           Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




          The Five Most Frequently Selected Reasons to Leave the
          Military Among Surveyed Servicemembers in Retention Critical
          Specialties Indicating an Intention to Leave

              Officers                                                    Enlisted

1. Retirement pay                                    1. Base pay

2. Frequency of deployments                          2. Frequency of deployments

3. Base Pay                                          3. Retirement pay

4. Availability of needed equipment,                 4. Promotion opportunities
   parts, & materials
                                                     5. Ability to spend time with family &
5. Level of unit manning                                friends




                           Note: Among officers, retirement pay and frequency of deployments were selected with the same
                           frequency. The number of officers who indicated an intention to leave and who provided information on
                           reasons to leave was n = 83. The number of enlisted personnel who indicated an intention to leave
                           and who provided information on reasons to leave was n = 451.


                           There are assorted reasons that impact military personnel’s decisions to
                           leave the military. As a baseline, participants were asked to identify three
                           factors from the list of 44 quality of life factors they had previously rated.
                           Participants were not asked to rank order their choices in terms of most to
                           least important. Thirty-nine factors, or 87 percent of all of the factors, were




                           Page 24                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section III
Quality of Life Factors That Were
Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




selected as a reason to leave the military by at least one or more of the
survey participants who indicated an intention to leave the military.

Among the officers surveyed, there was no single factor that a majority of
the respondents indicated was a reason to leave the military. The top five
most frequently selected reasons to leave the military were fairly evenly
distributed in terms of the number that selected these reasons.
Twenty-eight percent of officers selected retirement pay; 28 percent
selected the frequency of deployments; 25 percent selected base pay;
22 percent selected availability of needed equipment, parts, and materials;
and 20 percent selected the level of unit manning as a reason to leave the
military.6

Among the enlisted personnel surveyed, 48 percent indicated base pay was
a reason to leave the military, making this the most frequently selected
reason to leave the military. In terms of the remaining top five factors,
23 percent selected frequency of deployments, 22 percent selected
retirement pay, 21 percent selected promotion opportunities, and
16 percent selected ability to spend time with family and friends.7

All of the factors that officers highlighted as reasons to leave the military,
except base pay, were also listed as dissatisfiers. The fact that base pay
was not a dissatisfier for officers is consistent with the results of another
question included in the survey about financial condition. On average,
77 percent of the officers reported that they either were very comfortable
financially or were able to make ends meet without much difficulty. In
comparison, 40 percent of enlisted personnel said that they were very
comfortable financially or were able to make ends meet without much
difficulty and base pay was a dissatisfier for enlisted personnel overall.
However, more than one reason suggests that base pay may contribute to
the stated intention to leave. First, as we noted earlier, responses could
have been influenced by the attention associated with DOD’s proposed pay
increase that occurred at the same time as our survey. Second, as might be
expected, base pay may have been cited as a reason to leave to reflect the
potential pull of higher paying jobs outside of the military. While we did not
collect data on this issue, in focus group discussions and written


6
 The percentages will not add to 100 because the respondents selected more than one reason to leave
the military.
7
 The percentages will not add to 100 because the respondents selected more than one reason to leave
the military.




Page 25                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section III
Quality of Life Factors That Were
Dissatisfiers and Reasons to Leave




comments, participants referred to the fact that higher paying civilian jobs
supply one incentive to leave.

The survey item that asked military personnel to identify reasons
influencing them to leave did not require them to explain why they selected
the factors they did. This has analytic implications for those leave factors
where the core issue, or potential problem, may be more open to
interpretation (e.g., retirement pay) than factors where the core issue is
clearer by definition (e.g., frequency of deployments). The other data we
collected from focus groups and written comments in reference to
retirement pay issues indicated that military personnel were generally
dissatisfied with the amount of retirement pay (i.e., the percent of base pay
received and perceived inequities). However, there were instances where
military personnel expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that they do not
become vested in their retirement plan until after serving 20 years in the
military and the fact that the military retirement system does not offer the
same type of benefits as conventional private sector or nonmilitary federal
plans do.




Page 26                              GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Page 27   GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section IV

Quality of Life Factors That Were Satisfiers
and Reasons to Stay                                                                                                                 n
                                                                                                                                    oB
                                                                                                                                     Sg
                                                                                                                                     IV
                                                                                                                                      inectrfi




                      Rank Order of Quality of Life Factors Surveyed
                      Servicemembers in Retention Critical Specialties Were
                      Satisfied With

                          Officers                                                         Enlisted

       1.  Fitness and sports activities                          1.  Fitness and sports activities
       2.  Chaplain services/religious ministries                 2.  Commissary benefits
       3.  Commissary benefits                                    3.  Chaplain services/religious ministries
       4.  Immediate supervisors                                  4.  Exchange benefits
       5.  Use of commissary (in retirement)                      5.  Use of exchange (in retirement)
       6.  Military values & lifestyle                            6.  Use of commissary (in retirement)
       7.  Use of exchange (in retirement)                        7.  Use of military recreation facilities (in
       8.  Use of military recreation facilities (in                  retirement)
           retirement)                                            8. Education assistance
       9. Exchange benefits                                       9. Golf course
       10. Golf course                                            10. Military family support services
       11. Education assistance                                   11. Dental care for military members
       12.Youth & adolescent programs                             12. Immediate supervisors
       13. Living in new locations                                13. DODD & DDESS schools
       14. Dental care for military members                       14. Youth & adolescent programs
       15. Sense of esprit de corps
       16. Military family support services
       17. DODD & DDESS schools




                                        Note: Officers, n = 210; Enlisted personnel, n = 739




                                        Page 28                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section IV
Quality of Life Factors That Were Satisfiers
and Reasons to Stay




Factors that received a mean score between 3.40 and 5.00, on a 5-point
scale, were in the satisfied range.1 Officers were satisfied with 17 of the
44 quality of life factors and enlisted were satisfied with 14 factors.

The top satisfier for both officers and enlisted personnel was fitness and
sports activities. Most of the top factors that officers and enlisted
personnel were satisfied with represent conventional Morale, Welfare, and
Recreation (MWR) activities, such as fitness and sports activities, as well as
commissary and exchange benefits and golf courses. Using our broad
categories, we found that the majority (76 percent) of the quality of life
factors that military personnel were satisfied with were associated with
military benefits. The nature of work circumstances accounted for
24 percent of the factors that personnel were satisfied with. Military
compensation factors did not account for any of the factors surveyed
military personnel were satisfied with.

Immediate supervisors was the only work-circumstance-related factor that
enlisted personnel were satisfied with. Officers also said they were
satisfied with their immediate supervisors. However, other aspects of work
circumstances that officers were also satisfied with included military
values and lifestyle, living in new locations, and sense of esprit de corps.




1
 Factors meeting this criterion are referred to as “satisfiers”. The range for satisfiers was set to
encompass the same point range as dissatisfiers (i.e., 1.60 points).




Page 29                                        GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
                         Briefing Section IV
                         Quality of Life Factors That Were Satisfiers
                         and Reasons to Stay




          The Five Most Frequently Selected Reasons to Stay in the
          Military Among Surveyed Servicemembers in Retention Critical
          Specialties Indicating an Intention to Stay

              Officers                                                    Enlisted

1. Military values & lifestyle                     1. Medical care for military
                                                      members
2. Sense of esprit de corps
                                                   2. Retirement pay
3. Retirement pay
                                                   3. Education assistance
4. Military training opportunities
                                                   4. Military values & lifestyle
5. Promotion opportunities
                                                   5. Base pay




                         Note: The number officers who indicated an intention to stay in the military and who provided
                         information on reasons to stay was n = 80. The number of enlisted personnel who indicated an
                         intention to stay and who provided information on reasons to stay was n = 166.


                         According to the military personnel we surveyed, there are assorted
                         reasons that impact their decisions to stay in the military. Participants
                         were asked to identify three factors that most make them want to stay in
                         the military. Participants were not asked to rank order their choices in
                         terms of most to least important. As a baseline, they were asked to identify
                         these factors from the list of 44 quality of life factors they had previously
                         rated. Forty of the 44 factors, or 91 percent of all of the factors, were



                         Page 30                                    GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section IV
Quality of Life Factors That Were Satisfiers
and Reasons to Stay




identified as a reason to stay in the military by at least one or more of the
survey participants.

Among the officers surveyed, the top two reasons to stay in the military,
military values and lifestyle (54 percent selected) and sense of esprit de
corps (44 percent selected), represent fairly intangible aspects of military
life. In terms of the remaining top five factors for officers, 30 percent
selected retirement pay, 18 percent selected military training opportunities,
and 15 percent indicated promotion opportunities were reasons to stay in
the military.2

In terms of the top five reasons to stay in the military among the enlisted
personnel we surveyed, 25 percent selected medical care for military
members, 24 percent selected retirement pay, 20 percent selected
education assistance, 19 percent selected military values and lifestyles, and
14 percent selected base pay.3

Generally, the officers and enlisted personnel did not indicate that the
factors they were satisfied with were also reasons to stay in the military.
Among officers, two of the five most frequently selected reasons to stay in
the military were also satisfiers (i.e., military values and lifestyle and sense
of esprit de corps), whereas only one of the five reasons identified by
enlisted personnel were satisfiers (i.e., education assistance). In
comparison, the reverse generally applied regarding what factors military
personnel were dissatisfied with and what they indicated were reasons to
leave the military. For both officers and enlisted personnel who intended
to leave, four of the five leave reasons, or 80 percent, were also
dissatisfiers.

Retirement pay is a reason to stay and a reason to leave the military for
both officers and enlisted personnel. Our survey results suggest that one
reason for this may be the career stage of military personnel. Officers who
said that they intended to stay in the military and that retirement pay was a
reason to stay, had, on average, completed more than two times the number
of years of service (i.e., 15 years) as officers who said that they intended to
leave the military and retirement pay was a reason to leave (i.e., 7 years).


2
 The percentages will not add to 100 because the respondents selected more than one reason to stay in
the military.
3
The percentages will not add to 100 because the respondents selected more than one reason to stay the
military.




Page 31                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Briefing Section IV
Quality of Life Factors That Were Satisfiers
and Reasons to Stay




Similarly, enlisted military personnel who said that they intended to stay in
the military and that retirement pay was a reason to stay had served twice
the average number of years (i.e., 12 years) of enlisted personnel who said
they were going to leave the military and retirement pay was a reason to
leave (i.e., 6 years). Military personnel with many years of service
completed, who are comparatively nearer to retirement, may have
identified with retirement pay as a reason to stay, whereas those with fewer
years may be concerned with changes that have occurred in military
personnel’s retirement pay and may have identified with it as a reason to
leave.4 Additional work is needed to ascertain the nature of related
concerns and comments regarding retirement pay. This will be
accomplished as part of a separate DOD/GAO survey later this year.

Among enlisted personnel only, base pay shows up as a reason to leave and
stay in the military. Differences in the career stage of enlisted personnel
who said that base pay was a reason to stay and leave the military suggest
one explanation. The enlisted personnel who said that they intended to
stay in the military and that base pay was a reason to stay, on average,
served 9 years in the military, while the enlisted personnel who said that
they were going to leave the military, and that base pay was one reason to
leave had served an average of 6 years. More years of service is associated
with relatively higher base pay, conversely, fewer years of service is
associated with relatively lower base pay. Moreover, the more than
200 enlisted military personnel who said they were going to leave and base
pay was a reason to leave indicated that they were dissatisfied with base
pay. In contrast, the less than 25 enlisted personnel who said they were
going to stay in the military and base pay was a reason to stay indicated
that they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with base pay.




4
 Military personnel do not become vested in their retirement benefits before 20 years of service.




Page 32                                       GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Page 33   GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix I

Occupational Specialties of Survey
Participants                                                                                                       Appenx
                                                                                                                        Idi




               Table I.1: Occupations of Enlisted Military Personnel
               Occupations of Participantsa                                                  Number in Our Surveyb
               Communications and intelligence specialists                                                     155
               Electrical/mechanical equipment repairers                                                       145
               Functional support and administration                                                           108
               Infantry, gun crews, and seamanship specialists                                                   92
               Electronic equipment repairers                                                                    86
               Service and supply handlers                                                                       30
               Health care specialists                                                                           12
               Craftsworkers                                                                                      5
               Other technical and allied specialists                                                             3
                                                  c
               Undecipherable occupations                                                                        53
               No occupations provided by participants                                                           50
               a
                Service job specialty codes are based on one-digit Department of Defense (DOD) occupational
               codes.
               b
                   There were 739 enlisted military personnel that participated in the survey.
               c
                Participant’s response was either insufficient to identify or did not match any of the service
               occupational codes. Because we did not request names or other personally identifying information on
               the survey, we could not resolve questionable job occupation information after the fact. Therefore, a
               DOD occupational code could not be assigned.


               Each of the broad occupational categories in table I.1, except for
               “craftsworkers” and “other technical and allied specialists” contain the
               service-identified retention critical military specialties that were targeted in
               the survey. For example, included in the “communications and intelligence
               specialists” occupational category are the following Army-identified critical
               occupations: intelligence analysts, imagery analysts, voice interceptor
               specialists, and cavalry scouts. The Navy-identified critical occupations
               included in this category are radiomen (surface) and operations specialist.
               The Air Force-identified critical occupations included in this category are
               air traffic control and crypto-linguist. The Marine Corps-identified critical
               occupations included in this category are counterintelligence Marine,
               imagery interpretation specialist, interrogation-translation specialist, and
               cryptologic linguist (Arabic).




               Page 34                                              GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Appendix I
Occupational Specialties of Survey
Participants




Table I.2: Occupations of Officers
Occupations of Participantsa                                              Number in Our Surveyb
Tactical operations officers                                                                      141
Intelligence officers                                                                              21
Supply, procurement and allied officers                                                            21
Engineering and maintenance officers                                                                 9
Administrators                                                                                       6
Scientist and professionals                                                                          3
Undecipherable occupationsc                                                                          6
No occupations provided by participants                                                              3
a
    Service job specialty codes are based on one-digit DOD occupational codes.
b
 There were 210 commissioned officers that participated in the survey. Warrant officers (n=34) are not
included.
c
  Participant’s response was either insufficient to identify or did not match any of the service
occupational codes. Because we did not request names or other personally identifying information on
the survey, we could not resolve questionable job occupation information after the fact. Therefore, a
DOD occupational code could not be identified.


The broad occupational category entitled, “tactical operations officers”
contains the service-identified retention critical occupations for officers. At
minimum, each of the services indicated that pilots (Apache pilots
specifically for the Army) were among the retention critical officer
occupations. Two-thirds of the individuals in the tactical operations
category are fixed or rotary-wing pilots or navigators. In addition, the
category contains surface warfare officers (department heads), identified
by the Navy as a retention critical occupation.




Page 35                                           GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life Retention
Appendix II

Profile of Survey Participants                                                                                         AppenIx
                                                                                                                             di




                Table II.1: Profile of Army Sample (Fort Drum)

                                                               Enlisted                    Officer
                              a
                Sample size                                    175                         40
                Percent married                                53                          60
                Percent single                                 39                          35
                Percent divorced                               5                           3
                Percent with second jobs                       4                           0
                Percent financially comfortable                34                          80
                Percent who entered the service after          90                          83
                July 31, 1986
                Most frequently selected reason for            Get money for               Serve my country
                joining the military                           education
                Average education level                        Less than 2 years of        4-year college degree
                                                               college credits
                Average years of service                       5                           6
                Average hours worked per week on               49                          62
                current military assignment
                Average weeks away on deployments,             13                          15
                temporary duty, and overnight training         (91 days)                   (105 days)
                exercises in 1998
                a
                 Three participants from the Army did not identify their paygrade. Warrant officers are not included
                (n=21).




                Page 36                                      GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix II
Profile of Survey Participants




Table II.2: Profile of Navy Sample (Norfolk Naval Base)
                                          Enlisted               Officer
Sample size                               217                    55
Percent married                           47                     69
Percent single                            37                     20
Percent divorced                          8                      5
Percent with second jobs                  13                     0
Percent financially comfortable           47                     76
Percent who entered the service after     86                     65
July 31, 1986
Most frequently selected reason for       Get money for          Serve my country
joining the military                      education
Average education level                   Less than 2 years of   Some graduate
                                          college credits        school, but no
                                                                 graduate degree
Average years of service                  6                      10
Average hours worked per week on          53                     60
current military assignment
Average weeks away on deployments,        19                     21
temporary duty, and overnight training    (133 days)             (147 days)
exercises in 1998




Page 37                                  GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix II
Profile of Survey Participants




Table II.3: Profile of Air Force Sample (Langley Air Force Base)
                                          Enlisted                Officer
Sample size                               167                     45
Percent married                           57                      82
Percent single                            28                      11
Percent divorced                          7                       4
Percent with second jobs                  12                      0
Percent financially comfortable           37                      73
Percent who entered the service after     58                      27
July 31, 1986
Most frequently selected reason for       Obtain job related      Serve my country
joining the military                      skills
Average education level                   2-year college degree   Master’s, doctoral, or
                                                                  professional school
                                                                  degree
Average years of service                  10                      14
Average hours worked per week on          49                      53
current military assignment
Average weeks away on deployments,        9                       9
temporary duty, and overnight training    (63 days)               (63 days)
exercises in 1998




Page 38                                  GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix II
Profile of Survey Participants




Table II.4: Profile of Marine Corps Sample (Camp Lejeune and New River Marine
Corps Air Station)
                                                     Enlisted               Officer
                 a
Sample size                                          180                    70
Percent married                                      51                     74
Percent single                                       41                     19
Percent divorced                                     5                      6
Percent with second jobs                             12                     0
Percent financially comfortable                      40                     80
Percent who entered the service after                80                     59
July 31, 1986
Most frequently selected reason for                  Serve my country       Serve my country
joining the military
Average education level                              Less than 2 years of   4-year college degree
                                                     college credits
Average years of service                             6                      10
Average hours worked per week on                     46                     58
current military assignment
Average weeks away on deployments,                   9                      13
temporary duty, and overnight training               (63 days)              (91 days)
exercises in 1998
a
    Warrant officers are not included ( n = 13 ).




Page 39                                             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III

Survey Instrument                                                       AppeInIx
                                                                               di




               Page 40   GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III
Survey Instrument




Page 41             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III
Survey Instrument




Page 42             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III
Survey Instrument




Page 43             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III
Survey Instrument




Page 44             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
       Appendix III
       Survey Instrument




Lert   Page 45             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III
Survey Instrument




Page 46             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix III
Survey Instrument




Page 47             GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
Appendix IV

Comments From the Department of Defense                                 AppenV
                                                                             Ix
                                                                              di




              Page 48    GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
                  Appendix IV
                  Comments From the Department of Defense




(713032)   Lert   Page 49                            GAO/NSIAD-99-197BR Quality of Life and Retention
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