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NPS-GSBPP NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA AN ANALYSIS OF THE CAREER PROGRESSION OF HISPANIC MILITARY OFFICERS Simona Tick, Elda Pema, Stephen Mehay, and Mateo Salas November, 2015
NPS-GSBPP NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA AN ANALYSIS OF THE CAREER PROGRESSION OF HISPANIC MILITARY OFFICERS Simona Tick, Elda Pema, Stephen Mehay, and Mateo Salas November, 2015 Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited This research was completed under funding from the Chief of Naval Personnel to the Naval Postgraduate School THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE Form Approved OMB No Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing this collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to Department of Defense, Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports ( ), 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington, VA Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. 1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 1 November TITLE AND SUBTITLE 2. REPORT TYPE Technical Report 3. DATES COVERED (From-To) May November a. CONTRACT NUMBER AN ANALYSIS OF THE CAREER PROGRESSION OF HISPANIC MILITARY OFFICERS 6. AUTHOR(S) Simona Tick, Elda Pema, Stephen Mehay, and Mateo Salas 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 5d. PROJECT NUMBER P e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) AND ADDRESS(ES) Graduate School of Business & Public Policy Naval Postgraduate School 555 Dyer Road, Monterey, CA SPONSORING / MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Department of the Navy Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Women s Policy (OPNAV N134) 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER NPS-GSBPP SPONSOR/MONITOR S ACRONYM(S) OPNAV/N SPONSOR/MONITOR S REPORT NUMBER(S) 12. DISTRIBUTION / AVAILABILITY STATEMENT Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT This study assesses the career success of Hispanics in the U.S. military by conducting a comparative analysis of the position and performance of Hispanics across all four service branches. Using Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) data on officers commissioned between fiscal years 1999 and 2003, this study applies multivariate statistical techniques to analyze the relative success of Hispanic and non-hispanic officers on indicators of retention and promotion. The cross-service results show that Hispanic officers have higher early retention rates than White non- Hispanic officers in the Army and Marine Corps, but lower early retention in the Navy. There are few differences in retention to 10 years of service across the military services, and no significant differences in promotion to O-4. The study also examines more detailed information obtained from the Marine Corps and finds that omitting education background and fitness report scores of officers may lead to biased estimates in standard retention and promotion models. Finally, the report recommends that the Navy explores the possible causes of the higher separation rates for junior Hispanic officers. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Officer Career Progression; Hispanic Military Officers 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION a. REPORT Unclassified b. ABSTRACT Unclassified c. THIS PAGE Unclassified OF ABSTRACT UU 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 68 19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON Simona Tick 19b. TELEPHONE NUMBER (include area code) Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39.18 i THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ii NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL Monterey, California Ronald A. Route President Jim Newman Interim Provost The report entitled An Analysis of the Career Progression of Hispanic Military Officers was funded by the Chief of Naval Personnel. Further distribution of all or part of this report is authorized. This report was prepared by: Simona Tick, Ph.D. Lecturer of Economics Graduate School of Business & Public Policy Elda Pema, Ph.D. Associate Professor Graduate School of Business & Public Policy Stephen Mehay, Ph.D. Maj. Mateo Salas, USMC Professor Emeritus Manpower Graduate, 2015 Graduate School of Business & Graduate School of Business & Public Policy Public Policy Reviewed by: Released by: William Gates, Dean Graduate School of Business & Public Policy Jeffrey D. Paduan Dean of Research iii THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK iv EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Navy s 21st Century Sailor & Marine Initiative stresses diversity and inclusion with a goal of creating a Department with no barriers to opportunity. The initiative emphasizes the need, in a global operational environment, for a diversity of ideas, experiences, areas of expertise and backgrounds to fulfill the Navy s mission (U.S. Navy, 2013). Maintaining diversity in the armed forces presents numerous challenges to defense decision-makers in terms of reconciling policies governing recruitment, retention, training, career progression, and leadership development. Perhaps no demographic trend in recent U.S. history has been as dramatic or impactful as the steady growth of the Hispanic population. Between 2000 and 2013, the Hispanic population rose to 54 million (17 percent of the population) and is predicted to reach 128 million by 2060 (31 percent of the population) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011; 2014). This demographic trend presents opportunities as wells as challenges in meeting future manpower requirements. Although Hispanic males have the highest propensity for military service compared to other ethnic groups, currently they are underrepresented in the military (Office of Undersecretary of Defense, 2014). The underrepresentation of Hispanics in the officer corps presents an ongoing issue in terms of maintaining diversity in the military s leadership ranks. The Military Leadership Diversity Commission (2011) concluded that the military leadership does not represent the public it serves or the forces it leads. The goal of the study is to assess the career success of Hispanics in the U.S. Navy officer corps in a comparative analysis of the position and performance of Hispanics across the four service branches. The study uses standard indicators of personnel performance and position, including retention at various career points and career success as measured by promotion. Multivariate statistical techniques are used to analyze indicators of officer career success and to compare the relative success of Hispanic and non-hispanic officers. The goal of the analysis is to inform decision-makers on potential policies that would enhance diversity in the Navy officer corps by expanding the market for Hispanic v officers and increasing their career success. These policies would have the ultimate objective of enhancing the presence of Hispanics in the leadership grades of the Navy officer corps. A review of the prior literature on minority officers finds a wide variation in estimates of the effects of ethnic background on retention and promotion. Some of this variation across studies is due to differences in the time period covered by the data in each study, or whether the data are cross-sectional or longitudinal. Some variation also stems from differences in methodology, with some studies analyzing unadjusted continuation and promotion rates, and others deriving adjusted rates based on estimates from multivariate models. Among studies that apply multivariate models, some have relied on single-equation models of retention or promotion, whereas others have used modeling techniques to adjust for self-selection of officers in the voluntary retention decision. There are also differences in how basic retention or continuation rates, as well as promotion rates, are measured. These differences make it difficult to compare studies and thus to draw firm generalizations from the literature. The data used in this study were provided by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). The data set captures all officers commissioned between fiscal years (FY) 1999 and The data capture demographic and service-related characteristics for each individual at commissioning and annually through FY 2013 or until the individual separated from the service. Table A summarizes the results of the statistical analysis of officer retention at two career points: at expiration of the Minimum Service Requirement (MSR) and at 10 years of service. We also analyze the probability of promotion to grade O 4 among those who complete at least 10 years of service. As shown in Table A, the results of the probit models for the pooled all-service sample find that, within an entering cohort, Hispanic officers have higher MSR retention rates than White non-hispanic officers. This effect, however, is not large, representing only a 3 percent difference in retention. Further, there is no significant effect of Hispanic background on 10-year retention and on O-4 promotion. There is some variation, however, in these effects across the individual service branches. For example, compared vi to the Army and the Marine Corps, Hispanic officers in the Navy have slightly lower MSR retention than Whites and in the Air Force they have lower 10-year retention. The difference in MSR retention in the Navy is small in magnitude and is significant at the.10 level but not at the higher significance levels (.01 or.05) normally preferred by statisticians. Career Outcomes MSR Retention 10 YOS Retention O-4 Promotion Table A. All Services (DMDC Data) Estimated Percentage Point Differences in Career Outcomes for Hispanic Officers Army Air Force USMC Navy USMC (TFDW Data) N.S a +5.9 N.S. N.S N.S. N.S N.S. N.S. N.S. N.S. N.S. N.S. Fitness Report Scores N.S. = Not significant a Significant at.10 level; all other percentage point differences are significant at either the.01 or.05 level Although differences in career outcomes among Hispanics are small or insignificant, differences for women or Blacks are larger and generally statistically significant. For example, we find that women have lower retention rates at both the MSR career point and at the 10-year point and that the magnitude of these retention gaps are relatively large. Also, women are less likely to be promoted to O-4. Black officers have significantly higher retention than Whites at both career milestones but experience lower promotion rates to O-4. We also provide separate analyses of the career progression of Marine Corps officers based on administrative data from a different source. There are several reasons for doing this. Prior research has found that the pre-commissioning educational vii background of officers is associated with job performance. Examples of these background attributes include the quality of the undergraduate institution (college selectivity), undergraduate academic performance (college GPA, order of merit), college major (technical versus non-technical), or aptitude (SAT scores), among others. When these variables are omitted from the performance models the estimated coefficient of the ethnicity indicator will capture the indirect effects of the omitted variables as well as the direct effects of ethnic background. The DMDC data used to derive the results in Table A did not contain information on educational background. The Marine Corps Total Force Data Warehouse (TFDW), however, provides extensive information on Marine officers including educational background. Our goal in using TFDW data was to assess the effects of variables that are omitted in the all-service models using DMDC data and gauge any potential biases these omissions might create. In addition, we obtained fitness report scores on Marine officers and use them as supplemental performance measures. The supplemental results for Marine officers based on TFDW data are summarized in the last column of Table A. In both data sets Hispanic Marines have higher MSR retention rates. However, unlike the DMDC data, the TFDW data shows that Hispanics have higher 10-year retention in the Marine Corps. Also, the last row of Table A indicates that Hispanics receive lower cumulative fitness report scores than non- Hispanic officers. Finally, supplemental analyses of the TFDW data finds that fitness report scores positively impact O-4 promotion rates. The supplemental results suggest that the direct estimated effects of Hispanic background may be biased in models that omit fitness report scores. Because fitness report scores are positively associated with O-4 promotion and Hispanics are observed to have lower cumulative fitness report scores, when these scores are omitted from the promotion models, the estimated effect of Hispanic background will be biased toward zero (i.e., understated). Thus, omitted variable bias may account at least partially for the finding of no promotion effect for Hispanics. Overall, it appears that career progression of Hispanic officers in the Navy is similar to that of Hispanics in the other military service branches. The sole exceptions are viii the lower MSR retention in the Navy and the lower 10-year retention in the Air Force. This conclusion, however, must be viewed with caution and is subject to several important qualifications. First, we do not model promotion to O-5 or O-6 and thus cannot assess attainment of top leadership positions. Since promotion opportunities are narrower at these higher grades by virtue of DOPMA guidelines, Hispanics could still encounter numerous obstacles to command positions (see Hosek, et al., 2001). In addition, modeling retention and promotion outcomes in single-equation models may not accurately capture career progression patterns of a given demographic group. For example, promotion to O-4 involves potential selection bias because those who stay to the O-4 promotion board are self-selected. Hence, promotion models must account for non-random selection (see Bowman and Mehay, 2002). Also, voluntary retention decisions as well as decisions by promotion boards are affected by job performance, as measured by fitness reports. A more complete analysis of career progression for any group using administrative data requires more extensive and more detailed data as well as multi-equation modeling approaches. ix THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK x TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION... 1 A. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY... 3 B. ORGANIZTION... 4 II. LITERATURE REVIEW... 6 A. PRIOR STUDIES OF HISPANIC MILITARY OFFICERS... 6 B. PRIOR STUDIES OF RETENTION AND PROMOTION OF HISPANIC NAVY OFFICERS III. DATA AND DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS A. DATA DESCRIPTION B. VARIABLE DESCRIPTIONS Officer Performance Measures Independent Variables Descriptive Statistics IV. ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS A. METHODOLOGY B. POOLED MODELS, ALL SERVICES C. MSR RETENTION MODEL BY SERVICE C. 10-YEAR RETENTION MODEL D. PROMOTION MODEL V. ANALYSIS OF USMC OFFICER DATA VI. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS A. SUMMARY B. RECOMMENDATIONS LIST OF REFERENCES INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST xi THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK xii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Retention and Promotion Career Milestones... 8 xiii THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK xiv LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Percentage-Point Differences in Promotion and Retention Rates for Male Officers (from Asch, Miller, & Malchiodi, 2012)... 9 Table 2. Likelihood of an Entry Cohort Reaching Promotion and Retention (from Asch, Miller, & Malchiodi, 2012) Table 3. Summary of Prior Studies on Career Outcomes of Hispanic Navy Officers 15 Table 4. Summary of Prior Studies on Career Outcomes for Military Officers All Four Services Table 5. Independent Variables Description Table 6. Mean Characteristics of Officers, by Service Table 7. T-tests of Differences in Retention and Promotion for Hispanics and Non- Hispanics Table 8. Marginal Effects for the Probit Models, DoD Sample Table 9. Marginal Effects for the MSR Retention Model, by Service Table 10. Probit Marginal Effects for the 10-Year Retention Model, MSR Stayers MSR Sample, by Service Table 11. Probit Marginal Effects for the Promotion Model, Promotion-Eligibles, by Service32 Table 12. T-tests of Differences in Retention and Promotion Table 13. Pre-Entry Educational Variable Descriptions and Values Table 14. T-tests of Differences in Educational Background Table 15. Marginal Effects from Retention and Promotion Probit Models Table 16. T-tests of Differences in Fitness Report Scores Table 17. RS Cumulative Fitness Report Score OLS Model Results Table 18. Estimated Percentage Point Differences in Career Outcomes xv THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK xvi I. INTRODUCTION The Department of Defense (DoD) has recognized the changing population of the nation and has sought to ensure that the military represents the diversity of race, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the population. DoD s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan views diversity as a strategic imperative: Diverse backgrounds and experiences bring inherently different outlooks and ways of thinking, the key to innovation in organizations. We gain a strategic advantage by leveraging the diversity of all members and creating an inclusive environment in which each member is valued and encouraged to provide ideas critical to innovation, optimization and organizational mission success. (U.S. Defense Department, 2012) Similarly, the Navy s 21st Century Sailor & Marine Initiative stresses diversity and inclusion with a goal of creating a Department with no barriers to opportunity. The initiative emphasizes the need, in a global operational environment, for a diversity of ideas, experiences, areas of expertise, and backgrounds to fulfill the Navy s mission (U.S. Navy, 2013). Maintaining diversity in the armed forces presents numerous challenges to defense decision-makers in terms of reconciling policies governing recruitment, retention, skill development, career progression, and leadership development (Hosek et al., 2001; Lim et al., 2009). Perhaps no demographic trend in U.S. history has been as dramatic or impactful as the steady growth of the Hispanic population. This growth has presented numerous challenges to defense policy makers. Between 2000 and 2013, the Hispanic population rose from 35 million (13 percent of the total population), to 54 million (17 percent of the population) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011; 2014). In two of the largest states, California and Texas, Hispanics currently account for nearly 40 percent of the population. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the Hispanic population in the U.S. will continue to grow and will reach 128 million by 2060 (31 percent of the population). These demographic trends have created great interest in the role of Hispanics in meeting the military s future manpower needs. Although Hispanic males have the highest propensity for military service compared to other ethnic groups, they currently are 1 underrepresented in the military. In terms of active duty military, Hispanics now constitute 12.8 percent of enlistees (compared to 21.2 percent in the civilian youth population) and 5.7 percent of the officer corps (compared to 8.6 percent of civilian college graduates 21 to 35 years old) (Office of Undersecretary of Defense, 2014). The underrepresentation of Hispanics in the officer corps presents an ongoing challenge to DoD policymakers in maintaining diversity in the leadership ranks. The Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC) concluded that the military leadership does not represent the public it serves or the forces it leads. They argue that two factors contribute to the underrepresentation of minorities and females among officers and senior military leaders: lower rates of promotion for minority males than White male officers and, in the case of
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