Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award

8-2023

ORCID

https://orcid.org/0009-0000-6591-6069

Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Kristin Koetting O'Byrne

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Colleen P. Ramos

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Ian Shepherd

Abstract

Junior officer attrition has increased over the last two decades. The early departure of army officers leaves a dearth of middle- and senior-level leadership, creating risk for future military readiness. West Point leaders theorized that new officers’ poor person–job fit within their specific career fields contributed to attrition. West Point implemented a talent-based system to place new officers into branches that should offer a stronger person–job fit, hoping it would reduce officer attrition. To begin the investigation on how this talent-based system affects attrition, this study examined graduates who joined the field artillery career field to ascertain if the various cadet traits quantified by the new branching system could function as predictors of performance at the field artillery’s postgraduate school. Previous research demonstrated that these talents and traits were predictors of cadets’ academic performance while still at West Point. This study serves as a follow-up investigation of the next phase of these new officers’ careers. Army officers who fail to complete the field artillery postgraduate course successfully demonstrate higher levels of job dissatisfaction and face many career hurdles that inhibit advancement. Understanding how the talent-based system predicts performance at the branch school can serve as a first measurement of person–job fit and inform leaders about the likelihood of officer attrition. While the talent-based traits were effective predictors of West Point academic performance, cadet grade point averages were more predictive of artillery school performance than were the measures of field artillery-specific talents and traits used in the branching system. The findings provide a potential predictive model for artillery school performance with a weighted balance between cognitive and noncognitive measurements.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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