Army Officer Retention: How to Retain the Best and Brightest
The United States Army officer corps attracts some of the most talented, motivated, and dedicated young men and women from all parts of American society. Even after 17 years of constant deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism, it is highly competitive to gain a place in the Army officer corps through the three traditional commissioning paths: the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Reserve Officer Training Corps at various colleges and universities, and the Officer Candidate School Program for those men and women already possessing a college degree. Although the Army can attract talented aspiring future leaders, it has historically had a problem in retaining the best and brightest to stay in the Army for a full career. This policy proposal offers that the Army can retain these top performers through the use of incentives as well as early promotions. These two components of the policy will identify and reward the top performers, but in a broader sense, establish a stronger culture of meritocracy within the Army officer corps.