Retention rate of officers

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by terp1984, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    22
    My son recently recieved his LOA and of course is elated. For my information-what is the approximate retention rate of officers from the academy after 5 years (minimal commitment) and what percent might be able to go at least 20 years.
     
  2. K_Delrosario

    K_Delrosario Prospective

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    It totally depends on the promotion, professions the officer takes up and the billets the Navy has for certain people. Usually, if an officer can't get promoted to a certain rank, he would be discharged honorably. If an officer can't find a billet for a profession in a certain area, he would be transferred to different duty stations or also be discharged.
     
  3. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whoever told you that officers get honorable discharges is misinformed, as this is not correct. Officers either resign their commission or retire after the 20 year mark. If officers get in trouble (courts martial) there is some legalese that applies to their dismissal from the service. You'll learn it in Law for the JO, or is it Joe - either way.
     
  4. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    136
    Maybe a Blue & Gold Officer can answer this. I don't know the exact answer.

    From what I recall, statistically, the retention rates are fairly predictable and typically run higher than their NROTC counterparts. This is one of the big justifications for maintaining the Naval Academy because, now and then, there always seems to be some legislator who proposes that the service academies are inefficient and an unnecessary expense for the taxpayer's to burden.

    I think it has much more to do with the state of the economy than it does promotion opportunities. My guess is that overall retention rates are at, or near, an all time high due to the poor state of the economy and the limited civilian job opportunities.

    Also, another factor is whether personnel are being arduously tasked. For instance, many years ago, I recall pilot retention rates plummeted during a time where cruises were continuously being extended in the Indian Ocean. I'm sure the same must have been true for the shipboard personnel and must have extended into the enlisted ranks. Nobody likes to go on a scheduled 6-month cruise that ends up being a 7-month cruise ... then an 8-month cruise ... and ends up being a 10-month cruise. It can be tough on families and, consequently, many will throw in the towel at their earliest opportunity.

    I'll tell you what has surprised me, however. The guys I knew as midshipmen who I thought, for sure, would be 5-and-out guys - many of them stayed in and had quite impressive careers. Conversely, some guys who I thought would certainly go on to be admirals got out as soon as they could.

    One way or the other - the Navy is still getting their money's worth. Don't forget, there are some service selections that involve such lengthy and expensive training that the obligation is extended (i.e. Aviation and Medical Corps, come to mind.)
     
  5. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,510
    Likes Received:
    461
    This varies over time for lots of reasons, such as the economy, drawdowns, buildups, etc. A bunch of folks get out after 5 yrs for all sorts of reasons. There is another group that gets out before 10, again for lots of reasons. After that, most stay at least 20 unless they fail to promote.

    I'm sure there are figures out there. However, the percentage who get out after 5 yrs today may have little relevance to the percentage from a decade ago or a decade into the future. Ditto with 20 yrs.
     
  6. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    ^^^
    As Memphis stated this is a fairly accurate statement. I see this now as my class has passed it's 5yr commitment and as those in the aviation field are approaching their commitment. Heck I was one of those "5 and dive" (as we USNA folks commonly refer to it) folks and here I am at 8yrs (I have an extra yr b/c of NAPS) and now getting in the crunch window where I need to decide on if I want to stay for 20yrs or get out after this tour.

    Another factor to consider is what community you are in - some communities have a higher promotion rate than others.
     
  7. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    22
    Officer Retention

    Thank you for your candid responses-to expand the discussion-how much does affirmative action come into play with service assignments and promotions. My son recieved his LOA with top grades, state ranked athlete and near perfect SAT's and wants to attend the academy but will have other great choices. As a concerned parent with no military background, I want to know if it will be harder to advance and secure top service assignments being a white male or are the officers fairly promoted.?
     
  8. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    1
    Um, who cares? I mean, is that going to be a deciding point on whether he chooses to attend an Academy or not? Promotion and assignment has to do with quite a few factors, not the least of which is timing and luck. Sure, there's probably some affirmative action as well, but is the knowledge of that going to make him decide not to serve or if he does serve, work less? For the record, I've never felt that being a white male has been anything but an advantage, but like I said, it's irrelevant.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    USNA02,

    Is right on the mark. Retention rates will vary depending on the career field. As a flier you cannot five and dive, you have to do 8 after winging, which really means 9.

    Here's the little known secret that has an impact on officers, every time you PCS, get promoted or go to a "specialty school" you will sign on for a commitment that most likely will run concurrent with your original.

    Here's how it works:
    1. Graduate owe 5 active duty yrs, YR 2 and 3 you decide o get your Masters on the military's dime...you now owe 3 from the last day of registering, and are at 6.
    2. Yr 4 you make O-3, you now are at 7 because you owe 3 from that pin on date. You PCS at this time, but no "official" time is owed because it is concurrent.
    3. Yr 6 you PCS, (unless you non vol) you are now at 9 for that PCS.
    4. Yr. 9 you are up for O-4, which brings you to 12 if you accept that rank.
    5. Yr 11 you get PME in residence RI here we come, which brings you to 15.
    6. Yr 14 you are up for O-5, and say to yourself what the heck, stay 5 more yrs and I get 50% forever.


    People like 02 are in that window where they need to make a decision, the problem is many by this time may now be married with small children. You give a 1 yr notice that you are leaving, when the economy is great people will bolt, when it is bad, they will be more likely to stay for the paycheck and health insurance.

    In the early 90's the economy stunk and the military had to RIF officers. In the late 90's the economy and airlines were thriving and the military had to give retention bonuses.

    The retention rate is not just about the desire to leave, it is a very tangled web regarding personal life, commitments and the national economy. There just is no true % that could be given as a blanket statement. It will be personal, maybe he will say I have missed too much of my childrens life and I am tired of being deployed 6 mos out of 18. Maybe he will say, my wife's mother is single, she is an only child and battling cancer. His wife says I want to go home. Maybe, she is AD and they decide that both of them can't have military careers, thus, he says I can follow you and go corporate.

    I can't speak for the USNA, but for the AF unless you do something horrific promotion(dui) to O-3 is basically guaranteed. AA has no effect on stations, it is a man power issue. You are stationed based on the needs of the military. A E-6 pilot will not be x-trained into a Hornet because he is Black, Asian or Native American, it is based on how you handle the stick. When you get to O-4 and above it is also about how you have performed over the past yrs, what positions you have had within the military. Many times this is political, but it is not based on race, it is based on the golden child system. Commander loves you, you get a DP, commanders are your make and break when it comes to a P(promote) or DP (DEF. Promote). DP you will be promoted and are fighting for schools. P you are fighting to be promoted, and schools are not in play. No School (PME) as an O-4, call it a day when you make O-5 and do your 20, because you don't get O-5 school without at least being on the O-4 PME list. No 0-5 school no chance in Hades unless you get some high award Medal of Honor, Navy Cross to make O-6.

    The USNA commissioning will help you in the beginning, but once you are O-3 that becomes nominal in your progression within the military. AFter O-3 it is all about what YOU do withing your career, especially when it comes to positions and PME.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  10. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    0
    For those considering going to USNA and reading this, do not even start to worry about Joint Professional Military Education. Someone is just trying to scare you with acronyms.
    I don't know how the USNA bullet helps you. As long as you haven't committed any crimes above manslaughter and/or put laxatives in your CO's coffee, you make LT.
    Not all PCS moves add time. I've done it twice and still owe the same number of years. 8 after winging depends on your platform selection after primary. From experience, you can count on 10+.
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,234
    Likes Received:
    136
    Well, the question was asked and answered. Don't shoot the messengers.

    It also occurred to me what relevance it had in the context of trying to get admission into a service academy. In that regard, I agree with you.
     
  12. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    17
    Just a thought ...

    I'm not a USNA grad and though I did serve my USNR commtiment + a few years after graduating KP, don't feel at all qualified to answer the original 2 questions, here's my understanding/summary of all your helpful answers:

    1) Retention rates vary on a lot of things, there's probably lots of data available because of the congressional oversight of the USNA's budget, etc. however, because of all the contributing factors historical data may be of little or no relevance so always look at the underlying conditions not just the data if you are examining this sort of information.

    2) None of the posters feel that affirmative action, if it is even present in the military, has adversely affected their military careers or advancement posat graduation from USNA. Further, the consensus appears to be that for 0-4 and above the meritocracy is alive and well though there are factors outside of things like "how good a stick" you are that come into play.

    I would like to add on topic to terp1984's question/point: "As a concerned parent with no military background, I want to know if it will be harder to advance and secure top service assignments being a white male or are the officers fairly promoted.?"

    I'm a white male who graduated USMMA, with a son who is a white male that currently attends USMMA - a couple of points. a) Affirmative action programs exist in all walks of life, not just the military. My personal experience is that in places and groups where their presence is acknowledged and they and any other critera for advancement are fairly transparent, such as the military, selection for advancement etc tends to be far better understood by all and more fairly applied than in many places where the transparencey is less so. b) If your son is set on attending an Academy and serving, discussions like these will neither encourage nor dissaude him and he'll likely do very well. If he's on the fence this discussion also probably won't be all that persaussive or important to him as at 17/18 it's hard enough to get them to think about what things might be like at age 27, let alone 33 or 42; that said I personnally found encouraging my own son to explore his alternatives helped him make what so far seems to be the right choice for him on his own. There was a short time when I was worried how he was going to be able live let alone to help me in my retirement on his $45K/year salary as a Forest Ranger, but thankfully that only lasted for 6 months or so...:wink:
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Jasper is correct, 17 yrs old cannot imagine life at 27, additionally life throws curve balls. He can sit there and say I am in for 20, and 8 yrs in say I have had enough, I was gone for the 1st 2 yrs of my childs life and do not want to have a stranger relationship with my child.

    You join any branch to serve, the pay, stations, and jobs are all just perks. If he joins only for one reason...i.e. I want to fly helos, or be in a sub, he will be miserable when he becomes the PA stationed at Norfolk. 5 yrs AD is a big price to pay for a "free" education. DO not walk in and say he/she will be XYZ, sit down and say what if you don't get XYZ, what will you do? If they say I don't know, then that should be blaring warning signs that this might not be a good fit.
     
  14. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    0
    ^^^^^^
    Agree that life as well as the needs of the military can always throw you curve balls. Sometimes you make the decision to leave the service and sometimes that decision is made for you (the needs of the Navy, etc.) Being an Academy grad is no guarantee that you will be able to be a lifer, even if that is your intention.
    It's always a good idea to have plan B in life and prepare yourself for the unexpected.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    ^^^ Very true I know several acad grads that were forced to retire because they did not make rank. Even if you do 20, remember that it will sneak up on you very quickly, those that start working their after military career early on (about 3 yrs out) typically land on their feet, those that never thought about the second career had problems transitioning.
     
  16. Maximus

    Maximus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,484
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's why they have Senior Naval Science Instructors at JROTC :biggrin:
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    That would also be why they have officers at the acads. :shake::idea: except for them it is the opposite...planned!
     

Share This Page