Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Scott T. Drylie, PhD


Retention among the Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) career field has been a concern since the start of the war on terror. Now, as recruiting quotas are not being met, that concern is growing for senior leaders. In the coming years, retention and recruitment will be of the utmost importance to ensure full mission capability. This research analyzes two streams of data, 15 years of manpower information and the results of a survey administered to first-term Airmen, to identify the variables that have the greatest impact on turnover. An additional dataset, personnel data from more than 2,000 EOD candidates, was studied with the intent to maximize the Air Force recruiting efforts. Results show that not getting promoted, only being stationed at one base, being younger, being single, and not receiving combat medals are all associated to early separation from the Air Force for EOD technicians with fewer than seven years of service. Survey data additionally shows that job satisfaction, effective commitment to the Air Force, continuance commitment, focusing on primary duties, and monetary incentive are most important to retaining Airmen beyond their first enlistment. Lastly, analysis of recruits revealed two strong predictors of success in the difficult EOD technical training. Graduates scored significantly higher on five subsets of required entrance exams and they tend to be slightly older (20.7 years or greater) than those who are not successful. Recruits that meet these metrics have an 82% probability of graduating EOD school. The implications of these results, coupled with appropriate application may affect the future of EOD career field health.

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