Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Sharon G. Heilmann, PhD


The U.S. Air Force uses a variety of human resource practices to manage nearly 350,000 personnel worldwide. Programs already in place, such as enlistment bonuses, base of preference selection, and voluntary retraining, are some of the methods currently utilized to retain Air Force personnel. One program, the Noncommissioned Officer Retraining Program (NCORP), allows for the movement of mid- to senior-level enlisted members to critically manned career fields. In recent years, this program has not met its quota of volunteers and has relied on involuntary retrainees to fill training slots. This study assessed the attitudinal variables of job satisfaction, perceived organizational support, and intent to stay in voluntarily retrained, involuntarily retrained, and non-retrained NCOs (n=1,093) across all enlisted Air Force Specialty Codes. Consistent with predictions, the assessment showed significant differences in levels of job satisfaction and intent to stay among the voluntarily and involuntarily retrained groups. This finding is specifically noteworthy given that the average time-in-service for the voluntarily and involuntarily trained groups (13 years and 15 years, respectively) appeared to affect perceptions of job satisfaction and departure decisions, but in a manner inconsistent with previous empirical studies indicating that increased vestment in a retirement plan would decrease departure rates. Previous research also suggests a negative relationship between perceived organizational support and intent to depart the organization, and a positive relationship between time-in-service and perceived organizational support. Contrary to previous research, these results indicate that involuntarily retrained members who are -- on average -- more vested in a retirement plan by virtue of greater time-in-service, reported lower levels of perceived organizational support and greater intention to depart than voluntarily retrained members.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number