Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Carolyn M. Macola, PhD


The Department of Defense's (DoD) achievement of its mission is dependent in large part on the skills and expertise of its civilian workforce. DoD's civilian workforce develops policy, provides intelligence, manages finances, and acquires and maintains weapon systems, to name a few areas of work. During its downsizing in the early 1990s, DoD did not focus on reshaping the civilian workforce in a strategic manner. This resulted in a workforce characterized by a growing gap between older, experienced employees and younger, less experienced ones. With more than 60 percent of its civilian personnel becoming eligible to retire by 2010, DoD will have difficulty filling certain mission-critical jobs with qualified personnel. This study focuses on the DoD, Air Force, and Air Force Material Command's (AFMC) human capital management approach to the long-term career progression of civilian employees. As of November 2005, there were three DoD directives that addressed the long-term career progression of its civilian workers. This thesis uses assumptional analysis to evaluate DoD, Air Force, and AFMC civilian workforce career progression using the eight organizational variables of knowledge transfer, pay, performance, opportunities for promotion, workplace environment, education, leave, and motivation. The author proposes an exit survey to help DoD capture the thoughts of senior civilian workers, both those who are staying and those who are leaving, regarding the above-mentioned organizational variables. It is hoped that results from this survey will help the DoD implement creative solutions to retaining and recruiting future civilian employees.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number