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An Army of None - By Tim Kane | Foreign Policy


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some of what I went through...

While all branches of the military experienced challenges, only the Army was in crisis. According to a March 2007 story in USA Today, the retention rate of West Point graduates was "as much as 30 percentage points lower than the rates for graduates of the Navy and Air Force academies." A common complaint was that the elitist academy graduates were the problem, not the Army per se, since ROTC and Officer Candidates School (OCS) officers remained at high rates, but that's a myth. Retention problems afflicted ROTC scholarship officers even more than West Point graduates. A 2010 monograph by Colonel Casey Wardynski, Major David Lyle, and Michael Colarusso analyzed the retention of officers in the 1996 cohort by commissioning source. While it is true that the percentage of West Pointers in the class of 1996 drops dramatically at the five-year point (from 90 to 60 percent), it must also be said that OCS officers started the year at 70 percent. And while the USMA rate declined steadily to 41 percent at the eight-year mark, this mirrored the ROTC officers who had three-year scholarships, and was higher than the 35 percent eight-year retention of four-year ROTC scholarship officers.

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