Approximately, 200,000 service members leave the military each year. It’s in the best interest of all military branches to retain the best and brightest service members, especially because the armed forces are the only major entity that truly promotes from within and cannot hire senior leaders outside the U.S. military.
Every year the Department of Defense announces recruiting and retention numbers. However, the statistics are very high-level and don’t go into testimonial details. A few active duty members of the Navy are conducting a first of its kind retention survey that’s outside of official U.S. Navy channels. The survey results will provide senior uniformed and civilian leadership with a snapshot of how sailors, both officer and enlisted, perceive their experience while serving the Navy and the nation.
Survey questions cover aspects of quality of life, quality of work, and quality of leadership, with intentions to help inform senior leadership, Congress, and the American public about service members’ perceptions regarding quality of service and retention.
Before results are released this fall, the survey will hone in on the key factors to retaining future leaders, while gaining a better understanding of why many choose to leave. Most importantly, the results of this study will provide the Navy’s senior decision makers with information to help enable the proactive steps required to keep our service’s best and brightest in uniform. Although there are no requirements for any of the survey’s results to be implemented in future policies or retention strategies.
As the results stand now, 62 percent of surveyed Navy members either disagree or strongly disagree senior leaders will take action based on the results of the survey. Do you believe senior leaders will take the survey results into consideration? How important is it for military leaders to look at the collected information?
Should other military branches be conducting similar surveys? What would you recommend the military to do to improve retention? How can we ensure military leaders will take similar survey results and service members’ suggestions seriously?
Comment below or weigh in on the discussion here and connect within the military network.