While there has been a great deal of research on the characteristics of
those who enter the U.S. Armed Forces, there has been little work which asks
whether those who re-enlist are those who were above- or below-average
performers. Despite the relatively "egalitarian" (little pay for performance)
structure of military compensation, I find that those who do better on tests of
proficiency in their military occupation are more likely to re-enlist than
those who do worse, and this difference is not primarily due to the Army's
unwillingness to allow its worse performers to re-enlist. In contrast, those
with the best scores on the general ability test given prior to enlistment are
less likely to re-enlist.
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