A Socio-economic Analysis of Military Attrition – The Case of Non-Commissioned Members of the Canadian Armed Forces


  1. Sokri, A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Voluntary attrition has been a persistent concern for military organizations. It could hamper personnel management, diminish readiness, and generate substantial recruiting costs. Understanding and quantifying the effect of its key factors could ease these problems and mitigate these costs. A survival analysis approach was used in this study to examine the relationship between voluntary attrition and the socio-economic characteristics of Canadian Non-Commissioned Members. The baseline hazard of attrition was also estimated as a function of the civilian unemployment rate. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to link the economic state to voluntary attrition through the baseline hazard. This analysis indicates that higher education, being male, and being single are associated with higher risk of attrition, whereas higher rank and older age at hire have consistent negative effect (i.e., lower risk) on attrition. The study also states that the lower the civilian unemployment in the Canadian economy, the higher the hazard of attrition. The proposed model would enable decision-makers to better understand attrition and achieve more targeted retention policy objectives.

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Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2013-088 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jun 2013
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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