Facing the Long War: Factors that Lead Soldiers to Stay in the Army During Persistent Conflict [open pdf - 741KB]
From the thesis abstract: "The purpose of the monograph is to explore the trends in retention during the last fifteen years during an era of persistent conflict. Frequent deployments influence soldiers' retention decisions. Based on extensive research from surveys, focus groups, and retention analysis, eight factors stand out. The eight primary retention factors for U.S. Army soldiers are family support, military and civilian education, quality physical and mental health services, pay and benefits, serving a higher purpose, resilience to adversity, realistic expectations, and leadership. Each factor affects soldiers' perception of quality of life. This monograph makes several recommendations to commanders regarding how to approach retention during the long war. The long war refers to OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, and other ongoing extended operations in the fight against terrorism and promotion of long-term stability."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/