Individual Motivational Factors Impacting United States Air Force Reserve Recruiting
This research seeks to discern the latent motivational factors that prompt individuals to join the Air Force Reserve. It is hypothesized that the decision to affiliate has a large non-economic component; this study also seeks to determine whether enlistment motivations have been stable over the last decades or whether motivations have recently evolved in light of over a decade of constant armed conflict.The project utilizes a questionnaire given at selected reserve units to members who are in their first few months of service. These surveys consisted of both motivational and discouragement panels of questions; returned questionnaires were analyzed using factor analysis identify underlying motivations. Latent factors identified were reviewed in the context of the Institutional/Occupational paradigm as well as Public Service Motivation theory.The results of this research should inform recruiting practitioners as they seek cheaper and more effective methods to accomplish their mission. Further, the results of this effort can inform policy makers, avoiding overreliance on econometric models and suggesting methods to maintain recruiting goals while still controlling costs.