Date of Award
Education Specialist (EdS)
Educational Psychology and Guidance
Paul D. Overton
Purpose of the Study
Do young Air Force recruits who enter the military during the winter months truly perform at a lower level than their counterparts who enlist in the summer, fall, or spring?
Design of the Study
Time frames: This was divided into quarters (three month segments) which used service entry dates close to summer, fall, winter, and spring seasons. Quarter segments were:
1. June, July, and August
2. September, October, and November
3. December, January, and February
4. March, April, and May
It was expected that the summer segment would capture the graduate from high school who immediately entered the service. The fall period would coincide with the majority of those that entered college, and winter and spring might include the college drop-outs or those that went straight into the workforce and had later begun looking at another alternative that would provide training and a source of income. Specific attention was paid to those recruits entering in the winter months since they were the "low motivation" subjects in question.
With the time frames established, the question of the age of subjects emerged. Since the majority of Air Force recruits, especially in the enlisted ranks, are under the age of 20, it was decided to look at only those age 19 and under at the time of entry. This would be sure to capture the recent high school graduate who may have been searching, inquisitive, and ready for new challenges. It was also decided to limit the study to male personnel only. There is a much larger percentage of men entering the Air Force than women, and the sex difference might, to some degree, distort the validity of the data collected.
This then led to the question of how many subjects should be selected from the career areas to be studied, and how would the data be collected. Earlier in this writing it was mentioned that the writer's current position allowed access to records of graduates from three career field areas. Two of these were classified as mechanical career areas and the remaining area was in the field of electronics.
From the data collected and the results of the findings, it is concluded that no relationship exists between the time of entry into the Air Force and academic performance of young male recruits in resident technical training. The assumption may be confounded by the possibility that some highly motivated recruits plan to delay entry into service. They may desire a period of time for personal relaxation and recreation before making a commitment to serve.
1. In an attempt to prove the hypothesis presented in this study, a much larger population should be considered.
2. It is suggested that monthly comparisons, with a larger subject group, may indicate that some significance does exist. This breakdown was not attempted, and the suggestion does not imply different findings.
3. Additional studies on the Air Force recruit in resident technical training would be an advantage.
4. Results of this study should be studied by those instructors who are responsible for training the young Air Force recruit in resident schools. Stereotyping an individual or a group can influence the attitude of the trainer towards the trainee.
Denius, Ronald, "A Study of the Relationship Between Entry Time in the Military and Academic Performance in Air Force Resident Training" (1989). Masters Theses. 2398.
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