US Army Deployment Resilience and Retention: WAVE II


Name: Penny Pierce

Rank: Col., USAF Reserve

Organization: The Regents of the University of Michigan

Performance Site: The University of Michigan, School of Nursing; The University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research

Year Published: 2008

Abstract Status: Final


Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) have generated unique and unrelenting stressors on our soldiers and it is unclear how these deployments will impact their mental health in the near and distant future. Further, it is difficult to anticipate how the multiple factors related to deployment (e.g., combat exposure, separation from family) will impact soldiers' willingness to remain in uniformed service. The purpose of this longitudinal study is to test relevant theory providing results that will support future military behavioral research of high relevance to the Army and provide guidance for interventions to promote mental health and retention. This study will add an additional wave of data collection to an existing survey of a stratified random sample of Army soldiers with current deployment experience(s). Building on a current study, this proposed study focuses on longitudinal testing of how various personal and organizational factors (e.g., job stress, involvement, commitment, supervisor support) contribute to deployment readiness, mental health and functioning, and ultimately retention in the armed forces. The overall goal of the continued study is twofold: (1) to test the theory of Conservation of Resources (COR) as an explanatory model of mental health, physical and emotional functioning, resilience and deployment readiness over time; and, (2) to test the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as an explanatory model for turnover and retention in the Army. Such research is responsive to the needs of the Army specifically, and to the DoD more generally, in understanding the relationships among the psychological, motivational and organizational factors that influence soldier well being. These longitudinal analyses can demonstrate the power and utility of important predictor variables in a theoretical model that will support recommendations regarding causal effects of deployment readiness and retention during these turbulent and stressful deployments.


Final report is available on NTRL at: