Leadership: October 9, 2000


The percentage of military academy graduates staying in uniform continues to decline. The retention rates are nearing the record low rates of the 1970s. In the 1980s, when the armed forces were making a big comeback, some 80 percent of West Point grads stayed in after their five year obligation. This hit 67 percent for the class of 1995, and is expected to go lower as future classes become eligible to get out. The Air Force and Navy are keeping more of their grads, but are also seeing declining rates. The academy graduates are getting out for the same reasons as non-academy officers; poor leadership, too much time overseas on peacekeeping missions.


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