Explaining Differences in Predicted O-5 Promotion Outcomes by Race and Gender Among Naval Officers

December, 2020
IDA document: P-20452
FFRDC: Systems and Analyses Center
Division: Strategy, Forces and Resources Division
Julie A. Lockwood, Joseph M. King, Rachel G. Augustine See more authors
This research identifies the differences in predicted outcomes across race/ethnicity and sex groups for promotion of U.S. Navy line officers commissioned as O-1s (ensigns) in 2001-2018 to O-5s (commanders) in 2001-2018. Using administrative military personnel data, we train two machine learning models: one predicts retention, the other predicts promotion. We calculate the effect of each feature on an individual’s likelihood of retention or promotion and compare across demographics to identify differences in which and how much features matter.