June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Military and Veterans
The Navy and Marine Corps are both branches of the US Department of the Navy. However, they have different missions in support of national defense and thus sailors and Marines have very different job responsibilities during their service. This study investigates how these different roles impact their future choice to major in engineering. We explore three research questions. 1) What reasons did student veterans in engineering give for first enlisting in the Navy or Marine Corps? 2) What factors influence their job placement in the service? 3) How does military service influence their decision to later major in engineering? We find that patriotism and a desire to attain a sense of direction influences these veterans to join both services but that Marine Corps veterans are more likely to report doing so out of a sense of pride and a desire to engage in combat than Navy veterans. Placement in military jobs is determined by the needs of the force and the capabilities of the sailor or Marine. Those who score well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) have more choices and, in the Navy, are encouraged to join the nuclear program. Marines are more likely to be assigned where they are needed. Participants cited their technical training and a desire to improve processes and products as key reasons for pursuing engineering. Veterans in the nuclear Navy indicated that they were also encouraged through their training to seek higher education in engineering whereas Marine Corps veterans received little encouragement to seek higher education outside of the Marine Corps. Colleges of engineering can use this information to tailor their recruiting of former service members by connecting the dots from training to engineering education for those with technical training. The services are likewise encouraged to connect the dots between training and future education explicitly. For those without technical training, university recruiting messages could emphasize the assets of discipline and hard work gained in the military as well as the opportunity to improve processes they may have encountered in their service.
Brawner, C. E., & Lord, S. M., & Mobley, C., & Main, J. B., & Camacho, M. M. (2019, June), How the "Needs of the Force" Impact Navy and Marine Corps Veterans' Decision to Major in Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32899
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