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Army Releases Career Survey Results

Army Retention
Army Retention
Washington Report

Army leaders have released the results of a first-of-its-kind exit survey for soldiers, aimed at better understanding why some have decided to leave the active-component force.

The Department of the Army Career Engagement Survey, or DACES, involved over 50,000 soldiers, who provided insight into decisions to end their military careers. Unlike past surveys, this one targeted all AC soldiers, not just those who have already decided to leave the force.

Surveys were customized based on career fields and answers to certain questions. Army leaders are able to filter results by rank, career field, gender and race, allowing for an assessment of concerns in key demographics.

According to the survey, the top “Extremely Important” reasons to leave the Army were connected to the impact of service on family. This included the effects of deployment, impact on significant other’s career, plans for children, and stability and predictability.

Reasons to stay in the Army included the opportunity to serve one’s country, retirement pay or benefits, leadership and training opportunities, sense of purpose and current pay or benefits.

“DACES provides objective information from thousands of soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Brett Funck, the director of the Army Talent Management Task Force. “The Army can analyze this information to gain a rich understanding of how soldiers feel and what their future potential decisions are based on.”

Army leaders plan to publish the results from DACES surveys each year, with the hopes the information will help drive senior leader discussions and future recruiting and retention efforts.

The survey includes questions on whether a service member would consider the National Guard or Reserve and whether being able to collect retirement pay or bonuses while serving would impact that decision.

“Life in the Army is challenging but rewarding. Demographics in the Army change; DACES helps leaders understand how soldiers, married soldiers, and soldiers with families view important career and professional decisions,” Funck said.