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     Retention is currently a serious problem in all the military services. As we will establish, the retention problem deserves further study and decisive action by leadership of all branches of military service. Retention is defined by the Department of Defense as the number of people in the military services, eligible to re-enlist, who choose to remain on active duty. Generally the military services have been able to meet retention goals with slight fluctuations. The lowest retention in the last three decades occurred in the early 1970s as a result of Vietnam War downsizing. Retention from 1993 through 1996 has been consistent in the 80th percentile. However, since 1997 a noticeable drop in retention levels has occurred, with a continuing downward trend (Cohen, 1998).
     According to Secretary of the Air Force, F. Whitten Peters (Air Force News, 1998), the severity of the problem hit home during a recent visit to Moody AFB, Georgia, in August 1998. Forty  people were coming up for a reenlistment in their security forces unit.  Out of those, only two planned to reenlist. Data indicates this trend is being repeated across all the military services, not just deployed personnel, but for those members left behind as well. 
     A literature review of relevant material regarding military retention is conducted, using the theories of organizational assimilation theory, cognitive dissonance in persuasion, and mass communication media richness theory, to form an approach toward answering our research questions and providing research methods to implement and test possible solutions. The research team will also discuss projected results and the implications for public affairs and future theory building.