OPA’s divisions have extensive expertise across statistics, quantitative social science, marketing and outreach, and information technology. They lead the Department in providing innovative, cost-effective data solutions and fostering collaborative efforts with joint-Service benefits. Division researchers include social science and research analysts, data scientists, operational researchers, mathematical and survey statisticians, psychometricians, sociologists and organizational, research, and clinical Psychologists.
Center for Retention and Readiness (R&R)
R&R designs, conducts, and analyzes joint-Service surveys for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) , including the Status of Forces Survey and the Active and Reserve Component Spouse Surveys. R&R conducts analytical research to include multivariate analysis, longitudinal and trend analysis, survey nonresponse studies, and other statistical methodology experiments, to provide the Department with fast, accurate assessments of the attitudes and opinions of the entire DoD community. R&R’s responsibilities include:
- Evaluating existing programs/policies.
- Establishing baseline measures before implementing new programs/policies.
- Monitoring progress of programs/policies and their effects on the total force.
- Reviewing multicomponent personnel surveys and DoD-sponsored surveys of the general public.
R&R also provides technical assistance to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)/Service personnel on surveys and studies and chairs the Inter-Service Survey Coordination Committee (ISSCC).
Methods, Analysis, and Systems Support (MASS)
MASS is OPA’s internal and external analytic collaborator. MASS is committed to providing timely, accurate, and valuable statistical, data science, and analytical expertise while using the most effective cybersecurity-compliant IT systems. MASS is recognized across OPA divisions for helping OPA optimize data, analytics, and strategic and tactical analytic solutions, while helping OPA meet its customers’/stakeholders’ decision-making needs.
Additionally, MASS aims to champion a research community within the Department by sharing research results and actionable insights with policy offices through:
- Research forums
- Website content
- Quarterly research meetings
Defense Personnel Assessment Center (DPAC)
DPAC helps DoD meet their accession needs, and students and military applicants meet their career/employment goals, by providing:
- state-of-the-art assessment methodology and products
- career guidance
- delivery systems
DPAC is responsible for the development, maintenance, and delivery of the world’s largest employment test: the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is administered to more than one million test-takers annually. This test is used to select applicants into the military Services and into select military occupations. DPAC also develops and maintains the Career Exploration Program, which provides valuable career guidance to students and aids in military recruiting. Additionally, DPAC provides internet-based delivery for special tests and for defense language aptitude and proficiency tests. These tests are used to qualify candidates for language training and to qualify linguists for select jobs and proficiency pay.
Defense Personnel and Security Research Center (PERSEREC)
PERSEREC is dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of DoD personnel suitability, security, insider threat, and reliability systems. To achieve its mission, researchers at PERSEREC are tasked to:
- Conduct applied research and development to improve personnel suitability, security, and reliability policy and practice.
- Conduct long-term programmatic research and development for the human resource management, security, and intelligence communities.
- Provide quick-response studies and analyses in support of policy formation and systems operation.
PERESEREC develops innovative systems, tools, and job aids for policymakers, managers, and practitioners concerned with personnel suitability, security, and reliability. Learn more about PERSEREC and access selected research reports and tools at:http://www.dhra.mil/perserec/
Health and Resilience (H&R)
The mission of Health and Resilience (H&R) is to support the well-being of all members of the DoD community by providing in-depth research and analysis to inform policymakers on topics that impact resiliency. Primary topics include:
- Sexual assault and sexual harassment
- Racial/ethnic harassment and discrimination
- Diversity and inclusion
- Suicide prevention
- Command climate (including the DEOCS)
H&R implements numerous large-scale surveys, qualitative efforts, and advanced data analytic efforts. Multiple organizations throughout DoD rely on the research conducted by H&R to monitor and evaluate programs and policies and their effects on the health of the Total Force, including the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), the Defense Suicide Prevention Office (DSPO), and the Office of Force Resiliency (OFR). H&R research findings are also regularly reported to Congress.
Joint Advertising, Market Research & Studies (JAMRS)
JAMRS is responsible for joint marketing communications and market research and studies. A core JAMRS objective is to explore the perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes of American youth as they relate to joining the Military to help ensure recruiting efforts are directed in the most efficient and beneficial manner. To understand the factors critical to the success of sustaining our All-Volunteer Force, JAMRS implements numerous surveys on topics, including:
- young adults’ propensity to serve
- recall of military advertising
- barriers and motivators to service
Multiple departments throughout the federal government rely on the research conducted by JAMRS, which is frequently reported to Congress. JAMRS’ marketing communications programs help increase awareness and broaden people’s understanding of military service as a career option. JAMRS’ Recruiting Database serves as a foundation for the Services’ outreach efforts. Learn more about JAMRS.