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)

Dr. Paul Rosenfeld, Director

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).

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Kristin Williams, Director

The CRM division serves as the gateway into OPA. The team’s primary purpose is to champion a research community within the Department by sharing research results to policy offices through:

  • research forums
  • newsletters
  • websites
  • quarterly research meetings

The CRM team also manages and analyzes OPA’s interaction with our customers to ensure OPA meets their data-driven needs in a cohesive manner and measures customer satisfaction and overall success. In addition to providing quality assurance and technical editing to all OPA products, the CRM team provides the OPA enterprise with statistical method, survey operation, and research management expertise and support to ensure all studies meet the industry standard in research practices.

Data Science (DS)

Dr. Kirby Hayes, Director

The DS division augments internal OPA analytic impacts by conducting full-spectrum data science research from data to decision. To achieve this mission, OPA DS works with a wide variety of DoD data, both structured and unstructured, as well as other non-DoD data sources (e.g., Census Bureau). Current project efforts span a variety of DS techniques, including statistical learning algorithm deployment, process optimization, and distributed computing.

Examples of internal OPA research augmentations:

  • Create data assets by extract, transform, and load procedures to support algorithm deployment.
  • Optimize internal analytic processes leveraging multiple-core processing.

Examples of external OPA research enhancements:

  • Provide external data insights using Natural Language Processing to align policy correlates.
  • Discover and model behavioral indicators for high-stakes policy/program decisions.

Defense Personnel Assessment Center (DPAC)

Dr. Daniel Segall, Director

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)

Dr. Eric Lang, Director

PERSEREC is dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and fairness of DoD personnel suitability, security, 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)

Dr. Ashlea Klahr, Director

The mission of H&R is to design, conduct, analyze and interpret results from research efforts for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), with a focus on topics related to the health and well-being of military Service members, including:

  • sexual harassment
  • sexual assault
  • sexual discrimination

H&R implements numerous large-scale surveys and focus groups on topics, which include gender relations and equal opportunity. Multiple departments 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) and the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity (ODMEO). H&R research findings are also regularly reported to Congress.

Joint Advertising, Market Research & Studies (JAMRS)

Dr. Katie Helland, Director

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.


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