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Abstract

Military Public Affairs personnel have one of the most challenging and unique missions in the armed services. They are responsible for developing and implementing information campaigns to inform and educate military members and the American public about the roles and mission of the military in peacetime and in war. Despite an obvious need for leadership involvement and support, not every military commander realizes the true value of Public Affairs, and the result is a lack of support for the PA mission. Determining commanderís perceptions and attitudes toward the role of Public Affairs would be extremely valuable to the effectiveness of PA programs currently suffering from lack of leadership involvement and support.

This Capstone project is designed to determine the influences that ultimately translate into either supportive or non-supportive attitudes and behavior. To ascertain those influences, the researchers developed a 50-question survey consisting of 49 Likert scale questions and one subjective comment distributed to PA professionals in all five military branches of service. The purpose of this survey is to assess their commanderís attitudes toward Public Affairs. The researchers recommend that a follow-on version should eventually be sent to commanders, and the results from both should be analyzed to assess the major influences shaping leaderís perceptions and attitudes toward Public Affairs. The ultimate goal of this research would be to devise strategies that PA professionals could use to foster a positive and productive relationship between the commander and Public Affairs. The results from this study may be valuable to not just the Public Affairs professionals, but to the units and commanders.

Meghan Mariman, LT, USN | Steve Butler, CAPT, USMC | Cameron Porter, SSGT, USA