in this study consisted of 406 public affairs personnel from all
five military services. Our sample includes 20% Army, 45% Navy,
25% Air Force, 6 % Marine Corps, and 3% Coast Guard. The sample
consists of 50% officers, 25% enlisted, and 25% Government Specialists
(civilians). The mean age for our sample is 40 years old, with males
making up 70% and females 30%. Ninety-one percent of the personnel
surveyed reported Public Affairs as their primary career field.
The average number of years in the Public Affairs field is 12, with
an average of 2.6 years at the current command.
here to see the online survey]
(see Appendix 1) consisted of 49 quantitative measures and one qualitative
question designed to analyze commander's perception of public affairs
from the opinion of public affairs personnel. The questionnaire
began with a demographics section followed by a quantitative section
and one qualitative question. The first section gathered general
demographic information about participants. The next section utilized
five-point Likert scales with answers ranging from "Strongly Agree"
to "Strongly Disagree" to measure the commander's perception of
public affairs from the perspective of the Public Affairs professional.
A mean score of one (1) indicates that every participant strongly
disagreed, and a mean score of five (5) indicates that every participant
strongly agreed. A score of two (2) equals somewhat disagree, and
a score four (4) equals somewhat agree. Three (3) indicates undecided.
by Cannon (1984) surveyed commanders about their attitudes towards
public affairs, and results indicated that commanders were extremely
supportive of their PA programs. The researchers of this Capstone
believed that surveying public affairs officers is a necessary prerequisite
before surveying commanders. In many cases, commanders will see
themselves as having positive views of Public Affairs and actively
supporting the Public Affairs mission, while their Public Affairs
staffs view them as being uninvolved and non-supportive.
theoretical perspectives and previous personal experiences with
military leaders, the researchers developed a survey to assess how
Public Affairs personnel perceive their commandersí perception of
Public affairs. The survey was sent to all Public Affairs representatives
via the Internet. As such, the sample included officers, as well
as civilians and enlisted personnel.
here to see the online survey]
The first part
of the survey collected demographic information about the survey
participants. The second section, questions 8-13, consists of six
questions designed to measure the commandersí perception of the
14, 21, 25-36, and 45-49 address the level of commandersí overall
support for Public Affairs programs and their understanding of the
value of public affairs. The questions also attempt to assess the
commandersí trust and confidence placed in the Public Affairs field.
22-24, and 37-44 assess how commanders perceive their personal public
affairs staff, both past and present. Also, how do the commanders
perceive the important and effectiveness of Public Affairs in terms
of its role in the accomplishment of the command mission.
is one open-ended question designed to solicit any additional influences
not addressed in the survey. Data from the survey was analyzed to
determine commanders' perceptions and support for public affairs
programs from the Public Affairs professionalís opinion.
predict positive correlation between the commanders' perception
of Public Affairs and their support of Public Affairs, as well as
between their attitude towards the media and their support for Public