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Analyzing Credibility:  A Study Examining
Demographic Factors and Personality Traits
that Influence Military Public Affairs' Credibility


Discussion

       We feel the adaptive personality traits of communication competency, assertiveness, and interaction involvement are directly linked to credibility.  As the spokesperson for their command, establishing and maintaining credibility is vital to the success of a PAO.  We feel possessing these traits will help enhance the credibility of PAOs and ultimately the success of the mission of telling the service story. 
       We expect our study to reveal that new PAOs have no significantly high levels of these communicative traits.  We propose these tests be administered to prospective public affairs officers at the point when a service member requests selection into the public affairs field:  Army at the fifth or sixth year of service when ready for their functional area; Navy when requesting a lateral move into public affairs; Marine Corps upon completion of The Basic School; Air Force upon completion of ROTC.  Candidates who score high levels of these traits should be considered for public affairs.  Those who score low may be recommended for another career area.  A potential problem with this system is there may not be enough candidates requesting public affairs from which to choose.  If this becomes the case, alternate candidates should be considered.  But in an effort to help future PAOs establish credibility, showing the tendency toward these traits would be a start.  If the study reveals no correlation between the selected traits and credibility, future researchers may select other adaptive traits to study.

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