An analysis of data gathered from service policies, doctrines
and case studies reveals that operations in the joint environment
are profoundly impacted by differences in interservice cultures.
Specifically, the flow of accurate and timely information flow
within and through a Joint Information Bureaus is often impeded
because of this phenomenon.
RQ1: Do different service interpretations or adaptations
of Joint Publication 3-61 affect how Joint information Bureaus
operate/interact in a DoD combined operation? Yes, our
research found several instances where this was indeed the case.
In comparing Joint Publication 3-61’s list of the Department
of Defense Media Guidelines, Table 1, it was noted that there
were several significant differences in how the military services
adapted these guidelines into their service-unique doctrines.
Specifically note, that the U. S. Navy and Air Force refer the
public affairs professional to other documents to find these guidelines.
The Air Force refers the PA officer to the Joint Publication for
media guidelines; these are not included in its doctrine for public
affairs. The Navy refers the PA officer to Department of Defense
Directive 5122.5 Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
(OSD /PA). Our analysis concludes that since the directive originated
from the Department of Defense, there is no chance of the directive
Between the Army and the Marine Corps, since each branch has adopted
the guidelines for media into their respective policies, it is
noted that each has adopted each of the guidelines in one form
or another. Of the nine guidelines listed in the Joint Publication,
the Army adopted seven leaving out, (1) The military will supply
public affairs officers with facilities for transmission of pool
material and (2) Commanders are responsible for transporting the
pool into the area of responsibility and joint operations area.
The Marine Corps, on the other hand took the last guideline -
#2 the Army left out – and incorporated it into guideline
number seven which states “Field commanders should be instructed
to permit journalists to ride in military vehicles and aircraft.”
Further analysis uncovered other differences, or discrepancies,
in the way the different services have adopted guidelines from
the Joint Publication as noted in Attachment 1, labeled Department
of Defense Media Pool Support. Here the services do not differ
much in that each refers the PA professional to another document
for guidance. Both the Air Force and Army refer to the Joint Publication
whereas the Navy and Marine Corps directs the PA professional
to Department of Defense Directive (DODD) 5400.14 Procedures for
Joint Public Affairs Operations. It should be noted that the Marine
Corps comes under the Department of the Navy so many of the policies
and directives are the same. However, in the Navy’s SECNAVINST
5720.44A Public Affairs Policy and Regulations, items regarding
media pools are discussed in general terms not specifics as noted
in the Joint Publication or DODD 5400.14.
Analysis of Doctrine
In our analysis we found that many of the differences in the way
each of the services have adopted the Joint Publication into their
respective doctrines contributes to miscommunication between the
services and misunderstanding between the services and the services
and the media. The differences, though appearing minor in scale,
were significant enough to surface in different case studies regarding
the relationship between the military and the media. One of the
most comprehensive studies performed to date is America’s
Team, the Odd Couple (Aukofer & Lawrence, 1995). The study
makes several inferences to how JIBs operate in a joint environment,
and how the services interact with the media.
Based on the units of analysis, we see that were the individuals
services differ in their interpretation of the Joint Publication
is cause for concern and has contributed to its credibility with
Analysis of Service Culture
RQ2: Do interservice doctrine and cultural differences
impede communication flow to both internal and external publics?
Yes, specific examples can be found in all four tenants of service
culture: values, focus, mission and network.
Values. Only the Air Force (USAF) spells out specific
values for its public affairs members, all the other services
use the “core” values outlined for their specific
services. The USAF public affairs values mention “counsel”,
“trust and support”, “morale”, “readiness”,
and “global influence and deterrence” (AFI 35-101,
p. 2) The other service core values outline morals and ethics
to guide their members. The Navy (USN) and Marine Corps (USMC)
have the very same core values, “honor, courage and commitment”
(U.S. Navy Office of Information, 2002, 5). The USN calls these
“foundations for life and service” (U.S. Navy Office
of Information, 2002, 5) The USMC insert “Corps” and
“Marines” into the terminology. The Coast Guard (USCG)
also cites “honor” as one of its three core values.
The other USCG values are “respect and devotion to duty”
binding “us together and guiding our conduct.” The
Army (USA) has the longest list with seven core values. They repeat
the USN and USMC values with “honor” and “courage”
and the USCG’s “respect” and “duty”
and also add “loyalty”, “selfless-service”,
Focus (Vision). The Coast Guard’s vision of public
affairs falls most closely in line with the DoD’s policy
of maximum disclosure with minimum delay. In regards to information,
the Army (USA) and Marine Corps (USMC) specifically mention “timely”
and “accurate”. The Army Public Affairs Manual states
“...maintain timely flow of accurate, balanced information
to the American people” (FM 46-1, p. 5). The Marines guidelines
also mention specifically the timely and accurate flow of information,
“...the public are entitled to timely, accurate responses
from the Marine Corps...” (Marine Corps Public Affairs,
2002, 1). The Air Force vaguely mentions information and the flow
within its organization (AFI 35-101). The Navy doesn’t spell
out information or flow in its vision. It outlines “Themes”
from Navy leadership and various publications (www.chinfo.navy.mil/chatroom/chartfull/themes.htm).
The themes insinuate the flow of information and keeping its people
and the public informed, but do not directly say so
Mission. The USA, USN and USMC mission statements for
public affairs articulate specifically information, its organizational
members, and the public. All four services (USA, USAF, USN, and
USMC) imply increasing the image and awareness of their respective
services in the eyes of the American public. The USAF public affairs
mission identifies and breaks its statement into different organizations
that comprise the public affairs triad (public affairs, bands
and broadcasters.) The public affairs mission doesn’t mention
information, only “expanding awareness...” (AFI 35-101,
Network. All the service’s and JIB’s information channels
in public affairs begin in the same office, The Office of the
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Public Affairs (OASD/PA).
Information then flows to the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs
(OCPA) for the Army and in the USAF to the Secretary of the Air
Force, Public Affairs (SAF/PA). The USA and USAF converge in their
similarities at the third level, in that, both utilize major commands
and then finally to the individual public affairs shops. In the
USN, USMC and USCG (during wartime operations) the flow of information
begins with the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). Information then
moves to the Chief of Naval operations. At the third level, “the
Navy office of Information is headed by the Chief of Information
(CHINFO), who is the direct representative of the SECNAV and the
Chief of Naval Operations for Navy-wide public affairs matters”
(www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib.chinfo/chinfo.html). The Director
of Marine Public Affairs is the CHINFO Deputy, but only on Marine
Corps matters. CHINFO maintains four local points of contact,
Navy Offices of Information (NAVINFOs). The Coast Guard is not
an element of the United States Armed Forces unless Congress ratifies
an act of war. Normally, the Coast Guard falls under the Department
RQ3: Do historical case studies reveal that the improper
operationalization of JIBs impede the intended use of a media
pool and the reporting of military actions? Yes, in several
circumstances this can be proven.
Upon examination of the three case studies, several points were
revealed. First, the American public wants to know what their
military forces are doing when conducting operations in foreign
lands. Second, the media will take any and all information the
JIB for the operation will provide. This leads us to the third
main point that the media will try to cover the story regardless
of measures taken to prevent them. This further illustrates the
point that JIBs need to facilitate the flow of information in
order that safety and security of both the media and the soldiers
involved are ensured.
Grenada 1983. Studying the 1983 operation revealed the
necessity of a media pool and consequently the JIB to act as liaison
for them. The results show that the military cannot expect the
American public to sit passively by while an operation takes place
and not want to know what is happening.
· No organized media pool.
· President ordered a complete blackout under fear of jeopardizing
· Reporters had nothing to give the American public about
· Major outcry because of the lack of information.
· National Media Pool created to provide the media with
timely, inside access to military operations while keeping them
Panama, December 1989. By the time the Panama operation
occurred, the National Media Pool was in place. This operation
illustrated that the media will take any information the military
gives them, but conversely, this practice goes against the reason
for media pools – to provide timely, accurate information
to the American public.
· Military did not inform the National Media Pool until
3 days after the operation started.
· Once called, the Pentagon held the media pool at an air
base in Panama.
· Pentagon spoon-fed journalist photographs and information
about the operation.
· Once on scene, the media pool was not allowed true access
· Information reported to the American public was not accurate
about what really happened during the operation.
Operation Restore Hope. Operation Restore Hope reveals
the need for good communication between JIBs and the National
Media Pool. While the JIB had a working public affairs plan, it
did not include contacting the National Media Pool, resulting
in actions that could have jeopardized the lives of Marines and
media personnel alike.
· Public affairs plan set up to include journalists embedded
with the Marine unit deploying for the operation.
· Suitable information was not released to the media about
how to get information resulting in reporters on the beach with
lights and cameras broadcasting the exact movements of the Marine
· Afterwards, the “outside” reporters were
included in the information dissemination.