Date of this Version
This study, prepared by Colonel Raymond E. Tinsley, USAF, deviates somewhat from the_ standard doctoral dissertation format. The writer was personally involved in many of the events and activities which preceded the study, and, therefore, became the prime documentation source. Due to the national objective to abolish the military draft and create an all-volunteer force, the United States Air Force, in 1970, initiated Project Volunteer--a program to determine those-factors influencing retention rate. In its report, Project Volunteer Considerations, 88 irritants to Air Force life were disclosed. In an effort to remove these irritants, the Air Force embarked on an adult education program called the Contemporary Actions Program, which consisted of three phases of workshops and symposia conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This study was conducted to determine whether or not those adult education programs have or have not eliminated any or all of the irritants delineated by Project Volunteer. Three surveys were conducted in 1972 to determine the adult education program success ,and to collect ideas and opinions considered important to the Air Force role in supporting an all-volunteer force. Approximately ten percent of all SAC officers and five percent of all airmen participated. The study consists of five chapters. Chapter 1, "Introduction," briefly outlines the events which took place and the actions taken in response to those events which ultimately led to the research.
Chapter 2, "Review of Literature," relies on the report of The President' s Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force, because little Air Force literature has been written either in favor of or opposed to that concept. Other views have been noted and documented. Findings of The President's Commission resulted in the Department of Defense publicly announcing the national objective of an all-volunteer force; which resulted in Project Volunteer; which resulted in the Contemporary Actions Staff, all of which resulted in the· author conducting this study. Chapter 3, "Design of the Study," gives a detailed account of how the study was organized and what factors influenced its design. Chapt;er4, "Study Results," details survey data in tabular form and is presented in six sections: Section I-Education, Section II Recreation. Section III-Job Satisfaction, Section IV-Human Relations, Section V-Personal Life Style, and Section VI-Air Force Career. Chapter 5, "Conclusions and Recommendations, n· is a narrative continuation of Chapter 4, and summarizes those results in the areas covered. Because this study deals with the military, specifically personnel of the Strategic Air Command, some of the vocabulary terms used and organizational references may not be totally clear to persons not directly or indirectly involved with the military. For these reasons, a comprehensive appendix section was developed. The author feels that placing a listing of all SAC bases, the lists of irritants and considerations, the Grade Chart for the U.S. Armed Forces, and sample copies of the study surveys in an appendix facilitates better understanding and a smoother flow from one section to another. The data selected for the study have been taken from three surveys which were designed to determine whether or not the adult education programs in SAC had an effect on the existing irritants. The Contemporary Actions Program was the adult education program under consideration. The three surveys used in the study were: (1) United States Air Force Officer Survey, USAF SCN 72-50, 1972, BQ USAF ACHR, Pentagon; (2) United States Air Force Career
Survey, Airman, USAF SCN 72-68, Hay, 1972, HQ USAF ACI1R, Pentagon; and (3) United States Air Force Career Survey, Officer, USAF SCN 72-68, Hay, 1972, HQ USAF ACHR, Pentagon. It was concluded that the Contemporary Actions Program was initiated to meet the pressures of social change within the SAC subculture. Changes in the officers’ ranks, as relating to management goals and objectives, were moving in a more liberal direction. The number of SAC officers who found pride and satisfaction in their jobs was well above 70 percent. Life style of the enlisted ranks had not changed to any degree that ~.as reflected in the survey. The author stressed the need for an ongoing program of social and contemporary action and surveys to measure the direction and scope of social change in the all-volunteer force.