The United States Air Force has been able to carry on a great tradition of air supremacy and advanced technology. They were born in September 1947, when they separated from the Army Air Core, and became their own unit (www. peterson. af. mil). Providing for the troops that serve always has been a top priority of the Air Force. The Air Force is run in management form, just like any large organization, or small business. It has a rank structure, where tasks are delegated down from the ranking Officers through the Enlisted Core.
After significant evaluation, I have researched and identified the following six categories necessary for the Air Force to preserve satisfaction and success from their troops: 1. Declare existing organizational goals through a firm mission statement. 2. Maintain the highest ethical standards. 3. Uphold communication through the rank structure through surveys. 4. Reinforce the importance of training for top performance. 5. Maintain the Air Force’s principal focus on the Airmen’s well-being. 6. Constantly improve from research methods to stay a premier organization.
The first and second groups support a proven successful vision that has worked for more than 64 years. The Air Force’s Core Values are what helps to keep their Mission Statement so pertinent and gives them a strong backbone to sustain the high ethical standards they expect. These Core Values are Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do (www. airforce. com). The third topic promotes communication through the rank structure. This is to include all ranks; this ranges from the lowest ranking enlisted airmen, to the highest ranking General.
The fourth category is to ensure the Airmen are trained to perform at a high level of intensity. Training is vital to set the Airmen up for success. The fifth category is to reinforce that the Air Force, although mission-driven, cares for their Airmen as they are family. The last topic is a commitment by the Air Force to continue the critical research they do to make certain they are integrating the most efficient way of accomplishing the mission. United States Air Force Research Report The United States Air Force has been serving this country for over six decades. They have helped to provide a vast security blanket for this nation.
Their mission statement is to “fly, fight, and win…in air, space and cyberspace” (www. airforce/ourmission. com pg. 1). To achieve their mission statement, the AF relentlessly voices how important it is to stick to their core competencies to their troops. The core competencies are Air and Space Superiority, Global Attack, Rapid Global Mobility, Precision Engagement, Information Security, and Agile Combat Support. The Air Force created an inspirational vision, and they have unyielding support from all their troops, therefore their structured format has proven to be successful.
The AF has also made it their commitment to make their employees understand how important they are in reaching success in this mission. Applying research within the infrastructure of the ranks helps the AF to see how they can provide better for their men and women. If it were not for all who volunteer for the AF, the mission would not be possible. Surveys that measure the quality of life for their employees help in communicating what areas need to be addressed. Qualitative and quantitative research will single out areas to develop more contentment, which will help to accomplish the desired mission.
This report contains a statement of the quandary, literature review, research design, and methodology as well as a study of the results that are expected. Once the results are studied, possible recommendations can be made to improve any problem that may arise. Statement of Quandary The AF is the second smallest military branch next to the Coast Guard. Currently the AF has roughly 260,000 enlisted personnel and about 60,000 officers (www. af. mil). Competition within the Air Force is similar to real-world businesses. Making rank equals more money and respect. In the Marines and the Army, it is much easier to make rank.
To properly compete, the AF needs to recognize possible issues that may drive their hardworking employees to another branch, or even separate from the military entirely. Management understands that improvement on their employee’s happiness is critical in completing the mission. The military members have no incentive to work harder besides fear of reprimand, or paperwork. The military has great job security; a person needs make a serious mistake to be discharged. Therefore, the AF understands they need to keep their people happy and take care of them so the mission can be delivered.
Upper management needs to assert certain ways to collect data such as surveys, to see how they can help their troops. Anonymous surveys are important because they may lead to more honest answers discussing problems that they may not address otherwise (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). Another way to seek out possible issues is conduct focus groups. Conducting qualitative and quantitative research using focus groups could be insightful, gathering pertinent data from the people in each workplace (Cooper & Schindler, 2006). This research will lead to a better perception for what needs to be focused on the most.
Action needs to be taken quickly by senior leadership so the workers see that they are not a low priority. They need to see they do matter to the mission and its’ success. Literature Review Training in any business is essential for one to know their job well, and it is something that the AF does not take lightly. In one article, it explains how John F. Kennedy liked to say that “learning and leadership are indispensable to one another” (Air and Space Power Journal, 2002 pg. 79). The AF trains there men and women continuously, from safety awareness training to an expert at the job they do in the AF.
Training was not always thought of as being so vital to the mission many years ago. In the beginning, the AF did not believe there was a correlation between training and persons able to help the mission success. Eventually, a small group of visionaries in AF leadership could see how important it was to have their people trained to their best ability in everything they do. In this same article, it is said that “The underlying belief here is that the assignment of service members to learning institutions and programs puts them on a desirable and reliable path to enhanced knowledge, skills, perspectives, and leadership abilities.
Those enhancements improve the ability to carry out the Air Force mission and advance the interests of national security” (Air and Space Power Journal, 2002 pg. 80). The AF has continued its’ success over the years because they recognize that their people are a main priority, and it takes all the Airmen working together as one unit to complete the mission. Organizations like the AF are a closely knit group, a band of brothers. When people are working toward an incredibly daunting and challenging task, they need to have direction and a level head.
The AF makes it one of their missions to not only take care of all the Airmen, but their families as well. This helps to ensure when the troops are deployed, there is less stress that surrounds them, and they can concentrate on the mission at hand. An example in one journal article by a family that has been a part of the AF for a combined 40+ years, and it states, “Our family is part of the most amazing support group” (Exceptional Parent, 2007 pg. 92). Research is important to understand the needs of the troops, and those needs that will help support accomplishing the mission.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the division of the AF that specializes and studies the possibilities of technological advancements and innovations, the major scientific breakthroughs. The AFRL is constantly researching new ways of improving the Air Force’s technology. Technological advancements make decision-making by upper management an easier task. Cooper and Schindler define Business Research in the text as “a systematic inquiry that provides information to guide managerial decisions” (Cooper and Schindler, 2006).
It is the research that the AFRL conducts that enables the system of operations to operate with more ease and flexibility. Approximately 5,800 personnel make up the AFRL. About 1,400 are military persons and the rest include retired members and civilians (www. af. mil). The AFRL has a budget nearing $2 billion that includes basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development (www. af. mil). The history of the AFRL spans over eight decades. With their efforts, they have produced the most modern and technological developments the Air Force and Department of Defense can be proud to call their own.
Their research has manufactured some of the latest breakthroughs established on today’s modern aircraft and weapons systems. A few of these creations are the F-117 stealth fighter, B-2 Bomber, C-17 air lifter and the F-22 stealth fighter jet (www. af. mil). Research Design and Methodology The AF uses many types of research methodologies. Depending on what the AF is researching, that then depicts what type they will use to find their results. The AFRL researches advancements in technology whereas upper management in the AF studies issues concerning their people. Scientific Method
The Scientific Method is an effective research method to produce consistent products that the USAF uses in many capacities. It helps to produce all the state-of-the-art ground vehicles and aircraft used in defending the country. The AFRL uses the Scientific Method to ensure that each area they are researching is accurately computed to ensure the best product. One technological breakthrough the AFRL used the Scientific Method to help them fine tune is pulse-detonation engine (Defense AT&L, 2005). This allows the air and fuel mixture to detonate, rather than burn.
This breakthrough yields a more efficient engine with more power added. Omnibus Study This type of research harvests fast results. The book says “Sometimes the decision maker needs the answer to one or a few questions to make a quick tactical decision, such as when it faces a crisis” (Cooper & Schindler, 2006 pg 51). In the military, timing is everything, especially when a decision needs to be made in a tactical manner, lives could be at risk. Qualitative and Quantitative Research The final research methods are qualitative and quantitative studies.
This is where The AF uses this methodology to find the effectiveness of plans and ideas implemented into the system. By conducting interviews with the troops and releasing surveys, the AF can see where improvements may need to be made. The results from research such as these give feedback on specifics like cost versus reward and how well the product works for the people using it. In the textbook, the authors describe how many agencies will bring in outside consultants to yield the best results, to get the best expert advice (Cooper & Schindler, 2006).
Conclusion The Air Force’s enduring pledge for satisfaction is crucial in accomplishing the mission. Incorporating types of research are necessary in attaining this goal. The types of research design and methodology are a proven success in their structure. Some of the most amazing technological advancements are made within the Air Force. They have proven research methodologies. The results acquired with the research will continue to keep the Air Force as an elite organization within the government. Technological breakthroughs made by the AFRL will keep the AF succeeding in Air Supremacy and advanced technology, but the people who volunteer to serve are the ones who make it all possible.
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