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Airmen, Guardians can influence how leaders share information through latest WAGGI survey

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The Department of the Air Force will release the latest iteration of the “Where Airmen and Guardians Get Information” (WAGGI) survey to thousands of Airmen and Guardians in the coming week.  

The survey, paired with focus groups later this year, gives Airmen, Guardians, and Department civilians a chance to tell senior leaders what kinds of information they care about and who should be communicating that information how often in what ways. It also helps identify trends in the external sources of information Department personnel are using to stay informed.

The survey will be emailed to most Guardians and approximately 12,000 randomly selected Air Force military and civilian personnel. Members who receive the email invitation are encouraged to take the survey and provide additional input through the comment options.  

The survey will be available for approximately four weeks. Responses to questions and written feedback are completely anonymous. 

Once the survey data is collected and analyzed, the Secretary of the Air Force’s Office of Public Affairs (SAF/PA) will facilitate in-person and virtual focus groups in multiple locations. The focus groups allow Airmen and Guardians to provide additional, candid, anonymous feedback about Air Force and Space Force in greater depth than they can through survey responses. 

Personnel are encouraged to volunteer for focus groups if their unit chooses to participate. Opportunities will be announced through base Public Affairs offices. 

“The surveys help us focus on areas where Airmen and Guardians have concerns about how we’re communicating, or where we might be able to reinforce a positive trend,” said Dr. Tadd Sholtis, Chief of Strategy and Assessments for SAF/PA. “The focus groups give us the best ideas about how they think we should do that. We really need good, thoughtful participation in both to deliver what people need and want.” 

Research on the Department’s communication programs has been conducted approximately every two years since 1997. In that time, results from the surveys informed when and how the Department transitioned from print to digital media, refined how senior leaders and organizations engage on social media, sustained continuing emphasis on supporting in-person and email communication, and helped the new Space Force define a way forward on informing Guardians, Sholtis said. 

“When we ask people what we can do better as a department or a service, communication is usually toward the top of the list,” Sholtis said. “The WAGGI is a very important tool that gives us solid data and personal perspectives about how to improve our command information plans and products. If you want to be better informed, taking the time to participate in the WAGGI is the single best thing you can do to ensure that.”