Date of Award

December 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Public Relations


Roy S. Gutterman


Coast Guard, Excellence Study, Management roles, Middle management, Military, Public Affairs

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


As is the nature of any organization, the U.S. Coast Guard is constantly seeking to improve its functions, operations, policies and procedures. In terms of communications, the service’s Public Affairs Program has instituted a number of different competencies and qualifications to better prepare candidates as they approach the next rank. This study sought to provide an outline of the middle-management component as it exists within the public affairs element and compare the findings to those published in the Excellence Study to assist the service by providing a basis from which additional policy recommendations could be made.

The study was conducted through an examination of two occupational surveys, focusing on the findings most relevant to the middle-management component in regard to their role within the public affairs command structure, their professional orientation a culminating term referencing their education, training and experience, and their job satisfaction, which informs to the overall organizational culture and structure of the military public affairs program.

The findings indicate that the public affairs middle management are strictly confined to the role of the Expert Prescriber or that of a communications subject matter expert, who makes prescriptive contributions, but rarely stimulates dialogue on the subject. In terms of professional orientation, the middle-management component has a menu of internal trainings available through the Defense Information School, which facilitates increased departmental professional orientation – the foundation of communications excellence. Lastly, the level of job satisfaction identified through the surveys spoke to the organizational type of Formalization, which is a type unique for its

strict, militaristic adherence to policy and procedure. While this type has been found to have negative impacts on job satisfaction as it applies to autonomy and creativity, it also was found to have a positive impact in terms of clarity of direction and operations, which increases job satisfaction.


Open Access



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