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New program lets Airmen speak their mind

WASHINGTON -- A group of Airmen and USAF civilians are being invited to become the Air Force's Internal Communication Assessment Group, called the ICAG. Internal communication refers to how the Air Force delivers information to Airmen and USAF civilians. Senior Air Force leaders want to know Airmen's interests, opinions, and preferences on receiving Air Force information. Group members will receive quick monthly surveys which will provide leaders with feedback, influencing decisions on how the Air Force communicates.

"Senior Air Force leaders will use the ICAG's monthly inputs to inform and aid them in making decisions on when and how to communicate important information to our Airmen and civilians," said Brigadier General Erv Lessel, Director of Communication at Air Force Headquarters in the Pentagon. "A tiny investment of just five minutes every month from participants will make a big difference."

This program is designed to provide timely insights that represent the wide-ranging views of the entire Air Force community. Because needs and interests differ by grade, career field, duty location, Major Command, and so forth, the ICAG will include Airmen and Air Force civilians representing all ranks, career fields and locations. To ensure the group accurately reflects the diversity of the Air Force, the Air Force Manpower Agency assisted in selecting a sample from across the service. Airmen and Air Force civilians included in this sample soon will soon receive an e-mail invitation from Gen Lessel asking them to participate in the group.

"This is an entirely new idea for helping our leadership stay tuned in to Airmen," said Gen Lessel. "We have great hopes for it, but we need the help of Airmen from across the service. For those who are invited to participate, I'd ask that they please consider volunteering."

Those who agree to participate will receive an e-mail each month with a link to a very short, web-based questionnaire. The topics will vary from month to month, so the program should stay interesting. Regardless of the topic, each monthly questionnaire should only take about five minutes to complete.

"We realize that our people are very busy doing the mission, so it's important that we keep the questionnaires short," Gen Lessel said. "That's one reason we're doing monthly surveys, instead of a large, annual study. The other reason is that a monthly approach allows us to ask Airmen about emerging issues."

This is purely a voluntary program and participants can be confident that their identities will not be revealed. No answers will ever be linked to individual Airmen and all responses will be treated as confidential by the independent research contractors managing the group.