Missileer Burnout?

An unpublished RAND study commissioned by the Air Force and obtained by the Associated Press found that members of the nuclear missile force have low job satisfaction and often feel job-related “burnout,” according to the AP report published Nov. 20. During the three-month study, RAND conducted confidential interviews with some 100 airmen, including 13 launch control officers, security forces personnel, missile maintenance workers, and others in the missile field. Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Lt. Col. John Sheets told the Daily Report the study is “useful for commanders.” However, he said it also must be considered in the context of other studies with larger sample pools, such as the Unit Climate Assessments (3,500-plus participants), the Air Force Culture Assessments Safety Tool (7,000-plus participants), as well as senior leader visits with airmen. “Morale scores across our missile wings are actually comparable to the Air Force average, ranging from neutral to fairly positive,” said Sheets. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told the AP there is no evidence of fundamental problems in the ICBM community. “There are issues like there are in every other mission area we have in the United States military, and we deal with the issues as they come up, and we deal with them aggressively. But, as far as getting the job done, they’re getting the job done. They do a great job of that every single day,” said Welsh. (Continue to full report)