Notes on AFH-1, 1 Nov 21, Chapter 14, Developing Self


9 Feb 2022. The 2021 Air Force Handbook is not available yet. The E-5 and E-6 Study Guides were posted to the official Air Force website (https://www.studyguides.af.mil/) on 1 Feb 2022. This website was updated using the content from the E-6 Study Guide under the assumption that because both study guides were excerpts taken from the Air Force Handbook, they would be the same. However, there are minor differences between the two study guides as noted below. In addition, the phrases, "Air Force" and "Regular Air Force" were replaced globally by "USAF" and "RegAF" in the E-5 Study Guide. Questions related to these differences have been removed or edited, as necessary, to ensure accuracy.


Section A (14.1. - 14.4.) is new material. The rest of the chapter is the same as the previous edition's (2019 AFH-1) Chapter 15, Communication.




Differences Between 2021 E-5 and E-6 Study Guides

2021 E5 Study Guide

14.1. Accountability
Accountability is defined as demonstrating reliability and honesty, and taking responsibility for the behaviors of self and team. Accountability is at the core of what it means to be an Airman. In surveys of USAF members, Accountability has been consistently rated as the most important foundational competency for success in an USAF career.
Accountability requires leading by example, admitting mistakes, and doing the right thing even when it is unpopular or difficult. Accountable Airmen embody the USAF Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do -and take personal responsibility even when faced with the most challenging situations.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.1. Accountability
Accountability is defined as demonstrating reliability and honesty, and taking responsibility for the behaviors of self and team. Accountability is at the core of what it means to be an Airman. In surveys of Air Force members, Accountability has been consistently rated as the most important Foundational Competency for success in an Air Force career.
Accountability requires leading by example, admitting mistakes, and doing the right thing even when it is unpopular or difficult. Accountable Airmen embody the Air Force Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do -and take personal responsibility even when faced with the most challenging situations.

2021 E5 Study Guide

14.7. Enterprise Perspective
Having an enterprise perspective in strategic communication empowers USAF leaders to inform and appropriately influence key audiences by synchronizing and integrating communication efforts to deliver truthful, timely, accurate, and credible information, analysis, and opinion. Truth is the foundation of all public communications, both in terms of credibility and capability. Timely and agile dissemination of information is essential to achieving desired effects. Without appropriate information dissemination, strategic communication cannot maximize value or potential. It must be conducted at the time, level, and manner for which it is intended.
Our USAF Story. Effectively communicating who we are as Airmen underwrites our ability to be successful in all areas of engagement. USAF leaders want every Airman to be a communicator or spokesperson for the USAF, and through the enterprise perspective, be able to tell their USAF story. All Airmen need to know how to integrate their personal USAF story and experience into a message that adds credibility to USAF, Department of Defense, and national strategic communication.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.7. Enterprise Perspective
Having an enterprise perspective in strategic communication empowers Air Force leaders to inform and appropriately influence key audiences by synchronizing and integrating communication efforts to deliver truthful, timely, accurate, and credible information, analysis, and opinion. Truth is the foundation of all public communications, both in terms of credibility and capability. Timely and agile dissemination of information is essential to achieving desired effects. Without appropriate information dissemination, strategic communication cannot maximize value or potential. It must be conducted at the time, level, and manner for which it is intended.
Our Air Force Story. Effectively communicating who we are as Airmen underwrites our ability to be successful in all areas of engagement. Air Force leaders want every Airman to be a communicator or spokesperson for the Air Force, and through the enterprise perspective, be able to tell their Air Force story. All Airmen need to know how to integrate their personal Air Force story and experience into a message that adds credibility to Air Force, Department of Defense, and national strategic communication.

2021 E5 Study Guide

14.8. Public Affairs
An important aspect of communication is speaking in public forums and recognizing the need for strategic communication alignment; this involves communication synchronization. As stated in AFI 1-1, the purpose of Public Affairs (PA) operations is to communicate timely, accurate, and useful information about USAF activities to Department of Defense, the USAF, as well as domestic and international audiences. The PA representative is the commander's principal spokesperson and advisor, and a member of the personal staff. PA advises the commander on the implications of command decisions, actions, and operations on foreign and domestic public perceptions. PA plans, executes, and evaluates activities and events to support overall operational success. The PA representative must have the resources to provide information, including visual information, to the staff, public, media, and subordinate units in near real time. PA should be involved in planning, decision-making, training, equipping, and executing operations as well as integrating PA activities into all levels of command. Additional information regarding public affairs can be found in AFI 35-101, Public Affairs Operations, 20 November 2020.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.8. Public Affairs
An important aspect of communication is speaking in public forums and recognizing the need for strategic communication alignment; this involves communication synchronization. As stated in AFI 1-1, Air Force Standards, the purpose of Public Affairs (PA) operations is to communicate timely, accurate, and useful information about Air Force activities to Department of Defense, the Air Force, as well as domestic and international audiences. The PA representative is the commander's principal spokesperson and advisor, and a member of the personal staff. PA advises the commander on the implications of command decisions, actions, and operations on foreign and domestic public perceptions. PA plans, executes, and evaluates activities and events to support overall operational success. The PA representative must have the resources to provide information, including visual information, to the staff, public, media, and subordinate units in near real time. PA should be involved in planning, decision-making, training, equipping, and executing operations as well as integrating PA activities into all levels of command. Additional information regarding public affairs can be found in AFI 35-101, Public Affairs Responsibilities and Management.

The Air Force publishing website lists the title of AFI 35-101 as Public Affairs Procedures, 7 Dec 2020, but both versions of the study guides have other titles. Changed test references to Public Affairs Procedures.


2021 E5 Study Guide

14.9. Social Media
Airmen interact with individuals via face-to-face, telephone, written letter, e-mail, text messages, social networking services, and social media. Social networking include weblogs, message boards, video sharing, and services, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, used by individuals and communities to stay in touch.
Appropriate Posts. Individuals are responsible for what they say, share, or post on social networking services. Offensive and inappropriate communication must be avoided. Also, Airmen who provide commentary and opinions on internet blogs may not place comments on those blog sites which reasonably can be anticipated or are intended to degrade morale, good order, and discipline of any members or units in the U.S. Armed Forces; are service-discrediting; or would degrade the trust and confidence of the public. Additionally, it is important to recognize that social network "friends" and "followers" may potentially constitute relationships that could affect background investigations and periodic reinvestigations associated with security clearances. Additional information regarding social media can be found in: AFH 33-337, AFI 35-107, Public Web and Social Communication; 15 March 2017, and AFI 35-113, Command Information, 30 July 2018.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.9. Social Media
Airmen interact with individuals via face-to-face, telephone, written letter, e-mail, text messages, social networking services, and social media. Social networking include weblogs, message boards, video sharing, and services, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, used by individuals and communities to stay in touch.
Appropriate Posts. Individuals are responsible for what they say, share, or post on social networking services. Offensive and inappropriate communication must be avoided. Also, Airmen who provide commentary and opinions on internet blogs may not place comments on those blog sites which reasonably can be anticipated or are intended to degrade morale, good order, and discipline of any members or units in the U.S. Armed Forces; are service-discrediting; or would degrade the trust and confidence of the public. Additionally, it is important to recognize that social network "friends" and "followers" may potentially constitute relationships that could affect background investigations and periodic reinvestigations associated with security clearances. Additional information regarding social media can be found in: AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill; AFI 35-107, Public Web and Social Communications; and AFI 35-113, Command Information.





Changes Between 2019 AFH-1 and 2021 E-6 Study Guide


Section 14A, Accountability and Self-Management

Paragraphs 14-1 - 14.4. (All of Section A) is new material.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.1. Accountability

Accountability is defined as demonstrating reliability and honesty, and taking responsibility for the behaviors of self and team. Accountability is at the core of what it means to be an Airman. In surveys of Air Force members, Accountability has been consistently rated as the most important Foundational Competency for success in an Air Force career.

Accountability requires leading by example, admitting mistakes, and doing the right thing even when it is unpopular or difficult. Accountable Airmen embody the Air Force Core Values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do -and take personal responsibility even when faced with the most challenging situations.

You may not always recognize the important role your actions (or inaction) can play in a situation. Taking personal responsibility requires:

- Understanding the significance and potential irreversibility of failing to act

- Recognizing your competence and ability to take the steps that are needed in a given situation (self-efficacy)

- Acting out of a sense of personal control (autonomy)

For example, imagine you are working in a nuclear facility. You find out that one of your friends, a nuclear weapons specialist, has been cheating on his exams to maintain weapons system certification. Do you report him? What if your supervisor tells you to ignore the issue?

Imagine you are working as a Military Training Instructor. You observe one of your peers pushing his trainees too hard, yelling obscenities at them when they make mistakes, and forcing them to train more hours than is authorized. Will you say something? What if your immediate leadership is pressuring your peer to work his trainees more hours in order to meet training goals?

Significance. In each of these situations, try to understand the significance of the situation by thinking about the bigger picture.

1. What if the same way you responded to your co-worker in these situations was the way other people in the Air Force were responding in similar situations?

That is, what would happen if not just one, but many, MTIs pushed their trainees too hard, to the point of physical injury? What would happen if not just one, but many, nuclear weapons specialists didn't have sufficient expertise to repair key equipment or correctly follow emergency procedures?

2. What does the way you would respond to these situations say about who you are as a person?

Are you someone who cheats and enables cheaters? Are you someone who looks the other way when there are potential risks to security? Are you someone who fails to stand up for the most junior and vulnerable Airmen among us?

Self-Efficacy. Self-efficacy is a person's belief in their ability to address a situation, based on the skills they have and the circumstances they face. Recognize your own personal strengths and think about how you can bring your skills to bear on a situation.

For example, you can use your communication skills (reflection, active listening, and recognition of non-verbal cues) and influence your peers by appealing to reason or shared values. You can demonstrate perseverance and persist in addressing an issue with others. You can take initiative and try to help peers see situations as opportunities to learn. Try to make use of your unique strengths and talents -maybe you can teach your friend (the nuclear weapons specialist) better study techniques to help him learn the material needed to pass his weapons system exams; maybe you can show your friend (the MTI) better teaching techniques or coach him on how to exercise self-control and patience when correcting trainees. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities to address challenging situations.

Autonomy. Ultimately you are your own person. You make your own decisions on your actions or inactions. You have the freedom to choose how to respond to a situation. Even if so-called "leaders" or "friends" try to pressure you otherwise, you can act to support the greater good.

2019 Air Force Handbook

Not in 2019 AFH-1

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.2. Perseverance

As Airmen, we understand that "Excellence in All We Do" entails striving for continual self-improvement. But too often the way we think about our abilities may hold us back.

Psychologists distinguish two mindsets regarding ability and other personal qualities. Fixed mindset refers to the belief that a person's intelligence and other personal qualities are mostly permanent; that you are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to really change that. In contrast, growth mindset refers to the belief in the capacity to fundamentally improve and significantly change the kind of person you are. Growth mindset entails a recognition that past mistakes or failures don't define who you are or who you can become.

People with a fixed mindset are likely to give up easily when things get hard. They are constantly trying to prove themselves (prove their intelligence, prove their natural talent) and if they don't excel at first, may believe there is not much that can be done to change that. They tend to be overly sensitive about being wrong or making mistakes because they think their (initial) failures reflect a lack of ability that can't be changed. They may view exerting effort as evidence of inability.

People with a growth mindset are likely to persist when learning new things, and persevere on even the most difficult tasks. They put in effort and focus on improving, recognizing that challenges are needed in order to develop and grow. They don't get defensive about mistakes, failure, or negative feedback, and don't feel threatened by the success of others, because they don't view an initial lack of ability as permanent.

If you are someone who holds a fixed mindset, you can begin to change your perspective and become more perseverant:

1. Remind yourself of the differences between the fixed and growth mindsets every day.Remember that when people with a growth mindset set goals they:

a. Persist in the face of setbacks

b. Embrace challenges (actively seek out difficult tasks as an opportunity to learn)

c. Value effort as the path to mastery

d. Seek feedback and learn from criticism

e. Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

2. Ask yourself, "What are the opportunities for learning and growth today?" then form a plan and begin to act on it.

3. As you encounter inevitable obstacles and setbacks, form a new plan to continue learning.

4. When you succeed, don't forget to ask yourself: "What do I have to do to maintain and continue the growth?"

2019 Air Force Handbook

Not in 2019 AFH-1

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.3. Self-Control

Airmen should recognize the need to exhibit self-control as part of the Air Force Core Values of Integrity First and Service Before Self.

Self-control refers to a person's ability to override or restrain their inner responses or impulses. This includes keeping emotions under control in difficult situations, handling temptations and avoiding inappropriate behavior (e.g., controlling one's urges to overeat or smoke, or restraining a tendency to yell or curse when angry). Understanding both the limitations of one's self-control and one's ability to strengthen it may be important to consistently demonstrate self-control when needed.

Self-Control is Limited. Like a muscle, our self-control is limited and gets depleted with heavy use. Controlling strong urges is a heavy lift, and we can expend only so much effort before our efforts begin to fail.

As a result, changing the situation to reduce temptation is more likely to prevent inappropriate behavior than expending effort to try to internally control urges. For example, if you love potato chips and have a tendency to overeat, it will be more effective to keep chips out of the house altogether ("out of sight is out of mind") than to try to "will" yourself to eat just one. Some self-control may be needed to pass up the chips aisle at the grocery store, but far stronger self-control would be needed to avoid eating an open bag of chips that has been sitting in front of you for hours at home.

The same principle applies to avoiding inappropriate behavior when angry or upset. Removing yourself from situations that are likely to cause you to become angry (avoiding potential "triggers") will be more likely to prevent outbursts than simply exerting effort internally to try to control anger in difficult situations.

Self-Control Can Become Stronger. Like a muscle, self-control can be made stronger with practice. Regularly practicing small acts of self-control, interspersed with rest, can strengthen self-control over time. Further, improving self-control in one domain (e.g., controlling urges to overeat) has been shown to improve self-control in other domains as well (e.g., controlling other impulses, such as the tendency to curse or yell when angry).

Studies have found that even two weeks of deliberate, daily practice to inhibit an urge or behavior can meaningfully improve impulse control:

- Set a target goal requiring self-control (e.g., avoiding sweets and desserts; holding a handgrip for as long as possible, despite physical discomfort)

- Keep a daily record of how much effort and self-control you exert (e.g., declined cookie when offered one that smelled delicious; held the handgrip for X minutes), and reflect on how practicing could improve self-control.

While some people naturally tend to have more self-control than others, with practice, even people with initially poor self-control can get better at exercising restraint, and avoiding temptations.

2019 Air Force Handbook

Not in 2019 AFH-1

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.4. Resilience

How is it that some people seem to "bounce back" from negative experiences so quickly, while others tend to get caught in a rut, seemingly unable to recover and move on? While external factors such as support, relationships, and spirituality all impact resilience, our resilience can also be affected by how we think about stressful situations.

Positive reappraisal refers to the process of re-construing (re-interpreting) stressful events as non-threatening, meaningful, and even contributing to personal growth. This cognitive strategy can help us prepare for stressful events (by embracing challenge), and better cope with past events (by viewing them as opportunities for learning/growth).

Embracing Challenge. Imagine the following situation:

You receive last-minute notice that you will need to give a presentation to an audience of high-ranking members. The stakes are high, and your ability (or inability) to convince the audience will have major consequences on your career.

For most people, this can be a stressful situation. But studies have shown that our ability to manage potentially stressful events like this can be affected by how we frame the situation. Specifically, when we view a situation in terms of threat (e.g., focusing on task difficulty and how other people will evaluate us), our heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure increase and it takes us longer to calm down afterwards.

When we instead frame the same situation in terms of challenge, we tend to recover faster (heart rate, pulse, and blood pressure return to normal more quickly after the event). For example, before going into a stressful situation, you might tell yourself (or one of your Airmen):

"Even though this is a difficult task, it is a challenge that can be met and overcome. I have overcome other challenges in the past, and if I try hard to do my best, I can meet this challenge as well."

When framed this way in terms of challenge, people report experiencing less anxiety about the task, and demonstrate faster recovery.

Viewing Negative Events as Opportunities for Growth.

Sometimes negative events happen to everyone -your presentation went poorly and you received a poor performance evaluation. Or you experienced adversity outside of work -you got divorced, were in an accident, experienced the death of a family member, etc.

Experts recommend reflecting on the problems and challenges we have faced. Try to make sense of the circumstances and ask yourself:

- Is there something you could learn from this situation?
- Can you envision something good coming out of dealing with this problem?
- How could the event change your life in a positive way?
- How could you find benefit in this situation in the long-term?

Some examples of cognitive reappraisal to learn or grow from otherwise negative events:

- Someone who has a heart attack might view the event as a "wake up call" and chance to modify their lifestyle and begin to change their diet.
- Someone whose spouse becomes seriously ill might view the need for caregiving as deepening their relationship and level of intimacy.
- Someone who has been abused might view their survival as evidence of their strength, and they might decide to dedicate their life to helping others make similar recoveries.

Importantly, there is often the opportunity to learn from even more mundane stressful events. For example, having been treated rudely by a supervisor, one might learn how to relate more effectively with one's own subordinates in the future (i.e., having understanding of what type of supervisory behavior to avoid).

Rather than a wishful denial of reality, cognitive reappraisal allows us to actively find meaning in adversity so that we can flexibly grow and adapt longer term.

2019 Air Force Handbook

Not in 2019 AFH-1




Section 14B, Military Communication

Paragraph 14.5. is new introductory content.

Paragraphs 14.6. - 14.12. (All of Section 14B): No Changes

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.5. Communication as a Foundational Competency

Communication (oral, written, and nonverbal) is critical throughout an Air Force career. Recognized as a Foundational Competency, the Air Force has defined effective communication to include diverse skills such as:

- Presenting complex information articulately and concisely
- Tailoring communication to address concerns of the audience
- Voicing differing opinions on contentious issues without triggering a defensive response
- Attending to non-verbal cues and communicating with sensitivity to others' needs

This chapter addresses Communication in its many forms within the Air Force, from high-level strategic communication to routine meetings and email writing. While some communication formats described in this chapter are specific to the military, many of the communication principles described later in this chapter will serve members well even when transitioning to civilian careers.

2019 Air Force Handbook

Not in 2019 AFH-1

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.6 Strategic Communication

Airmen must ensure audiences know and understand what the Air Force needs, where we are going, and how we can be positioned for success. Air Force Communication Waypoints provides the tools needed to clearly articulate the Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power of the future. Because communication can be broken into three parts: the sender, the message, and the audience, we must be aware of and responsible for how we communicate, including the way our communication is perceived by others. Strategic communication is viewed as an emerging and extremely important concept, resulting in strategic communication being designated as a special area of emphasis.

Strategic Communication - Defined. The Department of Defense broadly defines strategic communication as a process of purposefully using communication for the intent of advancing national interests and objectives through synchronized integration of information with other elements of national power. Communication synchronization entails focused efforts to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of national interests, policies, and objectives by understanding and engaging key audiences through the use of coordinated actions. In other words, strategic communication is implemented by aligning actions, words, and images with the purpose of obtaining a specific objective or objectives. Leaders use strategic messaging to advocate the unique functions and distinct capabilities of airpower to project national influence and respond to national defense requirements.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.1. Strategic Communication

Airmen must ensure audiences know and understand what the Air Force needs, where we are going, and how we can be positioned for success. Air Force Communication Waypoints provides the tools needed to clearly articulate the Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power of the future. Because communication can be broken into three parts: the sender, the message, and the audience, we must be aware of and responsible for how we communicate, including the way our communication is perceived by others. Strategic communication is viewed as an emerging and extremely important concept, resulting in strategic communication being designated as a special area of emphasis.

Strategic Communication - Defined. The Department of Defense broadly defines strategic communication as a process of purposefully using communication for the intent of advancing national interests and objectives through synchronized integration of information with other elements of national power. Communication synchronization entails focused efforts to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of national interests, policies, and objectives by understanding and engaging key audiences through the use of coordinated actions. In other words, strategic communication is implemented by aligning actions, words, and images with the purpose of obtaining a specific objective or objectives. Leaders use strategic messaging to advocate the unique functions and distinct capabilities of airpower to project national influence and respond to national defense requirements.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.7. Enterprise Perspective

Having an enterprise perspective in strategic communication empowers Air Force leaders to inform and appropriately influence key audiences by synchronizing and integrating communication efforts to deliver truthful, timely, accurate, and credible information, analysis, and opinion. Truth is the foundation of all public communications, both in terms of credibility and capability. Timely and agile dissemination of information is essential to achieving desired effects. Without appropriate information dissemination, strategic communication cannot maximize value or potential. It must be conducted at the time, level, and manner for which it is intended.

Our Air Force Story. Effectively communicating who we are as Airmen underwrites our ability to be successful in all areas of engagement. Air Force leaders want every Airman to be a communicator or spokesperson for the Air Force, and through the enterprise perspective, be able to tell their Air Force story. All Airmen need to know how to integrate their personal Air Force story and experience into a message that adds credibility to Air Force, Department of Defense, and national strategic communication.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.2. Enterprise Perspective

Having an enterprise perspective in strategic communication empowers Air Force leaders to inform and appropriately influence key audiences by synchronizing and integrating communication efforts to deliver truthful, timely, accurate, and credible information, analysis, and opinion. Truth is the foundation of all public communications, both in terms of credibility and capability. Timely and agile dissemination of information is essential to achieving desired effects. Without appropriate information dissemination, strategic communication cannot maximize value or potential. It must be conducted at the time, level, and manner for which it is intended.

Our Air Force Story. Effectively communicating who we are as Airmen underwrites our ability to be successful in all areas of engagement. Air Force leaders want every Airman to be a communicator or spokesperson for the Air Force, and through the enterprise perspective, be able to tell their Air Force story. All Airmen need to know how to integrate their personal Air Force story and experience into a message that adds credibility to Air Force, Department of Defense, and national strategic communication.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.8. Public Affairs

An important aspect of communication is speaking in public forums and recognizing the need for strategic communication alignment; this involves communication synchronization. As stated in AFI 1-1, Air Force Standards, the purpose of Public Affairs (PA) operations is to communicate timely, accurate, and useful information about Air Force activities to Department of Defense, the Air Force, as well as domestic and international audiences. The PA representative is the commander's principal spokesperson and advisor, and a member of the personal staff. PA advises the commander on the implications of command decisions, actions, and operations on foreign and domestic public perceptions. PA plans, executes, and evaluates activities and events to support overall operational success. The PA representative must have the resources to provide information, including visual information, to the staff, public, media, and subordinate units in near real time. PA should be involved in planning, decision-making, training, equipping, and executing operations as well as integrating PA activities into all levels of command. Additional information regarding public affairs can be found in AFI 35-101, Public Affairs Responsibilities and Management.

Note: Although briefly covered in standards of conduct and enforcing standards, propriety and perception, it is important to mention that any activity not in alignment with good order, discipline, and national security may intentionally or unintentionally generate a negative perception of the Air Force. Commanders have the authority and responsibility to address situations that could be perceived negatively, while also being mindful of preserving the service member's right of expression within these interests. More specific restrictions on communications and unofficial publications can be found in AFI 51-508, Political Activities, Free Speech and Freedom of Assembly of Air Force Personnel.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.3. Public Affairs

An important aspect of communication is speaking in public forums and recognizing the need for strategic communication alignment; this involves communication synchronization. As stated in AFI 1-1, Air Force Standards, the purpose of Public Affairs (PA) operations is to communicate timely, accurate, and useful information about Air Force activities to Department of Defense, the Air Force, as well as domestic and international audiences. The PA representative is the commander's principal spokesperson and advisor, and a member of the personal staff. PA advises the commander on the implications of command decisions, actions, and operations on foreign and domestic public perceptions. PA plans, executes, and evaluates activities and events to support overall operational success. The PA representative must have the resources to provide information, including visual information, to the staff, public, media, and subordinate units in near real time. PA should be involved in planning, decision-making, training, equipping, and executing operations as well as integrating PA activities into all levels of command. Additional information regarding public affairs can be found in AFI 35-101, Public Affairs Responsibilities and Management.

Note: Although briefly covered in standards of conduct and enforcing standards, propriety and perception, it is important to mention that any activity not in alignment with good order, discipline, and national security may intentionally or unintentionally generate a negative perception of the Air Force. Commanders have the authority and responsibility to address situations that could be perceived negatively, while also being mindful of preserving the service member's right of expression within these interests. More specific restrictions on communications and unofficial publications can be found in AFI 51-508, Political Activities, Free Speech and Freedom of Assembly of Air Force Personnel.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.9. Social Media

Airmen interact with individuals via face-to-face, telephone, written letter, e-mail, text messages, social networking services, and social media. Social networking include weblogs, message boards, video sharing, and services, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, used by individuals and communities to stay in touch.

Appropriate Posts. Individuals are responsible for what they say, share, or post on social networking services. Offensive and inappropriate communication must be avoided. Also, Airmen who provide commentary and opinions on internet blogs may not place comments on those blog sites which reasonably can be anticipated or are intended to degrade morale, good order, and discipline of any members or units in the U.S. Armed Forces; are service-discrediting; or would degrade the trust and confidence of the public. Additionally, it is important to recognize that social network "friends" and "followers" may potentially constitute relationships that could affect background investigations and periodic reinvestigations associated with security clearances. Additional information regarding social media can be found in: AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill; AFI 35-107, Public Web and Social Communications; and AFI 35-113, Command Information.

Operational Security. Operational security is vital to the accomplishment of the Air Force mission. The use of social media and other forums that allow communication with large numbers of people brings with it the increased risk of magnifying operational security lapses. Classified, for official use only, and other official Department of Defense information and documents are prohibited from being posted on social networking services or transmitted via non-Department of Defense e-mail accounts without proper authority.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.4. Social Media

Airmen interact with individuals via face-to-face, telephone, written letter, e-mail, text messages, social networking services, and social media. Social networking include weblogs, message boards, video sharing, and services, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, used by individuals and communities to stay in touch.

Appropriate Posts. Individuals are responsible for what they say, share, or post on social networking services. Offensive and inappropriate communication must be avoided. Also, Airmen who provide commentary and opinions on internet blogs may not place comments on those blog sites which reasonably can be anticipated or are intended to degrade morale, good order, and discipline of any members or units in the U.S. Armed Forces; are service-discrediting; or would degrade the trust and confidence of the public. Additionally, it is important to recognize that social network "friends" and "followers" may potentially constitute relationships that could affect background investigations and periodic reinvestigations associated with security clearances. Additional information regarding social media can be found in: AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill; AFI 35-107, Public Web and Social Communications; and AFI 35-113, Command Information.

Operational Security. Operational security is vital to the accomplishment of the Air Force mission. The use of social media and other forums that allow communication with large numbers of people brings with it the increased risk of magnifying operational security lapses. Classified, for official use only, and other official Department of Defense information and documents are prohibited from being posted on social networking services or transmitted via non-Department of Defense e-mail accounts without proper authority.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.10. Military References for Communicating

JP 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, supplements English-language dictionaries and standardizes terminology used within the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and among the United States and its allies. It is a compilation of definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms applicable to the Department of Defense and its components, often used as a primary source for official correspondence and planning documents.

The Air University Style Guide for Writers and Editors (AU-1) provides guidance on writing, editing, and publishing matters related to official publications for the Air University. Also, AU-1 is a valuable reference for grammar, mechanics, and documentation of sources for those with an interest in military acronyms, ranks, and specialized military terms.

The US Government Printing Office Style Manual is the approved reference for all forms and styles of government printing. Essentially, the style manual is a standardization reference designed to achieve uniformity in word and type, aimed toward economy of word use.

The Tongue and Quill is not an all-inclusive reference, but provides valuable, detailed information on most presentations and papers produced in professional military education courses.

References, such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Guide, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide, are widely recognized in the civilian sector and organizations following college and university writing standards. They provide useful information when conducting research or developing written products.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.5. Military References for Communicating

JP 1-02, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, supplements English-language dictionaries and standardizes terminology used within the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, and among the United States and its allies. It is a compilation of definitions, abbreviations, and acronyms applicable to the Department of Defense and its components, often used as a primary source for official correspondence and planning documents.

The Air University Style Guide for Writers and Editors (AU-1) provides guidance on writing, editing, and publishing matters related to official publications for the Air University. Also, AU-1 is a valuable reference for grammar, mechanics, and documentation of sources for those with an interest in military acronyms, ranks, and specialized military terms.

The US Government Printing Office Style Manual is the approved reference for all forms and styles of government printing. Essentially, the style manual is a standardization reference designed to achieve uniformity in word and type, aimed toward economy of word use.

The Tongue and Quill is not an all-inclusive reference, but provides valuable, detailed information on most presentations and papers produced in professional military education courses.

References, such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style Guide, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide, are widely recognized in the civilian sector and organizations following college and university writing standards. They provide useful information when conducting research or developing written products.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.11. Military Phonetic Alphabet

All branches of the U.S. Government and military departments use the International Civil Aviation Organization alphabet for radio communication. This phonetic alphabet was adopted by the U.S. Armed Forces in 1956, and is currently used by North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries and civil aviation around the world. Table 14.1. shows the letters, code words, and pronunciation.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.6. Military Phonetic Alphabet

All branches of the U.S. Government and military departments use the International Civil Aviation Organization alphabet for radio communication. This phonetic alphabet was adopted by the U.S. Armed Forces in 1956, and is currently used by North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries and civil aviation around the world. Table 15.1. shows the letters, code words, and pronunciation.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.12. Organizational Communication

Organizational communication refers to the strategic sharing of information, both internally and externally, within and across the organizational industry. Leaders must exhibit solid organizational communication skills to accomplish organization- and mission-related goals. Creating a culture of communication and maintaining relevance empowers people to own the organizational communication message at every level. According to Caldwell, Stroud, and Menning, in Fostering a Culture of Engagement, to be effective, an organizational culture must be proactive, innovative, adaptive, leader driven, and sustainable.

Proactive. To be proactive means to seize the initiative and be agile in communicating the message. The capacity to be proactive enables leaders to get out front and communicate their perspectives and experiences on important topics.

Innovative. To be innovative means to exercise ingenuity in seeking new effective ways of communicating. Relying on more than raw creative thinking, innovation requires an understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of information sharing and the pace of change.

Adaptive. Adaptive, modern communication capabilities thrive in a fast-evolving, instantaneous, and interconnected information environment that presents challenges to rigid and inflexible organizations. The key to success in this environment is adjusting to changing circumstances on the run.

Leader Driven. Air Force leaders must confront modern media realities by fostering a culture of engagement in their subordinates and commands. Leaders set the command climate by making themselves available for communication, especially during times of crisis.

Sustainable. Leadership is essential to instilling focus and function for the culture of engagement. Sustainability requires dedicated resources and manpower to build enduring capabilities to enable a culture of engagement.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.7. Organizational Communication

Organizational communication refers to the strategic sharing of information, both internally and externally, within and across the organizational industry. Leaders must exhibit solid organizational communication skills to accomplish organization- and mission-related goals. Creating a culture of communication and maintaining relevance empowers people to own the organizational communication message at every level. According to Caldwell, Stroud, and Menning, in Fostering a Culture of Engagement, to be effective, an organizational culture must be proactive, innovative, adaptive, leader driven, and sustainable.

Proactive. To be proactive means to seize the initiative and be agile in communicating the message. The capacity to be proactive enables leaders to get out front and communicate their perspectives and experiences on important topics.

Innovative. To be innovative means to exercise ingenuity in seeking new effective ways of communicating. Relying on more than raw creative thinking, innovation requires an understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of information sharing and the pace of change.

Adaptive. Adaptive, modern communication capabilities thrive in a fast-evolving, instantaneous, and interconnected information environment that presents challenges to rigid and inflexible organizations. The key to success in this environment is adjusting to changing circumstances on the run.

Leader Driven. Air Force leaders must confront modern media realities by fostering a culture of engagement in their subordinates and commands. Leaders set the command climate by making themselves available for communication, especially during times of crisis.

Sustainable. Leadership is essential to instilling focus and function for the culture of engagement. Sustainability requires dedicated resources and manpower to build enduring capabilities to enable a culture of engagement.




Section 14C, Preparing to Communicate

Paragraphs 14.13. - 14.17. (All of Section C): No Changes

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.13. Communicating Intent

Like many things, good communication requires preparation. Preparation is the most important aspect, and sometimes the time best spent, with regard to good communication. By being prepared, speakers show audiences that they value their time as well as the topic of interest. Being prepared enhances a speaker's confidence as well as their credibility when communicating a message. Confidence will be a great factor in successful delivery of the message, along with additional aspects covered here for establishing strong spoken communication skills.

Success as a military leader requires the ability to think critically and creatively. It is also crucial to be able to communicate intentions and decisions to others. The ability to communicate clearly -to write, speak, and actively listen -greatly impacts the capacity to inform, teach, motivate, mentor, and lead others. Communicating intent and ideas so others understand the message and act on it is one of the primary qualities of leadership.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.8. Communicating Intent

Like many things, good communication requires preparation. Preparation is the most important aspect, and sometimes the time best spent, with regard to good communication. By being prepared, speakers show audiences that they value their time as well as the topic of interest. Being prepared enhances a speaker's confidence as well as their credibility when communicating a message. Confidence will be a great factor in successful delivery of the message, along with additional aspects covered here for establishing strong spoken communication skills.

Success as a military leader requires the ability to think critically and creatively. It is also crucial to be able to communicate intentions and decisions to others. The ability to communicate clearly -to write, speak, and actively listen -greatly impacts the capacity to inform, teach, motivate, mentor, and lead others. Communicating intent and ideas so others understand the message and act on it is one of the primary qualities of leadership.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.14. Principles of Effective Communication

Communication requires a combination of the appropriate quality and quantity of information sharing. While communication can be broken into three parts: the sender, the message, and the audience, for communication to be successful the audience must not only receive the message, but they must interpret the message the way the sender intended. This section addresses five core principles of communication: focused, organized, clear, understanding, and supported (FOCUS).

Focused. Being focused means understanding what the issue is, considering all aspects of the issue, and not straying from the issue. Address the issue, the whole issue, and nothing but the issue.

Organized. Good organization means presenting information in a logical, systematic manner. When information is not well organized, audiences may become confused, impatient, or inattentive. Even if you are providing useful, relevant information, the importance of your message may be lost to the audience if it is disorganized.

Clear. Communicate with clarity and make each word count. Clear communication occurs when the sender is able to properly articulate and formulate the message to the audience. To communicate clearly, be sure to understand the proper pronunciation of words and how to assemble and punctuate sentences. Also, clear communication often requires getting to the point.

Understanding. Understand your audience and its expectations. Understanding the audience's current knowledge, views, and level of interest regarding a topic helps when sharing ideas with others. Understanding expectations of format and length of response, due date, level of formality, and any staffing requirements helps when responding to a request for information.

Supported. Be sure to support your communication with information that substantiates your position, but does not bring the audience to question your message. Nothing cripples a clearly written, properly punctuated paper quicker than implied data or a distorted argument. Support and logic should be used to build credibility and trust with your audience.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.9. Principles of Effective Communication

Communication requires a combination of the appropriate quality and quantity of information sharing. While communication can be broken into three parts: the sender, the message, and the audience, for communication to be successful the audience must not only receive the message, but they must interpret the message the way the sender intended. This section addresses five core principles of communication: focused, organized, clear, understanding, and supported (FOCUS).

Focused. Being focused means understanding what the issue is, considering all aspects of the issue, and not straying from the issue. Address the issue, the whole issue, and nothing but the issue.

Organized. Good organization means presenting information in a logical, systematic manner. When information is not well organized, audiences may become confused, impatient, or inattentive. Even if you are providing useful, relevant information, the importance of your message may be lost to the audience if it is disorganized.

Clear. Communicate with clarity and make each word count. Clear communication occurs when the sender is able to properly articulate and formulate the message to the audience. To communicate clearly, be sure to understand the proper pronunciation of words and how to assemble and punctuate sentences. Also, clear communication often requires getting to the point.

Understanding. Understand your audience and its expectations. Understanding the audience's current knowledge, views, and level of interest regarding a topic helps when sharing ideas with others. Understanding expectations of format and length of response, due date, level of formality, and any staffing requirements helps when responding to a request for information.

Supported. Be sure to support your communication with information that substantiates your position, but does not bring the audience to question your message. Nothing cripples a clearly written, properly punctuated paper quicker than implied data or a distorted argument. Support and logic should be used to build credibility and trust with your audience.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.15. Seven Steps for Effective Communication

As indicated in AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill, the seven steps for effective communication are fundamental to good speaking and writing skills. The first four steps lay the groundwork for the drafting process of effective communication, steps five through seven are where the communication takes the form of a well prepared message. The seven steps for effective communication and a brief explanation of what they entail are provided here.

1. Analyze Purpose and Audience. Be clear on your purpose and know and understand your audience when preparing to communicate your message. This is often accomplished by determining what your message is and why you are communicating it to your audience. In this step you will want to ask yourself, is your purpose for communicating to direct, inform, persuade, or inspire. Once you know your intent, you can design your message around your purpose statement or the intent you have in mind.

2. Research Your Topic. Be resourceful and informed when preparing to communicate your message. There may be experts in your workplace who you can talk to for insights and advice on researching your topic. Also, information is at our fingertips, so consider what you know and what you don't know, and gather data that is pertinent and relevant to your topic. AFH 33-337, Chapter 4, provides a comprehensive list of online sources, websites, and databases that will prove to be very helpful in gathering information for your topic. You may find it valuable to save many of the links as favorites in your web browser for quick access.

3. Support Your Ideas. Be sure to strengthen your communication by providing information that will support your message. There are a number of ways you can develop a strong message in your communication. It is essential to choose the methods that best enhance your credibility and portray your argument as valid and reliable. Depending on your message and your audience, you may choose to reinforce your position on an issue through evidence using definitions, examples, testimony, or statistics. Focus your approach using trustworthy, accurate, precise, relevant, and sufficient evidence that will support your ideas and gain the trust of your audience.

4. Organize and Outline. Be organized and purposeful in your approach to communicating your message. There are several ways to organize information; you will want to choose the one that allows your message to reach the audience in the best manner possible. There are several patterns available in AFH 33-337, Chapter 6. The pattern you choose will depend greatly on whether your intent is to direct, inform, persuade, or inspire. You may find that your topic is best presented chronologically, using an approach that covers pertinent information in a time-ordered sequence. Or, you may decide that a sequential approach is most appropriate that presents your information in a step-by-step manner.

5. Draft. Be willing to get your thoughts into a draft product. Your draft is just the beginning of formulating your communication into an organized, outlined, purposeful manner. It will not be perfect. As long as you follow the basic structure of having an introduction, body, and conclusion, you will have a template to work with while you sharpen your message, develop your thoughts, and clarify your approach. Keep in mind the structure of your communication and consider including key aspects, such as reaching your audience, following format, and ensuring your message flows with transitions between main points or main ideas. Your efforts will never be a waste of time as long as you remember that your draft is the essential step toward creating your final product. AFH 33-337, Chapter 7, provides several suggestions and examples of how to develop a draft of your message using recommended structure, verbiage, and phrases.

6. Edit. Following the first five steps of the effective communication process will set you up for success, but it will not guarantee a perfect product, and you should not expect your draft to be. That is what steps six and seven are for. Have your draft written early enough to give yourself time to take a break before looking it over through an editing lens. This will allow you to edit with fresh eyes. Think about what you would like to accomplish with your work and keep that in mind as you look over your draft. Consider how it may look or sound to the audience as you edit your work. Whether your communication is written or spoken, you may find value in reading your work out loud to catch areas for improvement that wouldn't have been readily identifiable otherwise. As you review, look for three main aspects of your draft product: 1) review for the big picture, main purpose, length, and flow of ideas; 2) review for paragraph structure, clarity, organization of material, and supporting ideas; then 3) review sentences, phrases, words, grammar, and consider how the audience will perceive or receive the message.

7. Fight for Feedback and Get Approval. Be receptive to feedback from others. Now that you've done your best at formulating your message, it's time to seek feedback. Even the best communicators can overlook key aspects of their messages. In this step, allow your pride in authorship to be set aside and seek pride in other's willingness to review and provide feedback on your work. Communicate up front with your reviewers what your strengths and weaknesses are and let them know why you selected them to provide feedback to you. To best utilize time, express what areas you most likely need feedback on. This will help reviewers know where to focus their efforts and it will enable them to be most helpful to you when providing feedback.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.10. Seven Steps for Effective Communication

As indicated in AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill, the seven steps for effective communication are fundamental to good speaking and writing skills. The first four steps lay the groundwork for the drafting process of effective communication, steps five through seven are where the communication takes the form of a well prepared message. The seven steps for effective communication and a brief explanation of what they entail are provided here.

1. Analyze Purpose and Audience. Be clear on your purpose and know and understand your audience when preparing to communicate your message. This is often accomplished by determining what your message is and why you are communicating it to your audience. In this step you will want to ask yourself, is your purpose for communicating to direct, inform, persuade, or inspire. Once you know your intent, you can design your message around your purpose statement or the intent you have in mind.

2. Research Your Topic. Be resourceful and informed when preparing to communicate your message. There may be experts in your workplace who you can talk to for insights and advice on researching your topic. Also, information is at our fingertips, so consider what you know and what you don't know, and gather data that is pertinent and relevant to your topic. AFH 33-337, Chapter 4, provides a comprehensive list of online sources, websites, and databases that will prove to be very helpful in gathering information for your topic. You may find it valuable to save many of the links as favorites in your web browser for quick access.

3. Support Your Ideas. Be sure to strengthen your communication by providing information that will support your message. There are a number of ways you can develop a strong message in your communication. It is essential to choose the methods that best enhance your credibility and portray your argument as valid and reliable. Depending on your message and your audience, you may choose to reinforce your position on an issue through evidence using definitions, examples, testimony, or statistics. Focus your approach using trustworthy, accurate, precise, relevant, and sufficient evidence that will support your ideas and gain the trust of your audience.

4. Organize and Outline. Be organized and purposeful in your approach to communicating your message. There are several ways to organize information; you will want to choose the one that allows your message to reach the audience in the best manner possible. There are several patterns available in AFH 33-337, Chapter 6. The pattern you choose will depend greatly on whether your intent is to direct, inform, persuade, or inspire. You may find that your topic is best presented chronologically, using an approach that covers pertinent information in a time-ordered sequence. Or, you may decide that a sequential approach is most appropriate that presents your information in a step-by-step manner.

5. Draft. Be willing to get your thoughts into a draft product. Your draft is just the beginning of formulating your communication into an organized, outlined, purposeful manner. It will not be perfect. As long as you follow the basic structure of having an introduction, body, and conclusion, you will have a template to work with while you sharpen your message, develop your thoughts, and clarify your approach. Keep in mind the structure of your communication and consider including key aspects, such as reaching your audience, following format, and ensuring your message flows with transitions between main points or main ideas. Your efforts will never be a waste of time as long as you remember that your draft is the essential step toward creating your final product. AFH 33-337, Chapter 7, provides several suggestions and examples of how to develop a draft of your message using recommended structure, verbiage, and phrases.

6. Edit. Following the first five steps of the effective communication process will set you up for success, but it will not guarantee a perfect product, and you should not expect your draft to be. That is what steps six and seven are for. Have your draft written early enough to give yourself time to take a break before looking it over through an editing lens. This will allow you to edit with fresh eyes. Think about what you would like to accomplish with your work and keep that in mind as you look over your draft. Consider how it may look or sound to the audience as you edit your work. Whether your communication is written or spoken, you may find value in reading your work out loud to catch areas for improvement that wouldn't have been readily identifiable otherwise. As you review, look for three main aspects of your draft product: 1) review for the big picture, main purpose, length, and flow of ideas; 2) review for paragraph structure, clarity, organization of material, and supporting ideas; then 3) review sentences, phrases, words, grammar, and consider how the audience will perceive or receive the message.

7. Fight for Feedback and Get Approval. Be receptive to feedback from others. Now that you've done your best at formulating your message, it's time to seek feedback. Even the best communicators can overlook key aspects of their messages. In this step, allow your pride in authorship to be set aside and seek pride in other's willingness to review and provide feedback on your work. Communicate up front with your reviewers what your strengths and weaknesses are and let them know why you selected them to provide feedback to you. To best utilize time, express what areas you most likely need feedback on. This will help reviewers know where to focus their efforts and it will enable them to be most helpful to you when providing feedback.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.16. Job Interview Preparation

Before committing yourself to the effort required of applying and interviewing for a job, you need to understand the experience or skills required for the job and whether or not you possess those experiences or skills. One of the first steps in preparing for a job interview is carefully studying the job advertisement or position description so you understand the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Once you have successfully aligned your knowledge, skills, and abilities to the job, then gather all required information and documentation for the application process.

Applying for the Job. When applying for special duty, seeking employment, or simply gathering pertinent information to successfully build a resume or application package in the future, there are different employer expectations you will want to be familiar with. In many cases, you may need to submit an application package with various documents, such as recent performance reports, personnel documents, a resume, a job application, a curriculum vitae, a biography, letters of recommendation, a cover letter, and in some cases, college transcripts. Any of these documents submitted for a job application should be tailored to highlight your particular knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the position for which you are applying.

Interviewing for the Job. Many Air Force positions require a job interview. Knowing how to prepare for and conduct yourself during an interview can go a long way toward helping you get selected for a special duty or other career broadening position in the Air Force, not to mention being hired in the civilian sector. Prior to the interview, put yourself in the mindset that everything the interviewer sees or hears from you is part of the interview. The interview begins the moment you pick up the phone or enter the property of the organization. Think about how you will be perceived, how you will enter the conversation, how you will ask and answer questions, and anything else you think will occur before, during, or after the interview. If you are having a phone interview, ensure you will be in an environment where you can solely focus on the interview.

It is a good idea to research the mission and history of the hiring organization before the interview. The more you know about the organization, the better you will be at convincing potential employers that you care about the organization, as well as the job you're seeking. Information you can often find about the organization in advance might include who the commander and senior enlisted members of the organization are, how large the organization is, and what the mission and vision statements are. Interviewers expect candidates to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions concerning the organization and the nature of the work. The nature and quality of your questions will reveal your interest in the organization and the position you're seeking. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions or concerns about the job or the organization, be prepared with at least one or two things you'd like to talk about.

If you submitted an application package prior to the interview, there is a strong possibility that you will be asked questions about the information you provided. Review all of the documents you submitted, keep the documents nearby during the interview, and be prepared to highlight examples of your skills or experiences relating to the strengths you can contribute to the job. Examples of areas to concentrate on are: problem-solving skills, thoughts on organizational transformation, team-building skills, support for the organization's priorities, your leadership philosophy, your ability to adapt and work in fast-paced environments, and decision-making abilities. Also, be able to answer the following questions:

Why should I hire you?
How soon can you report?
How will this change affect your family?
What do you see as one of your biggest challenges with a job like this?
Where do you see yourself in two to three years?
Are there any issues to prevent you from accepting or performing in this position?

Purpose of Interviews. All job interviews are designed with one goal in mind -to find the right person for the right job. Employers may have to interview several individuals for a position, so keep your goal in mind and let the interviewer see what skills and experiences you can bring to the job. Also, not only are you interviewing for a job; you are interviewing the prospective employer to see if the job is right for you. Be sure you understand the conditions of the job and ask for clarification during the interview, if needed. It is important to determine whether you truly are interested in committing the next few years to the potential job or assignment. As the interview draws to a close, before the interview is over, take a brief opportunity to provide one or two main points that you want the interviewer to remember about you. In other words, have your walk-away points in mind so you end the interview on a positive note and reemphasize your interest in the position.

Post-interview Actions. In some cases it may be appropriate to follow up after an interview. A day or two after the interview you may choose to send a short thank-you note to the organization with which you interviewed to express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the job, restate your interest in the position, highlight any particularly noteworthy points, or address anything you wish to further clarify.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.11. Job Interview Preparation

Before committing yourself to the effort required of applying and interviewing for a job, you need to understand the experience or skills required for the job and whether or not you possess those experiences or skills. One of the first steps in preparing for a job interview is carefully studying the job advertisement or position description so you understand the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Once you have successfully aligned your knowledge, skills, and abilities to the job, then gather all required information and documentation for the application process.

Applying for the Job. When applying for special duty, seeking employment, or simply gathering pertinent information to successfully build a resume or application package in the future, there are different employer expectations you will want to be familiar with. In many cases, you may need to submit an application package with various documents, such as recent performance reports, personnel documents, a resume, a job application, a curriculum vitae, a biography, letters of recommendation, a cover letter, and in some cases, college transcripts. Any of these documents submitted for a job application should be tailored to highlight your particular knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the position for which you are applying.

Interviewing for the Job. Many Air Force positions require a job interview. Knowing how to prepare for and conduct yourself during an interview can go a long way toward helping you get selected for a special duty or other career broadening position in the Air Force, not to mention being hired in the civilian sector. Prior to the interview, put yourself in the mindset that everything the interviewer sees or hears from you is part of the interview. The interview begins the moment you pick up the phone or enter the property of the organization. Think about how you will be perceived, how you will enter the conversation, how you will ask and answer questions, and anything else you think will occur before, during, or after the interview. If you are having a phone interview, ensure you will be in an environment where you can solely focus on the interview.

It is a good idea to research the mission and history of the hiring organization before the interview. The more you know about the organization, the better you will be at convincing potential employers that you care about the organization, as well as the job you're seeking. Information you can often find about the organization in advance might include who the commander and senior enlisted members of the organization are, how large the organization is, and what the mission and vision statements are. Interviewers expect candidates to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions concerning the organization and the nature of the work. The nature and quality of your questions will reveal your interest in the organization and the position you're seeking. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions or concerns about the job or the organization, be prepared with at least one or two things you'd like to talk about.

If you submitted an application package prior to the interview, there is a strong possibility that you will be asked questions about the information you provided. Review all of the documents you submitted, keep the documents nearby during the interview, and be prepared to highlight examples of your skills or experiences relating to the strengths you can contribute to the job. Examples of areas to concentrate on are: problem-solving skills, thoughts on organizational transformation, team-building skills, support for the organization's priorities, your leadership philosophy, your ability to adapt and work in fast-paced environments, and decision-making abilities. Also, be able to answer the following questions:

Why should I hire you?
How soon can you report?
How will this change affect your family?
What do you see as one of your biggest challenges with a job like this?
Where do you see yourself in two to three years?
Are there any issues to prevent you from accepting or performing in this position?

Purpose of Interviews. All job interviews are designed with one goal in mind -to find the right person for the right job. Employers may have to interview several individuals for a position, so keep your goal in mind and let the interviewer see what skills and experiences you can bring to the job. Also, not only are you interviewing for a job; you are interviewing the prospective employer to see if the job is right for you. Be sure you understand the conditions of the job and ask for clarification during the interview, if needed. It is important to determine whether you truly are interested in committing the next few years to the potential job or assignment. As the interview draws to a close, before the interview is over, take a brief opportunity to provide one or two main points that you want the interviewer to remember about you. In other words, have your walk-away points in mind so you end the interview on a positive note and reemphasize your interest in the position.

Post-interview Actions. In some cases it may be appropriate to follow up after an interview. A day or two after the interview you may choose to send a short thank-you note to the organization with which you interviewed to express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the job, restate your interest in the position, highlight any particularly noteworthy points, or address anything you wish to further clarify.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.17. Meetings

Deciding how to communicate a message is important. If you have a message that can be sent clearly and accurately via e-mail, that is one of the quickest forms of sending a message. If you need to send a message that requires an immediate response or might need clarification or elaboration that could be lost in translation through e-mail, discussing the issue over the phone may be the best approach to take. If your message needs to involve multiple people or requires dialogue (sometimes on a recurring basis), you may need to have a face-to-face conversation.

Meetings can be used to share information, solve problems, plan, brainstorm, or motivate. Whatever their purpose, you need to know some basics about conducting an effective meeting. A way to determine whether a meeting is the most appropriate method of communicating a message is to consider if you want to address a group about information, advice, concerns, problem solving, or decision-making. Meetings allow for cross-talk to discuss these types of issues, whether within an organization or with outside agencies.

Once you have decided that a meeting is the most appropriate method of communicating the message or issue, the next step is to define the purpose of the meeting, decide who should be invited to participate or be a part of the conversation, decide where and when the meeting should occur, plan for capturing (recording) meeting information, send out an agenda so attendees can be prepared to discuss pertinent topics, and be flexible based on availability of attendees, information, or other considerations. Running the meeting requires that a few simple rules be followed, but not to the extent that the meetings are rigid, predictable, and non-productive. As long as you start and stay on time, follow the agenda, understand group dynamics, and follow up with well formatted meeting minutes, your meeting will have a good foundation for success.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.12. Meetings

Deciding how to communicate a message is important. If you have a message that can be sent clearly and accurately via e-mail, that is one of the quickest forms of sending a message. If you need to send a message that requires an immediate response or might need clarification or elaboration that could be lost in translation through e-mail, discussing the issue over the phone may be the best approach to take. If your message needs to involve multiple people or requires dialogue (sometimes on a recurring basis), you may need to have a face-to-face conversation.

Meetings can be used to share information, solve problems, plan, brainstorm, or motivate. Whatever their purpose, you need to know some basics about conducting an effective meeting. A way to determine whether a meeting is the most appropriate method of communicating a message is to consider if you want to address a group about information, advice, concerns, problem solving, or decision-making. Meetings allow for cross-talk to discuss these types of issues, whether within an organization or with outside agencies.

Once you have decided that a meeting is the most appropriate method of communicating the message or issue, the next step is to define the purpose of the meeting, decide who should be invited to participate or be a part of the conversation, decide where and when the meeting should occur, plan for capturing (recording) meeting information, send out an agenda so attendees can be prepared to discuss pertinent topics, and be flexible based on availability of attendees, information, or other considerations. Running the meeting requires that a few simple rules be followed, but not to the extent that the meetings are rigid, predictable, and non-productive. As long as you start and stay on time, follow the agenda, understand group dynamics, and follow up with well formatted meeting minutes, your meeting will have a good foundation for success.




Section 14D, Written Communication

Paragraphs 14.18. - 14.22. (All of Section D): No Changes

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.18. Writing Platforms

The Air Force has adopted common, basic formats of written communication for official and personal correspondence and memorandums. Understanding the purpose of these formats will best serve your superiors, yourself, and your subordinates in using the proper format for the intended purpose. AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill, outlines detailed instructions for written communication, while various organizations may have adopted internally preferred styles as well. One key aspect for choosing the appropriate format to use for written communication is consistency in your approach. Attention to detail, proper format, and pertinent information will ensure written communication serves as a professional representation of your organization.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.13. Writing Platforms

The Air Force has adopted common, basic formats of written communication for official and personal correspondence and memorandums. Understanding the purpose of these formats will best serve your superiors, yourself, and your subordinates in using the proper format for the intended purpose. AFH 33-337, The Tongue & Quill, outlines detailed instructions for written communication, while various organizations may have adopted internally preferred styles as well. One key aspect for choosing the appropriate format to use for written communication is consistency in your approach. Attention to detail, proper format, and pertinent information will ensure written communication serves as a professional representation of your organization.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.19. Official Memorandum

Official memorandums are used to communicate throughout the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. In addition, official memorandums are used to conduct official business outside the government with vendors or contractors when the personal letter is not appropriate. Memorandums may be addressed to specific officials, single offices, multiple offices, multiple offices IN TURN, or to DISTRIBUTION lists. Detailed information pertaining to the heading, text, and closing sections of the official memorandum, as well as additional information, attachments, and examples, are provided in AFH 33-337, Chapter 14.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.14. Official Memorandum

Official memorandums are used to communicate throughout the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. In addition, official memorandums are used to conduct official business outside the government with vendors or contractors when the personal letter is not appropriate. Memorandums may be addressed to specific officials, single offices, multiple offices, multiple offices IN TURN, or to DISTRIBUTION lists. Detailed information pertaining to the heading, text, and closing sections of the official memorandum, as well as additional information, attachments, and examples, are provided in AFH 33-337, Chapter 14.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.20. Personal Letter

Use the personal letter when communication needs a personal touch or when warmth or sincerity is preferred. The personal letter may be used to write to an individual on a private matter, such as for praise, condolence, or sponsorship. Keep the personal letter brief, preferably no longer than one page, and avoid using acronyms. Specific information pertaining to the heading, text, and closing sections of the personal letter, as well as forms of address, ranks, abbreviations, additional information, and examples, are provided in AFH 33-337, Chapter 15.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.15. Personal Letter

Use the personal letter when communication needs a personal touch or when warmth or sincerity is preferred. The personal letter may be used to write to an individual on a private matter, such as for praise, condolence, or sponsorship. Keep the personal letter brief, preferably no longer than one page, and avoid using acronyms. Specific information pertaining to the heading, text, and closing sections of the personal letter, as well as forms of address, ranks, abbreviations, additional information, and examples, are provided in AFH 33-337, Chapter 15.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.21. Air Force Papers

The Air Force uses written products (papers) in many forms for everyday staff work to serve a variety of functions. The types of Air Force papers include the point paper, talking paper, bullet background paper, background paper, position paper, and the staff study. Be sure that the type of format used is appropriate for the task. Samples, explanations, and examples of Air Force papers are provided in AFH 33-337, Chapters 16.

Point Paper. The point paper is used when addressing a single issue that can be covered within a single page using bullets or phrases that require minimal data. The function of a point paper is to provide a memory jogger, a minimal text outline of a single issue, and to quickly inform others, often extemporaneously (with little or no-notice). It can be used to give the same short message many times, or to que a speaker to a recite something from memory.

Talking Paper. The talking paper is slightly more detailed than the point paper. It is used when addressing a single issue that can be covered within a single page using bullets or phrases that provide key reference data. The function of a point paper is to provide notes for a presenter or speaker used as an outline or narrative for a single issue to inform others during planned/scheduled oral presentations. It is used as a quick reference on key points, facts, or positions, such as frequently asked questions, and can stand alone for basic understanding of an issue.

Bullet Background Paper. The bullet background paper is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues that can be covered within a single page or multi-page format using bullet statements providing the background of a program, policy, problem, or procedure. Bullet background papers are developed using concise chronology of a program, policy, or problem, and can be used to explain or provide details regarding an attached talking paper.

Background Paper. The background paper is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues using a multi-page format including full sentences, details, and numbered paragraphs. It is often used as a multi-purpose staff communication instrument to express ideas or describe conditions that require a particular staff action. Background papers are developed using the detailed chronology of a program, policy, or problem, and can condense and summarize complex issues by providing background research for oral presentations or staff discussions. The background paper provides a means of informing decision-makers with important details.

Position Paper. The position paper is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues using a multi-page format including full sentences, details, and numbered paragraphs. It is often used when working with proposals for a new program, policy, procedure, or plan. Position papers are used to circulate a proposal to generate interest, evaluate a proposal, or advocate a position on a proposal to decision-makers.

Staff Study. The staff study is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues using a multi-page research paper including a detailed discussion with a conclusion and applicable recommendations. The purpose of the staff study is to analyze a problem, draw conclusions, and make recommendations. Format will vary for staff studies depending on the need or complexity of information required. Staff studies are used to assist decision-makers and leaders in initiating research, to inform and recommend change, and as a problem-solving thought process in written form.

Note: Not all organizations routinely use the staff study, but it is an accepted format for a problem-solution report for both the Air Force and Joint Staff. The value of using a staff study as a thought process often outweighs the particular format used to communicate findings. Understanding and applying the essential elements of problem analysis via a staff study will enable better application of any staff communication.

The Staff Package. The staff package is a writing format commonly used in the Air Force for routing or coordinating correspondence through a staffing process. A widely recognized aspect of the staff package is the AF Form 1768, Staff Summary Sheet. The staff summary sheet, known as the "SSS", the "Triple-S", or the "e-SSS," is the cover page (the first page) of a staff package. It provides a condensed summary of the purpose, background, discussion, view of others (when applicable), recommendation, signature blocks, and overall contents of the staff package.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.16. Air Force Papers

The Air Force uses written products (papers) in many forms for everyday staff work to serve a variety of functions. The types of Air Force papers include the point paper, talking paper, bullet background paper, background paper, position paper, and the staff study. Be sure that the type of format used is appropriate for the task. Samples, explanations, and examples of Air Force papers are provided in AFH 33-337, Chapters 16.

Point Paper. The point paper is used when addressing a single issue that can be covered within a single page using bullets or phrases that require minimal data. The function of a point paper is to provide a memory jogger, a minimal text outline of a single issue, and to quickly inform others, often extemporaneously (with little or no-notice). It can be used to give the same short message many times, or to que a speaker to a recite something from memory.

Talking Paper. The talking paper is slightly more detailed than the point paper. It is used when addressing a single issue that can be covered within a single page using bullets or phrases that provide key reference data. The function of a point paper is to provide notes for a presenter or speaker used as an outline or narrative for a single issue to inform others during planned/scheduled oral presentations. It is used as a quick reference on key points, facts, or positions, such as frequently asked questions, and can stand alone for basic understanding of an issue.

Bullet Background Paper. The bullet background paper is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues that can be covered within a single page or multi-page format using bullet statements providing the background of a program, policy, problem, or procedure. Bullet background papers are developed using concise chronology of a program, policy, or problem, and can be used to explain or provide details regarding an attached talking paper.

Background Paper. The background paper is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues using a multi-page format including full sentences, details, and numbered paragraphs. It is often used as a multi-purpose staff communication instrument to express ideas or describe conditions that require a particular staff action. Background papers are developed using the detailed chronology of a program, policy, or problem, and can condense and summarize complex issues by providing background research for oral presentations or staff discussions. The background paper provides a means of informing decision-makers with important details.

Position Paper. The position paper is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues using a multi-page format including full sentences, details, and numbered paragraphs. It is often used when working with proposals for a new program, policy, procedure, or plan. Position papers are used to circulate a proposal to generate interest, evaluate a proposal, or advocate a position on a proposal to decision-makers.

Staff Study. The staff study is used when addressing a single issue or several related issues using a multi-page research paper including a detailed discussion with a conclusion and applicable recommendations. The purpose of the staff study is to analyze a problem, draw conclusions, and make recommendations. Format will vary for staff studies depending on the need or complexity of information required. Staff studies are used to assist decision-makers and leaders in initiating research, to inform and recommend change, and as a problem-solving thought process in written form.

Note: Not all organizations routinely use the staff study, but it is an accepted format for a problem-solution report for both the Air Force and Joint Staff. The value of using a staff study as a thought process often outweighs the particular format used to communicate findings. Understanding and applying the essential elements of problem analysis via a staff study will enable better application of any staff communication.

The Staff Package. The staff package is a writing format commonly used in the Air Force for routing or coordinating correspondence through a staffing process. A widely recognized aspect of the staff package is the AF Form 1768, Staff Summary Sheet. The staff summary sheet, known as the "SSS", the "Triple-S", or the "e-SSS," is the cover page (the first page) of a staff package. It provides a condensed summary of the purpose, background, discussion, view of others (when applicable), recommendation, signature blocks, and overall contents of the staff package.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.22. Writing Bullet Statements

Bullet statements are required in many written Air Force communication formats. Because there is very little text in a bullet, the text used must be unequivocal (accurate) while being as short as possible (brief) to convey a tightly-focused (specific) point. The key to writing an effective bullet statement consists of three steps: extract the facts, build the structure, and streamline the final product, as briefly described here.

Step 1: Extract the Facts. Collect all the information relevant to the actual accomplishment. Identify the specific action performed. Determine applicable related numerical information associated with the accomplishment (number of items fixed, dollars saved, man-hours expended, people served, or pages written). Document how this accomplishment impacted the bigger picture and broader mission (unit, group, wing, installation, command, or Air Force). Once captured, review to ensure the details are truly associated with the actual accomplishment.

Step 2: Build the Structure. The next step is to take the sorted information and organize it into an accomplishment-impact bullet. The accomplishment element should always begin with an action and focus on one single accomplishment. Most of the time this action takes the form of a strong action verb, such as conducted, established, or generated. If desired, adverbs, such as actively, energetically, or swiftly, can modify action verbs for an added boost. For a more complete list of verbs and adverbs, refer to AFH 33-337. The impact element explains how the person's actions have had an effect on the organization, such as the person's actions connected to significant improvements to a work center's mission, a unit's mission, or the entire Air Force mission.

Step 3: Streamline the Final Product. Streamlining the final product is refining the bullet statement to make it accurate, brief, and specific. The bullet must be correct, include the clearest, yet most descriptive words, and convey the facts in detail. While maximizing the use of space is desired, developing bullet statements so they fill white space to the end of the bullet line is not required.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.17. Writing Bullet Statements

Bullet statements are required in many written Air Force communication formats. Because there is very little text in a bullet, the text used must be unequivocal (accurate) while being as short as possible (brief) to convey a tightly-focused (specific) point. The key to writing an effective bullet statement consists of three steps: extract the facts, build the structure, and streamline the final product, as briefly described here.

Step 1: Extract the Facts. Collect all the information relevant to the actual accomplishment. Identify the specific action performed. Determine applicable related numerical information associated with the accomplishment (number of items fixed, dollars saved, man-hours expended, people served, or pages written). Document how this accomplishment impacted the bigger picture and broader mission (unit, group, wing, installation, command, or Air Force). Once captured, review to ensure the details are truly associated with the actual accomplishment.

Step 2: Build the Structure. The next step is to take the sorted information and organize it into an accomplishment-impact bullet. The accomplishment element should always begin with an action and focus on one single accomplishment. Most of the time this action takes the form of a strong action verb, such as conducted, established, or generated. If desired, adverbs, such as actively, energetically, or swiftly, can modify action verbs for an added boost. For a more complete list of verbs and adverbs, refer to AFH 33-337. The impact element explains how the person's actions have had an effect on the organization, such as the person's actions connected to significant improvements to a work center's mission, a unit's mission, or the entire Air Force mission.

Step 3: Streamline the Final Product. Streamlining the final product is refining the bullet statement to make it accurate, brief, and specific. The bullet must be correct, include the clearest, yet most descriptive words, and convey the facts in detail. While maximizing the use of space is desired, developing bullet statements so they fill white space to the end of the bullet line is not required.




Section 14E, Spoken Communication

Paragraphs 14.23. - 14.30. (All of Section E): No Changes

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.23. Speaking Platforms

Verbal communication includes every day interactions with coworkers, communicating up and down the chain of command, and sometimes speaking to audiences. Being aware of various verbal communication platforms can help ensure the message being communicated is delivered and received as intended.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.18. Speaking Platforms

Verbal communication includes every day interactions with coworkers, communicating up and down the chain of command, and sometimes speaking to audiences. Being aware of various verbal communication platforms can help ensure the message being communicated is delivered and received as intended.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.24. Delivery Formats

Your approach to delivery of the spoken message is usually affected by several factors, including the time you have to prepare and the nature of the message. Three common delivery formats are impromptu, prepared, and manuscript.

Impromptu. Impromptu speaking is when we respond during a meeting or "take the floor" at a conference. Speakers may do this when they have to speak publicly without warning or with only a few moments' notice. To do impromptu speaking well requires a great amount of self-confidence, mastery of the subject, and the ability to "think on your feet." A superb impromptu speaker has achieved the highest level in verbal communications.

Prepared. Prepared speaking or briefing refers to those times when we have ample opportunity to prepare. This does not mean the person writes a script and memorizes it, but prepared delivery does require a thorough outline with careful planning and practicing. The specific words and phrases used at the time of delivery, however, are spontaneous and sound very natural.

Manuscript. A manuscript briefing is the delivery format that requires every word spoken to be absolutely perfect. The disadvantage of a manuscript briefing is that people demonstrate a tendency to lack spontaneity, lack eye contact, and they stand behind the lectern with their script. These mannerisms may have a tendency of losing the audience's attention.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.19. Delivery Formats

Your approach to delivery of the spoken message is usually affected by several factors, including the time you have to prepare and the nature of the message. Three common delivery formats are impromptu, prepared, and manuscript.

Impromptu. Impromptu speaking is when we respond during a meeting or "take the floor" at a conference. Speakers may do this when they have to speak publicly without warning or with only a few moments' notice. To do impromptu speaking well requires a great amount of self-confidence, mastery of the subject, and the ability to "think on your feet." A superb impromptu speaker has achieved the highest level in verbal communications.

Prepared. Prepared speaking or briefing refers to those times when we have ample opportunity to prepare. This does not mean the person writes a script and memorizes it, but prepared delivery does require a thorough outline with careful planning and practicing. The specific words and phrases used at the time of delivery, however, are spontaneous and sound very natural.

Manuscript. A manuscript briefing is the delivery format that requires every word spoken to be absolutely perfect. The disadvantage of a manuscript briefing is that people demonstrate a tendency to lack spontaneity, lack eye contact, and they stand behind the lectern with their script. These mannerisms may have a tendency of losing the audience's attention.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.25. Types of Speaking

Typically, the types of speaking used in the Air Force include the briefing, the teaching lecture, and the formal speech.

Briefing. The major purpose of a briefing is to inform listeners about a mission, operation, or concept. Some briefings direct or enable listeners to perform a procedure or carry out instructions. Other briefings advocate, persuade, or support a certain solution and lead the audience to accept the briefing. Every good briefing has the qualities of accuracy, brevity, and clarity. Accuracy and clarity characterize all good speaking, but brevity distinguishes the briefing from other types of speaking. A briefer must be brief and to the point and should anticipate some of the questions that may arise. If a briefer cannot answer a question, he or she should not attempt an off-the-cuff answer. Instead, he or she should request an opportunity to research the question and follow-up with an answer at a later time.

Teaching Lecture. The teaching lecture is the method of instruction most often used in the Air Force. As the name implies, the primary purpose of a teaching lecture is to teach an audience about a given subject. Teaching lectures are either formal or informal. Formal lectures are generally one-way with no verbal participation by the audience. Informal lectures are usually presented to smaller audiences and allow for verbal interaction.

Formal Speech. A formal speech generally has one of three basic purposes: to inform, persuade, or entertain. The informative speech is a narration concerning a specific topic, but it does not involve a sustained effort to teach. Orientation talks and presentations at commander's call are examples of informative speeches. The persuasive speech is designed to move an audience to believe in or take action on a topic, such as recruiting speeches to high school graduating classes. Entertaining speeches often include humor and wit to entertain listeners, such as a speech to entertain at a dining-out.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.20. Types of Speaking

Typically, the types of speaking used in the Air Force include the briefing, the teaching lecture, and the formal speech.

Briefing. The major purpose of a briefing is to inform listeners about a mission, operation, or concept. Some briefings direct or enable listeners to perform a procedure or carry out instructions. Other briefings advocate, persuade, or support a certain solution and lead the audience to accept the briefing. Every good briefing has the qualities of accuracy, brevity, and clarity. Accuracy and clarity characterize all good speaking, but brevity distinguishes the briefing from other types of speaking. A briefer must be brief and to the point and should anticipate some of the questions that may arise. If a briefer cannot answer a question, he or she should not attempt an off-the-cuff answer. Instead, he or she should request an opportunity to research the question and follow-up with an answer at a later time.

Teaching Lecture. The teaching lecture is the method of instruction most often used in the Air Force. As the name implies, the primary purpose of a teaching lecture is to teach an audience about a given subject. Teaching lectures are either formal or informal. Formal lectures are generally one-way with no verbal participation by the audience. Informal lectures are usually presented to smaller audiences and allow for verbal interaction.

Formal Speech. A formal speech generally has one of three basic purposes: to inform, persuade, or entertain. The informative speech is a narration concerning a specific topic, but it does not involve a sustained effort to teach. Orientation talks and presentations at commander's call are examples of informative speeches. The persuasive speech is designed to move an audience to believe in or take action on a topic, such as recruiting speeches to high school graduating classes. Entertaining speeches often include humor and wit to entertain listeners, such as a speech to entertain at a dining-out.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.26. Basic Communication Tips

Beginning any communication with basic communication tips in mind and being mindful of others when speaking and listening will enhance communication skills in any environment. Some basic military communication tips that can be used in any setting are provided here.

Rank. Differences in military rank can be a barrier (real or perceived) to communication in the Air Force. Many of us instinctively communicate differently with those senior in rank than we do with those with those who are junior in rank. We must constantly strive to be candid, direct, and respectful with everyone we communicate with.

Jargon. Do not overestimate the knowledge and expertise of others when it comes to jargon. Be careful with excessive use of career-field specific jargon and acronyms, but feel free to use jargon when appropriate. As the speaker, it is your responsibility to ensure your communication is understandable.

Be Inclusive. Remember our diverse force. Sometimes we inadvertently exclude members of our audience by falling into communication traps involving references to race, religion, ethnicity, or sex. Remember this concept when designing visual support as well. Adhering to good taste and sensitivity will keep your message credible and ensure you reach your audience.

Tone. Tone is not just what you say, but how you say it. Use of tone can be valuable when enhancing a message, but it can be difficult to portray in written communication. Speakers use gestures, voice, and movements to communicate; writers do not. Emojis ? do not have a place in written formal communication. Recognize the limitations of expressing tone through written communication and pay close attention to how the message may be perceived.

Courtesy. The first rule of communicating courteously is being polite. Forego anger, criticism, and sarcasm, and strive to be reasonable and persuasive. Be patient and tactful, regardless of the challenges of delivering a message. If you have to, push back from the computer, take a deep breath, slowly count to 10, then review your message to ensure it is professional and courteous.

Make it Personal. When appropriate, use pronouns, such as we, us, and our, to create rapport and keep your audience involved. Using pronouns also keeps your message from being monotonous, dry, and abstract. Use I, me, and my sparingly, and be aware of how the use of you can be perceived in some situations.

Formal. "Good morning, Sir." versus informal "Hey" or "What's up?" is always the more professional approach to greeting or addressing someone. While in today's Air Force much communication among peers will be informal, it is essential to recognize, particularly during events and ceremonies, when formal, professional communication is appropriate.

Be Positive. Cultivate a positive message and give praise where praise is due. Rather than focusing on problem areas, optimism can encourage acceptance of a message. Also, encourage and be receptive to criticism in the form of helpful questions, suggestions, requests, recommendations, or information. Audiences often sense and appreciate sincerity and honesty.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.21. Basic Communication Tips

Beginning any communication with basic communication tips in mind and being mindful of others when speaking and listening will enhance communication skills in any environment. Some basic military communication tips that can be used in any setting are provided here.

Rank. Differences in military rank can be a barrier (real or perceived) to communication in the Air Force. Many of us instinctively communicate differently with those senior in rank than we do with those with those who are junior in rank. We must constantly strive to be candid, direct, and respectful with everyone we communicate with.

Jargon. Do not overestimate the knowledge and expertise of others when it comes to jargon. Be careful with excessive use of career-field specific jargon and acronyms, but feel free to use jargon when appropriate. As the speaker, it is your responsibility to ensure your communication is understandable.

Be Inclusive. Remember our diverse force. Sometimes we inadvertently exclude members of our audience by falling into communication traps involving references to race, religion, ethnicity, or sex. Remember this concept when designing visual support as well. Adhering to good taste and sensitivity will keep your message credible and ensure you reach your audience.

Tone. Tone is not just what you say, but how you say it. Use of tone can be valuable when enhancing a message, but it can be difficult to portray in written communication. Speakers use gestures, voice, and movements to communicate; writers do not. Emojis ? do not have a place in written formal communication. Recognize the limitations of expressing tone through written communication and pay close attention to how the message may be perceived.

Courtesy. The first rule of communicating courteously is being polite. Forego anger, criticism, and sarcasm, and strive to be reasonable and persuasive. Be patient and tactful, regardless of the challenges of delivering a message. If you have to, push back from the computer, take a deep breath, slowly count to 10, then review your message to ensure it is professional and courteous.

Make it Personal. When appropriate, use pronouns, such as we, us, and our, to create rapport and keep your audience involved. Using pronouns also keeps your message from being monotonous, dry, and abstract. Use I, me, and my sparingly, and be aware of how the use of you can be perceived in some situations.

Formal. "Good morning, Sir." versus informal "Hey" or "What's up?" is always the more professional approach to greeting or addressing someone. While in today's Air Force much communication among peers will be informal, it is essential to recognize, particularly during events and ceremonies, when formal, professional communication is appropriate.

Be Positive. Cultivate a positive message and give praise where praise is due. Rather than focusing on problem areas, optimism can encourage acceptance of a message. Also, encourage and be receptive to criticism in the form of helpful questions, suggestions, requests, recommendations, or information. Audiences often sense and appreciate sincerity and honesty.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.27. Communication Delivery

An effective voice drives home ideas; however, communication experts believe over half of the meaning of any message may be communicated nonverbally. Several suggestions for effective verbal and nonverbal communication are provided here.

Rate. There is no correct speed for every speech. However, consider that people can listen four to five times faster than the normal spoken rate of 120 words a minute. So, if you speak too slowly, you may lose the interest of an audience who is processing information much faster than you are delivering it. Also, consider speaking at a faster rate to indicate excitement or sudden action, or at a slower rate to hint at a calm or more serious message.

Volume. Volume is a verbal technique that can be used to give emphasis to your speech. Consider speaking louder or softer to emphasize a point -a softer level or lower volume is often the more effective way to achieve emphasis. Depending on the type of room, it may be necessary to talk louder in front of a large crowd to ensure everyone in the room can hear the message. When possible, use a portable microphone, particularly in large auditoriums. If the audience must strain to hear you, they will eventually tune you out from exhaustion, but the front row will not want to feel like they are being yelled at the entire time either.

Pitch. Pitch is the use of higher or lower notes in voice range. Using variety in speech pitch helps to avoid monotone delivery and capture the listener's attention. Starting with a voice range that is comfortable for you and then adjusting pitch for emphasis may help make communication more interesting. You can use a downward (high to low) inflection in a sentence for an air of certainty and an upward (low to high) inflection for an air of uncertainty.

Pause. Pause gives a speaker time to catch their breath and the audience time to absorb ideas. Short pauses usually divide points within a sentence, while long pauses note the ends of sentences. Longer pauses can be used for breaks between main points or transitions between an introduction, body, and conclusion. Another use for the pause is to 'pause for effect' or to set off an important point worthy of short reflection. Sometimes a pause may seem long to the speaker, but allow time for a true (one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three...) pause for emphasis.

Articulation and Pronunciation. Articulation and pronunciation reflect mastery of the spoken English language. Articulation is the art of expressing words distinctly. Pronunciation is the ability to say words correctly. Unfortunately, and unfairly, people may consider word pronunciation or mispronunciation as a reflection of your message. Listen to yourself, better yet if possible, ask someone to listen to you for practice, and make your words are distinct, understandable, and appropriate to your audience.

Length. In our military environment, you must be able to relay your thoughts and ideas succinctly. A key rule in verbal communication is to keep it short and sweet. Know what you want to say, and say it with your purpose and the audience in mind.

Eye Contact. Eye contact is one of the most important factors in nonverbal communication. Eye contact lets listeners know the speaker is interested in them, allows the speaker to receive nonverbal feedback from the audience, and enhances the credibility of the speaker.

Gestures. Gestures are the purposeful use of the hands, arms, shoulders, and head to reinforce what is being said. Effective gestures are natural and should not be distracting to the audience. Purposeful, effective body movement can be described as free, yet deliberate movement.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.22. Communication Delivery

An effective voice drives home ideas; however, communication experts believe over half of the meaning of any message may be communicated nonverbally. Several suggestions for effective verbal and nonverbal communication are provided here.

Rate. There is no correct speed for every speech. However, consider that people can listen four to five times faster than the normal spoken rate of 120 words a minute. So, if you speak too slowly, you may lose the interest of an audience who is processing information much faster than you are delivering it. Also, consider speaking at a faster rate to indicate excitement or sudden action, or at a slower rate to hint at a calm or more serious message.

Volume. Volume is a verbal technique that can be used to give emphasis to your speech. Consider speaking louder or softer to emphasize a point -a softer level or lower volume is often the more effective way to achieve emphasis. Depending on the type of room, it may be necessary to talk louder in front of a large crowd to ensure everyone in the room can hear the message. When possible, use a portable microphone, particularly in large auditoriums. If the audience must strain to hear you, they will eventually tune you out from exhaustion, but the front row will not want to feel like they are being yelled at the entire time either.

Pitch. Pitch is the use of higher or lower notes in voice range. Using variety in speech pitch helps to avoid monotone delivery and capture the listener's attention. Starting with a voice range that is comfortable for you and then adjusting pitch for emphasis may help make communication more interesting. You can use a downward (high to low) inflection in a sentence for an air of certainty and an upward (low to high) inflection for an air of uncertainty.

Pause. Pause gives a speaker time to catch their breath and the audience time to absorb ideas. Short pauses usually divide points within a sentence, while long pauses note the ends of sentences. Longer pauses can be used for breaks between main points or transitions between an introduction, body, and conclusion. Another use for the pause is to 'pause for effect' or to set off an important point worthy of short reflection. Sometimes a pause may seem long to the speaker, but allow time for a true (one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three...) pause for emphasis.

Articulation and Pronunciation. Articulation and pronunciation reflect mastery of the spoken English language. Articulation is the art of expressing words distinctly. Pronunciation is the ability to say words correctly. Unfortunately, and unfairly, people may consider word pronunciation or mispronunciation as a reflection of your message. Listen to yourself, better yet if possible, ask someone to listen to you for practice, and make your words are distinct, understandable, and appropriate to your audience.

Length. In our military environment, you must be able to relay your thoughts and ideas succinctly. A key rule in verbal communication is to keep it short and sweet. Know what you want to say, and say it with your purpose and the audience in mind.

Eye Contact. Eye contact is one of the most important factors in nonverbal communication. Eye contact lets listeners know the speaker is interested in them, allows the speaker to receive nonverbal feedback from the audience, and enhances the credibility of the speaker.

Gestures. Gestures are the purposeful use of the hands, arms, shoulders, and head to reinforce what is being said. Effective gestures are natural and should not be distracting to the audience. Purposeful, effective body movement can be described as free, yet deliberate movement.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.28. Overcoming Anxiety

Public speaking is often one of the biggest self-induced fears we experience in the workplace. Some individuals appear to be immune to stage fright, while others are paralyzed with fear prior to stepping onto a stage, up to a podium, or speaking from any platform. Most Airmen are exposed to public speaking opportunities in academic environments. Additional speaking opportunities can help individuals begin to feel more comfortable in the spotlight, such as small, localized events (awards ceremonies and commander's calls) where the audience is familiar. To prepare for these events, a draft script may be available to practice with. Having a wingman as a supporter and a 'fan' in the audience can be a big confidence booster while developing public speaking skills.

Having anxiety about public speaking can hinder the ability to get a message across successfully; however, appearing too relaxed on stage may give the impression that the speaker is not fully committed to the presentation or to the audience. To overcome anxiety, try to think of it this way, most often those in the audience are really just glad it's not them up there on the stage. And for you, you're on your way to becoming a more confident, competent public speaker by accepting the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Whether you are engaging in public speaking for the first time or if you have been on the stage several times before, here are some simple steps to remember to ensure your message is received clearly and as intended.

- Know the material, the script, or topic to be covered at the event.
- Analyze your audience to reduce your fear of the unknown.
- Envision yourself having a successful experience in front of the audience.
- Practice using a recording device, video camera, full-length mirror, or an audience of your peers.
- Be prepared to allow yourself to mentally feel confident about the experience.
- Present a professional image to build self-confidence and credibility with the audience.
- Smile, your audience wants you to succeed. Chances are your audience won't know how nervous are if you don't mention it.
- Take a short walk right before you go on stage to help release nervous energy.
- When it comes time for the event, it's time to deliver. Focus your attention on the purpose of the event, not on yourself. Connect with your audience.
- When possible, encourage audience interaction, such as head nods or reassuring affirmations.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.23. Overcoming Anxiety

Public speaking is often one of the biggest self-induced fears we experience in the workplace. Some individuals appear to be immune to stage fright, while others are paralyzed with fear prior to stepping onto a stage, up to a podium, or speaking from any platform. Most Airmen are exposed to public speaking opportunities in academic environments. Additional speaking opportunities can help individuals begin to feel more comfortable in the spotlight, such as small, localized events (awards ceremonies and commander's calls) where the audience is familiar. To prepare for these events, a draft script may be available to practice with. Having a wingman as a supporter and a 'fan' in the audience can be a big confidence booster while developing public speaking skills.

Having anxiety about public speaking can hinder the ability to get a message across successfully; however, appearing too relaxed on stage may give the impression that the speaker is not fully committed to the presentation or to the audience. To overcome anxiety, try to think of it this way, most often those in the audience are really just glad it's not them up there on the stage. And for you, you're on your way to becoming a more confident, competent public speaker by accepting the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Whether you are engaging in public speaking for the first time or if you have been on the stage several times before, here are some simple steps to remember to ensure your message is received clearly and as intended.

- Know the material, the script, or topic to be covered at the event.
- Analyze your audience to reduce your fear of the unknown.
- Envision yourself having a successful experience in front of the audience.
- Practice using a recording device, video camera, full-length mirror, or an audience of your peers.
- Be prepared to allow yourself to mentally feel confident about the experience.
- Present a professional image to build self-confidence and credibility with the audience.
- Smile, your audience wants you to succeed. Chances are your audience won't know how nervous are if you don't mention it.
- Take a short walk right before you go on stage to help release nervous energy.
- When it comes time for the event, it's time to deliver. Focus your attention on the purpose of the event, not on yourself. Connect with your audience.
- When possible, encourage audience interaction, such as head nods or reassuring affirmations.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.29. Common Nonverbal Quirks

While seeking opportunities to sharpen public speaking skills, practice to eliminate some of the crutches or habits that speakers sometimes fall into. Tips on overcoming nervous habits are included here to help public speakers become consciously aware of them and work to overcome them before stepping into the spotlight.

Life raft. The life raft is a term used when a speaker seeks the safety and security of a podium as though his or life depends upon it. Sometimes standing at the podium is necessary when using a stationary microphone, a script, or notes. While this is an acceptable place for a speaker to stand, when possible, try to venture away from the podium to connect better with the audience.

Awkward hands. Awkward hands is typically more of a feeling the speaker has than it is an observation of the audience. Simply allowing hands to hang naturally may feel awkward, but it's perfectly natural from the audience's perspective. Practice allowing your hands to hang naturally and it'll eventually begin to feel natural.

Caged tiger. The caged tiger is a term used when a speaker paces across a stage from one side to the other without stopping. Using the width of a stage to connect with an audience is a good idea, just be sure not to pace back and forth to where the audience feels like they're watching a tennis match. Relax and settle into a natural rhythm of using the stage purposefully.

Rocker. Rockers are caged tigers on the road to recovery. Rockers have settled their nervous energy somewhat, but still have not become completely comfortable with standing still and simply talking. As you practice, make a conscious effort not to fall into the habit of rocking on your heels or swaying side to side. Much like allowing your hands to hang naturally at your side, with practice you will become more comfortable simply standing confidently and addressing an audience.

Too Cool. Some speakers overcompensate for a fear of speaking by trying to look extremely comfortable. It is a good idea to appear relaxed, but not at the expense of appearing unengaged or disinterested in speaking to your audience. You may have conquered your nerves, but keep in mind that you want to reach your audience and keep their attention.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.24. Common Nonverbal Quirks

While seeking opportunities to sharpen public speaking skills, practice to eliminate some of the crutches or habits that speakers sometimes fall into. Tips on overcoming nervous habits are included here to help public speakers become consciously aware of them and work to overcome them before stepping into the spotlight.

Life raft. The life raft is a term used when a speaker seeks the safety and security of a podium as though his or life depends upon it. Sometimes standing at the podium is necessary when using a stationary microphone, a script, or notes. While this is an acceptable place for a speaker to stand, when possible, try to venture away from the podium to connect better with the audience.

Awkward hands. Awkward hands is typically more of a feeling the speaker has than it is an observation of the audience. Simply allowing hands to hang naturally may feel awkward, but it's perfectly natural from the audience's perspective. Practice allowing your hands to hang naturally and it'll eventually begin to feel natural.

Caged tiger. The caged tiger is a term used when a speaker paces across a stage from one side to the other without stopping. Using the width of a stage to connect with an audience is a good idea, just be sure not to pace back and forth to where the audience feels like they're watching a tennis match. Relax and settle into a natural rhythm of using the stage purposefully.

Rocker. Rockers are caged tigers on the road to recovery. Rockers have settled their nervous energy somewhat, but still have not become completely comfortable with standing still and simply talking. As you practice, make a conscious effort not to fall into the habit of rocking on your heels or swaying side to side. Much like allowing your hands to hang naturally at your side, with practice you will become more comfortable simply standing confidently and addressing an audience.

Too Cool. Some speakers overcompensate for a fear of speaking by trying to look extremely comfortable. It is a good idea to appear relaxed, but not at the expense of appearing unengaged or disinterested in speaking to your audience. You may have conquered your nerves, but keep in mind that you want to reach your audience and keep their attention.

2021 E6 Study Guide

14.30. Effective Listening

Gaining a better understanding of the listening process begins with understanding the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing occurs when ears pick up sounds being transmitted by a speaker or another source. Listening, on the other hand, involves hearing, while also paying attention to and giving consideration to what is heard. In other words, listening involves thinking about and making sense of the message. Effective, active listening involves engaging verbally and nonverbally in the listening process to appropriately respond, comprehend, evaluate, and remember a message. Effective listening helps build trust and mutual respect. Leaders with good listening skills often make better decisions.

Informative Listening. In informative listening, the listener's primary concern is to understand information exactly as transmitted. Successful (effective) listening occurs when the listener understands the message exactly as the sender intended. Suggestions for improving informative listening are to keep an open mind and set aside bias, listen as if you had to teach it, take notes to help recall the main points, ask questions to clarify or confirm your understanding of the message, and maximize the use of the time by mentally repeating the message and absorbing the information in a way that makes the information more pertinent and applicable to you.

Critical Listening. Critical listening is usually thought of as the sum of informative listening and critical thinking because the listener is actively analyzing and evaluating the message the speaker is sending. Critical listening is appropriate when seeking input to a decision, evaluating work or a subordinate's capabilities, or conducting research. Suggestions for improving critical listening are to listen as if you had to grade it, take notes to help recall the main points, ask questions to evaluate the intellectual content of the message, and maximize the use of the time by first understanding the message and then evaluating the information.

Empathic Listening. Empathic listening is often useful when communication is emotional or when the relationship between speaker and listener is just as important as the message. Use this type of listening as somewhat of a prerequisite to informational or critical listening. Empathic listening is often appropriate during mentoring and counseling sessions and is very helpful when communicating with family members.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.25. Effective Listening

Gaining a better understanding of the listening process begins with understanding the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing occurs when ears pick up sounds being transmitted by a speaker or another source. Listening, on the other hand, involves hearing, while also paying attention to and giving consideration to what is heard. In other words, listening involves thinking about and making sense of the message. Effective, active listening involves engaging verbally and nonverbally in the listening process to appropriately respond, comprehend, evaluate, and remember a message. Effective listening helps build trust and mutual respect. Leaders with good listening skills often make better decisions.

Informative Listening. In informative listening, the listener's primary concern is to understand information exactly as transmitted. Successful (effective) listening occurs when the listener understands the message exactly as the sender intended. Suggestions for improving informative listening are to keep an open mind and set aside bias, listen as if you had to teach it, take notes to help recall the main points, ask questions to clarify or confirm your understanding of the message, and maximize the use of the time by mentally repeating the message and absorbing the information in a way that makes the information more pertinent and applicable to you.

Critical Listening. Critical listening is usually thought of as the sum of informative listening and critical thinking because the listener is actively analyzing and evaluating the message the speaker is sending. Critical listening is appropriate when seeking input to a decision, evaluating work or a subordinate's capabilities, or conducting research. Suggestions for improving critical listening are to listen as if you had to grade it, take notes to help recall the main points, ask questions to evaluate the intellectual content of the message, and maximize the use of the time by first understanding the message and then evaluating the information.

Empathic Listening. Empathic listening is often useful when communication is emotional or when the relationship between speaker and listener is just as important as the message. Use this type of listening as somewhat of a prerequisite to informational or critical listening. Empathic listening is often appropriate during mentoring and counseling sessions and is very helpful when communicating with family members.




Section 14F, Electronic Messaging (STUDY FOR PROMOTION TO E-5 ONLY)

Paragraphs 14.31. - 14.33. (All of Section F): No Changes


2021 E5 Study Guide

14.31. E-mail Etiquette

E-mail is defined as the electronic transmission of information over computer-based messaging systems. Technological advancements have increased opportunities for more timely, efficient, and effective communications, resulting in the explosive growth of e-mail use throughout the USAF. To uphold a commitment to secure messaging, the USAF has established guidelines to be used by all USAF members.

Rule 1-Be Clear and Concise. Make sure the subject line communicates your purpose. Be specific and avoid ambiguous titles. Lead with the most important information. If the goal is to answer a question, then reiterate the question the question at the top of the page. Use topic sentences if the e-mail has multiple paragraphs. Be brief and to the point. Use bold, italic, or color when necessary to emphasize key points. Choose readable fonts, 12 point or larger when possible.

Rule 2-Watch Your Tone. Be polite. Think of the message as a personal conversation. Be careful with humor, irony, and sarcasm. Electronic postings are perceived much more harshly than they are intended, mainly because the receiver cannot see the sender's body language, hear the tone of voice, or observe any other nonverbal cues that could help interpret the intent of the communication. Do not write using all CAPITAL letters -this is the e-mail equivalent of shouting and is considered rude. Keep the e-mail clean and professional. E-mail is easily forwarded. Harassing, intimidating, abusive, or offensive material is unacceptable.

Rule 3-Be Selective About What Message You Send. Do not discuss controversial, sensitive, for official use only, classified, personal, Privacy Act, or unclassified information that requires special handling. Remember operations security, even unclassified information, when brought together with other information, can create problems when in the wrong hands. Do not create or forward junk mail, do not create or send chain letters, and do not use e-mail for personal ads.

Rule 4-Be Selective About Who Gets Your Message. Reply to specific addressees to give those not interested a break, in other words, only use "reply all" sparingly. Get permission before using large mail groups. Double-check the address before mailing, especially when selecting from a global list where many people have similar last names.

Rule 5-Check Your Attachments and Support Material. Ensure all information is provided as intended in your message to keep from having to send a follow-up e-mail. Before sending, ensure you have attached the attachments; this is a very common mistake. When applicable, cite all quotes, references, and sources, as required under copyright and license agreements.

Rule 6-Keep Your E-mail Under Control. Lock or sign off the computer when you leave your workstation. If possible, create mailing lists to save time. Read and delete files daily. Create an organized directory on your hard drive to keep mailbox files at a minimum. Ensure record copies are properly identified and stored in an approved filing system. Acknowledge important or sensitive messages with a courtesy reply to sender. When away from your e-mail for an extended period of time, consider setting up an "auto reply" message.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.26. E-mail Etiquette

E-mail is defined as the electronic transmission of information over computer-based messaging systems. Technological advancements have increased opportunities for more timely, efficient, and effective communications, resulting in the explosive growth of e-mail use throughout the Air Force. To uphold a commitment to secure messaging, the Air Force has established guidelines to be used by all Air Force members.

Rule 1-Be Clear and Concise. Make sure the subject line communicates your purpose. Be specific and avoid ambiguous titles. Lead with the most important information. If the goal is to answer a question, then reiterate the question the question at the top of the page. Use topic sentences if the e-mail has multiple paragraphs. Be brief and to the point. Use bold, italic, or color when necessary to emphasize key points. Choose readable fonts, 12 point or larger when possible.

Rule 2-Watch Your Tone. Be polite. Think of the message as a personal conversation. Be careful with humor, irony, and sarcasm. Electronic postings are perceived much more harshly than they are intended, mainly because the receiver cannot see the sender's body language, hear the tone of voice, or observe any other nonverbal cues that could help interpret the intent of the communication. Do not write using all CAPITAL letters -this is the e-mail equivalent of shouting and is considered rude. Keep the e-mail clean and professional. E-mail is easily forwarded. Harassing, intimidating, abusive, or offensive material is unacceptable.

Rule 3-Be Selective About What Message You Send. Do not discuss controversial, sensitive, for official use only, classified, personal, Privacy Act, or unclassified information that requires special handling. Remember operations security, even unclassified information, when brought together with other information, can create problems when in the wrong hands. Do not create or forward junk mail, do not create or send chain letters, and do not use e-mail for personal ads.

Rule 4-Be Selective About Who Gets Your Message. Reply to specific addressees to give those not interested a break, in other words, only use "reply all" sparingly. Get permission before using large mail groups. Double-check the address before mailing, especially when selecting from a global list where many people have similar last names.

Rule 5-Check Your Attachments and Support Material. Ensure all information is provided as intended in your message to keep from having to send a follow-up e-mail. Before sending, ensure you have attached the attachments; this is a very common mistake. When applicable, cite all quotes, references, and sources, as required under copyright and license agreements.

Rule 6-Keep Your E-mail Under Control. Lock or sign off the computer when you leave your workstation. If possible, create mailing lists to save time. Read and delete files daily. Create an organized directory on your hard drive to keep mailbox files at a minimum. Ensure record copies are properly identified and stored in an approved filing system. Acknowledge important or sensitive messages with a courtesy reply to sender. When away from your e-mail for an extended period of time, consider setting up an "auto reply" message.

2021 E5 Study Guide

14.32. Government Communication Systems

Government-provided messaging systems are for official use and limited authorized personal use only. All government communications systems are subject to monitoring, interception, search, and seizure for all authorized purposes. Individuals must understand that they may be held responsible for the content of their electronic messages and must ensure that messages adhere to acceptable use of internet-based capabilities. Individuals are responsible for maintaining sent and received information according to USAF records management directives. Electronic messages may be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, litigation, and court orders. Be sure to adhere to local policy when sending electronic messages to mail distribution lists. Do not auto-forward electronic messages from the .mil domain to a commercial internet service provider and do not indiscriminately release electronic messaging addresses to the public.

Identity Management. A vital element for messaging security is the implementation of public key infrastructure and common access cards for identity management. Public key infrastructure allows for the authentication of the sender identity using a digital signature and the encryption/decryption of the message. Users of Department of Defense electronic messaging are directed to follow current guidance for the use of public key infrastructure to sign and encrypt e-mail.

Defense Message System. The defense message system is the core messaging system of record for the Department of Defense and the USAF. The defense message system is a flexible, commercial, off-the-shelf based application that provides messaging services to all Department of Defense users (including deployed tactical users), and interfaces with other U.S. Government agencies, branches of service, and defense contractors.

Air Force Organizational Messaging. Organization simple mail transfer protocol mailboxes may be used for all organizational messaging requirements unless usage of the defense message system is required in support of combatant command responsibilities.

Privacy Act Information. The Privacy Act of 1974 requires agencies to provide safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of records and to protect individuals against an invasion of personal privacy. Exercise caution before transmitting personal information over e-mail to ensure the message is adequately safeguarded. When information is sensitive and personal, e-mail is not the proper way for transmitting this information. When sending personal information over e-mail within the Department of Defense, ensure there is an official need, and all addressees are authorized to receive personal information under the Privacy Act. "For official use only" is added to the beginning of the subject line, followed by the subject. The following statement is applied at the beginning of the e-mail: "This e-mail contains for official use only information which must be protected under The Privacy Act and AFI 33-332." Do not indiscriminately apply this statement to e-mails. Use only in situations when you are actually transmitting personal information.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.27. Government Communication Systems

Government-provided messaging systems are for official use and limited authorized personal use only. All government communications systems are subject to monitoring, interception, search, and seizure for all authorized purposes. Individuals must understand that they may be held responsible for the content of their electronic messages and must ensure that messages adhere to acceptable use of internet-based capabilities. Individuals are responsible for maintaining sent and received information according to Air Force records management directives. Electronic messages may be subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, litigation, and court orders. Be sure to adhere to local policy when sending electronic messages to mail distribution lists. Do not auto-forward electronic messages from the .mil domain to a commercial internet service provider and do not indiscriminately release electronic messaging addresses to the public.

Identity Management. A vital element for messaging security is the implementation of public key infrastructure and common access cards for identity management. Public key infrastructure allows for the authentication of the sender identity using a digital signature and the encryption/decryption of the message. Users of Department of Defense electronic messaging are directed to follow current guidance for the use of public key infrastructure to sign and encrypt e-mail.

Defense Message System. The defense message system is the core messaging system of record for the Department of Defense and the Air Force. The defense message system is a flexible, commercial, off-the-shelf based application that provides messaging services to all Department of Defense users (including deployed tactical users), and interfaces with other U.S. Government agencies, branches of service, and defense contractors.

Air Force Organizational Messaging. Organization simple mail transfer protocol mailboxes may be used for all organizational messaging requirements unless usage of the defense message system is required in support of combatant command responsibilities.

Privacy Act Information. The Privacy Act of 1974 requires agencies to provide safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of records and to protect individuals against an invasion of personal privacy. Exercise caution before transmitting personal information over e-mail to ensure the message is adequately safeguarded. When information is sensitive and personal, e-mail is not the proper way for transmitting this information. When sending personal information over e-mail within the Department of Defense, ensure there is an official need, and all addressees are authorized to receive personal information under the Privacy Act. "For official use only" is added to the beginning of the subject line, followed by the subject. The following statement is applied at the beginning of the e-mail: "This e-mail contains for official use only information which must be protected under The Privacy Act and AFI 33-332." Do not indiscriminately apply this statement to e-mails. Use only in situations when you are actually transmitting personal information.

2021 E5 Study Guide

14.33. The Internet

Use of the web or web-based technologies is a technique for obtaining and disseminating information worldwide. The web or internet provides the capability of quickly and efficiently disseminating information to, and accessing information from, a variety of governmental and nongovernmental sources. Web content must be managed in compliance with all information management policies and procedures.

Use of Internet Resources by Government Employees. The internet provides an indispensable source for information from a variety of governmental and nongovernmental sources. The USAF's goal, within acceptable risk levels, is to provide maximum accessibility to internet resources for personnel requiring access for official business.

Appropriate Use. Government-provided hardware and software are for official use and limited authorized personal use only. Limited personal use must be of reasonable duration and frequency, approved by the supervisor, and not adversely affect performance of official duties, overburden systems, or reflect adversely on the USAF or the Department of Defense.

Inappropriate Use. Using the internet for other than official or authorized purposes may result in adverse administrative or disciplinary action. The following uses are specifically prohibited.

- Use of federal government communications systems for unauthorized personal use.

- Uses that would adversely reflect on the Department of Defense or the USAF, such as chain letters, unofficial soliciting, or selling except on authorized internet-based capabilities established for such use.

- Unauthorized storing, processing, displaying, sending, or otherwise transmitting prohibited content: pornography, sexually explicit or sexually oriented material, nudity, hate speech or ridicule of others on the basis of protected class (e.g., race, creed, religion, color, age, sex, disability, national origin), gambling, illegal weapons, militancy/extremist activities, terrorist activities, use for personal gain, and any other content or activities that are illegal or inappropriate.

- Storing or processing classified information on any system not approved for classified processing.

- Using copyrighted material in violation of the rights of the owner of the copyrights. Consult with the servicing Staff Judge Advocate for fair use advice.

- Unauthorized use of the account or identity of another person or organization.

- Viewing, changing, damaging, deleting, or blocking access to another user's files or communications without appropriate authorization or permission.

- Attempting to circumvent or defeat security or modifying security systems without prior authorization or permission (such as for legitimate system testing or security research).

- Obtaining, installing, copying, storing, or using software in violation of the appropriate vendor's license agreement.

- Permitting an unauthorized individual access to a government-owned or government-operated system.

- Modifying or altering the network operating system or system configuration without first obtaining written permission from the administrator of that system.

- Copying and posting of for official use only, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), critical information, and/or personally identifiable information on Department of Defense owned, operated, or controlled publicly accessible sites or on commercial internet-based capabilities.

- Downloading and installing freeware/shareware or any other software product without designated accrediting authority approval.

Malicious Logic Protection. Protect information systems from malicious logic (virus, worm, Trojan horse) attacks by applying a mix of human and technological preventative measures. Scan approved removable media devices for viruses before and after use if scans are not automated. Report any suspected information system abnormalities (antivirus errors, virus alerts, unexpected file size increases, unexpected disk access, strange activity by applications) immediately to the organizational information assurance officer.

Operations Security and the Internet. When accessing internet-based capabilities using federal government resources in an authorized personal or unofficial capacity, individuals shall comply with operations security guidance as stated in AFI 10-701, Operations Security (OPSEC), 9 June 2020, and shall not represent the policies or official position of the USAF or the Department of Defense.

2019 Air Force Handbook

15.28. The Internet

Use of the web or web-based technologies is a technique for obtaining and disseminating information worldwide. The web or internet provides the capability of quickly and efficiently disseminating information to, and accessing information from, a variety of governmental and nongovernmental sources. Web content must be managed in compliance with all information management policies and procedures.

Use of Internet Resources by Government Employees. The internet provides an indispensable source for information from a variety of governmental and nongovernmental sources. The Air Force's goal, within acceptable risk levels, is to provide maximum accessibility to internet resources for personnel requiring access for official business.

Appropriate Use. Government-provided hardware and software are for official use and limited authorized personal use only. Limited personal use must be of reasonable duration and frequency, approved by the supervisor, and not adversely affect performance of official duties, overburden systems, or reflect adversely on the Air Force or the Department of Defense.

Inappropriate Use. Using the internet for other than official or authorized purposes may result in adverse administrative or disciplinary action. The following uses are specifically prohibited.

- Use of federal government communications systems for unauthorized personal use.

- Uses that would adversely reflect on the Department of Defense or the Air Force, such as chain letters, unofficial soliciting, or selling except on authorized internet-based capabilities established for such use.

- Unauthorized storing, processing, displaying, sending, or otherwise transmitting prohibited content: pornography, sexually explicit or sexually oriented material, nudity, hate speech or ridicule of others on the basis of protected class (e.g., race, creed, religion, color, age, sex, disability, national origin), gambling, illegal weapons, militancy/extremist activities, terrorist activities, use for personal gain, and any other content or activities that are illegal or inappropriate.

- Storing or processing classified information on any system not approved for classified processing.

- Using copyrighted material in violation of the rights of the owner of the copyrights. Consult with the servicing Staff Judge Advocate for fair use advice.

- Unauthorized use of the account or identity of another person or organization.

- Viewing, changing, damaging, deleting, or blocking access to another user's files or communications without appropriate authorization or permission.

- Attempting to circumvent or defeat security or modifying security systems without prior authorization or permission (such as for legitimate system testing or security research).

- Obtaining, installing, copying, storing, or using software in violation of the appropriate vendor's license agreement.

- Permitting an unauthorized individual access to a government-owned or government-operated system.

- Modifying or altering the network operating system or system configuration without first obtaining written permission from the administrator of that system.

- Copying and posting of for official use only, controlled unclassified information, critical information, and/or personally identifiable information on Department of Defense owned, operated, or controlled publically accessible sites or on commercial internet-based capabilities.

- Downloading and installing freeware/shareware or any other software product without designated accrediting authority approval.

Malicious Logic Protection. Protect information systems from malicious logic (virus, worm, Trojan horse) attacks by applying a mix of human and technological preventative measures. Scan approved removable media devices for viruses before and after use if scans are not automated. Report any suspected information system abnormalities (antivirus errors, virus alerts, unexpected file size increases, unexpected disk access, strange activity by applications) immediately to the organizational information assurance officer.

Operations Security and the Internet. When accessing internet-based capabilities using federal government resources in an authorized personal or unofficial capacity, individuals shall comply with operations security guidance as stated in AFI 10-701, Operations Security, and shall not represent the policies or official position of the Air Force or the Department of Defense.