Date of Conferral







Wade C. Smith


Enhancing antiterrorism force protection (ATFP) training at off-installation sites to allow employees to survive a life threatening situation is a necessity after recent events at such military installations. However, little is known about how service members perceive their current ATFP training experiences and how those experiences impact their self-confidence for responding to a threat. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how current training experiences impact confidence levels in learning basic security fundamentals to respond to a threat, as well as possible training changes that might improve confidence levels. This study used social constructivism, andragogy theory, heutagogy, and problem-based learning as the conceptual frameworks. Participants were 15 sailors from 5 off-site locations. Data sources were semistructured interviews. Data were analyzed using provisional and open coding strategies to identify themes of supports and barriers to learning ATFP concepts. Results indicated that existing instruction resulted in sailors engaging in supplemental self-training activities to reach what they believed were strong preparedness levels. They also indicated that instruction that emphasizes authentic adult education practices such as learner-center instruction and hands-on drills under the framework of problem-based learning and heutagogy were necessary to increase self-reported levels of confidence in responding to a threat. This study impacts positive social change by providing guidelines for effective terrorist and threat preparedness instruction, regardless of organization, institution, or location that can be used by administrators to improve their confidence and ability to deal with terrorist actions.