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Public Policy and Administration


Donald R. McLellan


The Department of Defense (DoD) utilizes risk management to develop antiterrorism practices and policies on military installations. However, there is a gap in understanding the impact these practices have on the culture and relationship among military personnel and their civilians. Using Schneider and Ingram's conceptualization of social construction of target populations, the purpose of this ethnographic qualitative study was to understand the nature of the relationship between antiterrorism programs, culture, and risk management on a single military installation. Using a snowball sampling strategy, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 12 participants who were either a civilian or military person on base. Using inductive reasoning, the data were then organized using thematic analysis by pre-established codes, although some codes emerged based on participant responses. The key finding emerging from this study focused on the theme that there are differences in how civilian and military personnel are trained in terrorism mitigation. Civilians reported that they had annual training, while the military reported more ongoing training. One consistent finding among both was that if employees saw something they should say something. The results of this study could facilitate positive social change by encouraging DoD leaders to promote collegiality in cross-training the military and civilians, by improving antiterrorism programs that impact all stakeholders. Specifically, civilian leaders and base commanders can work together to create more uniform policies for training that benefit the entire DoD. Such collegiality could strengthen the work culture and relationship among civilians and the military, as they have a joint duty in promoting safety and the reduction of terrorism on the base.

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