Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Paul W. Thurston, PhD


AFI 36-2909, provides the current policy on acceptable and unacceptable social interactions between Air Force members. The intent of distinguishing relationships as professional or unprofessional is to preserve proper respect for authority and maintain focus on the mission through professional relationships while avoiding the negative effects of unprofessional relationships. Fraternization is one unacceptable type, which governs relationships between officers and enlisted members. There have long been differences between official policy and actual practice in the area of fraternization. These differences likely influence the acceptance of existing policy, and the amount of tolerance toward behaviors that Air Force policy would consider unprofessional. High tolerance of fraternization acts among Air Force members will likely lead to more fraternization. Thus, if the Air Force does not want fraternization to occur among its members it needs to take action to reduce members' tolerance of those acts constituting fraternization. The results of this research effort suggest that members' tolerance is determined by three things fraternization, consequences, and the perception of need for the policy. The general implication of the study is that the Air Force should enforce the training requirement of AFI 36-2909 and develop ways to ensure proper implementation of the Air Force fraternization policy across the Air Force. It seems this is The best way to decrease members' tolerance of fraternization.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number