Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Paul W. Thurston, PhD


This thesis explores several factors that might explain discrepancies in the tolerance level of fraternization among company grade officers within the Air Force. Factors that may influence implementation may include the nature of the relationship (platonic or sexual), the sex of the participants (same or different gender or gender of the senior person), whether the incident occurred between people in the same chain of command, and whether the survey respondent was ever stationed at a remote location. This research used a survey sent out to a population of company grade officers and comprising of scenarios that varied the combination of factors under study. The respondents were then asked to decide what punishment was suitable for each hypothetical case. The lighter the punishment given, the greater the tolerance for relationships exhibiting the factors that made up the scenario. The results of this research suggested that there was less tolerance for sexual relationships over platonic relationships and less tolerance for unprofessional relationships within the same chain of command. Results showed that consequences were more severe if the participants were in the same chain of command regardless of the relationship. There was also an interactive effect between the gender makeup of platonic relationships and whether the participants were in the same chain of command. Respondents provided more severe punishments for different gender, platonic relationships only when the participants were within the same chain of command. It was also determined that officers who had been stationed at a remote base had a greater tolerance for fraternization with almost any combination of factors.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number