Jacob Chan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cyber Operations


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Mark Reith, PhD


The Air Force talent management and force development systems are antiquated. Airmen records are often stored on different Air Force information systems. Existing records sometimes lack granularity and context to recognize Airmen skills. Digital badges are a newer technology utilized by academia and industry to recognize member skills. However, military badging research is sparse and existing studies do not provide sufficient evidence on the value of digital badging to the Air Force. The studies: (1) lack background research on badging; (2) do not provide quantitative data on the effects of badging; and (3) issued badges through commercial entities which may not meet Air Force requirements. This paper attempts to address those limitations by: (1) providing background research and a literature review of industry, academia, and military digital badging research; (2) building a badge creator to create and issue badges that are aligned with Air Force requirements; (3) conducting an experiment within an Air Force cyber community to assess the effects of digital badges on motivation and performance; and (4) providing qualitative data and analysis of the experiment.

AFIT Designator



A 12-month embargo was observed.

Approved for public release. Case number on file.