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An organization's senior leadership can create, embed, and transmit an organization's culture. To help the Air Force ensure that senior leader messages aimed at its personnel reinforce stated cultural goals, RAND researchers conducted an analysis of themes within these communications. This analysis revealed that the senior leaders clearly defined the Air Force's organizational identity and regularly emphasized the Air Force's core values. They also consistently promoted a shared identity, the Airman, and highlighted the importance of varied contributions from across the service. All three leaders emphasized the importance of caring for Airmen's well-being and readiness but took appropriately different approaches to doing so. Future messages should highlight current Air Force heroes and families, recognize the historical predecessors of space and cyberspace missions, explain the meaning of Service Before Self, clarify whether civilians are Airmen, and emphasize the importance of Wingman Day. Also, messages should be disseminated more routinely and more directly to all Air Force personnel.

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The research reported here was sponsored by the United States Air Force and conducted by RAND Project AIR FORCE.

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