Leveraging citizens and cultivating vigilance for force multiplication in the maritime domain
Billeaudeaux, Michael Andre
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This thesis examines a Coast Guard-led networked community (Citizen's Action Network - CAN) by exploring the network's potential to augment the Coast Guard in managing its prodigious maritime domain risks. Through an expansive literature review, a survey and a set of semi-structured interviews, a proposed set of community-based structural components were identified and tested for strength and significant relationships using ANOVA, Regression and Student's T statistical testing methods. Findings suggest that component parts of CAN fit into a business-oriented networked management model called a Community of Practice (COP), with vigilance emerging as a sustainable, predictable and highly desirable post-9/11 networked community behavior. CAN's demographics were also examined to determine trends, such as above-average military veteran membership, which may support future targeted volunteer recruiting. Finally, various Coast Guard-initiated CAN communication methods were tested for significant impact; volunteers receiving phone calls correlated to higher levels of trust in the Coast Guard, while those receiving written communications maintained a heightened sense of access to the Coast Guard. These findings underscore the yet-untapped potential to groom grassroots vigilance, build trust in government and create a culture of prevention by sharing national challenges - ultimately putting the "home" back in homeland security.
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