Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Mark Dusenbury


Coast Guard air station commands have three department heads referred to as the Tri-P, consisting of the safety officer, operations officer, and engineering officer. The safety officer is generally junior in rank to the other members of the Tri-P despite what is advertised as an equal position within the command structure. The purpose of this study was to explore rank imbalance for Coast Guard safety officers at air stations throughout the United States by examining their perceptions in a quantitative survey. All current Coast Guard safety officers were eligible for participation in the survey. The survey revealed that safety officers did not perceive their rank affected their ability to conduct their assigned duties despite being junior to other members of the command structure. Safety officers did not perceive resistance to their ideas with other members of the command and rank imbalance was not a factor in a safety officers’ ability to raise concerns to their superior officers. Differences between rank groups of safety officers were mostly non- significant. This quantitative instrument revealed that rank imbalance is not a perceived issue for safety officers assigned as junior members to the Tri-P.