Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Simon P MacKenzie


The United States Air Force is an organization operationally focused on gathering, processing, and utilizing vast quantities of information, so much so that it added "cyberspace" to its core missions of air and space in 2005. Service leaders have argued that a USAF information revolution - its entrance into the "Information Age" - began as early as the first computers in the 1940s or as late as the proliferation of networks in the 1990s. Upon close inspection, however, it becomes clear that such assertions overlook decades of information operations and management, and overemphasize the concept of a single information age. This dissertation illustrates how the Air Force's information age has origins dating back to the Civil War-era, a half-century before the development of the first air service. Through reviewing methodological and technological changes in information operations, it becomes clear that the post-World War II "information age" grew from numerous early service efforts to improve the quality, quantity and delivery of its information.

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