Air Force Post-Deployment Reintegration: A Qualitative Study


  1. Sullivan-Kwantes, W.M.
  2. Febbraro, A.R.
  3. Blais, A.-R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Expanding on previous research with Army personnel (Thompson & Gignac, 2001), this study investigated the post-deployment reintegration experiences of a sample of 95 Canadian Air Force (AF) personnel posted at seven different AF bases across Canada. A total of 14 semi-structured focus groups were held. The present report details the reintegration issues and experiences, both positive and negative, that these AF personnel identified in terms of four domains: personal, family, work, and cultural. Regarding personal reintegration, participants reported such positive changes as increased self-confidence, a renewed sense of purpose, and positive coping skills, but also negative changes, such as a sense of disconnection from others, a tendency towards anger, and a sense that they were “not themselves.” In terms of family reintegration, participants spoke of a new appreciation for their family, but also of stresses on their children, family breakdowns, problems in dealing with changes in family dynamics, and family difficulties associated with rotational types (e.g., 56-day vs. 6-month). Regarding work reintegration, while participants reported some positive effects of deployment on their careers and commitment, they also noted numerous negative effects, such as lack of organizational recognition for their deployment efforts, staff shortages and other organizational problems, problems with leave policies and PERs, a sense of meaninglessness in their unit or wing, pro

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Post-Deployment, Reintegration, Air Force, deployment
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2005-159 — Technical Report
Date of publication
21 Nov 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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