Sunday was the deadline for troops to complete the Defense Department's "don't ask, don't tell" attitudes survey, and officials at the Pentagon said the final tally on completed responses was 109,883 -- a response rate of only about 27.5 percent.Full disclosure: I wasn't one of the 400,000 service members who took the actual survey. I did, however, receive a link to the Comprehensive Working Group's online feedback form. And, once again, I was frustrated with yet another DoD's IT program.
That's below the 30 to 40 percent response rate researchers from the University of Texas at Austin say an average email or online surveys should pull in, and well below the 52 percent participation rate officials at the Office of Personnel Management got in their similarly-structured 2010 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
The Pentagon's survey was designed to help military leaders "assess the impacts, if any, repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell" might have on military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention," according to Department spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.
The link led to a form where I had 1,000 characters to share my thoughts on DADT. After clicking "submit", I received a password, and a link to another site where I would allow me to participate in a "dialogue" on DADT.
Unfortunately, the first time I clicked on the link without copying down the passcode, and thus, I couldn't do anything. So I had to go back and enter my 1,000 characters of text again, copying down the passcode this time.
After entering the passcode, I received an error message informing me that I could only proceed to the dialogue during regular work hours on the East Coast. Thus, I waited until the next day. The only way to proceed to the dialogue was to, once again, enter another 1,000 characters of text, and enter my passcode, whereupon I finally entered the chat room.
Hi, would you like to chat about DADT?Sadly, there really wasn't anything to say in the chat room that I hadn't said in the 1,000 characters of text that I entered three times before, so I left.
What are your thoughts?
Uh...I put on my robe and wizard hat?
Did anyone else have a similar experience or should I chalk this one up to my tendency to find myself in bizarre and outrageous circumstances?