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What is the Ask U.S. Panel pilot?

The Ask U.S. Panel Pilot for military members and spouses is a national survey pilot panel by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Defense.

The purpose of the pilot panel is to collect the opinions of individuals living across the United States (U.S.), including service members and their spouses, on a variety of topics and test the feasibility and procedures that may be used to develop a long-term panel. Data collected from service members and their spouses through the panel will be used to improve military life and policies affecting active-service members and their families. The pilot panel will consist of individuals and households living across the U.S, including active-duty service members and spouses of active-duty service members, that have agreed to be contacted and invited to participate in surveys led by the U.S. Census Bureau and other statistical agencies, including the Department of Defense.

Not a military member or spouse? Click to learn about the Ask US Panel for the general population.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have been invited by the DoD to participate as part of the Ask US Panel pilot for military members and spouses. Members of the military and their spouses will be invited to participate in surveys specifically designed to gather information about military life. If you were invited to the Ask US Panel pilot for military and spouses, the first letter of the PIN provided on your initial invitation letter will include “D.”

You are one of 2,500 active-duty service members and spouses of active-duty service members across the U.S. that were randomly selected to participate. In order for the Ask U.S. Panel pilot to be successful, it is important to have participants that represent the military.

Participation in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot is voluntary. There are no penalties for refusing to answer any questions. The data collected by the panel will be used to improve military life by informing policies affecting active-service members and their families. The information you provide also will help the U.S. Census Bureau and DoD better understand public opinion on a variety of different topics and will be used to improve how data may be collected in the future. Your cooperation is important because it will ensure our survey results represent an accurate picture of active-duty service-members and spouses of active-duty service-members. Your answers not only represent you, but also hundreds of other active-duty service members and spouses of active-duty service members. You may choose not to take part in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot, but because our sample is randomly selected, no other active-duty service member or spouses of active-duty service members can take your place. By taking part in the Ask U.S. Panel pilot, you will represent the views and opinions of many other individuals like yourself.

Yes. As a token of appreciation, you received $5 in the panel invitation and will receive an additional $20 for completing your initial 20-minute enrollment survey. Furthermore, you will receive an additional $10 for completing a 15-minute survey later in 2022.

You will first complete a 20-minute enrollment survey to confirm your eligibility and enroll in the panel. Panelists will be asked to be a part of the pilot panel for up to one year, during which time they will be invited to complete one additional 15-minute survey later in 2022. Surveys will be about a variety of topics, such as food and nutrition, housing, employment, and education. Participation in individual surveys is voluntary and you may skip surveys that you do not wish to complete.

The U.S. Census Bureau, partnering federal agencies (including the Department of Defense), and RTI, a not-for-profit research organization, are committed to assuring the confidentiality of the information that you provide as part of this collection. All survey responses will be combined with the answers of many others and reported in a summary form. Our interest is only in the combination of all responses and not anyone’s individual answers. Your name and any other identifying information will never be associated with the answers you provide on surveys – this information is only collected for contact purposes so that we may send you invitations to future surveys. Your privacy and confidentiality are protected to the full extent required by law.

The U.S. Census Bureau is the primary sponsor of the Ask U.S. Panel pilot. Other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, will also contribute funding and sponsor surveys for the Ask U.S. Panel pilot.

The U.S. Census Bureau has partnered with RTI International (RTI), a not-for-profit research organization, to establish and manage the Ask U.S. Panel pilot. RTI conducts research both in the United States and abroad under agreements with federal, state, and local governments; public service agencies; universities and foundations; and commercial clients. You can learn more about RTI by visiting www.rti.org.

You may contact the U.S. Census Bureau at ADRM.pra@census.gov or the RTI International Ask U.S. Pilot Panel Data Collection Task Leader, Dustin Williams, at askuspanel@rti.org to confirm the legitimacy of the Ask U.S. Panel.

You may also find out more information regarding U.S. Census Bureau survey programs at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/surveyhelp/faqs.html.

The study has also been approved by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The valid OMB control number for this information collection is 0607-1020. The expiration date is 04/30/2025.