This study explores how the United States Air Force negotiates the problem of publicly communicating on behalf of its own interests while subordinating its communication to national objectives during military operations. The author proposes a theory of military public communication that links the act of persuasion to a military service's core function, the application or threat of coercive force. The theory predicts that, as the level of coercive airpower exerted or implied in a conflict increases, the character of Air Force communication becomes more domestically focused, more reliant on needs-based appeals, and more concerned with ensuring information security and controlling information flows through censorship or propaganda. When national priorities clearly align with the coercive force that airpower provides, service communication generally coheres with stated policy. As lower levels of violence become the intent of policy, airpower may seem contradictory. This disparity encourages higher authorities to control Air Force communication in the interest of policy coherence. Nevertheless, national or Air Force preferences for information control will be frustrated by the need for organizational advocacy within the policy process as well as trends favoring public transparency in cyberspace.