Developing decision-making skills in United States Naval Academy midshipmen
Healey, Daniel P.
Thomas, Gail F.
Laurence, Janice H.
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This study shows the importance of decision-making skills in a military leader. Different models of decision-making are examined, and effective ways to teach decision making are presented. If, as the literature shows, decision making is an important skill for an officer, one would assume that the United States Naval Academy (USNA) would have a well-defined, clearlyarticulated program that ensures its graduates are, in fact, well-trained in decision making; this study tests that assumption. It presents what the Naval Academy's senior leadership's goals and priorities are for developing midshipmen as decision makers. The study also determines the value placed on decision-making abilities by those primarily responsible for midshipmen's professional development, and how well they believe the Naval Academy prepares midshipmen for the decision-making responsibilities they will face as officers. Opportunities for midshipmen to make decisions are identified, and midshipmen were asked how well they think the Naval Academy prepares them to be decision makers. The findings of this study assess the extent to which the Naval Academy presently develops decision-making skills in its midshipmen.
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