Training methods and tactical decision-making simulations
Fitzpatrick, C. Neil, III
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Introducing simulation training to ground officers for the first time, within an existing proven curriculum, presents a number of challenges and questions. The proper amount of simulation time to evaluate and train skill sets and how to introduce simulation into an existing curriculum are mostly unknown. We have completed two studies at the Naval PostGraduate School (NPS). The first study examined the length of time and the most appropriate method for introducing simulation training to a user. The second study compared the use of the Close Combat Marines (CCM) Tactical Decision-Making Simulation (TDS) with the traditional method of training decision-making called the Tactical Decision-Making Game (TDG). The TDS and TDG were used in a between-subjects experimental design to examine the viability of each with regard to their ability to evaluate several important military traits. We found that both the TDG and the TDS methods were useful in evaluating a participant's leadership characteristics and decision-making ability. However, only the TDS was capable of evaluating situational-awareness. Our results also address a novel way in which these two approaches could be combined to amplify each other's potential in training of ground officers and military personnel in general.
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