Preparing to be unprepared: ground force commander decision making in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world
Karaoguz, Adam A.
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What are the characteristics of effective ground force commander (GFC) decision making? What commonalities do we see? What are best practices for pre-mission preparation and mission execution? This thesis focuses on GFC decision making in order to investigate how to better prepare leaders for the current operating environment. It examines tactical-level decision making under conditions of uncertainty. It does so by drawing on interviews with combat-experienced commanders. An examination of their thought processes while leading tactical combat elements reveals that mental preparation, vicarious experience, and complex, repetitive training are key components of effective GFC decision making. The thesis concludes with recommendations about how to enhance GFC decision making for future volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environments.
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