Accession Number : ADA331742

Title :   How Tactical Experience Affects Confidence About Combat Decision Making

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis 4 Aug 96-7 Jun 97

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s) : Reilly, Gregory D.

PDF Url : ADA331742

Report Date : 07 JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 117

Abstract : This study examines how tactical experience affects confidence about combat decision making. Observations made at the nations 5 combat training centers indicate that maneuverbattalion commanders fall short in making sound decisions once operations commence. Decision theory indicates that experience is central to decision making, and confidence is positively related to making rapid decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Two hypotheses were developed predicting a positive relationship between the amount of tactical experience that a combat arms officer has and his confidence about making combat decisions. Survey data enabled satisfactory testing of the hypotheses. Subjects included all Infantry and Armor officers attending Command and General Staff Officer Course, 1996-97. The survey captured all subjects' professional experience, in months, and measured confidence about decisions they made in response to three tactical vignettes. As predicted, analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between one's amount of tactical experience and his confidence about combat decision making. Increased tactical experience enhances a maneuver battalion commander's confidence about combat decision making, enabling him, perhaps, to make the speedier decisions that retain the initiative on the battlefield. Implications for professional development of combat arms officers are addressed, and issues requiring further research set forth.

Descriptors :   *DECISION MAKING, *CONFIDENCE LEVEL, MILITARY OPERATIONS, DECISION THEORY, MANEUVERS, MILITARY COMMANDERS, MILITARY PLANNING.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE