alcohol, as well as food and water hygiene safety. Training should cover both the acute—next-hour and next-day—effects and the chronic effects that occur over months and years. Nutrition, hydration, and other life style choice lapses could be built into the Army’s first-person game1 distributed to recruits and Soldiers.

As part “team manager” and part “team captain,” the TSU leader must lead by example and by counseling the other TSU members on the physical and cognitive performance effects of nutrition, hydration, sleep, dietary supplements, tobacco, and alcohol. Researchers and scientists maintained that lack of positive leadership led to Soldiers mis-use of available rations. Medical researchers reported that high dysentery rates for units deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan were largely attributable to lack of ration discipline.

Findings and Recommendations on TSU Training

Finding: To achieve overmatch, Soldier and small unit training will have to emphasize both physical and cognitive performance, especially in areas of leadership, physical and cognitive fitness and resiliency, aptitude in human and social-cultural awareness, and ability to perform under severe stress from combat, information overload, physical demands, weather, severe temperatures, etc.

The development of training objectives has a rich history in the training literature. The science of work analysis has struggled for many years to define training objectives in a way that is measurable; has face validity; and considers the individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities and the demands of the specific job to be trained (Wilson et al., 2012). Cognitive task analysis methods have proven useful in interviewing experts, extracting key knowledge, and identifying learning objectives (Clark et al., 2008; Crandall et al., 2006). More recently, Mission Essential Competencies have been defined as a unique approach for training analysis in military settings. The process for developing Mission Essential Competencies is both task- and worker-oriented, representing a blended job analysis approach for understanding the requirements of the job (Bennett et al., in press; Garrity et al., 2012; Alliger et al., 2012).

Recommendation 8: The Army should focus training for the individual Soldier and TSU in the near term as follows:

     Define TSU training objectives to produce TSUs that perform acceptably on the TSU MOPs and MOEs.

     Produce nonintrusive physiological status monitors to allow self-awareness and command chain assessments.

     Apply results of research in individual differences to the administration of TSU training.


1In video games, “first-person” refers to a graphical perspective rendered from the viewpoint of the player character. Perhaps the most notable genre to make use of this device is the first-person shooter, where the graphical perspective has an immense impact on game play.

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