Skills Required for Platoon Leaders in the Objective Force Unit of Action

Report No. ARL-TN-0215
Authors: Bruce S. Sterling and Cheryl A. Burns
Date/Pages: May 2004; 24 pages
Abstract: The objective of this research was to identify and measure skills required by platoon leaders in the objective force unit of action (UA). The research was embedded in a UA experiment conducted in simulation in the Unit of Action Maneuver Battle Lab. We used the Job Assessment Survey Software to examine types and levels of skill clusters and individual skills needed by platoon leaders. Results showed that for both the tasks of ?maintain situational awareness? and ?command and control the platoon,? the clusters of conceptual, communication, and vision are important. Concerning individual skills, the highest ranking skills over both tasks combined were mental skills such as time sharing, selective attention, speed of closure and memorization; communication skills of oral comprehension and oral expression; and vision skills such as depth perception, night vision, far vision, and near vision. Platoon leaders have very high skill requirements for their level in the future force. However, these high ratings may well be as much attributable to their lack of experience as to the difficulty of the job. We propose human factors, training, and selection interventions to help meet skill demands.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2004