News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

14. Personnel Performance and Training

PPT efforts seek to maximize human military performance. There are two main subareas: (1) manpower and personnel, and (2) training. Investments in manpower and personnel address recruitment, selection, classification, and assignment of people to military jobs. The goal is to reduce attrition of high–quality personnel and support the development of managers and leaders. Investments in training technology improve the effectiveness of individual and collective training, enhance military training systems, and provide more cost–effective opportunities for skill practice and mission rehearsal. The overall objective is to develop soldiers and support personnel who are intelligent, physically fit, educated, highly motivated, and well trained.

Significant advances are being made in DIS and VR technologies that can have a major impact on this area of technology, especially in training. Table E–17 and the following paragraphs summarize foreign capabilities and opportunities in each technology subarea.

Table E–17.  International Research Capabilities—Personnel Performance and Training


United Kingdom




Asia/Pacific Rim


Other Countries

Manpower & Personnel 2s.gif (968 bytes) These nations have capabilities & are involved in cooperative programs   Australia, New Zealand

2s.gif (968 bytes) Participate in TTCP in this area


2s.gif (968 bytes)

Training 1s.gif (931 bytes) Dynamic training & simulation 1s.gif (931 bytes) Dynamic training & simulation   4s.gif (949 bytes) Distributed training & simulation of complex enterprises     Canada

1s.gif (931 bytes) Simulators & displays

Note: See Annex E, Section A.6 for explanation of key numerals.


a. Manpower and Personnel

Manpower and personnel technologies address three important topics:

Selection and Classification. Dealing with aptitude testing and sophisticated assignment systems that reduce training time and increase quality of performance. Research areas include simulations of new selection and classification systems, methods to measure performance–related aptitudes, improved prediction of leadership and performance under stress, and improved temperament and psychomotor/spatial tests.

Human Resources Development. Providing products and methods to improve leadership in complex and ambiguous situations, support efficient career development, and improve support for soldiers and their families. Research areas include leadership characteristics, unit cohesion, motivation, and career commitment. In addition, the current and long–term effects of combat, organizational and mission changes, and issues such as gender integration on career commitment and development are of keen interest.

Leader Development. Focusing on understanding, evaluating, and determining the behaviors required for effective leadership. This is accomplished by collecting and analyzing descriptive, experiential, and empirical data tracking the careers of officer candidates and officers.

Major technical challenges in manpower and personnel include:

Developing new selection techniques that cover a wider range of human abilities
Relating aptitude test to performance on a simulated battlefield
Developing techniques to more effectively adapt to organizational change
Identifying characteristics of the most effective leaders
Developing methods for assessing, developing, and retaining quality leaders.

Manpower and personnel issues are of concern to all countries wishing to field and maintain an effective military capability. International cooperation in manpower and personnel is taking place through a variety of mechanisms. The U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand pursue collaborative research and actively exchange information of defense R&D projects through the Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP). Examples of collaborative manpower and personnel research include selection tests for tank gunners and effects of workload levels and stress on decision making. Collaborative research also occurs through the Defense Research Group (Panel 8, Human and Biomedical Sciences) of the NATO Armaments and Research Organization. For example, the U.S. is gaining valuable information regarding the fielding of computer–based selection tests in Germany and Belgium and on use of distance learning technologies in European countries.

b. Training

The requirement to execute increasingly complex dynamic mission objectives as part of a multinational coalition force is pushing us to devise new and innovative ways to train, perform mission planning, conduct rehearsals, and maintain critical skill levels while at home station, deployed for extended periods, and if feasible, en route to an operation. Our major allies are limited, as we are, by budgetary constraints, reduced access to training areas, environmental and safety concerns, and cost of munitions. This reality is pushing us toward an increased reliance on more robust, flexible simulation systems. While the current emphasis in training is in VR and synthetic environments, an effective training strategy should employ a complimentary mix of devices and simulation including: individual, crew, ranges and targets, maneuver, command and control, force–on–force engagement systems, and where feasible embedded training systems.

Live force–on–force tactical engagement simulation remains a key element of the training strategy for both us and our major allies, but the increased lethality and longer ranges of our weapon systems and improved C4I systems are pushing the limits of our current laser engagement training systems and their corollary T&E instrumentation systems.

The information systems technologies used to improve our tactical situational awareness could be augmented with embedded simulation hardware and software to provide viable training anywhere, anytime. The Training and Doctrine Command’s (TRADOC) stated, preferred method of training for the future is embedded training.

Soldiers need the ability to train up rapidly on the doctrine and standing operating procedures used by other services, coalition forces or agencies. Units need the capability to link up via distance learning technologies with joint, combined, and interagency personnel for common training/mission rehearsal. Commanders and staff must be able to practice and refine problem solving and decisionmaking skills in mission relevant, joint, combined, and interagency scenarios.

This training strategy provides a considerable technical challenge at a time of shrinking budgets and will require coordination and cooperation among our system program managers, simulation developers, laboratories, R&D centers, TRADOC, and cooperative R&D programs with other nations should be strongly encouraged.

Technical challenges involve new training and performance measurement technologies that will allow more effective training within tight budgetary constraints. New training strategies are needed that are specifically developed for DIS to take maximum advantage of its capabilities, recognize its limitations, and assess its effectiveness. Developing training strategies that provide an effective and affordable mix of live exercises and synthetic training is another challenging area. Finally, an emerging topic of importance is developing training strategies and performance evaluation to support the emerging digital battlefield technologies and the accompanying doctrinal changes.

A number of foreign countries have significant capabilities in training and simulation technology. Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. all have made valuable contributions and each represents considerable leveraging opportunities. Australia has hosted several international simulation conferences and symposia to expand their knowledge, increase their capability, and broaden their use of simulation. The U.K. has established an industrial advisory board to monitor simulation activities in the U.S. and advise on military use in their nation. The Germans are experimenting with injecting virtual targets into live sights that will be a key challenge for embedded training and live–to–virtual linkages. Canada’s advanced displays systems would be useful for all types of simulations, and the U.K. and France’s ability in human performance modeling and VR technology could enhance battlefield representations. The Netherlands has assumed a prominent role in Europe as a technical expert in the use of training simulation technology and have orchestrated several major demonstrations of advanced distributed simulation (ADS) technology in support of NATO vision and goals. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K. have established working groups in VR and distributed simulation under TTCP’s Training Technology Panel HUM–2. NATO Army Armaments Land Group 8 is identifying standard agreements (STANAGs) for training interoperability among member nations, and NATO Research and Technology Panel Number 8 is investigating human factors issues in the use of VR for military purposes.

AMC POC: Dr. Rodney Smith
Army Materiel Command
5001 Eisenhower Blvd.
Alexandria, VA 22333–0001
e–mail: [email protected]

IPOC: Mr. Gene B. Wiehagen
U.S. Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command
12350 Research Parkway
Orlando, FL 32826–3276
e–mail: [email protected]

IPOC: Dr. Stephen L. Goldberg
Chief, Army Research Institute’s Simulation Systems Research Unit
12350 Research Parkway
Orlando, FL 32826–3276
e–mail: [email protected]

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