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Ready or Not: Enhancing Operational Effectiveness Through Use of Readiness Measures

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Cosenzo KA, Fatkin LT, Patton DJ. Ready or not: enhancing operational effectiveness through use of readiness measures. Aviat Space Environ Med 2007; 78:(5, Suppl.):B96–B106.

Current and future military operations require personnel to perform a multitude of mission tasks. Military personnel are required to execute these tasks, and to perform to high levels of expectation. Many of these tasks are complex and demand substantial cognitive readiness, which may optimize and enhance cognitive performance. Technologies are being developed to aid individual soldiers to successfully complete their missions; however, the proliferation of new technologies, coupled with the varying operational missions, make leveraging cognitive readiness a mandate for the achievement of military effectiveness and enhanced overall performance. It is important to have a militarily relevant psychological battery that can be used to assess each individual’s cognitive capabilities and appraisals, factors that enhance military operational effectiveness. Assessing individual cognitive readiness becomes particularly important when researchers broaden their examinations of military effectiveness to assess team cognition, team behavior, and team effectiveness. We discuss the theoretical development and the components of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Readiness Assessment and Monitoring System (RAMS). Data from several studies are presented to illustrate the behavioral profiles of individuals in extreme operational environments. Data show how specific factors (e.g., personality, coping) contribute to performance in operational settings (e.g., command and control, chemical decontamination operations). Understanding the effect of cognitive readiness on overall military effectiveness not only has implications for selection, training, and system design, but also provides the basis for the proactive development and sustainment of optimal performance, both in individual soldiers, and in small teams or military units.
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Keywords: assessment; cognition; cognitive readiness; decision making; performance; personality; salivary amylase; stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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