Accession Number:



Small-unit Training for Adaptability and Resilience in Decision Making (STAR-DM)

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,14 Apr 2012,23 Jan 2017

Corporate Author:

Design Interactive, Inc. Orlando United States

Report Date:


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Over the past decade, the United States Marine Corps USMC has shifted its training focus towards enabling effective and efficient decision-making DM in its small unit leaders. Small unit leaders are increasingly required to make decisions with both tactical and strategic impact in the heat of the battle. Simulation-based training provides an opportunity for trainees to consolidate DM skills learned in the classroom and practice making decisions in stressful environments prior to entering resource-intensive live exercises. No collective and consolidated guidance, however, is available on how to utilize simulation to train small unit leader DM under stress. Guidance is needed in several key areas, including 1 merging standards-based training with DM-based training, 2 inducing stress at levels that impact the decision process and force coping strategies, 3 integrating objective and quantitative assessments to understand performance deficiencies and 4 incorporating learning strategies that can enhance DM skills and increase resilience to stress. The Small-unit Training for Adaptability and Resilience in Decision-Making STAR-DM effort described herein addresses these needs by developing a simulation-based training approach which outlines methods for scenario design, stress induction, assessment, and learning strategy integration. There were three main goals of STAR-DM 1. Develop and validate a generalizable training framework including the overall model, measures, and learning strategies to better train adaptable, stress-resilient small unit leader decision makers in simulation environments, 2. Implement the training framework into Marine Corps-specific simulation-based Squad Leader Training Packages SLTPs and validate their training effectiveness, and 3. Integrate solutions into STAR-DM assessment and debrief tools to make the training framework and SLTPs easily accessible to instructors.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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