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Risk Mitigation and Leadership in Tactical U.S. Army Infantry Training

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Despite the prevalence of irregular wars, the U.S. Army must also be prepared for the possibility of a high-intensity conventional war. The training required for this war must simulate the expected conditions, those of high-intensity conflict, as closely as possible. As U.S. strategic leaders look to the future and prepare the U.S. Army for the next conflict, they prepare for a war with a level of violence that resembles that of the Korean War. While conditions that simulate combat are dangerous and present inherent risks, the mitigation of that risk prevents the adequate simulation of a high-intensity combat situation. Therefore, this thesis studied how risk mitigation practices in U.S. Army tactical infantry training affect Soldiers preparedness for high-intensity combat operations. By examining U.S. Army infantry training at the tactical level, U.S. Army safety and risk mitigation doctrine, cognitive and perceptual biases, and historical case studies, this thesis suggests that U.S. Army risk management practices neither hinder nor help combat preparedness. Instead, the abdication of a commanders authority to execute risk mitigation in the training environment affects combat readiness.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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