Accession Number:



Learning to Think for Understanding: Introducing Systems Thinking into Professional Military Education

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

US Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Future conflicts that involve combat operations against multiple peer competitors within five domains of operations will inherently involve understanding complex problems. With the continuously changing character of war in mind, it is crucial to examine the current US Army PME curriculum to determine how the US Army can best teach its leaders to think and learn for understanding. Understanding is the bedrock of the commanders role in the operation process and the US Army incorporates into all the principles of mission command. The US Army needs to teach additional thinking skills early in PME and continuously build upon those skills at all echelons of PME to facilitate the understanding of complex problems. Systems thinking is a new way to think and learn about different problems. It is a lens that allows one to see the whole, understand, and overcome complexity. Leaders with the cognitive skills to think and learn for understanding complex problems will better understand the operational environment, make decisions faster than the adversary, and maintain the competitive advantage.


Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]