Evaluator Rating of Unit Performance in Field Exercises: A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Statistical data analysis techniques were applied to expert judgments to explore systematic methods to incorporate expert military opinion into unit evaluation procedures. The research involved two related studies designed to define the major dimensions, or factors, that military judges use to assess unit performance in field exercises. In the first study, 15 military judges rated unit performance described in written narratives of 15 field exercises. These ratings were then analyzed using multidimensional scaling MDS techniques to determine how many dimensions the judges used to evaluate performance. The second study attempted to define, or label, the dimensions obtained in the first study. To do this, a list of possible dimension-defining attributes adjectives or descriptive phrases was composed, a new group of 30 military judges ranked the 15 narratives with respect to how much each narrative was characterized by the attributes, and these ratings were used as input to a second MDS analysis. The results indicated that judges used only three dimensions to evaluate unit performance, and that the dominant dimension was quality of overall performance. Subsequent interpretive analyses suggested that the weaker two dimensions were use of indirect fire and use of TOWs when the dominant quality-of-performance dimension was eliminated, however, the secondary dimensions were a leadership functions, including coordination of elements, command and control, and exercise of leader functions, and b tactical skills, including use of indirect fire, quality of tactical plan, and use of tanks.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics