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Immersive Simulation for Marine Corps Small Unit Training

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The challenges and risks to US ground forces in the contemporary operational environment COE, particularly with respect to Irregular Warfare, are well known. It is believed that virtual simulation, with proven effectiveness in training Airmen and Sailors, can improve the safety and effectiveness of Marines and Soldiers by aiding them in developing complex and intuitive decision skills under conditions of stress. Additionally, the phenomenon of strategic compression, pushing responsibility for decisions with far-reaching consequences to the lowest echelons of military organizations, requires the means of developing effective cognitive decision-making capabilities for US ground forces small unit leaders. The panel adopted a learning hierarchy framework for training USMC small units spanning a declarative knowledge of facts, b consolidation and acquisition of procedural knowledge and c higher order skills and team organization. Against this, the panel considered a range of virtual simulation alternatives. The range of virtual simulation alternatives suggests a potential fit with the hierarchy of training challenges. Thus an augmented reality capability, with the ability to move freely in a physical, three-dimensional space, might be a good fit for learning higher order skills and organization while desktop virtual reality might be suited to learning declarative knowledge of facts. Whatever the level of training, however, the inherent non-sequential nature of simulation training more naturally supports the development of higher-order cognitive capabilities than linear task and part-task training. For immediate action, the panel recommends a the implementation of systematic, subjective assessment methods to evaluate simulation alternatives, b the development of cognitive, irregular warfare-related METs, c various enhancements to the IIT along with d cognitive task decomposition to support an end-to-end training solution.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Cybernetics
  • Unconventional Warfare

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