Improving the Trainee Socialization Process in Basic Combat Training
Final rept. Jul 2007-Oct 2008
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES FORT BENNING GA
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During discussions with the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences ARI in Feb 2006, the Commanding General CG, Ft. Jackson, requested that ARI determine what assimilation into the Army culture consists of, while developing and testing prototype methodologies, measurement instruments, and analytical strategies to ascertain which aspects of the Army socialization process are or are not succeeding. To address these concerns, a reliable set of metrics were developed to track attitude and value change at three points in basic training. Data were collected at Ft. Jackson, SC, and Ft. Benning, GA, during Reception, near the end of BCT-White Phase equivalent to the midpoint of OSUT, and just before graduation. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used in conjunction with repeated measures ANOVA and hierarchical linear regression to examine how new Soldiers attitudes and relational identification change during basic training. Selected findings indicate 1 basic training effects positive changes in Soldier attitudes regardless of variations in personality and other individual difference measures, 2 identification with Battle Buddies, Drill Sergeants, and their platoon significantly impacted Soldierization outcomes during basic training and changed as training progressed, and 3 by the end of basic training, the degree to which their DSs have modeled the Armys values and desired behaviors emerges as one of the most significant factors in the Soldierization process. These findings are discussed in terms of DS training tactics and the relationships that develop among Soldiers and between Soldiers and DSs during basic training.
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