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Use Wargaming to Sharpen the Tactical Edge
The majority of educational wargaming is confined to the classroom, far removed from frontline units. Educational wargaming is increasingly prevalent in the pedagogical toolkit but remains concentrated at the higher levels of Professional Military Education (PME). Advanced PME institutions like the U.S. Army War College and the Marine Corps War College are admirably expanding game-based learning in their curricula. In contrast, educational wargaming remains generally underdeveloped and underutilized in the operational force. The majority of educational wargaming is confined to the classroom, far removed from frontline units. At the tactical edge, wargaming is generally limited to the military planning process and course of action analysis. The rare employment of educational wargaming within tactical units is episodic and limited in scope. Thus, to systemically reap the dividends of educational wargaming, the Joint Force should aim to reestablish the tradition of educational wargaming within tactical units. Success depends on senior leadership support in the form of institutional funding and enduring partnerships with wargaming organizations. The use of wargames to teach both tactics and strategic thinking lies at the heart of professional wargaming. Wargames provide a dynamic environment to explore and examine a variety of challenges and concepts along the strategic, operational and tactical levels. As an educational tool, wargaming fosters critical thinking and innovation, but most of all, it helps prepare tactical leaders for future challenges.
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