simulation, military training, desktop simulations, decision making, infantry operations


This research considers two modes of training Army infantry officers in initial training to conduct a platoon live fire exercise. Leaders from groups that were training with the current classroom training methods were compared to leaders from groups whose training was augmented with a PC based training system known as the Rapid Decision Trainer (RDT). The RDT was developed by the US Army Research Development and Engineering Command for the purpose of aiding in the training of tactical decision making and troop leading procedures of officers in the initial levels of training to become rifle platoon leaders. The RDT allows the leader in training to run through platoon level operations prior to live execution in a simulated combat environment. The focus of the system is on leadership tasks and decision making in areas such as unit movement, internal unit communication and contingency planning, and other dismounted infantry operations. Over the past year, some Infantry Officer Basic Course platoons at Ft. Benning have used the RDT in an experimental manner. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the system is beneficial in training IOBC officers. The Army Research Institute (ARI) conducted a preliminary evaluation of the RDT in March 2005 (Beal 2005). However, no quantitative measures were used in the evaluation of the RDT, only subjective evaluations of the users. Additionally, there were no formal evaluations by the training cadre, only the users themselves. This experiment continues the work of ARI and uses qualitative and quantitative data from both users and the evaluating cadre. In this experiment, the effectiveness of the RDT was evaluated through measuring leader behaviors and personal preferences. Three measurement approaches were used; (1) quantitative performance measures of leader actions, (2) qualitative situational awareness and evaluations of inclusion in the non leader players, and (3) a qualitative evaluation of the system's usability and effectiveness by system users. Analysis reveals statistically significant findings that challenge the current norms.


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Graduation Date





Proctor, Michael


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Industrial Engineering and Management Systems

Degree Program

Industrial Engineering and Management Systems








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Engineering Commons