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Wargames, Training, and Decision-Making: Increasing the Experience of Army Leaders

Wargames, Training, and Decision-Making: Increasing the Experience of Army Leaders

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The purpose of this monograph is to examine the capabilities of commercial computer wargames and determine if the Army can use them to train its leaders. The study is intended for all Army leaders, from team leader through joint task force commander, interested in training tools to supplement the existing training methods in the Army. There are several problems inhibiting the training of the Army's leadership. The first problem is finite resources such as personnel, training dollars, land, and ammunition. Second is a high operational deployment tempo that reduces the available training time. Third is an increased rotation of leaders within units lowering the level of experience of leaders. Finally, restrictions on training with certain weapon systems and ammunition at their operational ranges causes soldiers to ignore the realities of combat. The results are less experienced leaders incapable of dealing with the complexities particular to the Army. This monograph examines the question: can commercial computer wargames increase the experience level and decision making abilities of Army leaders? Additionally, the monograph looks at three secondary questions. How can the Army use computer wargames to increase experience and decision making? Why should the Army use computer wargames? Finally, what are the benefits of computer wargames for the Army? This monograph shows the computer wargame used consistently by army leaders can increase experience and decision making skills. Like any training, computer wargames must be used repetitively to achieve results. Commercial computer wargames are available now. The software industry produces a wide variety of wargames enabling leaders to focus on the level of war that suits rank and position. The costs of computer wargames are negligible. The army could purchase site license from the software industry for wide distribution or units could locally purchase the games. The bottom line is, using commercial computer wargames to devel