Voice for the army - support for the soldier, ‘thinking about thinking’: soldiers have a better way to solve problems.

A new field of systems thinking has emerged with the potential to transform the U.S. Army and its professional military education system. This new field could create emergent and adaptive leaders by placing a high value on creative and critical thinkers. It offers a new way to view problems and build intuitive thinking. Essentially, it could be the next frontier for the Army to create a superior cognitive force or, more specifically, a metacognitive force.

This new approach is called Systems Thinking v2.0, and it has the potential to fundamentally change and improve how leaders can think through, identify and solve problems in the Army. It is a new approach to problem-solving and concept mapping that can help build a new metacognitive warfighter.

Systems Thinking v2.0 is predicated on new discoveries and ideas:

  • Systems thinking is the emergent property of four simple rules known as DSRP, an acronym for distinctions, systems, relationships and perspectives. That is, systems thinking itself is not a linear method or framework but an emergent property of the four simple rules from which systems thinking emerges. This is predicated on the idea that systems thinking is a complex adaptive system with underlying rules.
  • There are many systems thinking and design frameworks (System Dynamics, Soft Systems Methodology, Systems Engineering, Army Design Methodology, etc.) and still other nonsystems thinking frameworks (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats [SWOT]; Observe, Orient, Decide and Act [OODA]; etc.) but these frameworks are built on the common set of simple rules of DSRP.
  • The four rules of DSRP are a simple cognitive algorithm not only for how humans think and can think more systemically about any system but also for how we understand existing knowledge and create new knowledge.

As a field, systems thinking attempts to understand how to think better about real-world systems and real-world problems. For the past 100 years, but especially since the 1950s, the field of systems thinking has amassed specialized methods and frameworks to better understand the real world, what systems theorists call Systems Thinking v1.0. Systems Thinking v2.0 instead supplies universal rules that can be used to more closely align human mental models with the real world (i.e., the process of metacognition).

examples of critical thinking in the army

Supporting Military Work

People across the military use Systems Thinking v2.0 to support their work. Systems Thinking v2.0 is taught at West Point within the systems engineering program to prepare future warfighters with necessary metacognitive skills. It also has been used to problem-solve during recent Army missions, and it should be examined as a way to transform professional military education across the Army.

Cornell University, N.Y., professors Derek and Laura Cabrera are the brains behind the Systems Thinking v2.0 model. They’ve also launched Plectica, a visual systems mapping software based on this approach. This free software (available at allows you to do systems thinking and visualize, analyze and synthesize concepts to gain a greater understanding of ideas or concepts in their entirety.

Derek Cabrera, who teaches systems thinking, modeling and leadership at Cornell and is on the board of advisers for the Department of Systems Engineering at West Point, explained in an interview:

“The more we learn about systems thinking and how it works, the more it is clear that it dovetails with the field of metacognition. There is a growing research base in the interdisciplinary field of metacognition that demonstrates the far-ranging effects of increasing metacognition. … Metacognition sits at the crossroads of cognitive science, learning science, neuroscience, psychology, sociology and epistemology [the theory of knowledge]. Metacognition—meta equals self-referential plus cognition equals thinking—can be thought of as ‘thinking about thinking,’ or keeping a watchful eye on how one’s thinking affects how we feel, think further, and behave in the world. When we become aware of the simple underlying rules we use to think—DSRP—we are better able to use these patterned rules to think more systemically about any domain or problem.”

The world is increasingly more complex and uncertain than ever. Cabrera possesses a deep understanding of complexity and discovered four underlying patterns of metacognition universal to systemic thinking: making distinctions, organizing part/whole systems, recognizing relationships and taking perspectives—DSRP. These patterns of thought have successfully brought the field of systems thinking together and offer the building blocks of metacognition; hence, version 2.0. He has demonstrated that systemic thinking and metacognition are not only similar in their underlying structure and dynamics, but also their purpose. He said:

“Both physically and conceptually, we split whole things down into parts or alternatively lump things together to form a new whole. We sometimes say there are just two kinds of scientists, splitters and lumpers. Those who split stuff up and those who lump stuff together. In this new … volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, we need folks who can do both. We need a new kind of amphibious mind I call a splumper .”

examples of critical thinking in the army

A Better HQ

An element of a NATO-led mission in Afghanistan demonstrates Systems Thinking v2.0 at work. This element involved moving Resolute Support headquarters to a more resilient structure fit to handle emerging strategic requirements—force manning, Mission Command and flexibility for future missions. While the Napoleonic organizational model that reorganized the military corps remains relevant, Gen. John W. Nicholson, then-commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the Resolute Support mission, realized that the Resolute Support headquarters no longer fit the purpose of sustained multinational stability operations. He wanted to adapt the headquarters to be able to address emerging localized strategic requirements.

Resolute Support was launched after NATO’s International Security Assistance Force ended in 2014. Its mission is to focus on training, advising and assisting at the security-related ministries in Afghanistan’s institutions, and among the senior ranks of the Afghan army and police. 

After a recent shift in U.S. South Asia policy, as well as an enduring commitment from NATO and its partnering nations, changes have been made to the force manning-level constraints of Resolute Support headquarters. Under Nicholson’s guidance, these changes afforded Resolute Support headquarters an opportunity to reorganize staff and subordinate commands into a three-pillar functional headquarters that delivers capability to the operational, institutional and strategic areas. The new structure emphasizes perspectives of force generation and functional allocation (work processes and battle rhythm) and codifies these changes by amending existing organizational documentation.

To support the reorganization effort, Systems Thinking v2.0 was used to perform a functional and requirements analysis, and to identify potential measures of effectiveness for the final headquarters structure. Without Systems Thinking v2.0 and Plectica software to map out the current system, it would have been difficult to isolate the systems, relationships and perspectives requiring attention. The DSRP approach to systems thinking helped create a shared understanding that transcended personalities within the greater Resolute Support headquarters as documents were amended and people communicated through mission orders.

Anyone with military experience understands that reorganizing is nothing new; however, Resolute Support did something innovative. Executing such a reorganization is a monumental task and Resolute Support headquarters is expected to maintain a level of workflow that supports train-advise-assist down to the multiple commands, and to continue to plan, assess and coordinate with superior headquarters. This simultaneous effort can sometimes create opportunities to leverage the capacity of other organizations such as the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, or any of the intellectual capital throughout the military. These consulting opportunities afford a fresh perspective, can be unbiased and allow for operations to be minimally disrupted.

Improving PME

Using and understanding Systems Thinking v2.0 would also allow professional military education to adapt quickly to the changing environment. In essence, it would provide a complex adaptive curriculum allowing us to see learning for what it is: the process of making sense of information and connecting knowledge, leading to a better understanding of our environment. It offers simple rules—DSRP—that could bring about emergent learning.

Systems Thinking v2.0 would move the U.S. military past simple drill and rote memorization and allow it to learn by forming connections between ideas. It would allow the military to analyze and synthesize concepts bringing about emergent learning. In physics, the mass of an object does not equal the mass of all its parts as it also requires energy to bind it together. Here we can think of energy as intelligent thinking.

For example, if we break apart the principles of Mission Command, we cannot gain an understanding by simply putting the pieces back together. We must insert “thinking,” which is essentially the binding energy allowing us to truly understand a concept. By using DSRP, we can insert “thinking” into the equation. The sum of its parts does not provide an understanding of Mission Command, but the sum of its parts plus DSRP does.

The Army is a superior fighting force. However, to remain superior, it must evolve and adapt. It must create a superior cognitive and metacognitive force. To do this, the service must build knowledge in order to possess it. Systems Thinking v2.0 helps do this by structuring, organizing and making meaning out of information. By thinking metacognitively (thinking about thinking) and visually mapping our thinking, Systems Thinking v2.0 in concert with proven Army methods—Army design methodology, the Military Decision Making Process and Mission Command—will yield far greater results that are more holistic, traceable and implementable. In the case of Resolute Support, Systems Thinking v2.0 helped elucidate the structure of the complex Resolute Support headquarters system and enabled innovation and a shared understanding. 

Systems Thinking v2.0 provides the Army warfighter a better way to identify and solve any problem. Systems Thinking v2.0 allows warfighters to transform information into meaning by adding deliberate thinking (information plus thinking equals knowledge) into the existing processes. Army warfighters who think about their thinking are better prepared to solve any problem that comes their way.

Essentially, Systems Thinking v2.0 plus U.S. Army equals metacognitive force.

  • Mission Command

Institute for Defense and Business

Critical Thinking for Military Leaders

To achieve high levels of success within military leadership, a broad range of skills are needed. Besides the physical demands of the military, these roles also require the mental capacity to process information strategically. Critical strategic thinking training combines the objectives of leadership development and reasoning skills to equip military leaders with expertise in active- duty decisiveness. Mastering the fundamentals of this training works to expand personal and unit influence through trained strategic thought. In preparation, it is important to understand what critical strategic thinking is, why it should be used in the military and how it can be trained for an applicable approach to your leadership development.

Military leaders often are charged with making crucial decisions in high-pressure scenarios. Having a strong foundation in critical strategic thinking better prepares leaders to respond effectively to both expected and unexpected challenges. For better preparedness in your organization, learn how the skill of critical thinking can be put to use and how to instill it in your ranks.

What is Critical Strategic Thinking Training?

Critical strategic thinking training is a form of training that prepares military leaders to think strategically in a variety of critical circumstances. Strategic thinking requires a deep understanding from multiple angles to assess a situation holistically and rationally. This mindset is actionable and considers long-term consequences, in which achieving the best possible outcome is the top priority.

Components of critical strategic thinking include situational analysis, questioning and response. Situational analysis requires that military leaders examine situations through a variety of internal or external methods to gain knowledge on the current strategy being used and the essence of the problem faced. Questioning entails comprehension and application of this knowledge in order for leaders to more accurately detect gaps in the strategy and calculate possible consequences of action plans. Lastly, in response, the intelligence gained through analysis and questioning is synthesized and applied in a strategic plan of action. The quality and success of critical thinking performance reflects the processing and leadership abilities of the individual involved.

Why Use Critical Strategic Thinking Training for Military Success?

To achieve military success, leaders must first and foremost be prepared. Critical strategic thinking supplements industrial readiness in military organizations as they face complex challenges daily, demanding efficient decision-making. Yet before leaders can put any strategy into action, they must develop the thought behind it. Critical strategic thinking training is essential for military leaders to simultaneously test plans and guide their unit in the right direction, while assessing high-risk situations with confidence. In these circumstances, critical thought becomes an essential precursor to physical defense tactics, as uninformed action itself is a risk factor.

Continuous learning in the defense industry becomes a substantial part of this preparation due to the dynamic, complex nature of national security issues. As a result, military leaders must learn to properly examine situations, to constantly improvise courses of action and to address challenges in the present and the future. Not only can this critical thinking raise leaders’ awareness of these possible dilemmas, but it enables them to modify missions and create contingency plans in an informed manner.

In addition, critical strategic thinking supports military leaders in establishing order. Those with experience in the military know that mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation. In order to develop the most effective approaches, restrictions and resources for missions, it is essential that leadership assesses the situation first to relay appropriate delegations.

How Can Critical Strategic Thinking be Trained in Military Leaders?

This type of thinking can be trained within military leadership by studying, reasoning through situations that occur in real life and participating in an active training environment . Multiple books, articles and compositions offer foundational information on critical strategic thinking, serving as a resource to assist individuals in developing an initial base of knowledge. Once basic concepts are grasped, leaders can begin to apply these principles to their current situations and practice reasoning through challenges. For a more holistic approach, military leaders can participate in training environments such as professional courses or seminars where live education, scenarios and feedback are offered.

Critical strategic thinking training equips military leaders with the tools to accurately analyze situations, question strategy and discern effective responses in their active duty. This thought process is beneficial to military endeavors as it develops physical and mental preparation and quick, informed decision-making in military leaders. Additionally, critical thinking promotes successful contingency planning and mission order. By framing strategy from the inside-out, leaders are prepared to create action plans in assurance, as they are backed by factual information and calculated reasoning.

Ready to develop your critical strategic thinking? The Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) offers programs concerning strategic studies , such as IB2 IO . This industry-based broadening course is designed for experienced professionals seeking a better understanding of information operations and the role of strategic communication within businesses. Despite the importance of critical strategic thinking training for military preparedness, this course approaches the subject matter to cater to a broader audience with a non-military perspective. IDB has many program offerings that develop analytical thinking and will allow you to return to your organization ready to apply strategic direction that best leverages people, processes and technology that distribute efficient and effective logistics and supply chain capabilities. Through an executive education in logistics, you will challenge old thinking and gain the ability to relate logistics-based issues to critical thinking.

About the Institute for Defense and Business

The Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) delivers educational programs and research to teach, challenge and inspire leaders who work with and within the defense enterprise to achieve next-level results for their organization. IDB features curriculum in Logistics, Supply Chain and Life Cycle Management, Complex Industrial Leadership, Strategic Studies, Global Business and Defense Studies, Continuous Process Improvement, and Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction. Visit or contact us on our website for more information.

Similar Posts

A letter to maggie… post covid-19.

A fictional piece from our IDB Executive Fellow, Mike Dana, of what the world will look like in 2041: 25 May 2041 Mike Dana Nuevo…

IDB Podcast Series

NDTA/IDB: Post-COVID-19: How to be Lean without Becoming Brittle! 06.25.20 The COVID19 pandemic has highlighted supply chain fragility as organizations have become too lean. How do we change…

Global Energy and Security

by: Jonathan Bush Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Navin A. Bapat to have a conversation and ask a few questions pertaining…

5 Ways to Maintain Strong Engagement in the Virtual Business Setting 

As a result of COVID-19, businesses are rapidly adapting to the remote working culture. Business leaders have been challenged to overcome the remote barrier and keep…

IDB Best Practices for Technology in Defense Logistics

Emerging technology is transforming the defense enterprise and how organizations develop strategy while simultaneously combating threats. To advance defense logistics, the industry is now depending…

Utilizing Life Cycle Logistics for Continuous Process Improvement in Business 

Advancements in technology, industry and processes require constant developments in business practices. As a result, continuous process improvements demand that participants invest time in improving methodologies, strategic…

  • Recent Articles
  • Journal Authors
  • El Centro Main
  • El Centro Reading List
  • El Centro Links
  • El Centro Fellows
  • About El Centro
  • Publish Your Work
  • Editorial Policy
  • Mission, Etc.
  • Rights & Permissions
  • Contact Info
  • Support SWJ
  • Join The Team
  • Mad Science
  • Front Page News
  • Recent News Roundup
  • News by Category
  • Urban Operations Posts
  • Recent Urban Operations Posts
  • Urban Operations by Category
  • Tribal Engagement
  • For Advertisers


How We Think: Thinking Critically and Creatively and How Military Professionals Can Do it Better

Download the Full Article

Sometimes in the course of military operations ill-conceived ideas survive to produce unacceptable outcomes.  When this happens, frustrated leaders might ask, “What made us think this would work?”  The last decade of persistent conflict has made this a common experience especially when we face problems that are unique.  Why would this be the case?

Military professionals prefer thinking that is rational and analytical, and which helps in the selection of ideas that meet feasibility, acceptability, and suitability criterion.  In addition, they prefer to select rational and analytical ideas that have a history of working in similar situations as before.  This creates a "paradigmatic" mode of typical thinking, which is the opposite of deep, reflective, multi-perspective thinking.  This "field expedient" means of just enough thinking to find usual solutions has been so successful, through trial and error, that it takes a deliberate act of will to do original thinking that may take practitioners out of their professional paradigm.  It has been so successful that there is great pressure among practitioners to keep doing it precisely because it has been a good way to solve problems that fit within the accepted paradigm of the military profession.  In fact, it has made those kinds of problems so "solvable" that we are increasingly only left with the kinds of hard problems that our paradigmatic thinking is not well suited to handle.  However, it is not the paradigmatic way of thinking that is "faulty," but rather that when we try to apply it outside of the appropriate context, it begins failing us.  The fault is not in the mode of thinking but in its improper application to certain contexts.  These contexts are the medium to ill structured  problems that FM 5-0 introduces to the profession. 

To meet these types of problems, the military profession is expanding its thinking repertoire to include concepts such as “Design”, in order to allow its critical and creative thinking to account for problems that fall outside of the assumed context of the military operating parameters.  Professional military education institutions have furthered this effort by turning to theorists who have labeled the mental activities of critical and creative thinking.  Several military professional practitioners have described a practical explanation of the same type of activities.

This essay will summarize how cognitive theorists have described critical and creative thinking in general, and how some military practitioners have applied them.  In doing so, this essay will propose principles of critical and creative thinking applicable to the military profession to provide a common vocabulary that describes the type of thinking we do.  To expand and improve critical and creative thinking, military professionals need a common vocabulary that accurately describes the very thinking we are to expand and improve on.  Below is a synopsis of how a sampling of theorists and military practitioners describe the mental activities associated with critical and creative thinking.

About the Author(s)

Dr Mark Gerges is a retired Army officer with 20 years of service in armor.  He is currently an associate professor of history at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His research area is the French Revolution and Napoleon, and in particular command and control of the cavalry under the Duke of Wellington. He holds a Ph.D. in European History from Florida State University.

Ken Long is a retired Army officer with 25 yrs service as an infantryman and logistician. He is currently the curriculum designer for CGSC's Department of Logistics and Resource Operations. Research interests include systems management, organizational development, change management, critical thinking and participatory action research. He holds an MS in Systems Management from University of Southern California and completing his dissertation in organizational development from Colorado Tech University.

Dr. Bill McCollum joined the CGSC leadership faculty in November 2005. He received an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of Sarasota (2003), and is a graduate of the Air War College (1995) and U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (1987). For the past 40 years McCollum has served in various military and education leadership positions including Commander, 1st Battalion (Attack), 4th Aviation Regiment, Assistant Dean for Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies in Overland Park, KS, and Vice President for University Relations at Baker University’s main campus in Baldwin City, KS.  McCollum now serves CGSC as a faculty Team Leader and Associate Professor in CGSC’s Department of Command and Leadership.

Leonard Lira is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.  He serves as an Army Strategist currently assigned as an assistant professor in the Department of Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations in the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Richard A. McConnell is a retired Army officer with 25 years of service as an artilleryman.  He is currently a Tactics Instructor at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Research interests include Leadership, Human Resource Management, Resilience, and Critical and Creative thinking. He holds a MA in Management and Human Resource Management from Webster University.

the first military professionals or power structures of society are obliged to protect society. Because not everybody thinks rationally, but each requires recognition of the society of his or her identity. The story you want to analyze, but the one who has eyes to see the present situation as a result of progress (or regress) of each country

I am not fond of the distinction between systematic and systemic (as Hubba Bubba suggests). They both subscibe to thinking the world (and its messes) out there as a system and composed of subsystems (some more complex than others). This is a paradigm in- and of- itself.

It may be that the systems paradigm is THE issue with our thinking.

"We need not certainly presuppose that the world somehow is systematic (simple, uniform, and the like) to validate our penchant for the systematicity of our cognitive commitments." --Nicholas Rescher

I'll go with Rescher on this point. We need to reread Rittel and Webber (i.e. 10 characteristics)! We have forgotten what wickedness means :)

I agree with most of Hubba Bubba's points below, and while we should continously endeavor to improve our ability to think creatively and critically this article appears to be largely a rational argument for continuing the current methodology, but focus on improving the individual planner, with the unstated assumption that is we have creative and critical thinkers conducting the planning the process will work. It may be improved incrementally, but the process is still largely similar to an algorithm and the input will be transformed into standardized results regardless of the level of creative thinking based on the military’s strong desire to embrace formats (which limit creative thinking and solutions) and employ all capabilities whether needed or not because good plans are joint and incorporate X, Y, and Z (according to our culture). Our planning processes are probably adequate for planning military operations that are focused on threats, but they are from ideal when we’re focused on “attacking” ideas, economic assistance, building local and national governments, etc. At the end of the day you still have military officers in the planning group that are not experts in these areas that are attempting to make these activities conform to our doctrinal processes. Occasionally we have the time and are humble enough to invite functional experts into our planning groups, but they’re frequently frustrated with our inability to grasp and implement their ideas when we distort their ideas (sometimes even give them military buzz word definitions) by attempting to adapt them into our preconceived phases of an operation. The author’s recommendations may make us “better” planners, but they won’t change the paradigmatic thinking rut we’re stuck in. While design is designed (pardon the pun) to help us understand the context and identify the real problems (as Einstein stated we should spend 90% of our time defining the problem, 10% solving it), I have yet to see it work in reality. It is simply an intellectual exercise that largely separate from the planning process, and all too frequently conducted by a limited number officers with strong biases or strong prepositions. Additionally, all too often when each of us talk about improving our strategic and operational level planning processes (for other than combat, because or processes work fairly well for what they were designed for) it means people should at the world the way I do. They should adopt my philosophy on life, my approach to problems, etc. Then of course if you are actually successful with developing a creative plan that is outside the norm (not just using new buzz words to try to sound like your approach is different), you have the challenge of selling it through multiple layers of bureaucracy manned by dinosaurs (often young dinosaurs stuck in a doctrinal rut and uncomfortable with anything that doesn’t adapt to their formats and processes) that can step on the brakes. From a frustrated planner.

Just a few thoughts-

Critical thinking and creative thinking require more than adherence to military doctrine, and the references to FM 5-0 as well as the many mechanistic and post-positivist procedures in this article reflect a very systematic rather than systemic appreciation for military conceptual planning and 'problem solving.'

Critical thinking evokes the concept of 'problematization' as espoused by Michel Foucault and represents the post-modern philosophical/organizational theory application to conceptual planning and problem-solving. To critically think requires one to challenge the institution, to include core values, and to 'think about thinking'- some use the term 'metacognition.' However, military planners and leaders that actually employ critical thinking will find many of the design references of this article quite constrictive, conformist, and lacking in appreciation of complex adaptive systems logic.

1. Army Design Methodology (in it's current form) reflects further 'group think' that attempts in a reductionist, or post-positivist manner to categorize thinking into a procedure. Step one- establish the environmental frame...step two..and so-forth. Doctrine codifies- it protects select narratives that are self-relevant to an institution; that is potentially why the military and some religious institutions (both defined by tradition, conformity, and the requirements for universalization and repetition of select behaviors and practices) use the term 'doctrine' in the first place. Doctrine is mostly about preservation of control- and the process of not thinking but following guidance to act.

2. Dr. Kem's work is largely in Operational Design, not Design. His short book referenced here (footnote 4) is actually a book on Operational Design which should not be confused with Design- or conceptual planning, or ADM, or Adaptive Campaigning, or any of the other hybrid terms out there for making sense of complex adaptive systems. Kem masterfully explained important concepts that are rooted in Effects-Based Operations (EBO)- which Joint Operations, the USAF, and the USMC tend to gravitate towards (pun intended) due to the cognitive maps (Dr. Reilly's contribution based largely upon Kem and Strange's work) where reverse engineering of strategic end-states link to centers of gravity, with lines of operation emerging from those back to the present state. This is, of course, my personal opinion based on Kem's work and interaction with him- I respect his position but disagree that Kem's work is the right material for any article on Design to cite, unless one is producing a paper that espouses the institutional position that the current doctrine "got it right." This strikes me more as a conformist or group-think position instead of a critical one. Instead of Kem's work, the authors might consider some actual critical thinkers- not limited to:

Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Valerie and Allen Ahl, Ervin Laszlo, Huba Wass de Czege, Francois Jullien, Michel Foucault, Peter Novick, Jeff Conklin, Gwilym Jenkins, Shimon Naveh, Gerald Weinberg, Nassim Taleb, Vladimir Slipchenko, Alex Ryan, Paul Ricoeur, Thomas Nelson, Thomas Kuhn, Steven Johnson, Anne-Marie Grisogono, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Peter Checkland, Walter Buckley, Eva Boxenbaum, Linda Rouleau, Mats Alvesson, Jorgen Sandberg, among others. There are just so many out there- and most of them have nothing to do with the military- which has everything to do with why we keep attempting to solve complex problems the wrong way!

3. Figure 1 in this article makes the point that Army Design Methodology relies extensively on science, procedures, and rigid decision making trapped within a hierarchical structure that does not take well to critical or creative thinking. The Army Problem-solving Model's highly problematic logic begins with "identify the problem" which leads right into a systematizing and positivist logic where every problem identified automatically comes with an associated solution. Instead of problem-centric thinking, we ought to consider appreciating the complex system holistically- seeking patterns and emergence. Solving one problem likely creates three more..

4. Figure 1 also includes Mission Command (which many general officers still question whether it is much different from Battle Command...or more useful); and to my dread, also includes the utterly worthless graphic from FM 5-0 with the Design Methodology fishing net of nothingness. In terms of graphics, figure 1 for this article is less about explaining anything in the article, and more about showing the reader a smorgasbord of conforming and “group think” planning graphics collected from across the Army doctrine. These are procedures, and are generally quite rigid. That is likely why the military struggles to bridge conceptual to detailed planning- complex systems do not behave or respond well to these controlling methodologies that seek to “tame” wicked problems, as Conklin would argue.

5. By the time I got to figure 2, the overarching narrative of this article was clear. Instead of discussing critical and creative thinking across a holistic perspective that draws from outside the military approved and sanctioned “Design” field, this article showcases only approved ideas. Doctrine is good, and sanctioned military thinkers are good. This is hardly critical- and largely unhelpful for military planners attempting to explain or understand how to better plan under complex conditions. To think critically is to go beyond touting the party line, whether that line is directed by Washington, the Pentagon, Leavenworth, or even within CGSC or SAMS. We must break beyond the group-think of doctrine, question why we think the way we do- why we prefer to see the world and attempt to explain it in certain ways while ignoring or rejecting other perspectives. To be creative, one must go well outside of the box and not look for procedures, check-lists, or pretty graphics that are universal in nature and expect the reader to think less, and follow the procedure more. Planning is not about coloring within the lines- to think creatively and critically, turn the coloring book upside down and use the back of it- the blank paper- move away from the lines entirely- and begin from there instead….

Food for thought- my opinions are just my own.

Hubba Bubba


Critical Thinking

Ai generator.

examples of critical thinking in the army

In today’s dynamic and fast-paced world, critical thinking stands out as an essential competency, seamlessly bridging the gap between soft and hard skills . As we navigate complex challenges and make informed decisions, the ability to think critically enhances our overall skill set. Critical thinking stands at the core of effective decision-making and problem-solving in today’s complex world. It involves analyzing information, evaluating evidence, and considering multiple perspectives to make informed judgments. In a society flooded with information, the ability to think critically ensures that individuals can distinguish between credible sources and misinformation. It empowers people to approach challenges logically and creatively, fostering innovation and resilience. By honing critical thinking skills, individuals enhance their capacity to navigate personal and professional landscapes with clarity and confidence.

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the process of actively and skillfully analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information gathered from various sources, including observations , experiences, and communication. It involves using logic and reasoning to identify connections, draw conclusions, and make informed decisions, while remaining open-minded and aware of potential biases.

Critical Thinking Examples

Critical Thinking Examples

  • Analyzing News Reports : Evaluating the credibility of sources, checking for biases, and verifying facts before accepting news stories as true.
  • Problem-Solving in the Workplace : Identifying the root cause of a problem, considering multiple solutions, and weighing the pros and cons before deciding on the best course of action.
  • Scientific Research : Formulating hypotheses, designing experiments to test them, analyzing data objectively, and drawing conclusions based on evidence.
  • Budgeting : Assessing income and expenses, prioritizing spending, and making informed decisions to stay within budget while saving for future needs.
  • Reading Literature : Interpreting themes, symbols, and character motivations in a novel or poem, and considering how they relate to broader societal issues.
  • Debating : Constructing logical arguments, anticipating counterarguments, and using evidence to support one’s position while also listening to and understanding opposing views.
  • Medical Diagnosis : Doctors evaluating symptoms, considering possible conditions, ordering tests, and interpreting results to make accurate diagnoses and treatment plans.
  • Educational Assessment : Teachers designing fair and effective assessments that measure student understanding and skills, and using the results to improve teaching strategies.
  • Ethical Decision-Making : Weighing the moral implications of actions, considering the impact on stakeholders, and making choices that align with ethical principles.
  • Legal Analysis : Lawyers analyzing case law, statutes, and evidence to build strong legal arguments and anticipate the strategies of opposing counsel.
  • Marketing Strategy : Analyzing market trends, customer needs, and competitor actions to develop effective marketing campaigns that resonate with target audiences.
  • Programming : Writing efficient code by understanding the problem, breaking it into smaller parts, and testing and debugging to ensure it works correctly.
  • Urban Planning : Evaluating the needs of a community, considering environmental impact, and planning sustainable and functional urban spaces.
  • Historical Analysis : Examining historical events, considering the context, and understanding the causes and effects while avoiding presentism (judging the past by today’s standards).
  • Personal Decision-Making : Weighing the benefits and drawbacks of significant life choices, such as career changes or moving to a new city, and making decisions based on careful consideration and long-term goals.

For Students

  • Activity : Organize debates on current events or controversial topics.
  • Example : Have students debate the pros and cons of renewable energy sources versus fossil fuels.
  • Activity : Present students with complex problems to solve in groups.
  • Example : Task students with designing a plan to reduce plastic waste in their school.
  • Activity : Analyze case studies relevant to their subjects.
  • Example : In a business class, analyze a company’s decision-making process during a crisis.
  • Activity : Conduct Socratic seminars where students discuss philosophical or ethical questions.
  • Example : Discuss the ethical implications of artificial intelligence in society.
  • Activity : Facilitate brainstorming sessions to generate creative solutions to problems.
  • Example : Brainstorm ideas for a community service project to help local residents.
  • Activity : Assign research projects requiring critical analysis of sources.
  • Example : Research the impact of social media on teenage mental health and present findings.
  • Activity : Engage students in role-playing exercises to explore different perspectives.
  • Example : Role-play a historical event, with each student taking on the role of a key figure.
  • Activity : Use logic puzzles and games to develop reasoning skills.
  • Example : Solve Sudoku puzzles or play strategy games like chess.
  • Activity : Encourage students to write reflectively about their learning experiences.
  • Example : Write an essay on how their views on a topic have changed after a class discussion.
  • Activity : Analyze the techniques used in advertisements to influence consumers.
  • Example : Evaluate an advertisement’s claims and discuss the strategies used to persuade the audience.

In the Workplace

  • Problem Solving : Analyzing the root cause of a recurring issue in production and developing a sustainable solution.
  • Decision Making : Evaluating the pros and cons of two potential suppliers based on cost, quality, and reliability.
  • Strategic Planning : Assessing market trends to develop a new product line that meets future consumer demands.
  • Conflict Resolution : Mediating a disagreement between team members by understanding both perspectives and finding common ground.
  • Process Improvement : Reviewing workflow inefficiencies and implementing new procedures to increase productivity.
  • Risk Management : Identifying potential risks in a project and devising strategies to mitigate them.
  • Customer Service : Addressing a customer complaint by understanding the underlying issue and providing a satisfactory resolution.
  • Innovation : Brainstorming and evaluating new ideas for improving a product or service.
  • Performance Evaluation : Analyzing employee performance data to provide constructive feedback and development plans.
  • Budgeting : Reviewing and adjusting the department budget to ensure financial efficiency without compromising quality.

In the Classroom

  • Critical Reading : Analyzing a text to understand the author’s argument, purpose, and use of evidence.
  • Scientific Inquiry : Designing and conducting experiments to test hypotheses and draw conclusions based on data.
  • Mathematical Problem Solving : Applying logical reasoning to solve complex math problems and explaining the solution process.
  • Historical Analysis : Evaluating historical events and their impact from multiple perspectives.
  • Debate : Constructing and defending arguments on various topics using evidence and reasoning.
  • Project-Based Learning : Developing a research project by identifying a problem, gathering information, and presenting findings.
  • Creative Writing : Critiquing peers’ work to provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Ethical Dilemmas : Discussing moral questions and justifying decisions based on ethical principles.
  • Literary Analysis : Interpreting themes, symbols, and character development in literature.
  • Collaborative Learning : Working in groups to solve problems, share ideas, and reach consensus.

In Everyday Life

  • Financial Planning : Creating a budget to manage expenses, savings, and investments.
  • Nutrition and Health : Analyzing dietary choices to improve overall health and wellness.
  • Time Management : Prioritizing tasks and activities to make efficient use of time.
  • Consumer Decisions : Comparing product reviews and prices before making a purchase.
  • Home Maintenance : Troubleshooting and fixing household issues, such as plumbing or electrical problems.
  • Travel Planning : Researching destinations, comparing travel options, and creating itineraries.
  • Parenting : Making informed decisions about children’s education, health, and activities.
  • Conflict Resolution : Resolving disputes with family or friends by understanding different viewpoints and finding compromises.
  • Personal Development : Setting and pursuing personal goals, such as learning a new skill or improving fitness.
  • Community Involvement : Analyzing community issues and participating in local initiatives to address them.

In Healthcare

  • Diagnosis : Interpreting patient symptoms and medical history to diagnose conditions accurately.
  • Treatment Planning : Developing individualized treatment plans based on patient needs and evidence-based practices.
  • Ethical Decision-Making : Addressing ethical dilemmas in patient care, such as end-of-life decisions.
  • Patient Communication : Explaining complex medical information to patients and families clearly and compassionately.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration : Working with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care.
  • Medical Research : Designing and conducting research studies to advance medical knowledge and treatments.
  • Healthcare Policy Analysis : Evaluating healthcare policies and their impact on patient care and outcomes.
  • Clinical Judgment : Assessing and prioritizing patient care needs in emergency situations.
  • Quality Improvement : Implementing strategies to improve patient safety and care quality.
  • Continuing Education : Staying updated on medical advancements and integrating new knowledge into practice.

In Business

  • Market Analysis : Evaluating market trends and consumer behavior to make informed business decisions.
  • Strategic Planning : Developing long-term goals and strategies to achieve business objectives.
  • Financial Management : Analyzing financial statements to make sound investment and budgeting decisions.
  • Risk Assessment : Identifying and mitigating potential business risks.
  • Negotiation : Using persuasive arguments and data to negotiate contracts and deals.
  • Product Development : Assessing customer needs and market gaps to create new products.
  • Customer Feedback Analysis : Collecting and analyzing customer feedback to improve products and services.
  • Supply Chain Management : Optimizing supply chain processes to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
  • Leadership : Making decisions that motivate and guide employees toward achieving company goals.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility : Evaluating the social and environmental impact of business practices and implementing sustainable strategies.
  • Research Projects : Conducting independent research, analyzing data, and presenting findings.
  • Critical Essays : Writing essays that critically analyze texts, arguments, and ideas.
  • Group Projects : Collaborating with classmates to complete assignments and solve problems.
  • Class Discussions : Participating in discussions by presenting well-reasoned arguments and listening to others.
  • Case Studies : Analyzing real-world scenarios to understand complex issues and propose solutions.
  • Exam Preparation : Developing study plans and strategies to prepare for exams effectively.
  • Internships : Applying classroom knowledge to real-world situations during internships and reflecting on experiences.
  • Time Management : Balancing academic, social, and personal responsibilities.
  • Library Research : Using library resources to find credible sources for research papers.
  • Extracurricular Activities : Engaging in activities that develop leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

Critical Thinking scenarios

Here are some critical thinking scenarios along with questions and answers to help you practice and enhance your critical thinking skills:

Scenario 1: Workplace Conflict

Scenario: You are a manager at a company. Two of your team members, John and Lisa, have been having frequent disagreements. These conflicts are starting to affect the team’s productivity and morale.

  • What steps would you take to address the conflict between John and Lisa?
  • How would you ensure that the resolution is fair and satisfactory for both parties?
  • What strategies would you implement to prevent similar conflicts in the future?
  • Schedule a private meeting with John and Lisa to discuss the issue.
  • Listen to both sides without taking sides to understand the root cause of the conflict.
  • Facilitate a mediation session where both parties can express their concerns and work towards a resolution.
  • Agree on specific actions that both parties will take to avoid future conflicts.
  • Ensure that both John and Lisa feel heard and respected during the mediation process.
  • Identify common ground and mutual interests to build a foundation for resolution.
  • Set clear expectations and follow-up actions for both parties.
  • Monitor the situation and provide support to ensure the conflict does not resurface.
  • Foster an open and inclusive team culture where concerns can be raised early.
  • Provide regular team-building activities to strengthen relationships.
  • Implement conflict resolution training for all team members.
  • Establish clear communication channels and protocols for addressing grievances.

Scenario 2: Ethical Dilemma

Scenario: You are a journalist working on a high-profile story. You discover that one of your sources has provided you with information that could harm their reputation if published. However, this information is crucial to your story and serves the public interest.

  • What factors would you consider before deciding whether to publish the information?
  • How would you balance the public interest with the potential harm to your source?
  • What steps would you take to verify the accuracy of the information before publication?
  • The significance of the information to the public interest.
  • The potential consequences for the source if the information is published.
  • The ethical guidelines and professional standards of journalism.
  • Any possible legal implications of publishing the information.
  • Evaluate whether the public’s right to know outweighs the potential harm to the source.
  • Consider anonymizing the source or redacting sensitive details to protect their identity.
  • Seek advice from colleagues or an ethics committee to make an informed decision.
  • Cross-check the information with other reliable sources.
  • Review any documentation or evidence provided by the source.
  • Conduct interviews with other individuals who can corroborate the information.
  • Ensure that the information is presented in context to avoid misrepresentation.

Scenario 3: Environmental Impact

Scenario: Your company is planning to build a new factory in a rural area. This project promises economic growth and job creation but also raises concerns about environmental impact and the displacement of local wildlife.

  • What are the potential environmental impacts of the new factory?
  • How would you address the concerns of the local community and environmental groups?
  • What measures would you implement to minimize the environmental impact of the factory?
  • Air and water pollution from factory emissions and waste.
  • Habitat destruction and displacement of local wildlife.
  • Increased traffic and noise pollution in the area.
  • Strain on local resources such as water and energy.
  • Organize community meetings to discuss the project and listen to concerns.
  • Collaborate with environmental groups to assess the impact and find solutions.
  • Provide transparent information about the factory’s operations and mitigation plans.
  • Offer compensation or relocation assistance to affected residents if necessary.
  • Implement eco-friendly technologies and practices to reduce emissions and waste.
  • Develop a comprehensive environmental management plan.
  • Create buffer zones and wildlife corridors to protect local habitats.
  • Invest in renewable energy sources to power the factory.
  • Improved Problem Solving: Critical thinking helps in analyzing problems systematically and making better decisions.
  • Enhanced Communication: It allows for clear expression and understanding of ideas.
  • Better Decision Making: Critical thinking leads to more informed and logical choices.
  • Adaptability: It enables individuals to adapt to new situations and challenges effectively.
  • Informed Opinions: Critical thinkers can form well-grounded opinions and defend them logically.

What are the critical thinking skills?

  • Analysis: Breaking down complex information into smaller parts to understand it better.
  • Interpretation: Understanding and explaining the meaning of information or an event.
  • Inference: Drawing logical conclusions from available information.
  • Evaluation: Assessing the credibility and relevance of information and arguments.
  • Explanation: Clearly and concisely articulating your reasoning and evidence.
  • Self-Regulation: Reflecting on and adjusting one’s own thought processes and biases.

Concepts of critical thinking

  • Clarity: Ensuring that the information and arguments are clear and understandable.
  • Accuracy: Ensuring that information is true and free from errors.
  • Precision: Providing enough detail to understand the specific context.
  • Relevance: Ensuring that information and arguments are directly related to the issue at hand.
  • Depth: Addressing the complexities and underlying factors of an issue.
  • Breadth: Considering different perspectives and alternatives.
  • Logic: Ensuring that the reasoning is coherent and follows a logical sequence.
  • Fairness: Being open-minded and impartial in evaluating information and arguments.
  • Identify the Problem or Question: Clearly define what you are trying to solve or understand.
  • Gather Information: Collect relevant data, evidence, and viewpoints.
  • Analyze the Information: Break down the information to understand the relationships and implications.
  • Evaluate the Evidence: Assess the quality, credibility, and relevance of the evidence.
  • Formulate Conclusions: Draw reasoned conclusions based on the analysis and evaluation.
  • Communicate the Conclusion: Clearly express your findings and reasoning.
  • Reflect and Reassess: Continuously reflect on the process and outcomes to improve your critical thinking skills.

Basics of critical thinking

  • Open-Mindedness: Being willing to consider new ideas and perspectives.
  • Curiosity: Having a strong desire to learn and understand.
  • Skepticism: Questioning the validity of information and not taking things at face value.
  • Objectivity: Striving to remain unbiased and impartial.
  • Rationality: Basing decisions on logical reasoning rather than emotions.
  • Socratic Questioning: Asking a series of probing questions to explore complex ideas and uncover underlying assumptions.
  • Mind Mapping: Visually organizing information to see connections and relationships.
  • Brainstorming: Generating a wide range of ideas and solutions without immediate judgment.
  • Role Playing: Considering different perspectives by imagining oneself in another person’s position.
  • SWOT Analysis: Evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to a particular situation or decision.
  • Thought Experiments: Imagining hypothetical scenarios to explore potential outcomes and implications.

How to Practice and Use Critical Thinking

The critical thinking process incorporates various other logical soft skills that will help you analyze and interpret all the information to create an informed decision. These soft skills include observational skills, problem-solving, communication skills, and analytical thinking. If you sharpen all of these elements and characteristics you will inadvertently enhance your critical thinking.

Step 1: Practice One’s Observational and Perception Skills

We use our senses to perceive the world around us, whether it would be sight, smell, a, and sensations. One should practice utilizing these senses to create logical inferences and deductions that will help out brain unconsciously absorb and analyze these types of information. The more one practices their senses the better their thinking process will be.

Step 2: Enhance One’s Problem-Solving Skills

Logic and problem-solving allow the person to deduce and connect information that the environment or circumstance presents to the said person. You need to practice your problem-solving skills via puzzles, logical reasoning tests, and ethical dilemmas. Practicing one’s problem-solving skills will allow the person to efficiently establish cause-and-effect  reasoning or properly create logical decisions.

Step 3: Prepare and Practice One’s Communication Skills

Communication is a pivotal skill we often use when interacting with other people. This type of skill includes body language , assertive communication , concise language, and other communication skills. In critical thinking, a person must be able to properly communicate their thoughts and thinking process to other people, which will create a collaborative environment. Other times, the perfect solution might not be present without the need for communication.

Step 4: Practice Analysis of the Situation

One’s analytical thinking skills allow the person to take note of various elements and characteristics of the situation and analyze these elements’ contribution to the current situation or circumstance. You need to practice your analytical thinking to properly process the current situation or circumstance you find yourself in.

Why Do Employers Value Critical Thinking Skills?

Employers value critical thinking skills because they enable employees to analyze situations, make informed decisions, and solve problems effectively. Critical thinkers can evaluate information from various sources, identify logical connections, and foresee potential consequences, which leads to better strategic planning and innovation. These skills also enhance communication and collaboration, as critical thinkers can present their ideas clearly and consider different perspectives. Ultimately, critical thinking contributes to improved productivity, adaptability, and competitiveness in the workplace.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking involves analyzing and evaluating information to make reasoned, logical decisions, and judgments. It emphasizes evidence-based reasoning and problem-solving.

Why is critical thinking important?

Critical thinking enhances decision-making, problem-solving, and the ability to analyze complex situations. It is crucial for personal and professional growth.

How can I improve my critical thinking skills?

Improve critical thinking by questioning assumptions, seeking diverse perspectives, practicing problem-solving, and engaging in reflective thinking regularly.

What are the key components of critical thinking?

Key components include analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation, and self-regulation. These skills help in understanding and assessing arguments and evidence.

How does critical thinking benefit students?

Students benefit from critical thinking by improving academic performance, enhancing research skills, and fostering independent thinking and creativity.

What role does critical thinking play in the workplace?

In the workplace, critical thinking aids in decision-making, innovation, conflict resolution, and improving productivity and efficiency.

Can critical thinking be taught?

Yes, critical thinking can be taught through targeted educational programs, exercises, and practice that focus on developing analytical and evaluative skills.

What is an example of critical thinking in everyday life?

An example is evaluating news sources for credibility before accepting information as true. This involves analyzing evidence and assessing biases.

How does critical thinking relate to problem-solving?

Critical thinking is integral to problem-solving as it involves analyzing the problem, evaluating options, and making reasoned decisions based on evidence.

What are common barriers to critical thinking?

Common barriers include cognitive biases, emotional influences, lack of relevant information, and social pressures. Overcoming these requires awareness and deliberate practice.


Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

10 Examples of Public speaking

20 Examples of Gas lighting


  1. Table 1 from Critical Thinking Training for Army Officers Volume One

    examples of critical thinking in the army

  2. Army critical thinking exercises

    examples of critical thinking in the army

  3. PPT

    examples of critical thinking in the army

  4. Situational awareness training develops critical thinking skills for

    examples of critical thinking in the army

  5. ASAT training helps develop critical thinking skills

    examples of critical thinking in the army

  6. Table 1 from Critical Thinking Training for Army Officers Volume One

    examples of critical thinking in the army



  2. Classroom Examples : Critical Thinking #teachers

  3. Discourse Analysis Definition/ Types Examples/ critical Analysis/ Elements /examples in Urdu/Hindi

  4. Perspective or Paradign

  5. Are You UNKOWINGLY Making These Logical Mistakes?

  6. Strategy is Peformance Episode 7: How to Assess Strategic Thinking and PME?


  1. PDF Critical Thinking Training for Army Officers Volume Two: a Model of

    Clear, logical thinking, or critical thinking, then, is at the heart of leadership. This report is the second of a series of three that describe a research program to systematically and rigorously develop a web based training program in critical thinking for Army officers.

  2. M433 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Advance Sheet

    M433: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Advance Sheet. 1. SCOPE: This lesson establishes the foundation of the ability to think and to solve problems. We accomplish lesson objectives by means of advance readings, classroom discussion, and practice in the form of a practical exercise. Analyzing a contemporary issue confronting today's ...

  3. Teaching Professional Use of Critical Thinking to Officer-Cadets

    History books are filled with examples of military powers that were defeated on the battlefield because of their officer's inability or refusal to question their procedures, their techniques, and more fundamentally, their ways of thinking. ... Critical thinking training for Army officers, volume three: Development and assessment of a web ...

  4. PDF Writing Our Way to Better Critical Thinking

    Critical thinking experts Richard Paul and Linda Elder . take the critical thinking definition a step further, and I believe . their definition comes closer to what the Army needs from its leaders: "Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluat - ing thinking with a view to improving it."² So critical thinking

  5. PDF Critical Thinking For The Military Professional

    Critical thinking helps the strategic leader master the challenges of the strategic environment. It helps one understand how to bring stability to a volatile world. Critical thinking leads to more certainty and confidence in an uncertain future. This skill helps simplify complex scenarios and brings clarity to the ambiguous lens.

  6. PDF Two Faces of Critical Thinking for the Reflective Military Practitioner

    Two Faces of Critical Thinking for the Reflective Military Practitioner. Cadet Angel Santiago (with the ball) led the Army football team to a 28 to 12 victory over visiting Morgan State under the lights at Michie Stadium, West Point, New York, 30 August 2014. Football provides an ideal example of how the logico-scientific paradigm and the ...

  7. 'This Is All Very Academic': Critical Thinking in Professional Military

    The Critical Spirit. This article argues that what is missing from the military interpretation of critical thinking is critical spirit. Critical spirit is presented by Harvey Siegel, referencing John E McPeck's conception, Footnote 33 as one of two components of critical thinking (the other being 'reason assessment', which includes understanding, analysing and arguing).

  8. PDF Creative Thinking for Senior Leaders

    making. Thinking creatively provides a means to identify that a problem exists and, therefore, helps with problem definition. It also gives rise to the generation of multiple alternatives and a range of options in this divergent component. Through the application of critical (convergent) thinking, thinking.

  9. Not what to think, but how to think

    The soon-to-be implemented Army Field Manual, FM 6-0, Commander and Staff Organization and Operations, dedicates chapter 5 to the theory of critical and creative thinking.

  10. PDF Critical and Creative Thinking

    as a China analyst at the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and as a staff officer and counter-proliferation analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. R ed Teams have been recommended and legislated as a way to prevent the kinds of failures of imagination and critical thinking that

  11. 'Thinking about thinking': Soldiers Have a Better Way to Solve Problems

    Tuesday, December 18, 2018. A new field of systems thinking has emerged with the potential to transform the U.S. Army and its professional military education system. This new field could create emergent and adaptive leaders by placing a high value on creative and critical thinkers. It offers a new way to view problems and build intuitive thinking.

  12. Critical Thinking for Military Leaders

    Critical strategic thinking training is essential for military leaders to simultaneously test plans and guide their unit in the right direction, while assessing high-risk situations with confidence. In these circumstances, critical thought becomes an essential precursor to physical defense tactics, as uninformed action itself is a risk factor.

  13. How We Think: Thinking Critically and Creatively and How Military

    To expand and improve critical and creative thinking, military professionals need a common vocabulary that accurately describes the very thinking we are to expand and improve on. Below is a synopsis of how a sampling of theorists and military practitioners describe the mental activities associated with critical and creative thinking ...

  14. PDF Center for Army Lessons Learned

    initiative, applying critical and creative thinking, and ultimately delivering a capability or process that made their teams more effective and efficient. The Army's data, information, and knowledge environment will continue to become more complex. These case studies provide illustrative examples of KM practices in action, and

  15. Project Athena Assessments

    Commercially procured assessments are also used in Project Athena to supplement Army instruments. Army Critical Thinking Test (ACTT). This web-based instructional tool measures a student's critical thinking skills and how they guide their thinking (metacognitive attributes), two factors that interact to influence actions. ...

  16. Problem Solving

    Problem-solving deals with understanding simple to complex problems, analyzing them, and then coming up with viable solutions. Intellect deals with the capacity to use knowledge and understanding in order to meet a desired result or purpose. Using that knowledge with acquired skills is the central theme of this paper.

  17. Great leaders know what's inside the box

    In their November-December 2009 "Military Review" article, "Developing Creative and Critical Thinkers," retired Army colonels Charles D. Allen and Stephen J. Gerras state that creative thinking ...

  18. PDF Individual Development Plan (IDP)

    Critical Thinking: Communications (Reading; Writing: Verbal) Technical & Tactical Knowledge (Warfighting): (6)Leadership: Competencies: Self-Awareness Each goal should meet SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Specific) criteria using 12-months to frame each goal.

  19. PDF Individual Development Plans

    mission-critical competencies. Planning for continuous development must be anchored to the agency's mission, goals, objectives, and needs, as well as be tied to the employee's work and career goals. Introduction 091000 Oct 15 Training Division v1

  20. Critical Thinking

    In today's dynamic and fast-paced world, critical thinking stands out as an essential competency, seamlessly bridging the gap between soft and hard skills.As we navigate complex challenges and make informed decisions, the ability to think critically enhances our overall skill set. Critical thinking stands at the core of effective decision-making and problem-solving in today's complex world.

  21. Building a Unit Planning Standard Operating Procedure (PSOP)

    March 9, 2024 Army announces new policy to drive adoption of agile software development practices February 27, 2024 Army changes force structure for future warfighting operations