Problem Solving Skills Training a Factor in Fort Hood Shootings?

Captain Paul Miller preparing for a coming storm.
Captain Paul Miller preparing for a coming storm.

Solving the mystery of shootings at military activities may involve how the force is trained. First, my sincere condolences to all who have suffered a loss in this and other similar tragedies. Second, my hat  is off to the Army Training Command for doing a great job of training soldiers for today’s force.

Now in the case of certain individuals, if their problem resolution skill set is not broad based by the time they enter training, there may be a small sub set of individuals who acquire the only elements to the skill set in military training. However if all of the significant training (in their mind) involves some type of gun, bomb or other type of violence and destruction, at the end of training, this might possibly be the only tool in their problem solving skill set.

In combat, as well as civilian life, that actually can be a very big weakness. In civilian life, we can see that violence is most often the worst choice of action. But in combat operations, there may be many times where the most powerful weapon a soldier has is his or her ability to out-think their enemy.

In summary, I would encourage Army training policy makers to consider two steps:

1. Do initial problem solving assessment for new members of the force

2. Train soldiers to develop a wide spectrum of problem solving skills to add to their skill set, to use in combat and then use outside of combat as adults in a challenging world.

If the only adult problem solving skill that a soldier acquires in formal training is to attack with deadly force, then that can be a problem. And that problem may well become a severe liability on base and off base.

Published by Capt. Paul Miller

Aviation safety expert with 43 years in the sky

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