The purpose of this paper is to examine the United States Human Dimension Concept. This concept can be described as providing: “a framework to help leaders focus on human development.” “It includes the mental, physical, and social components of soldiers and leaders.” And “focusing on organizational development and performance to ensure success on the battlefield” (US Army, 2014).
The Army Human Dimension Concepts are operationalized in the white paper (2014). These are found in the Human Dimension Concept (TRADOC Pam 525-3-7) and (TRADOC Pam 525-3-1) (The Human Dimension White Paper, 2014). The white paper is also a part of the “Force 2025 and Beyond planning process.” During the white paper development, stakeholders across the human dimension community of practice were consulted (The Human Dimension White Paper, 2014).
In 2014, the Association of the US Army yearly conference was held in Washington. The panel from the Institute of Land Warfare was chaired by Lieutenant General Robert Brown. He stated that: “winning wars in the future will not be about who has the best technology or the latest weapons.” “The difference between success and failure will be the human dimension” (US Army, 2014). Brown made the point that now more than ever, less people can make a larger impact. He noted that in changing situations equipment can be adapted, but a solder is quicker. Consequently, the way soldiers are organized, trained, educated are crucial to the Army’s future (US Army, 2014).
Challenges in the future necessitate a significant investment in the human dimension. This is to increase team and individual performance, and generate healthy, adaptable resilient soldiers. They should be fit, and clear headed when the situation is chaotic. Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon Lt. General, was also on the Institute of Land Warfare panel (US Army, 2014).
Horoho stated that Army Medicine is significant in the fortification of the human dimension. She stressed the necessity of optimizing physical capabilities, brain health, and the Performance Triad.
Regarding a soldier’s overall health, Horoho stated it is essential to concentrate on a healthy brain. And said it is not known how powerful an army can be with brain health (US Army, 2014).
Horoho said Army Medicine comprises studies concentrating on mindfulness to help recover from post-traumatic stress. And said that the same studies apply to day-to-day stressors that soldiers face. Also, that mindfulness can potentially help soldiers relax after they come back from deployment. Horoho also spoke about designing nutrition for soldiers in extreme environments, including high altitude (US Army, 2014).
Horoho also noted that fatigue and weight loss may frequently be difficult for those soldiers. And said that the brain is fueled by the same things as the body. Also, that in split-second decision making, the soldier needs to be flexible. Army Medicine is enabling physical fatigue to be both evaluated and combated (US Army, 2014).
According to Horoho, fatigue might necessitate design changes for body armor and boots. And to operate at top physical and mental levels, soldiers have to be less fatigued. “The Performance Triad — sleep, activity, nutrition — is the “culture change” that can enhance mission performance” (US Army, 2014). In particular, enhancing performance by utilizing sleep as a tool, demands a change in thinking.
There is an Army belief that soldiers can still operate effectively by giving up sleep. Horoho said under 6 hours sleep in 6 consecutive days yields a 20% cognitive impairment. That mental health impairment equates to a 0.08 % blood alcohol level (US Army, 2014). Attaining physical supremacy necessitates investing in total fitness, injury prevention and holistic health (The Human Dimension White Paper, 2014).
Soldiers should develop innovative solutions to difficult problems, and must apply critical thinking. These cognitive processes must be carried out by soldiers in a timely fashion. Army civilians and soldiers need to be fit and resilient to effectively achieve their missions. Ultimately, they should have a refined sense of culture and social intelligence (The Army Human Dimension Strategy, 2015).
In summary, the maintenance and development of soldiers necessitates training in cognitive and physical strength. The optimization of soldiers’ performance through building resilience, will drive the Army’s success. These substantial transformations can help maintain the value and standing of soldiers and the Army (The Human Dimension White Paper, 2014).
- The Army Human Dimension Strategy (2015). Retrieved from: health.mil/Reference…/The-Army-Human-Dimension-Strategy-2015
- The Human Dimension White Paper (2014). Retrieved from: http://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/Human%20Dimension%20White%20Paper%20(Combined%20Arms%20Center%2009%20Oct%2014).pdf
- US Army (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.army.mil/article/136490/Human_Dimension__Army_Medicine_part_of_culture_change/