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The Human Dimension: The Concept and Capabilities Development

What is it?
On September 13, 2008, the Chief of Staff of the Army approved the future fighting concept entitled: The U.S. Army Concept for the Human Dimension in Full Spectrum Operations: 2015-2024. Conceptually, the Army acknowledges Soldier's are the centerpiece of the Army, but nothing in Army doctrine adequately addresses the human dimension of future operations. The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) studied the full life cycle of the Soldier—from recruitment and training, through deployment, redeployment, and reintegration into society. From that study came TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-7. This document identifies required capabilities in the more subtle regimes of the Army—the cognitive, social, and physical components. The Human Dimension Concept focuses on the ways and means by which the Army needs to prepare Soldiers, their Families, and Army Civilians—from accession to separation—in a future operational environment subject to persistent conflict across the range of military operations.

What has the Army done?
An Army Science and Technology Senior Steering Group (AS&TSSG) was established to review ongoing and planned doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF) initiatives involving the Human Dimension. The AS&TSSG was responsible for developing and recommending a common vision and prioritized outcomes for the Human Dimension components. The desired outcomes for capabilities developments across DOTMLPF are:

  • The Army leverages enhanced means to identify access, retain, and develop Soldiers with unsurpassed cognitive, physical, and social capabilities.
  • Soldiers are enabled by technology and the cognitive, medical, and social sciences to achieve excellence in small unit competence and to dominate increasingly complex operational environments.
  • Soldiers are able to leverage technologies and processes that optimize and restore cognitive and physical performance.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is assigning proponents and a series of studies, experiments, and analysis to determine how to change policies, programs, and required capabilities. The results of these initiatives will impact on the Army's ability to accomplish its current and future missions. In the future, commanders must be able to identify, treat, and rapidly recover Soldiers who are becoming holistically “unfit” due to combat and stress related injuries. They will also have a higher awareness and understanding of the linkage between ethical behaviors and the effects of combat.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Human Dimension concept and capabilities development opens dialogue that will help the Army fill critical capability gaps that impact the accession, retention, training, restoration, and sustenance of Soldiers and their Families. This research and experimentation will, in turn, enable the Army to continue to build and maintain an All-Volunteer Force that is capable of meeting the challenges of full spectrum operations into the future.

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