'Tropic Lightning' contributes to Soldier performance study

By Oliver SchusterJune 3, 2022

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii — Recently, Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division volunteered for U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center Measuring and Advancing Soldier Tactical Readiness and Effectiveness, or MASTR-E, program baselining study and 72-hour field study efforts.

The MASTR-E Baseline Team is comprised of members of the DEVCOM Soldier Center and partners at Aberdeen Test Center, Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences, DEVCOM Data and Analysis Center, Naval Health Research Center and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, or WRAIR.

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Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division volunteered to help the study, which objectively and holistically measures Soldier and squad performance by using a diverse set of metrics in order to capture and track cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and health status during extended live training exercises. The data collected will be used to identify the human dimension X-factors that reliably account for dismounted Soldier and small unit performance on fundamental warfighting tasks during sustained operations.

“Building a ready and resilient Army is a top priority. MASTR-E is a tool that helps the Army achieve this by providing vital information about our formations assisting leaders to optimize total Soldier performance,” said the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology), Mr. Young Bang. “Kudos to the 25th ID, DEVCOM [Soldier Center] and WRAIR Team for collaborating within the Army, industry and academia, to fit innovative solutions to help accomplish the Army’s priorities.”

As the partner of choice for multiple nations across — not just one or two time zones but over multiple time zones — leadership within the 25th Infantry Division is excited to participate in an innovative program that can provide tools to combat issues related to jet travel.

“The Wolfhounds are exceptionally excited and eager to work with the MASTR-E program to help gather and analyze small unit performance analytics that will help increase lethality and readiness across our fighting force,” said 2-27 Infantry Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Michael Haith. “We recognize the importance of this study and how it will facilitate more focused and specific training progressions that will better prepare us for combat. As our environments and threats are ever-changing, it is crucial to remain adaptive and agile; this study will better equip us for these variations and we could not be more honored and motivated to lead the way.”

During this week’s baseline data collection, Soldiers performed a variety of tasks paired with training from WRAIR scientist Dr. Tina Burke and colleagues on strategies to combat jetlag. “Taking the proper steps to mitigate the risk associated with sleep loss, circadian misalignment, and fatigue can make the difference between mission success and failure,” said Dr. Burke.

“We have all these tools out there to measure Soldiers’ performance and by getting a better measure of performance we can get a better prediction of performance,” said DEVCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan D. Barker. “Collaboration events like this give us a good solid baseline that provides important data that we can reference later in the program and in other studies.”

Data that will continue to be collected over the next few weeks as participants will wear a specifically designed watch up to the 72-hour field study taking place at Fort Devens, Massachusetts in June.

The DEVCOM Soldier Center is committed to discovering, developing and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. DEVCOM Soldier Center supports all of the Army's modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the DEVCOM Soldier Center’s chief areas of focus.

The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a multi-domain operations capable force of 2028 and a multi-domain operations ready force of 2035. DEVCOM Soldier Center is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.

The 25th Infantry Division, ‘Tropic Lightning’, is America’s Pacific Division. Tropic Lightning provides the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command a uniquely tailorable force with the ability to rapidly respond to contingencies across the Pacific. Tropic Lightning soldiers – a reliable, credible, and disciplined force —– continuously work with partners and allies to prepare for shared challenges.