Posted: May 19th, 2023

Assessment Instructions – Foundations Essay Assessment

Assessment Instructions – Foundations Essay Assessment


• Respond with a minimum of 300, maximum 450-word answer per question

• Use the internet and/or attached sources

• Consider integrating these tools: – Convergent/Divergent/Convergent (C-D-C) Thinking Cycle – Thinking Framework (Environment, Problem, Approach) – Critical, creative, and ethical thinking types Essay Questions and Points for Consideration

1. NCO leadership took evolutionary leaps between 1775 to present. What were the three most important leaps, and why (give reason)? – This question assesses the evolution of the Enlisted Leader’s role – Consider the intellectual standards of critical thinking to clarify why they are most important

2. Between 1940 to present, what were the three most impactful environmental factors of any scope to SOF (i.e. policy, politics, authorities/funding, war, conflicts, etc.), and why (give reason)? – Assesses key events in the Special Operations Forces’ development – Builds upon PMESII analysis by choosing three environmental factors. Do not conduct a PMESII analysis; use it only as a starting point – Directly relates the environmental factors that impact(s) Special Operations

3. Consider the future SOF operational environment, and identify the most significant problem, and why (give reason)? – “Understand the OE (operational environment)” and “Identify the Problem” sections of the Profession of Arms Key Concept may help you recognize important considerations (i.e. higher guidance/direction, desired conditions of the future state, critical/creative/ethical thinking). Do not follow this model ‘lock step,’ but use it to check important elements – Consider additional factors influencing the OE authorities and funding, legal considerations, etc.

1. NCO Leadership Leaps

The role of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) has evolved significantly over the past 248 years. The three most important leaps in NCO leadership are:

The establishment of the NCO Corps in 1775. The Continental Army was the first to establish a formal NCO Corps, and this was a major step in recognizing the importance of enlisted leadership.
The creation of the Army Service Schools in 1881. These schools provided NCOs with the opportunity to receive professional training, which helped to raise the standards of NCO leadership.
The development of the NCO Creed in 1957. The NCO Creed is a statement of the values and beliefs that guide NCOs in their leadership roles. It has helped to instill a sense of pride and professionalism in the NCO Corps.
These three leaps have helped to transform the NCO from a simple soldier to a professional leader. NCOs are now responsible for training and leading their soldiers, as well as planning and executing missions. They play a vital role in the success of the Army, and their contributions are essential to the accomplishment of the nation’s military objectives.

2. SOF Environmental Factors

The three most impactful environmental factors of any scope to SOF between 1940 and the present are:

The Cold War. The Cold War was a period of intense rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. This rivalry led to a significant increase in the importance of SOF, as they were seen as a way to deter and defeat the Soviet Union without resorting to a full-scale war.
The War on Terror. The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States led to the War on Terror. This war has been a major driver of SOF growth and development, as they have been called upon to conduct a wide range of missions in the fight against terrorism.
Technology. Technology has had a major impact on SOF. New technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and precision-guided munitions, have given SOF new capabilities and made them even more effective.
These three environmental factors have had a profound impact on SOF. They have led to an increase in the importance of SOF, a growth in SOF capabilities, and a change in the way that SOF operate.

3. Future SOF Operational Environment

The most significant problem facing SOF in the future is the rise of non-state actors. Non-state actors are groups that are not part of a recognized government. They can range from terrorist organizations to criminal gangs. Non-state actors are often difficult to identify and track, and they can pose a significant threat to national security.

SOF are well-suited to the fight against non-state actors. They have the training, skills, and experience to operate in complex and dangerous environments. However, SOF will need to adapt to the changing nature of the threat posed by non-state actors. They will need to develop new capabilities and strategies to meet the challenges of the future.

In addition to the rise of non-state actors, SOF will also face a number of other challenges in the future. These challenges include:

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
The growth of cyberwarfare
The increasing complexity of the international system
SOF will need to be prepared to meet these challenges in order to ensure the safety of the nation.

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