Small Unit Decision Making (SUDM) Assessment Battery

This effort was sponsored by the USMC Training and Education Command, and by the Office of Naval Research.


The United States Marine Corps is focused on improving squad leader decision making and cognitive readiness. To assess the impact of training and policy interventions on squad leader proficiency, the Training and Education Command (TECOM) required a generalizable set of measures to assess the range of cognitive abilities relevant to squad level decision making.

This project was conducted under ONR’s Human Performance Training and Education Thrust


CPG developed and validated a SUDM Assessment Battery that measures 12 variables associated with maneuver squad leader decision making performance.


The SUDM Assessment Battery enables the Marine Corps to measure individual cognitive readiness for squad leader performance. Decision making performance is treated as a multidimensional skill supported by underlying cognitive competencies and skills. Twelve discrete constructs demonstrated to support squad leader decision making are measured by the Battery, including problem solving, resilience, metacognition, situational assessment, and the overarching construct of decision making. The SUDM Assessment Battery is administered in a 60-minute test session and a 60-minute interview. Applications of the Battery include assessment of individual skills, evaluation of the impact of unit or institutional training interventions, and measurement of the impact of policy decisions on trends in the cognitive readiness of small unit leaders.

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