Lessons in Unit Cohesion from the United States Army's COHORT (Cohesion, Operational Readiness, and Training) Experiment of 1981 to 1995   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "In 1981, the United States Army experimented with its personnel management philosophy to examine the benefits of a unit-based system over an individual system. This study looks at the historical background of personnel management from World War II to the Vietnam War. It tells the story of COHORT [Cohesion, Operational Readiness, and Training] until its end in 1995. The Army believed cohesion would increase combat effectiveness. The COHORT system aimed to build cohesion through stability at the company and battalion levels on a three-year life cycle. COHORT built horizontally-cohesive units, but its failure to stabilize and educate NCO [Non-Commissioned Officer] and officer leaders prevented full success. Additionally, the Army did not fully address cultural issues related to individual vs. unit needs, the promotion system, readiness reporting, and the effects of the post-Cold War drawdown in strength. This study shows personnel stability is a prerequisite to cohesion and unit effectiveness. Turbulence prevents training and leadership from building combat readiness to its full potential. The personnel system should focus on building unit cohesion through personnel stability, and account for individual concerns whenever possible, in both peace and war."

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Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library: https://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/
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