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Subject: Length of OODA Loop for Infantryman? rss

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castiglione
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Hi - the subject header says it all.

Does anyone know what the "typical" (loaded word, I know) length of the OODA loop is for an infantryman? In other words, how long does it take the typical trained soldier to process new information and make a decision based on said information?
 
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Christopher KrackerJack
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castiglione wrote:
Hi - the subject header says it all.

Does anyone know what the "typical" (loaded word, I know) length of the OODA loop is for an infantryman? In other words, how long does it take the typical trained soldier to process new information and make a decision based on said information?


You're stretching my memory a bit with this one. If I remember my physiology correctly, it is something like 1.5-3 seconds minimum to receive a sensory input, process it, and begin to act on it. This is the sole reason that "muscle memory" is so important for athletes and pilots and such. You can greatly decrease the time to react by training your responses so that there is no need to think.

So your standard-issue, well trained, infantrymen can react in approx .5 seconds to a situation he is trained for, i.e weapon at ready, see target, engage target.

It will take approx 1.5-3 seconds to respond to a situation that he is not trained to, put prepared for.

It will take longer for a situation that he needs to reason through. The length of time is potentially unlimited.

This is from memory, so I imagine their is a physiologist on here who can correct my response times.

Also, why are you asking? Is there a specific situation you are looking for? Are you hoping to model the responses of infantrymen for game purposes or something else?
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Yoki Erdtman
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I don't have an answer for you, but here's a good source to turn to for one.
 
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castiglione
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KrackerJack wrote:
Also, why are you asking? Is there a specific situation you are looking for? Are you hoping to model the responses of infantrymen for game purposes or something else?


I have a crazy idea about designing a tactical game based around OODA; it's just a bunch of crazy ideas in my mind right now. I mainly needed this info for scaling purposes, i.e. how far can badguy run before infantryman can react to shoot at him?

I think it's going to end up being horribly complex anyway and workable but who knows?
 
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castiglione
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KrackerJack wrote:
It will take approx 1.5-3 seconds to respond to a situation that he is not trained to, put prepared for.


What falls under the umbrella of stuff that an infantry is not trained for, but prepared for?
 
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Christopher KrackerJack
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castiglione wrote:
KrackerJack wrote:
It will take approx 1.5-3 seconds to respond to a situation that he is not trained to, put prepared for.


What falls under the umbrella of stuff that an infantry is not trained for, but prepared for?


I'm thinking things like unexpected targets, grey targets, encountering obstacles, etc. These are things that infantry units can respond effectively and quickly to, but require conscious thought to process.

I think I confused the issue by using the word trained with multiple meanings. Infantry units are trained for these missions, but they have not trained to the point of building muscle memory responses. There is more mental processing involved than pulling the trigger.
 
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castiglione
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Thanks y'all.

I'm still not sure how to process this and distill this into a game except for some crazy ideas floating in my head.
 
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Bill Eldard
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castiglione wrote:
Hi - the subject header says it all.

Does anyone know what the "typical" (loaded word, I know) length of the OODA loop is for an infantryman? In other words, how long does it take the typical trained soldier to process new information and make a decision based on said information?


In my squad (1975-1976), the OODA loop for one my guys was measured in months.
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David Dixon
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KrackerJack wrote:

I'm thinking things like unexpected targets, grey targets, encountering obstacles, etc. These are things that infantry units can respond effectively and quickly to, but require conscious thought to process.

I think I confused the issue by using the word trained with multiple meanings. Infantry units are trained for these missions, but they have not trained to the point of building muscle memory responses. There is more mental processing involved than pulling the trigger.


This is true, but a small quibble--given today's environment, infantrymen, scouts, etc., spend a lot of time on target ID and shoot/don't shoot scenarios. The reaction time to a "grey target" if I get your meaning (ie--a non-threating person in a place where possible threat targets exist) is not much different (if any) than from the response to a legitimate target.

This is trained, as I said, incessently, and I can tell you from personal experience that once you're trained and somewhat familiar with the environment, you can process the information just as quickly.

That isn't to say that soldiers don't make mistakes at times, but the decision is made very very quickly--which I think is what the OP was after...

Diis
 
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Mark Stewart
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What sort of stimuli and what sort of reaction to that stimuli are you looking estimate?

Are you concerned specifically with a single Soldier's reaction, or a small element, such as a fire team or squad?

Here's a few things (that you might already know) to consider:

Fire Teams and Squads: The basic building block of a dismounted combatant element is the fire team, which is usually a group of three or four men led by a sergeant for a total of four or five Soldiers. The fire team is built around a light machinegun such as the M249 SAW. Two fire teams and a squad leader usually makes up a squad. The light machineguns are important because they allow the squad to move while in contact with the enemy. One fire team can lay down suppressive fire while the other fire team moves, with the squad leader coordinating this bounding movement and making other decisions and taking leadership actions (such as communicating with other squad leaders, section leaders, his platoon leader, etc.

Battle Drills: A squad usually trains to deal with certain, expected situations in quick, one-size-fits-all solutions known as battle drills. Typical situations you would train to react to include a near ambush, contact front, or coming under indirect fire. A battle drill consists of a sequence of simple actions carefully thought out to be reliable in most circumstances under which they would be used. In other words, a battle drill is akin to a short script of simple actions that are to be executed quickly, correctly, and forcefully in order save your life. These battle drills are carried out collectively, meaning that they call for the men in the squad to execute them together. The only way to effectively train men to perform a battle drill is by repetition. You explain it, you proceed at crawl speed until everyone knows what is supposed to happen, you then take it up to walk speed, then running speed, and then you're sprinting (at combat speed). Once your squad has developed to ability to do it quickly and correctly, you do it again and again and again in an attempt to make it automatic, because it needs to be carried out that way. Because of the prevalence of battle drills, some actions would be carried out very quickly and with what might seem to be very good "thinking", but are actually just performed as memorized scripts...nobody's had time to think much yet.

There are some situations that do not provide the opportunity to use a battle drill, such as moving through buildings and similar structures. In a confined space like that, men come around corners and have no idea what's on the other side until they're face to face with it. From that point forward they have to think on their feet in a very big way, because there's not just one person in that room, there's a group of Soldiers moving into it and through it and if someone is in there, and visibility is difficult, and there's stuff (furniture, debris, whatever) laying around, then things are of course spatially complicated and there's A LOT to try and pay attention to at once.

Any time that fratricide is an issue, there is an additional thing for the Soldier to think about, that cause him to hesitate.

Finally, the more a group of Soldiers have worked together, the better they work together. Men who are "used to each other" will be faster than those who aren't.

There are technological aspects to this as well: Night vision, radios, equipment used to reduce the risk of fratricide, and so forth help see first, communicate information faster, and improve Soldiers' confidence to act upon that information.
 
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Christopher KrackerJack
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Diis wrote:

This is true, but a small quibble--given today's environment, infantrymen, scouts, etc., spend a lot of time on target ID and shoot/don't shoot scenarios. The reaction time to a "grey target" if I get your meaning (ie--a non-threating person in a place where possible threat targets exist) is not much different (if any) than from the response to a legitimate target.

This is trained, as I said, incessently, and I can tell you from personal experience that once you're trained and somewhat familiar with the environment, you can process the information just as quickly.

That isn't to say that soldiers don't make mistakes at times, but the decision is made very very quickly--which I think is what the OP was after...

Diis


Good point. When I was in the Infantry, I carried an M-60. So it's been a few years.
 
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Christopher KrackerJack
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MarkStewart wrote:
What sort of stimuli and what sort of reaction to that stimuli are you looking estimate?

Are you concerned specifically with a single Soldier's reaction, or a small element, such as a fire team or squad?

...


Another good point. Generally speaking, the reaction time of a Unit, vice an individual is less dependent on physiology than on training, experience, size, etc.

Also, I would add that the US Marines are structured differently than the US Army. Our fire teams are 4 Marines, nominally led by a Cpl, but usually a LCpl. Three fire teams make a squad, etc.
 
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castiglione
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I'm looking at the man-to-man scale for really small engagements (squad vs. squad). It's funny you mention fire teams because I was looking at different fire team compositions and I'd already looked into the composition of US Army, USMC and British Army fire-teams.

Which brings me to another question - does anyone know the composition of a Canadian assault group (a Canadian "fire team" is two guys, an assault group is two "fire teams")?
 
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