Critical Thinking in the Combat Zone
The art of critical thinking is just that, an art. It comes with time, patience, and practice. Paul and Elder (2006) describe critical thinking as the art of thinking about thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better. It involves three interwoven phases: it analyzes thinking, it evaluates thinking, it improves thinking. At some time, all of us have done some sort critical thinking. It may have been a split second thought while driving a car. You see a crash up ahead. Do you slam on the brakes, swerve to the left or right or just hold on tight. As these thoughts are going through your brain, you are analyzing and evaluating what the outcome may be. We do this all in the matter of a few seconds. But what if we are afforded the opportunity and time to sit and think of a task and utilize our critical thinking skills. What is to follow is one of many times I used critical thinking while in the United States Military. The Mission
It was a day like most every day. Get up two hours before sunrise. Shave, brush my teeth, wash my face, don my battle gear and hit the road. I was the senior logistical non-commissioned officer in my battalion, and I delivered the supplies that the soldiers needed. Twice a day I delivered food, ammunition, fuel and mail. At times I felt like a rolling bomb, especially with the enemy now using improvised explosive devices and rocket propelled grenades against us. To accomplish this mission successfully, day after day for months, required me to use my critical thinking skills to my maximum ability. If I had not thought out the outcome of every scenario and had not planned for them, I would not have returned all of my soldiers and myself home safely.
By focusing on the parts of thinking in any situation- its purpose, question, information, inferences, assumptions, concepts, implications and point of view, I...