Date of this Version
This technical report presents an analysis of reported resilience and psychological health among the U.S. Army’s Officer Corps. The focus of the current report is on linking resilience and psychological health (hereafter referred to as R/PH) to objective outcomes associated with high job performance.
Specifically, this report examines the statistical relationships between officer R/PH - as measured by the Army’s Global Assessment Tool (GAT) - and promotions to Brigadier General, early (below zone) Field Grade Officer promotions, selections for command / key billet assignments, and officers who serve in career fields that require terminal professional degrees (e.g., medical doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc).
Results show that officers who have been promoted to Brigadier General are more emotionally and socially fit than their peers who have not received a promotion to Brigadier General. These officers are more engaged with their work, have higher levels of organizational trust and friendship, report lower levels of loneliness, are more optimistic, and report higher levels of positive affect and lower levels of negative affect. Each of these findings is in line with our expectations regarding R/PH and job performance, and the findings comport with a substantial body of work in the academic literature.
Additionally, analysis of R/PH for officers promoted early resulted in findings similar to above. In particular, those who have been promoted below zone report higher levels of work engagement, friendship, organizational trust, optimism, and coping abilities. In short, these officers score higher on the GAT dimensions of Emotional and Social Fitness than their peers who were not promoted early (“due course” officers). Similar results were found for officers selected for command for key billet assignments. They are also more emotionally and socially fit than their peers who were not selected for command (more engaged with their work, have higher levels of organizational trust and friendship, are less lonely, are more optimistic, and report higher levels of positive affect and lower levels of negative affect).
There are no practical differences in R/PH between officers serving in career fields that require terminal professional degrees and other officers serving in “line” career fields (rank-matched analysis, Captain - Colonel). In light of academic literature on the subject, this finding is somewhat surprising as it suggests that advanced professional education / training alone may not influence (or be influenced by) R/PH.
When taken together, the findings above strongly suggest there is a relationship between reported resilience and psychological health and outcomes associated with high job performance, but we are currently unable to determine causality. Stated differently, we do not know if the reported R/PH contributed to the performance outcomes, or if the high job performance outcomes contributed to the reported R/PH. Further data collection and analysis over the next 12-24 months will broaden our understanding of the relationships.