A STUDY OF OBSERVED CHARACTER STRENGTHS IN MILITARY CADETS DURING A COMBAT FATIGUE COURSE

O. Boe1, S.E. Davidson2, F.A. Nilsen1, H. Bang2

1Norwegian Military Academy (NORWAY)
2University of Oslo (NORWAY)
This study is a quantitative study on observed character strengths in military cadets at the Norwegian Military Academy. Through descriptive statistics and a correlation analysis, it aims to answer the research question that revolves around the existence of consistency between the different sources of assessment, and what the meaning of the existence or non-existence of consistency may mean. The study draws close connections between the character strengths in the data and their relevance to an officer’s ability, to meet the responsibilities set by both the society and the organisation that they represent. In this study an observational instrument called “OBServation of Character In Field” was used. The observational instrument assesses the cadet’s behaviour in relation to 12 character strengths that have been established as important for a military leader to inhabit. The cadets assessed themselves, and were assessed by their peers and an instructor after having completed an extreme field exercise. The findings showed that the peers and instructor had a much higher consistency in the correlations than any of the other combinations. Further, the cadets had rated themselves higher in seven out of 12 character strengths. The four character strengths that the cadets had rated themselves highest on, were the same four found to be rated the highest in other military studies using the same character strengths. The findings support that the OBSCIF has functioned well in relation to being able to observe character strengths through behaviour.