About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1623-1631
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1349

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

MEASURING IMPORTANT CHARACTER STRENGTHS IN NORWEGIAN SPECIAL FORCES OFFICERS

O. Boe1, F.A. Nilsen2, O. Kristiansen2, P. Krogdahl2, H. Bang3

1Norwegian Defence University College (NORWAY)
2Norwegian Military Academy (NORWAY)
3University of Oslo (NORWAY)
Problem statement:
Serving as a soldier or officer in a military elite or special unit is highly demanding. This requires among other things that the soldier or officer has a well-developed character. Previous studies have identified that 12 character strengths are highly relevant and important for succeeding as a regular officer in the Norwegian Army. The character strengths previously identified as important for regular officers was leadership, integrity, persistence, bravery, citizenship, fairness, open-mindedness, social intelligence, love of learning, perspective, self-regulation, and creativity. There is, however, a lack of systematic research on which character strengths that are crucial for succeeding in Special Forces units, and hence, to develop military training and education in such units.

Purpose of study:
To investigate which character strengths are considered important for officers of the Norwegian Armed Forces Special Command.

Method:

27 officers from the Norwegian Armed Forces Special Command were given a list of 24 character strengths based on Peterson and Seligman’s (2004) taxonomy. Participants were requested to evaluate each character strength according to its importance for success as an officer in their unit. Ratings were given on a scale ranging from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important).

Findings and results:
Scores of 4.00 and above (important) was used to decide whether a character strength was to be considered important. The respondents gave 15 of the 24 character strengths a score of 4.00 or higher. The main character strength was open-mindedness, closely followed by integrity, teamwork, leadership, persistence, love of learning, bravery, perspective, social intelligence, fairness, creativity, humility/modesty, curiosity, self-regulation and forgiveness and mercy.

Conclusions and recommendations:
The 15 chosen character strengths included all the 12 character strengths previously identified as important for other Norwegian Army officers. However, the participants in the present study also selected humility/modesty, curiosity, and forgiveness and mercy as important character strengths. This might imply that being selected for and serving in a military special unit is more demanding and complex, and thus require a wider range of character strengths than previously identified.
@InProceedings{BOE2017MEA,
author = {Boe, O. and Nilsen, F.A. and Kristiansen, O. and Krogdahl, P. and Bang, H.},
title = {MEASURING IMPORTANT CHARACTER STRENGTHS IN NORWEGIAN SPECIAL FORCES OFFICERS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1349},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1349},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1623-1631}}
TY - CONF
AU - O. Boe AU - F.A. Nilsen AU - O. Kristiansen AU - P. Krogdahl AU - H. Bang
TI - MEASURING IMPORTANT CHARACTER STRENGTHS IN NORWEGIAN SPECIAL FORCES OFFICERS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1349
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 1623
EP - 1631
ER -
O. Boe, F.A. Nilsen, O. Kristiansen, P. Krogdahl, H. Bang (2017) MEASURING IMPORTANT CHARACTER STRENGTHS IN NORWEGIAN SPECIAL FORCES OFFICERS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 1623-1631.
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