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The British Army launches Start Thinking Soldier

The British Army today launches a groundbreaking new initiative in terms of digital innovation and personal interaction and insight. Entitled ‘Start Thinking Soldier’, it centres around a series of online challenges that enable participants to test and develop the kind of skills that are used by soldiers but within a discreet, online environment. The resulting personal insights will prove invaluable for anyone taking part and meet a very real need, driven by a national lack of awareness of people’s own strengths and weaknesses.

A new and comprehensive Careers Insight report conducted by Populus for the Army, highlights the importance of self awareness in terms of making the right career choice. 68% of 17-21 year olds have no clear career path in mind, an uncertainty that is directly related to the fact that 86% are unaware of their own personal strengths and weaknesses. This in turn can lead to a growing trend of changing career path further down the line, with 77% of over 30’s changing career path at least once.* 

Comments Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Senior Psychology Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London and world-wide expert in personality, intelligence, human performance and psychometrics: “People perform better and are happier if they work on something they are good at, hence knowing your strengths and limitations is a key determinant of both job satisfaction and performance. Equally employers tend to believe that happy employees do better at work but in reality, it is high performing employees that end up being happy. Historically, the Army has always played a crucial role in the development of state-of-the-art techniques that help us understand people’s real potential – what jobs they should be doing and what types of jobs they will enjoy more. “

Start Thinking Soldier launches tonight (Channel 4, 6.45pm) with the first in a series of four TV commercials that will roll out consecutively over a four month period: each unlocking a corresponding online mission.  Each commercial brings to life one of four key areas of Army expertise including teamwork, decision making, leadership and fitness & mental sharpness.  At the end of each film, the viewer is presented with a decision making dilemma and is asked to decide “What would you do?” from a choice of three options. 

The first mission features an explosives factory in the desert.  As the viewer approaches the factory they are given the options: to burst in through the doors, to carry out an air strike or to blow a hole in the wall.  Each commercial concludes with a voice-over stating “Show us your Army skills….Start Thinking Soldier. Online.”  

Once online, you make your choice and are given immediate feedback on your decision. You then go on to take part in a whole range of online challenges that test a variety of skills including observation, problem solving, intelligence, memory, navigation, and awareness - all resulting in detailed feedback on your own performance and natural skills and weaknesses.

Participants will be encouraged to re-enter the online challenges as many times as they like with relevant training exercises, enabling users to hone their skills and help improve their performance. In total there are over two hours of exciting and challenging missions to take part in online.   Participants will also be invited to Start Thinking Soldier events across the country this summer where they can meet soldiers and try out their skills for real.

Comments Lieutenant Colonel Eilean Cunningham of the Army’s Recruiting Group National Headquarters:

“Each year the Army needs to recruit approximately 15,000 quality soldiers and in order to do so we must forever look to exciting and innovative new ways to engage with our target recruiting base. Start Thinking Soldier is a more discreet and personal way for people to test their Army skills and receive invaluable personal insights, whether or not they are considering a career in the Army. Start Thinking Soldier reflects our Army training which focuses on the individual, bringing people’s strengths to the fore and providing world class training to help to develop their potential.“

Whoever you think you want to be, whatever you think want to do, search Start Thinking Soldier now to test your own Army Skills online and find out more about the real you.

The British Army offers a choice of 140 trade groups and 1,000 different job types, from pilots to chefs, mechanics to musicians.

- Ends-

* See additional release for key findings or visit www.populus.co.uk to download the full report


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