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  • Author: Ayanna Shivers x
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To preemptively respond to the ever changing battlefield and in light of growing threats to national security, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and by extension the U.S. military, have developed human performance optimization (HPO) initiatives to improve warfighter performance for increasing mission readiness. African American officers, by way of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), have long been and continue to be an important constituency for this strategy.

Using the results of an online search via the Internet of HPO-like academic offerings at HBCUs, this paper proposes that the U.S. military could enhance its war fighting capability, and specifically that of its African American officers, for increased preparedness, increased performance and sustained and increased readiness by modeling HPO like programs at HBCUs. The authors examine similar efforts around the world, offer the potential benefits to be derived from expanded collaborations between the U.S. military and HBCUs and discuss the implications for the U.S. military and militaries within international communities, HBCUs and future research.