Naval War College Review


Richard Norton


Among the many attributes desired in professional military officers is the abil- ity to make extremely rapid decisions under conditions of extreme stress and peril, and for the highest imaginable stakes. Decisions may even have to be made in less time than is available con- sciously to weigh the alternatives and select a course of action. Although not unique—others, including doctors, law enforcement officials, and firefighters, face similar situations and under equiv- alent expectations—such demands are not a common part of most people’s work experience.