Critical Thinking Process

Submitted By rrtsnoopy
Words: 925
Pages: 4

The Critical Thinking Process

Thomas Calabro

Capella University

The critical thinking process is an important tool to objectively find solutions to problems. However, it was not till I made one of the more impulsive decisions of my life, to enlist in the Army, did I learn about developing a critical thinking skills set. Starting with basic training and through school, we drilled, did simulations, and performed field exercises where the basis for critical thinking began to form. I learned how to quickly assess a situation and decipher what information was lacking. Next, how to obtain that information and combine it with the already available facts to formulate a plan. Then implement it, track it, and critique the results. These processes became my norm, second nature to me. Adopting a critical thinking process prepared me for some difficult situations. For example, there was a situation that arose while I was stationed in Germany. I worked at a small, remote, secured communications site when this particular difficult circumstance occurred. Our central communications hub had been knocked offline. Normally, our secondary hub assumes control of the communications net when an outage like this occurs. However, their location had been compromised resulting in their inability to securely transfer control of the net. Soon their problem became our problem as we were instructed to assume control of the whole communications net. On duty was me and one other private and there were no protocols in place for such an event. Shock and disbelief were quickly replaced with planning and action. Though a huge undertaking, we began to relish the challenge. Confidence in each other and our training replaced any misgivings or fear. After taking a deep breath we began to formulate a plan. First, we realized we had to break down the main objective, assuming control of the net, into a series of steps. These included obtaining a list of all sites on the net, obtaining their identification and verification codes, developing and encoding a mass message informing all the sites that we were assuming control, and a method to return control back to the central hub. On a whiteboard we listed these steps in one column. In another column, we listed which one of us would be responsible and next to that a timetable. Also, listed was what information we had on hand, what information we would need, and a contact list for that information. As we began to gather and process all this information we discovered that we had to break these into even smaller pieces. We assumed our signal had enough strength to transmit each site and that we had to only transmit one message to all sites informing them that we were the temporary hub. Central Command informed us that each site would have to receive an individual message with a verification code attached and these codes would have to be telephonically transmitted before the sites would respond to a message originating from our site on the net. Thankfully, Central Command was further out than any of the sites on our net and assured us they were receiving a strong signal from our equipment. From this result we concluded all of the sites would be able to receive our transmissions. Once we were confident that we could contact each station, the long process of contacting each individual site started. After each station received and verified our transmission, we were able to assume