Test and selection practices in the Danish Arctic military elite unit - A historical analysis of the development 1950-2015

Lead Author Alice, Juel Jacobsen
Institution Contact University of Aalborg, Department of Communication and Psychology, AC Meyersvænget 15, 2450 Copenhagen SV Denmark Telephone: 45 25785857
Co-Authors Christian Ydesen, University of Aalborg, Department of Learning and philosophy, Denmark
Theme Theme 4: Building Long-term Human Capacity
Session Name 4.5 Work and workers in the Arctic
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text This article investigates the development of the selection practice for the Sirius patrol of the Danish Army. The patrol is assigned the task of protecting Denmark’s sovereignty and maintaining surveillance in Northeast Greenland by patrolling the uninhabited national park. As described in information materials of the Defence Ministry, special requirements must be fulfilled to be selected for the complex tasks and training program of the Sirius Sledge Patrol:
“…There is a reason that [Sirius] is called a Special Force. Its members must be very special in order to be selected. Only very few possess the qualities demanded. The army has three Special Forces: Army Special Forces, Frogman Corps, and Sledge Patrol Sirius. The three elite training programmes are different, but they all require exceptional physical and mental strength…” (Web 2015).
The aim of the investigation, is to achieve a deeper understanding of the selection process connected with determining potential and ability for an elite training programme aimed at a demanding job complex.
In a historical perspective the article provides an analysis of the selection practice. Four empirically, contextually substantiated and chronological intersections of the process practice are compared. In other words, the intersections function as historically informed prisms, each of which contributes with insights into the selection practice and its development in relation to the technologies employed (written and physical tests etc.) and the values inherent in the decision making process. The article thus aims at answering the following research questions:
• How has the selection process developed over time, from the founding of the sledge patrol until its current practice?
• Which values and understandings of the necessary competences for admittance to the patrol tasks have characterized the selection process?
• Which selection technologies have been used, and what have been the effects and consequences connected with the selection process?
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