The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General TY Buratai, has on Wednesday 20th September 2017, launched 3 books on Critical Thinking written by Colonel Charles Dalo Nengite, as part of efforts to enhance the capacity of Nigerian Army’s personnel in creativity and innovation in the application of Critical Thinking. The launching was part of the activities at the just concluded Chief of Army Staff’s Combined Second and Third Quarter Conference 2017 which took place from 18th-20th September 2017 at the Army Headquarters Command Officers’ Mess Abuja.
While unveiling the 3 books; “Curriculum for Basic Critical Thinking and Judgement”, “Curriculum for Self-Awareness in Critical Thinking and Judgement” and “Curriculum for Advanced Critical Thinking and Judgement”, as well as “Curriculum for Self-Awareness in Critical Thinking and Judgement Workbook”, Lieutenant General TY Buratai, who was represented by Major General Chris Jemitola, Chief of Policy and Plans (Army) at the occasion, said top military and management experts have rated Critical Thinking as the most important skill set for the complex strategic environment of the 21st century.
He said the books are invaluable to the cultivation of an improved process for decision making especially for future wars which are not necessarily won by those with superior weaponry but possibly by those who have the ability to be creative and innovative in the application of Critical Thinking.
The Chief of Army Staff further stated that it is now a fact that the adversaries being engaged by most militaries are becoming wiser and more unpredictable. Therefore, to be ahead of them, militaries must ensure they have an adaptive mindset that is realistic, open and unassuming, which no doubt requires the need to be aware of biases, logical fallacies and assumptions. Thus, he said, the concept of Critical Thinking is a necessity for future leaders of which the Nigerian Army is poised to be in the vanguard of the learning.
He commended the author for finding the time to write and published the books, which he described as innovative and enjoined officers take advantage of the knowledge contained in the books to improve their knowledge and capacity. He also challenged them to also write books for the benefit of the Nigerian Army and the society.
Reviewing the books earlier, Brigadier General Charles Ofoche, who is also Director of Studies at the Army War College, Nigeria, said the world order is under constant threats and therefore some military strategists are of the opinion that military officers should have a change of mindset and mental model to successfully operate in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. He said to achieve this, Critical Thinking is a valuable tool in this regard.
Brigadier General Ofoche further noted that the books were built on Professor Steven Gerras’ approach to learning Critical Thinking and judgement which hinges on 3 cardinal points. The first is to create the need through examples and common Critical Thinking mistakes in our daily lives. The second is to provide the basic knowledge of the concept and the gap in the thinking process. While the final point is to practice the concept in real life or simulated situations.
It would be recalled that the author, Colonel Charles Dalo Nengite attended the United States Army War College and did the nation proud when he bagged 6 Distinguished Awards and Honours, as well as the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation Award back home.
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Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman
Director Army Public Relations