MILM1402 Military Problem-Solving and Methods

Course code: 
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Militær problemløsning og metode
Program of study: 
Bachelor i militære studier
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2021 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2021 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Norwegian / English
Person in charge: 
Ole Jørgen Maaø
Course content

The purpose of the course is threefold: (1) To form an understanding of how one gains knowledge through the application of academic methods; (2) to form an understanding of how one makes good decisions through military problem-solving methods; (3) to form an understanding of how operational planning and leadership are interlinked. Furthermore, the cadets will be provided with a basic knowledge of are to be added to the basic knowledge of operational management and leadership within the Royal Norwegian Air Force. In addition, the course will further develop the English skills of the cadets (both oral and written), as well as provide a basic introduction to how systematic physical exercise affects the body and the mental ability to carry out military operations.

Academic methodology, theory of knowledge and decision-making theory provide a basis for critical thinking, and an understanding of the premises and the frameworks for the staff study and the planning and decision-making process. Military problem-solving within the framework of staff studies and the planning and decision-making process for the peacetime service and wartime service respectively allows the cadet to make decisions as a leader and staff officer.

Operational planning represents leadership in practice. This requires a basic knowledge and understanding of the organisation and the people with whom you are a part of and plan together with, how leadership is exercised and how communication and products whitin the planning group is a part of a larger process (command and control, language, culture) to have an impact on operational task forces with international participation (allied support (article 5)/international operations), and basic operational management to make plans that administer the resources of the Norwegian Armed Fores in a beneficial manner.

The course has three topics: (1) Academic methods, theory of knowledge and decision theory; (2) Military problem-solving, operational planning, the planning and decision-making process; (3) Operational leadership and planning in practice.

Learning outcome


After completion of the course, the cadet is able to:

  • explain key concepts in academic methodology,
  • explain key concepts in decision theory and practice theory
  • explain the ethical guides for an academic investigation
  • explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative methods and their strengths and limitations
  • explain the strengths and weaknesses of intuitive and analytical decisions
  • explain the rationale of the military planning and decision-making process
  • understand the military planning and decision-making process
  • understand and explain how operational planning in practice encompasses leadership, organisational knowledge, command and control, language (Norwegian and English, written and spoken), international cooperation and operational management
  • and understand the connection between physical capabilities and mental capacity, and why this correlation is of great importance to the success of operations, and in operational work within the Royal Norwegian Air Force
  • formulate arguments and his/her own reflections coherently both in written and spoken English, know how to acquire knowledge of relevant words and phrases and be able to adapt this to the situation
  • explaining the military organisation, with special emphasis on the Royal Norwegian Air Force
  • explain the basic principles of operational management within the Royal Norwegian Air Force, including the management of material, human and economic resources
  • explain operational leadership within the Royal Norwegian Air Force with an emphasis on command and control


After completion of the course, the cadet is able to:

  • master good citation skills and referencing in order to write undergraduate assignments
  • utilise source criticism, interviews and statistics in his/her own written work
  • asses the quality of arguments and sources
  • carry out the programme’s written assignments in a structured and appropriate manner
  • argue rigorously and discuss issues
  • master written production in an academic text and in military documents
  • analyse the stages in the planning and decision-making process
  • apply the military planning and decision-making process
  • apply knowledge of operational management, organisation, leadership, command and control, and language to exercise good leadership in practical operational planning
  • maintain and enhance his/her own physical fitness and athletic skills
  • utilise idiomatic structures in English both in writing and orally, is able to recognise and transfer relevant learning between different contexts
  • apply theories and methods to explore issues within organisation and management of organisations

General competence

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to:

  • collect, analyse and assess various forms of information
  • assess which methods are appropriate to answer issues relevant to the Norwegian Armed Forces
  • analyse standardised procedures, and discuss the relationship between theory and practice within his/her own profession
  • apply staff methodology as a tool for exploring problems and making decisions.
  • discuss and communicate the importance of operational management, organisation, leadership, command and control, and language in order to exercise good leadership in practical operational planning
Working and learning activities

The theoretical section of the module employs customised educational lessons, including, among other things, self-study, group seminars, e-courses, mainstream and digital lectures and seminar lessons. The course has a distinct practical component, so that the cadets can experience how operational planning works in practice (from theory to practice).

The course consists of three topics which are implemented as a combination of theory, practice and reflection, organised through classwork, teamwork and individual work.

Practice Arena:

At the end of the first school year, the exercise "Air Force Synthesis" is carried out which aims at providing the cadets with a practice arena in order to train and practice the planning, management, implementation and debriefing of an air force mission. The exercise will be an arena for the practical training of leadership and air power in demanding conditions. This includes, among other things, training in management and operation of troops/company and the command area/operational rooms (command and control, decision-making, joint operational collaboration, corporate governance, operational logistics, english, as well as cultural, legal and ethical issues. The exercise will also be an arena for training basic military skills, in addition to challenging the physical, mental and relational hardiness of the cadets – both as an individual and as a leader. 

English and Military Sports and Training (MIT)

English within Military Problem-Solving and Methods further develops the cadets’ knowledge and proficiency in English as the working language of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The teaching (2 hours per week) involves presentations and analyses with a focus on transferring relevant learning between different contexts. This is a continuation of the Introduction to English Language and Communication in the Royal Norwegian Air Force which was taught in Air Power Basics (course 5), but this time within the context of an international task force/planning process, and the use of English-language methods and sources.

During the entire period, compulsory skills training in Military Sports and Training (MIT) is also carried out with 2 + 2 hours per week. The focus of the period will be to plan and carry out training aimed at increasing your own physical fitness and athletic skills within relevant physical and military disciplines. The training will adapt to the activities that take place within the course, including the practice arenas, and are based on excerpts from Gjerstad, Asbjørn (2006). Treningslære. Oslo: Gyldendal.

Sensor system

Sensur gjennomføres i henhold til Forskrift for opptak, studier og eksamen ved Forsvarets høgskole.


Course evaluation is conducted by the course coordinator. Semester evaluation is conducted by the quality manager.


Brun, W og Kobbeltvedt, T. (2005). Beslutningstaking i operative situasjoner. I: J Eid og H Johnsen (red) Operativ Psykologi. Fagbokforlaget Bergen s 155-178 (22 s)

Douven, I. (2011). "Abduction", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>. Del 1.

Dragsnes, J.G, Moland, F. og Henriksen, D. (2018). Stabshåndbok i luftmilitær planlegging. Trondheim: Skipnes Kommunikasjon.

Firing, K., & Moldjord, C. (2007). Tanker, følelser og handlinger i samspill – et grunnlag for personlig vekst i operative profesjoner. I C. Moldjord, A. Arntzen, K. Firing, O. A. Solberg & J. C. Laberg. Liv og lære i operative miljøer. ”Tøffe menn gråter”. (ss. 428-444). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget. (17s)

Forsvarets stabsskole. (2010). Håndbok i stabstjeneste for Forsvaret. Oslo: Forsvarets stabsskole, s 34-143.

Forsvarsstaben. (2014). FFOD. Forsvarets fellesoperative doktrine. (S. 143 -153.) Oslo: Forsvarets Høgskole. (10s)

Forsvarsstaben. (2016). DIVØ. Direktiv for virksomhets- og økonomistyring. (S. 1-11.) Oslo:Forsvarsstaben. (11s)

Grimen, H. (2008). ‘Profesjon og kunnskap’. I Molander, A & Terum, L.I. (red.). Profesjonsstudier. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, s.71-86.

Hebditch, D. (2017). ‘Planning, fast and slow: or how to make military planning work for you’. Hentet 12.04.2018 fra

Høiback, H. (2012). ‘Hva er militærteori’. I Høiback, H. & Ydstebø, P. Krigens vitenskap – en innføring i militærteori. Oslo: Abstrakt forlag, s. 31-77.

Irgens, E. J. (2011). Dynamiske og lærende organisasjoner: ledelse og utvikling i et arbeidsliv i endring. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, s 1-116 (116s).

Jacobsen, D.I. (2015): Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser? – Innføring i samfunnsvitenskapelig metode, kapittel 1 ‘Teori og empiri – spørsmål og fakta’, kapittel 2 ‘Metode – en pragmatisk tilnærming’, kapittel 3 ‘Etiske og praktiske avveininger’, kapittel 8 del 1 ‘Det åpne individuelle intervjuet’. (61s)

Jacoben, D. I. & Thorsvik, J. (2013). Hvordan organisasjoner fungerer. 4. utgave. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, Utdrag  kap  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (190 sider).

Kahneman, D. og Klein, G. (2009). Conditions for intuitive expertise: a failure to disagree. American Psychologist, 64(6), s. 515-526.

Kjeldstadli, K. (1992). Kapittel 2 ‘Hva er historie?’, kapittel 12 ‘Kildegransking’ og kapittel 17 ‘Forklaringer’. I Fortida er ikke hva den en gang var – en innføring i historiefaget. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. (49 sider)

Lavik, T.,  Fjørtoft, K. & Pedersen, J. (2014). ‘Kunnskapens grunnlag’. I Lavik, T.,  Fjørtoft, K. & Pedersen, J., Filosofi for samfunnsvitere. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. s. 116-156.

Luftforsvarets konsept for helhetlig debriefing. Trondheim: Luftkrigsskolen, (80s).

Luftforsvarsstaben (1995). Håndbok i lederskap for Luftforsvaret. Kap 1, Å utøve Ledelse s 23-71 (48 s), Kap 7, Problemløsning – Beslutningstaking s 253-293 (40 s), Oslo, Luftforsvarsstaben.

Lunde, N. T. og Mæland, Bård (red) (2005). Militæretikk, Trondheim: Tapir forlag. (190s)

Moldjord, C. & Fredriksen, P.K. (2017). Debrifing – Strategisk læringsverktøy i operative organisasjoner. I: T. Heier (2017). Kompetanseforvaltning i Forsvaret. Bergen, Fagbokforlaget (11 s).

Engelsk (ca. 100s)

Kompedium med utdrag fra følgende tekster: Jackson, Shirley (1948). ‘The Lottery’. Moore, Alan (1987). Wathcmen. Churchill, Winston (1940). ‘Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat’ and ‘Wars Are Not Won by Evacuations’. I tillegg har kadettene ansvar for en selvvalgt tekst.   

Militær idrett og trening (ca. 100s)

Gjerstad, Asbjørn (2006). Treningslære. Oslo: Gyldendal.

Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
Muntlig eksamen- 15-30MinutesA-F4/10Not required
Muntlig eksamen-15-30MinutesA-F5/10Required
Muntlig eksamenIndividual20-30MinutesA-F1/10Not required
Form of assessment:Muntlig eksamen
Duration: 15-30
Type of duration:Minutes
Grading scale:A-F
Oral examination:Not required
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Muntlig eksamen
Type of duration:Minutes
Grading scale:A-F
Oral examination:Required
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Muntlig eksamen
Type of duration:Minutes
Grading scale:A-F
Oral examination:Not required
Supported materials:
Ole Jørgen Maaø
Katrine Antonsen
Roger Lien
Vegard Finserås Rasdal