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Emotional intelligence and Army ROTC cadet success at a leading aviation/aerospace university

Reitano, Jerome A., III.

This study aimed to investigate the impact of emotional intelligence on Army ROTC cadet success at a leading aviation/aerospace university. Employing a quantitative approach, 54 cadets were examined using the Skills for Career and Life Effectiveness® emotional intelligence assessment and various Army ROTC data. The goal was to identify emotional intelligence skills associated with cadet success across three key areas: descriptive statistics, differentiation between top 20% and bottom 20% of the group based on Order Merit Scores, and distinction between cadets opting for active duty versus the reserve component. Statistical analysis revealed significant emotional intelligence skills in all areas, particularly self-esteem, drive strength, and decision making. These findings highlight the critical importance of emotional intelligence in determining class standing, career preferences, and performance during Cadet Summer Training. However, the study acknowledged limitations due to the small sample size and the impact of COVID-19 on earlier training. Further research is recommended, including expanding the sample size, conducting multiple emotional intelligence assessments at various stages of the cadet’s career, and accounting for the effects of COVID-19. Addressing these limitations will supply a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship between emotional intelligence and cadet success, aiding in the selection, training, and development of military and aerospace professionals. Such research will also further enhance recruitment and retention efforts in these fields.