Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Operations Research


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher M. Smith, PhD.


Personnel selection has always and will continue to be a challenging endeavor for the military special operations. They want to select the best out of a number of qualified applicants. How an organization determines what makes a successful candidate and how to compare candidates against each other are some of the difficulties that top tier organizations like the special operations face. Value focused thinking (VFT) places criteria in a hierarchal structure and quantifies the values with criteria measurements, known as a decision model. The selection process can be similar to a college selecting their students. This research used college student entry data and strategic goals as a proxy for special operations applicants and standards. It compared two case studies of college admissions selection criteria. A sample pool of 8,000 select and 24,000 non-select candidates was generated from real world datasets. VFT was applied to develop a valid admissions selection process model. The schools admissions documentation was used to build the hierarchies, single attribute value functions (SAVF), multi-attribute value functions (MAVF), and weights. A Monte Carlo simulation was used to sample applicants from the generated pool and examined how accurately the models were able to select the correct applicants.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number