Measuring the Return on Investment for AFRICOM’s African Enlisted Soldier Development Efforts II

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Systems Engineering

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Annual General Donald R. Keith Memorial Capstone Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


In October 2018, AFRICOM published its Africa Enlisted Development Strategy (AEDS) to codify its approach for facilitating the professional development of its African partners. During Academic Year (AY) 2020, a senior capstone design team from USMA partnered with AFRICOM to create a scale to subjectively assess how well African nations develop and empower their non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Known as the Enlisted Development Maturity Level (EDML) scale, it provided AFRICOM with an easy-to-implement tool to evaluate the high-level return on its investments; however, it did not measure investment, and it lacked granularity. To remedy this, in AY 2021 USMA extended the EDML effort to track investments and score African militaries on six core NCO competencies. Dubbed the AEDS Investment Tracker and the Enlisted Development Review, they provide AFRICOM with a way to monitor the return on its investments over time, enhancing the implementation of the AEDS.

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