The Tactical Considerations of Augmented and Mixed Reality Implementation

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Army Cyber Institute, Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, Mathematical Sciences

Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2022

Publication Title

Military Review

Document Type



The U.S. Army, NATO armies, and other advanced nations actively seek to implement augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) support for their operational forces. These platforms are intended to improve tactical awareness, target acquisition, and situational awareness and also to develop information upstream for commanders to act upon. The United States’ example is the integrated visual augmentation system (IVAS), which provides an integrated suite of situational awareness capabilities to enable better decision-making and increase soldier tactical fighting ability.1 In the light of rapid developments and hurdles faced in fielding for the United States and its allies, we would like to add to the Army discourse the need to identify potential operational weaknesses in the AR/MR systems. The operational environment will test any equipment’s durability and reliability. A central question we investigate is the tactical value on the battlefield and whether the system losing full or partial functionality changes the system from a capability enhancement into something that obstructs or prevents mission success. We identify multiple areas and research topics for investigation in order for AR devices to become a combat multiplier.

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