The Operational Research Team (ORT) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is the premiere sleep, circadian, and performance field research team of the Department of Defense.
The ORT’s primary objective is to develop, test, and validate field-capable assessments and interventions to both (1) determine the influence of sleep loss and circadian misalignment on Soldier readiness and resilience in the operational environment (e.g., during training missions and deployment) and (2) select optimal strategies (e.g., caffeine, blue light, sleep hygiene, sleep banking and recovery) for enhancing Warfighter readiness. The ORT is comprised of a diverse scientific team of U.S Army Soldiers and Leaders, contractors, and civilian research staff carrying out cutting-edge research. The team is highly-skilled and uniquely positioned to collaborate with military units and gain direct access to military units during sustained and continuous training and deployment operations to protect our nation’s top weapon system—the Warfighter.
Our current research is focused on:
• Developing, testing and validating a novel marker of circadian misalignment in the operational environment in elite
• Validating laboratory blue-light interventions in the field to enhance the restorative capabilities of sleep
• Determining the impact of the environmental factors (e.g., light/noise) on sleep during training and deployment
• Testing the effectiveness of behavioral sleep tactics (e.g., enhancing sleep education in Soldiers and leadership) in
deployable military units
• Determining profiles of Soldiers most resilient and sensitive to sleep loss.
The ORT is engaged in the above efforts with the ultimate goal of delivering products (e.g., tools/strategies manuscripts, policy recommendations, etc.) that will optimize laboratory-validated, field-capable technologies to enhance performance
of Soldiers and Military Leaders. Individuals interested in operational sleep loss and performance and Warfighter-oriented research missions are encouraged to apply.
Desirable skills include: sleep and circadian research experience, field research experience, actigraphy and other wearable technologies, exposure to military culture, mining large multi-model datasets, and qualitative survey research.
Interested applicants are encouraged to send their CV and a statement of interest to CPT Ashlee McKeon, PhD at [email protected]