USAF Tests for Jungle Jim Candidates
In 1977 I sent a letter to the AF Human Resources Lab at Brooks AFB, TX asking a number of things to include the top secret (5) questions we were asked to get in the Jungle Jim program since no one could remember all the questions and they still don’t. Apparently they thought I wanted the grade I made which I wasn’t looking for since I felt pretty lucky for getting selected. The letter below plus a report, which I summarized the main points and is for all you guys to show your wife how sound you are when she tells you that you are crazy, and you can point to the AF tests we were given to get into Jungle Jim.
The test results are contained in report PRL-TR-64-24 dated October 1964 and entitled “Application of a Psychometric-Clinical Approach to Personnel Selection for Counterinsurgency Duty by George K. Contrell, Maj USAF, Fred E. Holdredge, Col USAF, Roy A DeGough, Lt Col USAF and Cecil J. Mullins and done by the Personnel Research Laboratory, Aerospace Medical Division, Air Force Systems Command, Lackland AFB, Texas. It would be interesting to get one of these guys as a guest speaker for one of our reunions to give us what they remembered about all the snakes’ eaters who came through their office.
Dept of the Air Force
Air Force Human Resources Laboratory (AFSC)
Brooks AFB, Texas 78235
7 Sept 1977
Lieutenant Colonel Eugene D. Rossel
APO New York 09283
Dear Colonel Rossel
We would be happy to provide your Jungle Jim test cores if we had hem, but we do not. It is highly probable that they have been destroyed. From your testing dates I would assume that you were in an early development sample, and your test scores associated data were destroyed prior to 1965.
If you were in a sample on which selection was accomplished, you will remember that very shortly after your testing that you and other officers of your group went to Washington DC for interview. Selection decisions based upon your test scores and your personnel records jacket from the Pentagon were made within 48 hours of your arrival in Washington. The records jacket was returned to the Pentagon and other materials destroyed.
I am attaching a copy of our technical report which summarizes the work done in this effort. One of the authors might be able to provide more definite information, but there is little chance that they would have your scores. Of the four authors listed Dr. Cecil J. Mullins is employed by this organization but has none of the data associated with the earlier work. Dr George K. Cantrell has retired from the Air Force and lives at 11114 Whisper Hollow, San Antonio, TX 78230. He might be able to tell you a little more about this project, but he will have no data.
I regret that we are unable to provide the information you have requested.
Leland D. Brokaw
Personnel Research Division
1. Minnesota Multiphastic Personality Inventory(MMPI). The inventory was included because of its long-established use in clinical psychology for diagnosing neurotic tendencies.
2. Gordon Personal Profile (GPP). This test was selected because of the utility of the “Responsibility” score in predicting cadet performance at the USAF Academy.
3. Gordon Personal Inventory (GPI). This test was selected because of the face validity of the names of the sub scores when selecting for a special project, the nature of which was not clearly defined (Original Thinking, Personal Relations, Cautiousness and Vigor).
4. Officer Effectiveness Inventory (OEI). This test was selected primarily to obtain scores on the Risk and Officer Leadership scales.
5. Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS). It was selected because of the wide range of personality variables reflected by its various scales. It would permit the individual to give the interviewer a picture of his self-concept in a condensed form.
6. Success Motivation Test. This test consists of having the subject hold his arms out parallel to the ground, then informing him that how long he holds them in this position is indicative of his desire to succeed on the project. The test was hypothesized to measure motivation and perseverance.
7. Air Force Qualifying Test (AFOQT). This test was selected to obtain an evaluation of the candidates as measured by the test.
8. Air Force Preference Inventory (AFPI). Results of this inventory are interpreted as interest measures and have been found to correlate significantly with ratings of Air Force Academy cadets (Creager & Miller, 1)
9. Holtzman Inkblot Technique. The new technique uses more inkblots than the traditional Rorschach, in addition to having simplified procedures for administration and scoring, while retaining the rich qualitive, projective materials of the Rorschach. It was included for experimental purposes.
10. Modified Pressoor Test (Cold water Test). The individuals are required to stand with their feet in ice water for a period of three minutes. It was felt that this test would measure the motivation of the participant.
11. Mental Mechanisms Inventory (MMI). This experimental test was developed to measure the relative degree to which the individual made use of various mental mechanisms.
12. Military Service Value Scale (MSVS). The scale measures the individual’s opinions on 10 different factors as they apply to the military service. It has been developed in accordance with Shartle’s theory of values and was used in the expectation that it would give some information pertaining to the individual’s value system.
In view of the unlimited number of personality differences that a participant could have and still be a highly effective and reliable counterinsurgent, a primary task was the screening out of the applicant group of those officers and airmen with motivational or personality deficiencies that would cause them to be unreliable in hazard duty, high-risk situations. It was felt that it would be easier to identify those who would crack under pressure, had motivational problems, dismayed neurotic or psychotic symptoms or tendencies, than to try develop a pattern pf psychological and mental characteristics representing the “ideal” counterinsurgent. A secondary problem was to ensure that only job-proficient volunteers had been made available for counterinsurgency duty by their commanders.
To meet the essential screening requirements, psychological screening teams composed of a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, and a personnel psychologist were formed (sometime varied). The results of these tests were as follows:
Test Group A-the original group starting in April 1961. 140 officers were tested and 25% eliminated.
Test Group B(November 1961) the second group that included others and myself. 52 officers and 118 Airmen were tested and 22% eliminated.
Test Group C (sometimes 1962)had 30 officers and 150 Airmen tested and 22% eliminated.
Test Group D (sometimes in late 1962)had 17 Officers and 145 Airmen and had only 17% eliminated.
Apparently after testing a total of 239 Officers and 413 Airmen with 21% eliminated the tests were stopped. It seemed about this time that Gen Sweeney, TAC Commander, was upset with several suicides and some other things decided that the tests were not living up to its objectivity of producing reliable and emotional candidates. There may be more to this but it aint’s in the report. This was one of the elimination channels, which took a toll. First you were interviewed and about one out of 10 made it through (figure I was given at my interview). Next we had the selected group eliminated by the tests given by the Personnel Research Lab at Lackland AFB- the groups mentioned above. This was followed by more eliminations at Stead Survival School where people were eliminated by breaking down or went berserk in the black box they stuffed us in etc. Then after this there was the self imposed elimination once selected. There was a high elimination of personnel for the first four groups as we went through the testing process to get into this exciting new program.
I will send a copy of the report to the ACA Headquarters; it is a small one, for anyone who would like to look at it further.