Operations Research Major
Operations Research is a scientific approach to decision making with a focus on how best to design and operate systems, usually under conditions requiring the allocation of scarce resources. However, whether one means the term to be a professional designation, a label for a body of methods, or an approach to problem solving, operations research is today inextricably linked to the direction and management of large systems of people, machines, materials, and money in government, industry, business, and defense. Since its inception during WWII, the interdisciplinary field of operations research has set itself apart as an applied mathematical science and engineering discipline with a diverse range of applications. Because of the increased demand for operations research analyses within the Army, the operations research specialty continues to enjoy steady growth in membership, and is associated with superb educational and promotion opportunities throughout an officer's military career. West Point remains the single largest source of operations research officers for the Army. Graduates of the operations research program at USMA are well prepared to tackle some of the Army's most challenging problems and to pursue graduate study in support of the operations research career field.
Military Applications of Operations Research
The military specifically uses Operations Research at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. The applications cover a full spectrum of military activities including national policy analysis, resource allocation, force composition and modernization, logistics, human resources, battle planning, and maintenance and replenishment.