This guide will be different from others as it will not teach you immediately how to do something game related. It is not going to show you how to setup your radio or AT weaponry. But in long run it may help you with both Arma and real life. While original material talk mostly in context of leadership development, following can be applied to both other Arma skills and to some extent real life, especially when it comes to learning by discussion.
Note: Adapted from Arma's tactical guide by Dslyecxi.
LEARNING BY OBSERVATION
Learning by Observation is the easiest method for leadership roles as you're going to have a leader in most if not every mission. With the rise of live streaming you can also learn various other assets by watching these streams (or the usually available past recordings). In missions you just need to pay extra bit of attention and ideally take notes as you can then go straight for the "Learning by Discussion".
LEARNING BY READING
This method is most suitable for solo learning outside of missions. You can read guides like the one you're reading right now, search for actual military materials or read the debrief threads and learn from there. Just because you didn't ask the questions doesn't mean the answers are useless to you. Or even just because you didn't participate in specific mission doesn't mean you can't learn something new.
LEARNING BY DISCUSSION
Learning by Discussion is an interactive way as you naturally need another person to discuss with. It can have many forms and I'll list some below.
Debriefing or After Action Reviews
Feel free to get creative. Write down description of what happened in missions, take screenshot or even record videos.
While they do not necessarily belong in official Debrief threads you can post screenshots and videos into their own threads.
In actual Debrief thread:
- Identify what was supposed to happen in the mission. Was the plan clear to you? What was your role?
- Identify what actually happened and the difference between the plan and reality. What caused said differences? What were the key events?
- Distil lessons you learned from above points. Say what you personally learned and how players as a group could improve.
- Single out and give praise to players who you felt did well. Positive reinforcement can help others, especially junior members of the community.
Some other tips for Debrief threads:
- For everything negative say something positive. Don't be afraid to talk about both good and bad. Mistakes happen, but usually something good happens as well. Keep the balance and threads will remain constructive.
- Assume good faith. Even if somebody says something to you in a harsh manner remember that they're trying to help so that you, they and others have better time next time. We're also a multi-national community and not everyone is native English speaker - things get lost in translation etc. Give people benefit of the doubt and try to resolve conflicts privately first.
- Work towards atmosphere of mutual trust. By being open and honest you make others feel they can do the same and improve feedback in the community overall.
Real life militaries use after-action reviews too, including subordinates critiquing their superiors in appropriate manners. Feedback is not supposed to undermine the authority of leaders, but allows leaders to say why they chose to lead the way they did and teach others in the process of doing that. More than that it creates some kind of trust between members.
Sometimes you're the one in some kind of role in which you want feedback of others. Ask beforehand so that they can take notes and discuss your performance with you more accurately after the mission.
Tactical Decision Games
This is something I'm not aware of FK doing too much, but that doesn't mean you can't start. Ask someone experienced in a role (typically a leadership role in this case) for a hypothetical scenario. You have to create a plan and orders for said plan within short time frame. After that you discuss your plan with the other player - both of you can come up with pros and cons and the other player can point out flaws in your plan that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.
This doesn't mean you will have another player assigned to you, but over time you will find people whose opinion on certain topics you will value more than those of others. Ask these players how they do these things, what is their mindset and if they ran into issues in said topic. You can learn a lot from others, but you have to ask first.
LEARNING BY DOING
And finally there is the way of "learning by doing". This can be intimidating and hard as you might be thrown into a role out of necessity.
There are several way to lower this intimidation. First of them is practising in a safe and controlled environment - war games. You can practice many roles alone in single-player environment and learn the ins and outs of quite a few skills which do not necessarily require another player. Alternatively you can practise on smaller scale in live environment. For example by taking up a Team Leader slot to prepare yourself for Squad Leading.
Finally you can ask a trainer for a training session where they shadow you, take over if necessary and give you feedback after the mission as this can also lower the stress as you know there as a fallback option.