ELITE: Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment

2012 - Present
Project Leader: David Cobbins

ELITE is an instructional platform, delivered via digital devices, which provides opportunities to practice skills in realistic and relevant training scenarios with virtual human role-players and real-time data tracking tools which allow for structured feedback. ELITE leverages more than a decade of USC Institute for Creative Technologies’ research into instructional design, virtual human technologies, intelligent tutoring, and storytelling.

ELITE currently has four different distribution outlets that train specific skill sets including:

  • ELITE COUNSELING: Provides junior leaders with an opportunity to learn, practice and assess interpersonal communication skills for use in basic counseling, and incorporates Army-approved leadership doctrine (FM 6-22, Appendix B).
  • ELITE SHARP CTT: Developed for United States (US) Army Command Teams to practice the knowledge, skills, confidence, and ability to execute The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program successfully. Created under the guidance of the SHARP Program Management Office, and in collaboration with the US Army SHARP Academy, its content incorporates US Army-approved SHARP doctrine (AR 600-20).
  • ELITE SHARP POST: Educates Army Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Victim Advocates (VAs) on their roles and responsibilities, related to Prevention and Outreach, when supporting the Commander and other SHARP stakeholders responsible for implementing the SHARP Program.
  • ELITE SHARP BRAVE: Teaches junior leaders how to intervene successfully when observing behavior that could lead to potential incidents of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault. ELITE SHARP BRAVE supports the mission of the United States (US) Army’s Intervene, Act, and Motivate Campaign (I. A.M. STRONG) and the Not in my Squad (NIMS) Program.

The full suite of ELITE instructional programs provide the opportunity to learn, practice and assess vital interpersonal communication skills, with multiple scenarios that address real-world issues. A virtual human role-player and real- time data tracking tools allow for structured feedback after the interaction. The After Action Review (AAR) can be instructor-facilitated or self-guided. ELITE may be used in either a classroom setting or via an online web application for automated instruction.


  • Over 2,000 Soldiers and Civilians have received training certifications via the ELITE-WEB system since December 2022.
  • Mobile Training Teams have trained over 1,000 SHARP professionals at more than 30 Army installations on how to use the ELITE SHARP CTT and ELITE SHARP POST.
  • Army Research Institute (ARI) validated the effectiveness of ELITE SHARP CTT in 2017 during an independent evaluation involving over 200 members of company-level Command Teams.
  • ELITE SHARP CTT has been integrated into resident SARC/VA courses at the Army SHARP Academy and in several installation Company Commander/1SG Courses.
  • ELITE SHARP BRAVE is now a required prerequisite for attending Army Warrant Officer School.

Next Steps
ELITE will continue to evolve as a tool used across the Army for training in multiple domains. Future research tracks, under the ELITE platform, will include automated rapid content generation, introducing natural language understanding, and optimizing the system for mobile distribution.

Published academic research papers are available here. For more information Contact Us

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