Until recently scientists had limited opportunities to study human cognitive performance in non-laboratory, fully ambulatory situations. Recently, advances in technology have made it possible to extend behavioral assessment to the field environment. One of the first devices to measure human behavior in the field was the wrist-worn actigraph. This device, now widely employed, can acquire minute-by-minute information on an individual’s level of motor activity. Actigraphs can, with reasonable accuracy, distinguish sleep from waking, the most critical and basic aspect of human behavior. However, rapid technologic advances have provided the opportunity to collect much more information from fully ambulatory humans. Our laboratory has developed a series of wrist-worn devices, which are not much larger then a watch, which can assess simple and choice reaction time, vigilance and memory. In addition, the devices can concurrently assess motor activity with much greater temporal resolution then the standard actigraph. Furthermore, they continuously monitor multiple environmental variables including temperature, humidity, sound and light. We have employed these monitors during training and simulated military operations to collect information that would typically be unavailable under such circumstances. In this paper we will describe various versions of the vigilance monitor and how each successive version extended the capabilities of the device. Samples of data from several studies are presented, included studies conducted in harsh field environments during simulated infantry assaults, a Marine Corps Officer training course and mechanized infantry (Stryker) operations. The monitors have been useful for documenting environmental conditions experienced by wearers, studying patterns of sleep and activity and examining the effects of nutritional manipulations on warfighter performance.