Tag Archives: Talent Management

SMA unveils bonuses, incentives to retain Soldiers for million-strong force

Read more: Questions, answers about the Army’s new talent management program

NCO Journal report

With the total Army tasked to expand by 28,000 troops this year, the service hopes to retain quality Soldiers with incentives, such as cash bonuses up to $10,000 for extensions, the Army’s top enlisted member said this month.

“We need Soldiers to stay in the Army,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey said during a town hall meeting at the Defense Information School. “If you’re on the fence [and you plan to get out this year], go see your career counselor. I guarantee you that they have some good news.”

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 recently raised the Army’s end strength to just over 1 million Soldiers for all components. Initial proposals had the entire Army slated to draw down to 980,000 by the end of this year. The NDAA increased the active force by 16,000, to an end strength of 476,000, and also bumped the reserve component by 12,000.

The troop surge would represent the Army’s largest yearly increase without using a draft or stop-loss involuntary extension and will double its annual retention mission, Dailey said.

“We’re not in a drawdown anymore; we’re in an increase situation,” he said. “The Army is going to get bigger.”

Soldiers who decide to extend their service for 12 months may receive the cash bonus, up to $10,000, depending on their military occupational specialty, time in service and re-enlistment eligibility, he added.

Choice of duty location, stabilization at duty stations, chances to extend service rather than re-enlist, and incentives such as schools are other ways the Army hopes to retain its own. Assignment and training options vary by MOS.

“There are some very creative things we’re going to do to stimulate all of that,” he said. “The important thing Soldiers need to know is to ensure they talk to their career counselors. They are the experts at the unit level who can tailor options based on a Soldier’s specific situation and MOS.”

Dailey also highlighted readiness, as the Army transitions from an emphasis on counterinsurgency to full-spectrum operations, which will require an adaptable, well-trained, and ready force. Currently, more than 180,000 Soldiers are serving in no fewer than 140 nations around the globe.

Education benefits for enlisted Soldiers are also improving, he said, with “huge systematic changes” to the NCO professional development system, ongoing reviews of common core for all career fields, and possible expansion of tuition assistance.

“We need to change the dynamic in how we train and educate our Soldiers,” Dailey said.

Military training, he said, can help Soldiers obtain college degrees through the Army University’s credentialing program.

Under the NDAA, Congress has authorized the Army to pay for credentials that translate to a civilian occupation as long as it relates to an MOS, a Soldier’s regular duties, and during a Soldier’s transition out of the Army.

“We have permission to pay for your credentials for the job you do in the Army,” he said. “That’s not a bad deal.”

The Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program also informs Soldiers how to use their military training toward certificates and licenses required for civilian professions, such as electrician, plumber, welder, and many other jobs.

In addition, the Army is working toward letting Soldiers use tuition assistance to pay for these certificates and licenses, Dailey said.

These efforts, he said, will allow Soldiers to thrive in the civilian sector once they leave the service.

“We have a responsibility to prepare you for that, just like we prepare you for war,” he said. “Simultaneously, by doing that we’re making you a better Soldier.”

These changes may also convince many Soldiers to keep serving or even persuade potential recruits to sign up.

“It sends a perception across America that we value people,” Dailey said. “We want to stay at a competitive level and make sure that we get the right people to join.

“It’s a reinvestment in the all-volunteer force of the future.”

Q&A: the Army’s new talent management program

By ARPI DILANIAN and TAIWO AKOWOWO
Army Sustainment magazine

For the first time, the Army will use a talent management process that integrates the personnel records of active Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard Soldiers into one system. Lt. Gen. James C. McConville, the Army deputy chief of staff, G-1, shares his insights into the service’s new talent management program and explains how it will change the Army and improve readiness.

Q: Can you describe the Army’s new talent management program?

A: The Army’s most important weapon is its people. Where the other services may man equipment, what we do is equip the Soldiers, the women and men who are the Army. That’s where talent management comes into play.

What we are doing is moving the Army from an industrial age personnel management system to a 21st century talent management system. This will allow us to manage the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of all of our Soldiers in both the active and reserve components so that we can get the right Soldier in the right job at the right time.

Q: How will the new talent management program work?

A: We will have a new integrated personnel and pay system. For the first time in the history of the Army, we will have active, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers in one personnel system. This gives us visibility over the entire force.

In the National Guard and Reserve, we have Soldiers with tremendous talents learned from their civilian jobs that we may not see when we manage them by rank and military occupational specialty. They may run a construction company on the side, they may be a design engineer, or they may have skill sets in technology — and we will now be able to see that.

We will be able to describe all lower enlisted Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers beyond their basic branches. We will be able to develop a profile of their knowledge, skills, and behaviors; and we will define them with more variables than we do now, which is basically two variables — rank and military occupational specialty.

We will be able to define Soldiers by multiple variables: the countries they have visited, the language skills they have, if they are airborne or air assault qualified, how many combat deployments they have, how many flying hours they have and in which types of aircraft, and their certifications and hobbies. We will have a much better idea of what talents a Soldier can contribute.

We also want to know what Soldiers want to do and where they want to go. If we can match these desires and have them do the things they are passionate about where they want to do them, we think we will be a much better Army going forward. We are working very aggressively to implement these initiatives, and we think they will fundamentally change the way that the Army operates.

Q: Does all of this fit with the chief of staff of the Army’s number one priority of readiness?

A: Absolutely. Readiness is defined by four factors: manning, equipping, training, and leader development. The talent management initiative really focuses on improving the Army’s manning and leader development.

Q: Is the issue of nondeployable personnel affecting talent management?

A: We have fewer Soldiers in the Army, so every single Soldier has to be able to get on the field and play their position, both at home and away. If Soldiers cannot deploy, then we need to take a hard look at their ability to stay in the Army.

If there are Soldiers with deployment limitations who have certain talents that are critical to the mission, and they can contribute in nondeployable ways, we need to consider that. But as a general rule as we go forward, Soldiers will have to be able to deploy for the away games because that is what the Army does.

Q: Will you be changing broadening assignments for officers?

A: Some people think broadening assignments are just going to graduate school. It is much more than that. We have gone to three categories of broadening assignments.

The first is tactical broadening. These assignments are for those Soldiers who want to excel at tactical assignments outside of their area, [such as] going to a Ranger battalion, going to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, or going to a special mission unit.

The second is institutional broadening. These Soldiers become trainers at the combat training centers, they become small-group instructors, they become recruiters, or they teach ROTC. We have tremendous opportunities for Soldiers to serve in the institutional Army.

The third category is scholastic broadening. Here we will send Soldiers to top-tier graduate schools or they will be Joint Chiefs of Staff or congressional fellows or instructors at the U.S. Military Academy.

Q: You spent many years as an aviator. How did you manage talent?

A: I would spend a lot of time with the Soldiers who I rated and senior rated. I would begin the conversation by asking, “What do you want to do in the future?” And once you start to have that conversation, you can determine, first of all, if they want to stay in the Army. That is a good question to start with. And if they do not want to stay in the Army, find out what they want to do in the civilian world and help them get ready for civilian life.

If they said they wanted to stay in the military, I would ask, “Where do you see yourself in 10, 15, or 20 years? Do you want to be a battalion commander? Do you want to be a sergeant major?” Once you know that, then you can start developing a path with them to achieve their objectives.

Only 10 percent of enlisted Soldiers stay for 20 years to retire; and only 30 percent of officers stay for 20 years to retire. So it is very important that we identify the best Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers and manage their talent appropriately.

Q: Will the Army’s recruiting processes change?

A: We are looking at putting better screening measures in place to ensure we get the quality Soldiers we need for the future. We are getting ready to put forward the occupational physical assessment test, which is a physical test on a recruit’s potential.

We know the attributes that we want in Soldiers as we go forward. We know that we want resilient and fit Soldiers of character. What we are trying to do is put in place screening tests and assessments with more fidelity that will help identify those recruits that have the potential to be high-quality Soldiers.

We also want to ensure Soldiers have the character needed to serve in the Army. This is very important. The number one reason Soldiers do not complete their first term is misconduct, and that comes down to character. Number two is alcohol and drug abuse, and that’s either resilience or character. And numbers three, four, five, and six are related to physical and mental illnesses or disabilities. So we want to screen for all of these very important factors up front.

Q: How are Soldiers doing when they leave the Army?

A: As Soldiers leave, we give them two missions: hire and inspire. What we mean by hire is we want them to go into the civilian world, live the American dream, take advantage of the GI Bill benefits, get a great job, raise their families, then get to a point where they are hiring veterans just like them.

And when they have the opportunity, we want them to inspire young men and women to come into the military and serve just like they did. We want to give young men and women the opportunity to do one of the most important things they will do in their lives: serve their country.

Right now, we are pretty happy–not satisfied, but happy–that the unemployment rate for our veterans is lower than the national unemployment rate, which is at about 5 percent. That is pretty amazing. We would like more Soldiers to use their educational benefits; only 30 percent are using the GI Bill. We want more to take advantage so they can better themselves.

Q: What one tip would you give to a new Soldier?

A: The most important thing is to be willing to learn. The Army expects you to come in physically fit and with integrity, and that allows you to perform those tasks you need to do. Everything else we will teach you.

 

HRC leaders reach out to Fort Bliss NCOs at town hall

Extra

By MARTHA C. KOESTER
NCO Journal

Is it true that assignment officers at U.S. Army Human Resources Command save the great jobs for their friends? Or, that assignment officers sit on the promotion boards?

HRC’s Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson has heard many of the fallacies about HRC and urges Soldiers to reject the myths.

“A lot of [the negativity] is [because of a] lack of education,” Jefferson said before a town hall for senior noncommissioned officers in December at Fort Bliss, Texas. “What we try to do is inform the field of what we are doing and why we do it …

Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson of U.S. Army Human Resources Command (right), with Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (left) and Sgt. Maj. Derek Johnson, deputy chief of staff G1 sergeant major at Headquarters Department of the Army, take on talent management during the third town hall in November at Fort Eustis, Virginia. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson of U.S. Army Human Resources Command (right), with Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (left) and Sgt. Maj. Derek Johnson, deputy chief of staff G1 sergeant major at Headquarters Department of the Army, take on talent management during the third town hall in November at Fort Eustis, Virginia. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

If a Soldier doesn’t get a promotion or assignment he or she wants, “it’s not because the assignment manager doesn’t like you or doesn’t want to send you to those locations,” he said. “It’s because you have to meet certain criteria. The way we dispel those myths is to talk Soldiers through it and educate the leaders. The leaders can help us to educate the Soldier on how the assignment process works.”

Jefferson and Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, HRC commander, visited Fort Bliss on Dec. 14 to reach out to both noncommissioned and commissioned service members. For Jefferson and Seamands, the advantages of doing these HRC road shows are twofold.

“There’s a benefit for us at HRC because we get to come out here and listen to the Soldiers in the field, to find out what’s on their minds and how we can make things better for them and their organizations,” Jefferson said. “The other part is for us to show transparency. We inform the Soldiers of what’s going on and what kinds of changes are taking place within their career management fields. That way, they are aware of what’s taking place and how it affects them and their families.”

As the Army downsizes, Jefferson said talent management is not just HRC’s responsibility.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson (right), with Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, HRC Commander, discusses professional development with noncommissioned officers Dec. 14 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Jefferson says road shows are part of HRC’s efforts to show transparency. (Photo by Mehgan Portillo, NCO Journal)
U.S. Army Human Resources Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson (right), with Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, HRC commander, discusses professional development with noncommissioned officers Dec. 14 at Fort Bliss, Texas. Jefferson says road shows are part of HRC’s efforts to show transparency. (Photo by Meghan Portillo, NCO Journal)

“We [at HRC] identify the Soldiers that need to move to these different positions in our Army, but once we place Soldiers on assignment, then the unit has the responsibility in managing that talent,” Jefferson said. “The leaders on the ground ensure that Soldiers get to the right schools they need in order to develop the talent and go forward.”

He also recently spoke about the issue during Army Training and Doctrine Command’s third town hall in November at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

Many questions and complaints heard during HRC’s road shows are linked to recent revisions in Army policy.

“It’s just the fear of change,” Jefferson said. “When we decided to make the change to a new noncommissioned officer evaluation report, a lot of people were in an uproar about it. But now that we have been doing this NCOER for almost 12 months, not a lot of people are arguing about it. Now, it’s just learning how to write those evaluations. Same thing with STEP,” the Select, Train, Educate, Promote policy for promotion.

Jefferson often offers his assistance to Soldiers at the road shows. If, for example, a Soldier has an issue with his or her assignment and is not connecting with the assignment officer to discuss it, Jefferson will take the Soldier’s information and meet with the assignment officer in an effort to get both parties in touch. Also, if Soldiers continue to take issue with a certain policy or question its relevance, they may count on Jefferson to take up the debate with the deputy chief of staff, G-1.

“If it’s something we think we should look at, we’ll take that back to the Army G-1 and say, ‘We have got this feedback from the Soldiers out in the field. Maybe we could look at this policy, and see if it’s still relevant or if we need to adjust it,’” Jefferson said.

As for those NCOs looking for advice on how to get ahead in the Army, Jefferson said it’s all about self-improvement.

“The way you do that is by going to military schools, by taking the hard jobs and developing yourself and making sure that you are technically and tactically proficient in your career management field,” he said. “Also, reach out to your mentors and find out what else you need to be doing. But the most important thing to prepare yourself for promotion, regardless of what job you are in, is do the best you can and ensure that your evaluation says exactly how you did in that position. Along with going to the schools, that’s the major way to develop ourselves.”

The command sergeant major said he has grown a lot in his 18 months on the job and learns something new every day, especially in his interactions with Soldiers.

“I want to make an impact on the Soldiers and families because that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Our job is to ensure that Soldiers and our families are taken care of, and I am very passionate about that. There are going to be some Soldiers saying, ‘It’s just HRC again,’ but there is another Soldier out here who I am going to have an impact on ─ something that I am going to say today is going to impact him and his family, or I am going to be able to assist them with something and they are going to put that trust back in HRC and think, ‘Well, maybe they are not the bad guys.’”

Jefferson often leaves NCOs with the same bit of advice ─ develop a passion for what they do, and success will come.

“If you are passionate about something, you are going to be successful in doing that,” he said. “Remain competent and relevant. If you are a leader, all these changes affect all of our Soldiers and their families. You have to know what’s going on in our Army today in order for you to be an effective leader.”

NCOs learn about changes in leadership development

By MARTHA C. KOESTER
NCO Journal

Putting the spotlight squarely on leadership development, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey warned senior noncommissioned officers early last month of the “tough changes” coming as part of NCO 2020 and the updated NCO Professional Development System during an NCO and Soldier forum at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Sergeants major are what makes the United States Army the strong power that it is,” said retired Gen. Carter Ham, president and chief executive officer of AUSA, to senior noncommissioned officers in October at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
“Sergeants major are what makes the United States Army the strong power that it is,” said retired Gen. Carter Ham, president and chief executive officer of AUSA, to senior noncommissioned officers in October at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

“What it’s really about is getting our noncommissioned officers to a place we need them to be for 2025 and beyond, and maximizing the equivalency in the education we get in both the academic field and credentialing perspective so that we can sustain the all-volunteer force for the future,” Dailey said. “There are some tough changes coming ahead in the Army. Some of those affect Soldiers both positively and negatively. What I can assure you, though, is [that there is] a very good, comprehensive plan for the future.”

NCOs and Soldiers gathered Oct. 3-5 to not only tell the Army’s story and share it with the public and corporate supporters, but also to educate and share leadership development strategies with Soldiers, Dailey said. Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, has called readiness the Army’s No. 1 priority, and Army leaders agree that leadership development is central to building readiness.

“We have to sit back, take our blinders off and ask ourselves what it takes for every single Soldier in the Army to be ready,” Dailey told NCOs.

Dailey said Army downsizing is still underway to reach the goal of 450,000 Soldiers by 2018. Talent management will play a large part in deciding future promotions.

"There are some tough changes coming ahead in the Army," said. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey to senior noncommissioned officers. Dailey said the changes are coming as part of NCO 2020 and the updated NCO Professional Development System during an NCO and Soldier forum in October at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)
“There are some tough changes coming ahead in the Army,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey to senior noncommissioned officers. Dailey said the changes are coming as part of NCO 2020 and the updated NCO Professional Development System during an NCO and Soldier forum in October at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Martha C. Koester / NCO Journal)

“We’re going to keep people based upon talent,” Dailey said. “We are going to promote people based upon talent, and we will slot people for advancement in the United States Army based upon talent. That is exactly what we are going to do to make sure we maintain the quality of Soldiers and noncommissioned officers who are in place to fight our nation’s wars.”

Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, command sergeant major of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, told NCOs about changes on the horizon to enhance professional military education.

“We are looking at all the programs of instruction, with all of the proponents, and we are integrating common core standards,” Davenport said. “We’re investing in our facilitators, our instructors. We are going to consolidate all the various instructor courses into one. Just like we advise to grow noncommissioned officers based on experience and education, same goes for our instructors.”

Davenport also trumpeted the release of three applications to help guide Soldiers through PME ­─ Army Career Tracker, the Digital Job Book and the Digital Rucksack.

Davenport encouraged NCOs to take a look at Army Career Tracker online, a leadership development tool that integrates training and education on one website. Career maps have been updated and follow the five lines of effort ─ military life cycle, education, assignment/experience, credentialing/experience and self-development. Lines of effort link multiple tasks and missions to focus efforts toward establishing operational and strategic conditions.

Davenport praised the Digital Job Book app for its ease of use.

“What is really important about it is [it] allows organizations ─ commanders and sergeants major ─ to add up to 10 tasks that are specific to your organization so that you can battle track it,” he said.

The highly touted Digital Rucksack app will work with tablets and smartphones Soldiers bring into classrooms, Davenport said.

“Our Soldiers scan a QR code, and it puts all the material that they are going to need for the PME,” he said. “We think [the apps] are really going to help us connect Soldiers and organizations to leader development.”

Retired Gen. Carter Ham, president and chief executive officer of AUSA, thanked noncommissioned officers during the forum for their continued and sustained leadership and acknowledged their vital role in the Army.

“Sergeants major are what makes the United States Army the strong power that it is,” Ham told senior NCOs. “We should never lose sight of that, and the investment in you, the investment in those Soldiers who aspire to be noncommissioned officers, we owe them the best possible development that we can afford them. So that when they follow you to lead this Army, they will build on all you have achieved to keep the United States Army as the premier land force on this planet. That is only possible because of the people in this room.”

Third town hall to answer, ‘How do I get ahead in the Army?’

By JONATHAN (JAY) KOESTER
NCO Journal

NCOs looking for answers to their questions about Army talent management will have a chance to participate in the third NCO Professional Development Town Hall on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Thousands of NCOs participated in the first two town halls in March and June, watching live and asking questions in chat rooms and through social media. In an effort to allow even more participation, Thursday’s town hall has been moved to an earlier time. NCOs may tune in from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT at www.tradoc.army.mil/watch. The chat room at the same web address opens at 11 a.m.

NCOs may send their talent management questions to Army leaders who will be staffing the chat room, or to TRADOC’s Facebook or Twitter page using #TRADOCtownhall.

Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, command sergeant major of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, began the town halls as a way to communicate to the force the changes being made to NCO professional development. Davenport wrote last week that the third town hall is meant to help answer the question, “How do I get ahead in the Army?”

“During the town hall, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about commissioning programs like ROTC, West Point, Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Candidate School,” Davenport wrote on his news blog at tradocnews.org. “The experts joining us come from the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Department of the Army G-1 and TRADOC G-1, and they are going to share with you their experience and knowledge about the various programs available to help you get ahead.

“What will you do with this information once you have it?” Davenport wrote. “Will you take charge of your career and start making decisions based on your ability and potential, or will you settle and put your career in someone else’s hands? The opportunity for you to ask and to be heard is being presented. I challenge you to take advantage.”