Army Career Intern Program
What is it? The Army Career Intern Program serves as the bench for the officer component of the civilian workforce. Like second lieutenants, Army interns form an elite pool of trainees who represent the feeder group for future senior level professional, managerial, and executive civilian positions. These employees are provided progressive and sequential formal classroom and on-the-job developmental assignments that prepare them for placement in one of Army's 22 civilian professional career tracks. The end result of this two year structured program is an Army employee with the requisite skills, abilities and leadership competencies required to immediately fill a critical void in the Army's civilian force upon graduation. Every intern signs a mobility agreement and his or her final placement is based on the priority needs of the Army.
What has the Army Done? The Army has extensively analyzed workforce trends and needs to clearly define replenishment requirements. These reviews substantiated that the program was not operating at a level required to offset losses of skilled employees in professional and leadership positions. Recognizing this deficiency the Army adjusted the program to increase work year execution from an average of 808 between 1999 - 2003 to 1488 between 2004 - 2005.
What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? We are now focused on sustaining a stable program at a level that will assure that the civilian workforce has the contemporary skills and competencies required to meet the needs of the warfighter and the mission. Forecasts have identified the need to replace approximately 4,000 skilled professional employees on an annual basis. The intern program is by far the best vehicle we have for replacing these losses. It produces employees who can immediately step in and fill positions that allow our warfighters to focus on defending our national security interests. Army is committed to the intern program since it is a key component to our current efforts in the Global War on Terrorism and is a building block for transformation.
Why is this important to the Army? Army civilians are a critical part of the institution. They are engaged in assuring that we have the best equipped, trained and ready warfighters in the world. Civilians are deploying alongside the military in greater numbers every year and will continue to do so. In addition to accompanying our Soldiers in the field Army civilians support them and their families in all aspects of their life. They gather intelligence; design, purchase, maintain and transport weapons and supplies; while providing housing, jobs, and recreational activities for Soldiers and their families worldwide. As one specific example, 65 percent of the 400 Quality Assurance Specialists for Ammunition Surveillance (QASAS) have deployed, 15 percent have deployed three or more times. Program Managers and senior military Commanders see the QASAS intern program as the only realistic source of building the future work force due to the rigid and highly technical skill sets needed to make the program work. Interns provide the flexibility and contemporary skills needed to provide the best support to our warfighters and meet Army's current and future challenges.