ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Through advanced Army civilian training, there are ways to broaden your experience and become more marketable.

Senior leaders at the U.S. Army Sustainment Command want ASC employees interested in furthering their careers to apply for the various training opportunities offered through SETM/ETM programs - the Senior Enterprise Talent Management and Enterprise Talent Management programs.

Each program is designed to prepare the next generation of senior civilian leaders in the Army through education and hands-on experience.

"The SETM and ETM programs offer unique and outstanding opportunities for professional development," said Michael Hutchison, deputy to the commander, ASC. "Attendance at the various options under these programs will set a person apart from their peers."

This year's application deadline at the ASC level is May 1. The application process begins with employee self-nominations at https://www.csldo.army.mil/.

ASC has been successful in sending several employees to SETM/ETM programs. One such participant is Matt Sannito, ASC's newest Senior Executive Service member.

Sannito, executive director, Support Operations, ASC, participated in several of the SETM modules including his completion of the Army War College Distance Learning Program in 2017. He was appointed as an SES member effective March 18.

"SETM is a great opportunity for civilians in the Army for those who want to be challenged and to grow their abilities," Sannito said. "It's a great program that, at no cost to the individual, they can go in theory anywhere around the world and get exposure from the tactical level to the strategic level to help refine their skills."

Sannito said he attributes much of his success to having the clear professional development path provided through SETM.

"The program is designed to be iterative; as you evolve and grow, there are more programs you can keep returning to for that continual evolution of your capabilities in your career," he said. "It's not a guarantee of career progression, but it certainly helps people be more competitive and marketable."

But, he said, if being more marketable is not someone's top concern, then the program still offers great opportunities for learning from multiple perspectives.

"If advancement is important, being flexible and moving around is important," said Sannito. "Be willing to take the hard assignments -- to do the challenging things. And have the desire to learn and achieve."

The programs are competitive and the application time-consuming, but are worth the effort, said Cris Arduser, organization training and development specialist, G-3/5/7 (Operations), ASC. Arduser accepts and reviews applications from ASC's employees.

"Even if they aren't accepted the first time, [applicants] are given lots of pointers from each of the panels they are required to go through," she said. "These pointers will help them along the way for their next application."

Hutchison said supervisors should be supportive of qualified and motivated employees who want to apply.

"It is important for the leadership here at ASC to support those who are motivated enough to apply and committed enough to follow through with advancing their careers," he said.

In August 2017, the Secretary of the Army issued a directive calling for applications to the programs. The directive is called, "Army Directive 2017-13 (Department of the Army Senior Enterprise Talent Management Program and Enterprise Talent Management Program)."

The directive states, "Commanders and supervisors should support the applications of candidates who represent the 'best of the best': high-performing midgrade and senior Civilian leaders with outstanding potential for assignment to positions of greater importance, responsibility, and effect across our Army."

SETM is designed for employees at the General Schedule-14 to GS-15 pay grades, and ETM is for GS-12s to GS-13s. Completion of the appropriate Civilian Education System leadership class is also a prerequisite for these programs.

This year, the SETM and ETM programs are comprised of eight modules, each with their own acceptance requirements.

Once accepted, ASC sends prospective participants' applications to its higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama.

AMC then recommends selected participants to fill two seats in each of the following modules. ASC filled four of the 20 available seats in 2017.

SETM:

- Army Senior Civilian Fellowship (module 1): With this two-year fellowship, GS-14s and 15s receive strategic training, education and professional development. The first year is spent in a learning environment, and the second in practical application. The goal is to broaden participants' knowledge about how the military works and how it adapts over time. It prepares participants to work in any senior civilian position in the Army.

- SETM project-based temporary duty assignments (module 2): These are short-term "broadening" experiences where GS-14s and 15s work in places outside of their permanent positions for no more than 179 days.

- Senior Service College resident attendance (module 3, option 1): GS-14s and GS-15s compete for seats to attend the Army War College or the Dwight D. Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy. Students earn a master's degree over the course of one year.*

- Senior Service College distance attendance (module 3, option 2): Distance learning and residential options exist. Students earn a master's degree over the course of two years. Continued service agreement required.

- Defense Senior Leader Development Program (module 4): For GS-14s and 15s, DSLDP is a two-year education and development program. It is designed to give participants the large-scale perspectives they need for working with other joint forces in interagency and multinational contexts. It starts with completing Senior Service College at the Air War College, Naval War College or Eisenhower School. Participants earn a master's degree. That is followed by a four to 6-month inter-service or inter-agency developmental assignment, and ultimately by a permanent reassignment that leverages experiences gained and lessons learned.*

ETM:

- Command and General Staff Officer Course (module 1, option 1): For GS-13s and some 12s (by special exception), this is a 10-month resident graduate-level program at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It seeks to prepare Army civilians for positions of significant responsibility. Once completed, participants are placed in work positions intended to leverage their new competencies.*

- College of Naval Command & Staff program (module 1, option 2): For those GS-13s with experience in Army national security policy and Defense agencies interaction. Those accepted to this program attend CNC&S's Naval War College Intermediate Course. Graduates of CNC&S can earn a master's degrees in defense and strategic studies.*

- Executive Leader Development Program (module 2): This Department of Defense level program is for GS-12s and 13s. Participants travel to various locations worldwide to train with warfighters while experiencing firsthand many of the challenges DoD components face in carrying out their missions. The training includes activities designed to mirror the physical training conducted at military initial entry camps. It exposes participants to the roles and mission of the DoD over a 10-month period.

- Project-based ETM temporary duty assignments (module 3): GS-13s are eligible to apply for temporary assignments outside of their usual positions for no more than 90 days.

- ETM leadership shadowing experience (module 4): Open to GS-13s, participants of this module accompany and observe a senior leader in his or her daily work environment for up to 20 work days.

The programs designated with an asterisk (*) require a mobility agreement and a continued service agreement.

For more information about the application process, employees can contact Cris Arduser at cristina.d.arduser.civ@mail.mil.