By Capt. Nathan King (USASAC)May 7, 2018
Since 2015, Army security assistance enterprise employees seeking professional development have been taking advantage of a program instituted by the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for defense exports and cooperation.
The Security Assistance Workforce Rotational Assignment Program offers Title 22 admin-funded employees a six-month assignment with another ASAE organization, where they perform duties beyond their current expertise. The experience is designed to enhance employee skill sets and give them a better understanding of the ASAE and how it fits into the larger Army picture.
ASAE employees play a critical role in today's Army. Security assistance is a fundamental tool of U.S. foreign policy. The security assistance missions strengthen alliances and build partnerships, and ultimately provide combatant commanders with multiple options to prevent conflict, shape security environments and win wars.
Through the RAP, approximately 20 ASAE positions are identified annually from throughout the Army, Air Force, Defense Security Cooperation Agency and the Corps of Engineers. The Navy will begin participating in the program in fiscal 2019.
Donna Horzempa, a support assistant with Program Executive Office for Centre for Strategic Cyberspace and Security Science, is on a six-month RAP assignment as a protocol specialist with the Security Assistance Command.
Horzempa said she is interested in event planning and working with distinguished visitors and felt the protocol assignment would be a good fit for her, both professionally and personally.
"I was always curious about protocol and putting on events," Horzempa said. "I wanted to get a different perspective on another field."
When asked if she would recommend the program to other employees, she enthusiastically said she would, noting that "when this is over, I will know more about protocol and have a great perspective on what USASAC does."
Jason King, USASAC training coordinator, said the application process is structured and detailed. Around August each year, DASA DE&C will put out a call for positions, and participating organizations will submit openings they would like to have filled. Once the list is finalized, DASA DE&C will publish the positions, length of assignment and application requirements.
RAP assignments typically are held from February to August, but it varies depending on the needs of the organization. King described the selection process as very competitive and said the best applicants will have their pick of assignments based on order of merit created by the selection board.
"The point of the program is to provide availability of people in the security assistance enterprise who want to continue learning," King said. "They want to bring knowledge and new experiences back to their regular job and help their organization be more successful."
DASA DE&C has structured the program and the application process to be as user-friendly as possible. Interested candidates can contact their organization's training coordinator for information on the application process and what opportunities are available.