REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama - When the Army looks for guidance to the future, it finds its way to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command for leaders.

Robert (Bob) J. Domitrovich Jr., director, Navigation Warfare Technology, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center, was among nine individuals from the U.S. Army acquisition workforce who were selected by the fiscal year 2019 Centralized Selection Board to be future product directors.

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to take some of the SMDC experience and capabilities that are being developed for the warfighter here and have an opportunity to maybe integrate those into another system," Domitrovich said.

The selection board, which convened in October at Fort Knox, Kentucky, aims to identify high-performing civilians with leadership potential to fill civilian product director positions commensurate with their military counterparts, thereby ensuring that the Army meets the future needs of its Soldiers.

"It is always great to know you have been selected for a position of greater responsibility and have an opportunity to make a bigger impact on the acquisition of systems and people while in a position to support the warfighter and their needs," Domitrovich said. "It is very humbling to be selected by the board and have the opportunity to serve in this future capacity."

In fiscal year 2015, the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management, or DACM, initiated a civilian-only centralized product director selection board as a talent management initiative to identify high performers with leadership potential and key program management skills to lead many of the Army's acquisition programs.

The DACM's objective is to direct personnel assignments within Army Program Executive Offices, or PEOs, to facilitate the placement of high performing civilian personnel for these product and project director, or PD, positions. This central management of civilian PDs is the core of the civilian talent management concept.

"In the acquisition corps, there are project and product director jobs that we applied and submitted packets to a U.S. Army-centralized selection board that convened and reviewed everybody's packets. Then they chose the best personnel to select," Domitrovich said. "I think this is a great opportunity for SMDC. This is a testimony to the great things that are going on here in the command and all that SMDC touches in support of the warfighter.

"And depending on what the slating is, I'll be able to take the things that I have been learning here at SMDC and have been exposed to, and open the aperture to include some of the space and NAVWAR-type of efforts that are ongoing here in the command, in my future position," he added.

The Army DACM Office manages this process and PD board-selected civilians much like the U.S. Army Human Resources Command's Acquisition Management Branch manages and assigns the Army military acquisition workforce. A post-utilization plan as the combined responsibility of the DACM Office Talent Management team, PEO and individual, will identify follow-on positions or opportunities after a successful tenure as a PD.

Talent management of both civilian and military Army Acquisition Workforce is a high priority for the Army DACM and the Army Acquisition Executive. Developing a pool of the right people in the right jobs with the right skills at the right time to deliver decisive-edge capabilities to Soldiers at all times is the DACM's goal. The Product and Project Director Centralized Selection Board is just one of the initiatives in support of this effort.

"Depending on what product office I wind up in, and what future needs/capabilities they are looking at, the product office may be looking at the SMDC Technical Center and its technical base to look at future generations and technology insertions for whatever system or product I am supporting," Domitrovich said. "We might be able to draw some of that technology and work on some of those 'out-there' efforts to make that a reality for the warfighter.

"It is always important to keep the tactical edge and keep us ahead of our adversaries, and that is what the tech base does," he added. "It allows us to look at futuristic technologies and pull those into the systems and ramp those in at the right time through the acquisition cycle to make that a part of the 'tool kit' then available that the warfighter has access to, in their systems."