REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- During a review of Human Resources initiatives and best practices throughout the Army Materiel Command, the Ready Army Civilian program was presented as the most effective way to build and measure readiness among the command's 100,000 civilian employees.

"The human capital programs we have in place are all part of ensuring we have Ready Army civilians and that we meet the goal of the AMC commanding general to have 100 percent of AMC employees doing 100 percent of the right work," said AMC G-1 Director and Deputy Chief of Staff Max Wyche.

The concept behind Ready Army Civilian -- to ensure a workforce of high caliber employees who are educated and trained to address vastly complex and strategic situations, and who possess the job skills and experiences to manage and lead in a multi-faceted, readiness-based atmosphere -- was presented by Wyche during AMC's G-1 Human Capital Strategic Forum, April 23-25. About 50 G-1 directors and staff members from AMC's major subordinate commands along with representatives from Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Civilian Human Resources Agency attended the forum.

"The forum focused on what we need to do from a strategic perspective to build and sustain ready civilians," Wyche said. "It allowed AMC human capital professionals to synchronize and integrate, and build on their own capabilities as Ready Army civilians and then to focus on how to help all AMC employees grow into the Ready Army civilians we need to be successful at ensuring readiness."

As part of his presentation, Wyche reviewed AMC's seven strategic priorities: Installation Readiness, Soldier and Family Readiness, Industrial Base Readiness, Munitions Readiness, Strategic Power Projection, Supply Availability and Equipment Readiness, and Logistics Information Readiness. He said the Ready Army Civilian initiative will cross all seven areas.

"Our leaders see human capital management of our civilian workforces as a key enabler of all seven priorities," Wyche said. "Readiness in those seven areas doesn't happen without AMC civilian personnel who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to ensure the goal. Readiness and engagement of our civilian workforce is required for us to achieve equipment and sustainment readiness goals."

In developing the Ready Army Civilian initiative, a group of AMC employees worked with AMC Executive Deputy to the Commanding General Lisha Adams to define the RAC concept and assessment tools for measuring both tangible and intangible attributes that enhance performance.

Tangible tools -- or hard skills -- include degrees, certifications and other training, and the ability to travel, obtain a security clearance and pass a drug test, among other things. They also include self-development, job experience, and leadership and mentorship responsibilities. Intangible tools -- or soft skills -- include character, attitude, time management, critical thinking, conflict resolution, loyalty, ability to work with teams, communication and listening skills, and work ethic.

Supervisors, Wyche said, can use the tangible and intangible tools to assist in measuring employee performance and to determine opportunities for professional and personal growth.

"As a supervisor, you can us these assessment tools to determine the training your employees need and to put a value on the soft skills that you value in the workplace," he said. "One of our most difficult battles is to get the workforce to see the value in developing their soft skills. But, if supervisors give them feedback to show them how important they can be, then the walls come crumbling down and workforce see the value in soft skills."

Next, an AMC employee group will build an operational model of the Ready Army Civilian initiative that will be used to make the program available AMC-wide.

"It's about giving our workforce the tools they need to perform optimally," Wyche said. "The model will show us how to implement leader development, how to build in training so that employees get the type of training they need to improve performance and how to provide employees with the type of workplace where they can excel and be more productive so we can achieve the readiness levels the Army is looking for."

While much of the work of Army G-1 is to recruit new employees, Wyche said just as much focus should be put on developing and cultivating the existing workforce.

"We need to look at what we are doing for the workforce we already have to make sure they are successful," he said. "Our goal is to have an engaged workforce, a safe environment and a positive workplace.

"I am a firm believer that we have pockets of model programs across AMC and the Army. One of our priorities is to find those pockets, extract them, model them and move them out to the army. I truly believe if we follow through on what we have discovered and targeted, then we will have a tremendous impact on providing Human Resources services that are impactful across the command."

AMC's size and scope as well as its geographic disbursement requires that G-1 leaders from throughout the command come together annually to review and discuss human resources initiatives.

"This is an opportunity for us to talk with each other about best practices, to identify challenges that are common to all of us or that are unique, and to match up with each other in our profession to help solve issues," Wyche said. "As one team, we are addressing issues and identifying solutions in human capital management that we can take to Headquarters Department of the Army, and that may eventually be addressed by the Department of Defense or even Congress."

The forum included a review of various Human Resources programs, including Shape the Fight, SHARP (Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention), health and wellness programs, and hiring programs. In addition, the forum included AMC's Safet