WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives from each of the Armed Forces gathered to discuss talent management during the quarterly AMNAC (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) Forum March 10 in Crystal City, Va.
The conference began with a presentation from Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee, the director of the Army Talent Management Task Force (ATMTF), emphasizing the need for the services to invest in talent management.
McGee highlighted the sweeping personnel reforms implemented by the ATMTF over the past year. These include the new policies developed in accordance with new authorities granted by Congress such as direct commissioning of officers up to the grade of O-6, brevet and merit-based promotions, and the flexibility to opt out of promotion.
Other new programs implemented in support of the Army’s talent management efforts included the Army Talent Alignment Process, a market-style hiring system which matches officers to units based on their talents, and the Battalion Commander Assessment Program. This five-day program gathers information about officers across multiple vectors to make better decisions about those officers the Army selects for battalion command and key billets.
Talent management has taken on new importance with the release of the most recent National Defense Strategy, which states that “the creativity and talent of the American warfighter is our greatest enduring strength, and one we do not take for granted.”
Although each service has their own unique approach to talent management, the participants acknowledged they all faced similar challenges. Nearly each of the services noted difficulties in incorporating big data into their personnel systems. The Army, for instance, currently has nearly two hundred separate personnel databases scattered across the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard in 54 states and territories. Some of these personnel systems were developed in the 1980s and run on decades-old programming languages such as COBOL.
Each of the services has begun to merge their respective personnel systems. The Army has already rolled out the Integrated Pay and Personnel System-Army (IPPS-A) software program to the National Guards of 43 states and territories and will eventually expand it to the rest of the Army. IPPS-A, as well as similar programs developed by some of the other services, allow service members to securely access their personal data through their mobile devices, with no need for a Common Access Card login.
The AMNAC Talent Management forum allowed each of the services to draw upon each other’s lessons learned and best practices. Capt. Jason Topshe, U.S. Marine Corps, found the event to be valuable to his efforts with the Marine Corps Talent Management Oversight Directorate.
“This was a great opportunity to bring together representatives from each service to share ideas and best practices,” said Topshe. “I hope we continue to have these forums so we can all continue to improve our talent management efforts.”
Each of the services left AMNAC with a better understanding of how to prepare to win the ‘war for talent’ by seeking out and finding the right people, placing them in places where they can best use their talents, and keeping them in uniform with the right incentives.
For more information about Army Talent Management, visit https://talent.army.mil.