WASHINGTON -- The Army Talent Management Task Force will conduct a prototype of the Sergeants Major Assessment Program (SMAP) from November 14 – 18, 2020 at Fort Knox, Ky.
In conjunction with the Battalion Commander Assessment Program (BCAP) for Fiscal Year 2022, 32 sergeants major will participate in the prototype program.
The participants are under consideration in the Command Sergeant Major/Sergeant Major Evaluation Board for selection to battalion command sergeant major positions. The prototype program is voluntary and the results are non-binding.
BCAP FY21, which debuted earlier this year, assessed 750 officers who were competing for battalion command and key billets. The program incorporated a series of assessments, peer and subordinate feedback, an interview with an operational psychologist, and a double-blind panel interview. The results of BCAP helped the Army determine which officers demonstrated readiness for battalion command.
The sergeant major participants will take a series of assessments in line with the officer experience during the Command Assessment Program. This includes the collection of self, peer, and subordinate feedback, an APFT, cognitive and non-cognitive assessments, and an interview with an operational psychologist. The prototype will culminate in a double-blind interview between sergeants major participants and a panel consisting of nominative command sergeants major and senior commissioned officers.
BCAP FY22, is set to select officers for battalion command and key lieutenant colonel billets in fiscal year 2022. This is the second BCAP and comes two months after the Army’s first Colonels Command Assessment Program which selected officers who will command brigades and fill key general staff positions.
By the end of BCAP FY22, more than 1,800 majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels will have gone through one of the three command assessment programs. This year, BCAP will include officers from the Army Acquisition Corps. The Air Force and the Navy will also send officers to the program to help determine the suitability of a command assessment program for their respective services.
The Army Talent Management Task Force held the first Battalion Commander Assessment Program at Fort Knox in January 2020. The principals identified through the BCAP represent officers who possess higher potential for continued service and are more physically fit, better communicators and less toxic. A board of senior officers, brigadier generals and colonels, determined whether each officer was ready for command or not yet ready. During the first BCAP, 90 officers were determined not yet ready for command and 660 officers were slated as principals and alternates.
An officer’s selection as a principal or alternate for battalion command is based on the Centralized Selection List board ranking and their performance at the BCAP. When compared to the legacy Centralized Select List process, the BCAP resulted in a 34 percent change in officers chosen for command and key billets. Out of the 436 officers chosen for command and key billets, 26 legacy principals declined to participate in BCAP, 25 legacy principals were found not ready for command, and 99 legacy alternates moved up to become principals.
In September 2020, the Army conducted the first Colonels Command Assessment Program (CCAP) to determine readiness for command and strategic potential among officers eligible for O-6 level command and general staff positions. Results from the CCAP are forthcoming.
Since the Army began adopting transformational changes to the management of the Officers Corps, there has been a demand to apply lessons learned to new talent management programs for the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps. Other talent management initiatives in the preliminary stages of development for NCOs include the Army Talent Alignment Process and the First Sergeant Talent Alignment Assessment.