"Fort Riley, Kan. -- Senior Non-Commissioned Officers take the First Sergeant Assessment Battery, which measures cognitive and non-cognitive functions. This and other assessments are designed to help the Army better inform commanders and command sergeants major in aligning first sergeants to company-level organizations.
"Fort Riley, Kan. -- Senior Non-Commissioned Officers take the First Sergeant Assessment Battery, which measures cognitive and non-cognitive functions. This and other assessments are designed to help the Army better inform commanders and command sergeants major in aligning first sergeants to company-level organizations. (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Glenn Riddell, U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Recently 15 senior non-commissioned officers took part in a pilot program to help the Army better assign first sergeants to companies based on their unique talents at Fort Riley, Kansas.

The First Sergeant Talent Alignment Assessment (1SG TAA) is a multi-day program that takes considers peer and subordinate feedback, physical fitness, cognitive and non-cognitive skills, as well as self-professed talents.

1SG TAA is Similar to the other Command Assessment Programs such as the Battalion Commander Assessment Program (BCAP) and the Colonels Command Assessment Program (CCAP) in that candidates undergo a series of objective assessments and conduct a blind-panel interview.

Unlike BCAP and CCAP, however, TAA isn’t designed to determine whether a non-commissioned officer is ready to assume responsibilities or not. Rather, TAA helps align non-commissioned officers with an organization that they are a best fit for. During the process, the talent alignment panel considers a candidate’s self-professed talents, their assignment preferences, and objective assessment data. This allows the panel to align candidates with an organization best suited to their individual talents.

“The 1SG TAA Pilot was an eye-opening experience, one which shows the Army is adopting a better way of choosing leaders for first sergeant positions based on their talents rather than simply their time in service,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nidia Cruz of Fort Riley’s 1st Infantry Division.

“The 1SG TAA Pilot was an eye-opening experience, one which shows the Army is adopting a better way of choosing leaders for first sergeant positions based on their talents rather than simply their time in service,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nidia Cruz of Fort Riley’s 1st Infantry Division.

Conducted at the installation level, TAA begins as battalions and brigades complete the talent requirements for upcoming vacancies, which ranks abilities and personality traits an organization requires in a first sergeant. This allows leaders to target different talents for each organization. Even similar organizations may require different talents based on their missions, relative strengths and weaknesses within that organization, and other unique circumstances.

“Most organizations haven’t had to think about the talent they want in their formation,” said Capt. Noah Cox of the Army Talent Management Task Force. “Many units think of talent strictly in terms of qualifications and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). But TAA forces units to think critically about the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they need.”

The duties of a first sergeant are vastly different from a platoon sergeant in the same organization. As such, many units are looking beyond rank and MOS and focusing instead on the person’s unique talents.

Initial feedback suggests organizations are happy with the results.

“First Sergeant TAA allows senior leaders to have a comprehensive look at the talents of potential leaders on each installation. This program gives leaders an accurate assessment of an individual’s talent and helps reduce inherent bias when assigning first sergeants to company-level units,” said Master Sgt. Glenn Riddell of the Army Talent Management Task Force.

For more information, please visit https://talent.army.mil/etm.