The U.S. Army is committed to helping Army Civilians develop a strategic vision for their careers and to providing excellent professional development opportunities for key members of the total Army team.
Army Civilians like Mark McClure, an operations officer at U.S. Army Installation Management Command-Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, know this first-hand. In November 2022, McClure successfully completed the Army’s Command and General Staff Officers Course Common Core at the Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
“It was a challenging course, but it was very meaningful,” said McClure.
Army Civilian participation in the CGSOC Common Core has been a part of the Army’s Enterprise Talent Management Program since the first Army Civilians completed the course at Fort Leavenworth in 2017.
“When you look into the course requirements, you'll quickly find that foundations of the Army as a profession are the cornerstone for the course, and it's in fact it's one of the first lessons that they teach,” said McClure.
The purpose of CGSOC is to educate and train leaders to serve as staff officers with the ability to build teams, lead organizations, and integrate unified land operations with joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational partners in complex and uncertain environments. The course helps graduates move from a tactical-level focus to an operational-level perspective.
McClure believes that senior Army Civilians should consider attending CGSOC to gain a better understanding of the Army as a profession. “They've reached the point in their careers where what they contribute to the Army is recognized, taught, and formally trained in the doctrinal application of the profession,” said McClure.
Students learn how politically developed strategies evolve into general operating concepts. They begin to understand the interrelated issues involved in integrating new capabilities into the force.
Army Civilians are already managers of change but exposing them to how the Army changes as an institution has lasting impacts.
“The professional development and growth opportunities afforded to Army Civilians through Enterprise Talent Management programs like CGSOC are incredibly valuable. I often ask my team not to think for me, but to think like me. As a graduate of Professional Military Education myself, the value of having a shared understanding with key members of my team about how the Army works on an operational level can’t be overstated,” said Craig Deatrick, Senior Executive Service director of IMCOM-Pacific.
The CGSOC Common Core Curriculum consists of nine blocks of instruction, including Foundations/Ethics, Strategic Context of Operational Art, Unified Action, Joint and Army Doctrine, Leadership, Force Management, History, Joint Planning, and Army Planning.
The ETM program is managed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs Civilian Senior Leader Management Office. ETM helps prepare the next generation of Army Civilian leaders to assume positions of greater responsibility through education and hands-on experience. Army Civilians in grade GS-13 (GS-12 by exception) with a Baccalaureate degree and three or more years of Army Civilian service can apply to attend CGSOC.
Civilians interested in applying to CGSOC, or any other ETM program, should visit the Army’s Senior Enterprise Talent Management Portal at https://hr.chra.army.mil/setm for more information, application instructions, and timelines.