Program enhances Army readiness, civilian professional development

By William KingAugust 23, 2023

SETM program enhances Army readiness, civilian professional development
David Longbine, a plans officer for Army Futures Command, stands outside of Army Materiel Command’s headquarters building Aug. 21 at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Longbine is working with AMC’s Special Advisor for Enterprise Intelligence and Security on emerging Zero Trust concepts and policy implications as part of a six-month, project-based Senior Enterprise Talent Management development program for Army Civilians. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Alyssa Crockett) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Through the Senior Enterprise Talent Management, or SETM, Program, one Army Civilian is making a huge impact for Army readiness and cyber resilience across the Army Intelligence and Security Enterprise portion of the intelligence community while concurrently developing leadership and professional skills for the future.

David Longbine serves a plans officer for Army Futures Command in Austin, Texas where he works on long-range planning for Army experimentation. A retired Army intelligence officer with more than seven years of experience as an Army civilian, Longbine has been working at Army Materiel Command since April as part of the Senior Enterprise Talent Management Program.

The Senior Enterprise Talent Management and Enterprise Talent Management programs are key components of the Army’s Civilian Training, Education and Leadership Development Program. The SETM and ETM programs provide exceptional training and development opportunities for the next generation of Army civilian leaders to assume positions of greater responsibility across the Army.

Longbine said he has been aware of the SETM and ETM programs for a while and always encourages each of the employees he supervises to apply if interested and eligible. Last year, he decided to apply for the SETM program to meet his own professional development goals.

“As I started to think about competing for assignments at the next level, I thought I needed to broaden my experience a little bit, and the SETM program has great opportunities for that,” he said.

Longbine was selected and matched to a project-based, 179-day temporary duty assignment with AMC’s Special Advisor for Enterprise Intelligence and Security working on emerging zero trust concepts and policy implications. Zero trust represents a paradigm-shifting cybersecurity strategy that envisions a DOD Information Enterprise secured by a fully implemented, department-wide zero trust cybersecurity framework that will reduce the attack surface, enable risk management and effective data-sharing in partnership environments, and quickly contain and remediate adversary activities. Mandated by an executive order impacting the entire federal government, zero trust implementation has implications on Army systems and equipment, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, which must be understood to ensure readiness of the Army.

“This project is not only about legacy systems that we operate in the Army. As we design and buy new equipment and new systems specific to the intelligence community, we must ensure zero trust compliance is baked in early,” Longbine explained.

He said the project not only rapidly expanded his knowledge in something he previously knew little about, but it will also benefit him in his current role at AFC.

“Zero trust is very broad. It is not just an Army issue, but a DOD and industrywide issue that everyone is wrestling with, so exposure to it and understanding of it will help me do my job better,” he explained.

Katherine Coviello, AMC’s special advisor for materiel enterprise intelligence and security, said Longbine brought strategic thinking skills to the team, helping the Army Intelligence and Security Enterprise to better understand and embrace the emerging zero trust policy impacts to readiness.

“The (operations planning team) that he championed and stood up is helping the [Army Intelligence and Security Enterprise] to serve as a catalyst and define a viable problem statement,” she said.

Coviello, who has hosted and mentored several SETM and ETM participants at AMC over the years, explained that the programs help fill in competency and experience gaps for employees and allow them to learn by doing while experience other parts of the Army team.

Longbine said the SETM program has given him opportunities for travel and access to senior leaders that he otherwise would not have.

“I’ve travelled to places and talked to people that I wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to in my current role. The relationships I am developing will be valuable and important,” he said.

Longbine said he believes professional development is a key component not only for an employee’s own organization, but for building trained professionals across the Army. He said the SETM and ETM programs are a commitment, sometimes up to six months, so it is important for interested civilians to talk to their supervisor and gain buy-in from their organization.

Longbine, who completes his SETM project in October, described his experience as positive and incredibly beneficial for him, and offered some advice for other Army Civilians considering applying for the SETM and ETM programs.

“I recommend that applicants apply for as many of the programs that fit their career goals as possible,” Longbine said. “The leadership that runs these programs are very involved and flexible – you would be surprised what they can make happen.”

For more information about the SETM and ETM programs, or other Army Civilian education and professional development opportunities, go to the Army Civilian Career Management Activity website.