Army Futures Command commences conversion into modern personnel system

By Maureena Thompson, Army Futures CommandFebruary 27, 2024

The Army Applications Laboratory is among the command organizations that will see changes to personnel management structures under AFC's newly approved Demonstration Project.
The Army Applications Laboratory, an Austin, Texas-based Army innovation hub that falls under Army Futures Command (AFC), is among the command organizations that will see changes to personnel management structures under AFC’s newly approved Demonstration Project. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Austin Thomas) VIEW ORIGINAL

AUSTIN, Texas — Army Futures Command headquarters recently achieved a significant milestone on its journey toward creating and implementing a more flexible and competitive staff management and compensation framework. Maintaining and growing a top-tier civilian workforce is an essential part of AFC’s technological innovation and Army transformation efforts.

On Thursday, AFC saw the approval and publication of its Modernization Demonstration Project Federal Register Notice, which details how the command will transform its personnel system to better acquire, develop and retain enthusiastic, innovative and highly skilled civilian employees. The project is particularly focused on honing recruitment and staffing in competitive fields like engineering, computer science, data analysis and artificial intelligence, as well as administrative and business support fields.

The effort, which going forward will be referred to as the AFC Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory (STRL) Demonstration Project, includes plans to shift from a General Scale pay scale to a tailored pay banding system; increase collaboration between supervisors and employees; expand professional development opportunities available to staff; and build in flexibilities that will support the command’s ability to attract top talent from the private sector.

In 2021, AFC headquarters received STRL designation, providing the remaining AFC organizations the ability to convert in the STRL Demonstration Project. With the finalization of the Federal Register Notice, AFC is now ready to begin organizational conversions that will allow the command to explore and experiment with new human capital processes and incentives.

In preparation for the conversion, AFC STRL planning teams collaborated with various internal and external STRL subject matter experts to develop a comprehensive framework for the proposed personnel system and its planned launch, considering elements such as updated position descriptions, internal operating procedures, classification guides, performance management tools and training and engagement programs. Prior to converting, bargaining unit employees from all organizations must satisfy labor obligations.

Only Department of the Army GS civilian staff at AFC headquarters, AFC headquarters elements, Cross-Functional Teams, Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) headquarters, DEVCOM Analysis Center, the Futures and Concepts Center and The Research and Analysis Center will see changes under the new system; other AFC organizations that previously received STRL designation and underwent conversion to new processes will continue to operate as normal.

To learn more about AFC’s STRL designation and new personnel system, view the video here