By Mrs. Beth Clemons (ACC )May 2, 2007
Many organizations offer internship and fellowship opportunities. But few offer the training, education and benefits of the U.S. Army Materiel Command Fellows Program.
"This program is unique because it develops an individual into a future civilian leader who is mobile and multi-functional," said Dr. Ron Higgins, director of the AMC Logistics Leadership Center. "This is important for the Army in an era of downsizing and rightsizing, where leaders must possess a variety of skills and be adaptable. The program couples the opportunity for rapid advancement and a graduate degree to attract the best possible candidates."
Established 2000, the AMC Fellows Program was designed to build a multi-functional, mobile cadre of qualified personnel. Candidates are recruited into the five-year program at college job fairs and through the AMC Career Web site. Approximately 400 candidates have entered the program since October 2001. Currently, 322 fellows are assigned throughout AMC, including 55 at HQAMC.
When recruiting potential fellows, program coordinators are seeking college seniors or graduates with at least a 2.95 grade point average, specific undergraduate majors and those willing to relocate.
"I heard about the fellows program when I went to a college career fair in Huntsville, Ala. After that initial event, I met a couple other fellows that told me about the program," said Andrea Poole, a fellow in the AMC Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Office, G-1.
Camie Stinson learned about the program through the Army Civilian Personnel Online and USA Jobs Web sites. She later contacted HQAMC to find out more.
"I became involved by providing my resume, college transcripts, and other requested documents," said Stinson, a fellow in the AMC Inspector General's Office.
Poole and Stinson were among a dozen fellows who joined HQAMC in 2006 after completing 13 months at the AMC Logistics Leadership Center and Texas A&M University-Texarkana, Texas, in August. The formal, graduate-level education is paid entirely by the fellows program and provides participants with a master's degree in business upon completion.
While in school, candidates are considered federal employees and are compensated at General Schedule 7. In the five-year training period, fellows can expect to advance from GS-7 to GS-13. Other benefits include potential recruitment bonus of 25 percent of basic pay for new federal employees, health and life insurance, retirement benefits, accrual of vacation and leave time, regular weekly schedule and extensive travel opportunities.
Once participants have completed their graduate degree they begin a series of rotational, on-the-job training assignments over the next 47 months. The hands-on experience is designed to continue developing multi-functional expertise. In addition, each fellow is assigned a primary and secondary career path, depending on AMC requirements and input from the fellow. Upon completion of the five-year program, the fellows are placed in a journeyman position, making use of the skills they have gained in the program, said Dr. Mark Oestmann, deputy director of the ALLC.
"It [fellows program] offered me the opportunity to attend graduate school and get started in a career. I was also interested in working for DoD or the Army. The fellows program offered all of these things. The promotional fast track was very attractive as well," said Scott D. Hobbs, a fellow in the AMC IG, Inspections Division.
"The experience has been very positive. In addition to earning a master's degree you enter the field with a wide support network," said Sarah Haggerty, a fellow in the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy and Concepts, G-5.
According to program leaders, the fellows program also offers a diversified work force for AMC. Out of the last five fellow classes, 44 percent were minorities, 49 percent were female and the average age of participants was 27.
The AMC Fellows program conducts ongoing recruiting at universities and campuses across the country. For more information about the program, visit the AMC Fellows Program Web site at http://www.amc.army.mil/pa/amccareers.asp or contact Pam Myers, AMC lead recruiter, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 806-9753.
"I would definitely encourage anyone interesting in participating in this program to do so. As the Army continues to transform, my advice to anyone who is interested in participating is that they must be flexible, willing to learn, and mobile," said Javeyeta Collier, a fellow in AMC G-1.