By Skye A. Marthaler, Army Management Staff CollegeMay 2, 2011
FORT BELVOIR, Va., May 2, 2011 -- More than 30 of the most senior career Army Civilians met April 15, 2011, at Fort Belvoir, Va., to discuss the Army Civilian Corps' role in the ongoing Army Profession of Arms campaign.
Hosted by Anthony J. Stamilio, deputy assistant secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Volney J. Warner, president of Army Civilian University, the summit took place at the Army Management Staff College and consisted of the top level senior executives from across the Army.
The summit was another element in the Army Civilian cohort's participation in the Profession of Arms campaign with this serving as another opportunity to assess the Army Civilian Corps and gather civilian leader input on strengths, weaknesses, issues, and recommendations. The results of the meeting will be briefed to the secretary of the Army and the chief of staff of the Army and folded into the larger Civilian Corps effort.
The keynote speaker for the event was Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) Thomas R. Lamont. He tasked the senior executives to look at the changing Army operating environment and what it means for the overarching Profession of Arms campaign.
"Our missions have changed so much as an Army, from theater operations, combat missions, to fighting our nation's wars, humanitarian and civil affairs, to drug enforcement", said Lamont, "The differing skills sets have evolved, that are an absolute necessity, how are we going to plan for these and achieve them'"
Lamont also asked the group to focus on two other critical questions. What does it mean to be a professional Army Civilian, and how can the Army better integrate the Civilian Corps into the Profession of Arms'
Col. Sean Hannah, director of Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, or CAPE, laid out the larger Profession of Arms campaign for the audience and the context in which the Civilian Corps fits into it.
"We have to define who we are as a profession. If you looked now it is not well articulated, you won't see an explicit discussion of what we believe in as an Army," said Hannah. "I think it is important for our Army family to understand that this is what professions do. This is not any reaction to a crisis. Continuous assessments is what professions do and we are taking the time and effort for self reflection."
Particularly related to the Civilian Corps, Hannah stated, "We began our focus on the Soldier and are working toward the entire organization to see how everybody else in the institution supports the Soldier."
The senior executives were also addressed by Dale A. Ormond, deputy to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, on the importance of the Army Civilian Corps defining its role and abilities in the Profession of Arms campaign.
"It is incumbent on us to educate our senior military leaders," said Ormond, "How do we define what civilians bring uniquely to the Army and its ability to execute its mission' Civilians bring longevity, technical expertise, and that helps define where we need to go. Our senior military leaders are looking to the civilian cohort to step up and define its self."
The morning culminated with a focused discussion, facilitated by Warner, of strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations for the Civilian Corps. The topics ranged from improving civilian leader development, addressing the deployable civilian workforce, showcasing how civilians contribute in meaningful ways to the Army, and how Soldier and civilian values come together, and looking at the relationship of the Army Civilian Corps to the nation.
The results of this summit and other Profession of Arms efforts by the Army Civilian Corps will be compiled in an interim report and briefed to the secretary of the Army and chief of staff of the Army on June 15, 2011. Additional Civilian Corps outreach and data collection efforts will be ongoing throughout the remainder of the year.
For more information on the ongoing Army Profession of Arms Campaign please visit: http://cape.army.mil/ProfessionOfArms.html