FORT KNOX, Ky. (Army News Service, August 26, 2011) -- The department of the Army is seeking applications, until Sept. 9, from all eligible officers for all branches and functional areas through the Voluntary Transfer Incentive Program, or VTIP.
This program is the primary means of balancing branches and functional areas within the Army.
Because it is better able to take into consideration special skills not in an officer's performance file, VTIP has suspended the use of the traditional Functional Designation Board. The application process gives officers the opportunity to advertise themselves and vie for the branch or functional area of their own choosing.
"This program has shown to be mutually beneficial to the Army and the individual officer. It boosts retention and affords the officer choices in their career," said Lt. Col. Dameion Logan of the Leadership Development Division under the Officer Personnel Management Directorate.
When officers apply and are chosen for their preferred reassignments, they sign a contract for an additional active-duty service obligation of three years.
Officers in year groups 1997 through 2008 are eligible for the program. Currently, the VTIP board is urging officers in the year group 2004 to submit packets for this board or for next quarter's board. By self-identifying, the year group can "right-size" itself and eliminate the need for a Functional Designation Board.
The Army is especially interested in qualified individuals to operate in the following functional areas: fields: electronic warfare, information operations, operations research/systems analysis, force management, and simulation operations.
The board will convene Oct. 11 to 13. Results are expected by the end of October. Historically, the board meets quarterly and the process takes three months from start to finish.
"Through VTIP the Army has been able to exercise talent management and give officers hope," said Bob Peterson, of the Leadership Development Division. "This program provides hope for officers who are possibly unhappy with their current career. They have the ability to get into a career field of their choice rather than just get out of the Army."
Like any program, VTIP has continued to grow and hit milestones. The program is dynamic in nature and is adjusted every board in order to fill the needs of the Army and balance expectation management.
"We are seeing more and more balancing across branches and functional areas, which means branches and functional areas are better able to lose and gain officers to and from other areas. This creates opportunity for those applying for transfer," Peterson said.
Also, VTIP has expanded to look at 11-year groups. The board is accepting applications from first lieutenant promotable to officers with 14 years of service.
Once received, applications are vetted through the losing branch and gaining branch. Along the way, subject-matter experts within each field are better able to gauge if the applicant is well-suited for the change. The end state is to place a qualified officer into the right fit and avert them from risk (of not being promoted or progressing with peers).
For more information on VTIP, refer to MILPER Message 11-227 4th QTR, FY 2011 Voluntary Transfer Incentive Program (VTIP) or view the MILPER at: https://perscomnd04.army.mil/milpermsgs.nsf/