WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 24, 2012) -- Civilian Workforce Transformation creates a number of changes to personnel, management and training policies for Department of the Army civilians.

Civilian Workforce Transformation, or CWT, will benefit civilians, commanders, the Army and the nation, according to Thomas A. Lamont, assistant secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, who initiated CWT last year. He spoke Wednesday at Association of the United States Army's Department of the Army Civilian Luncheon.

Among the benefits of CWT he cited were realignment of career programs into 31 categories to achieve better capabilities; greater opportunities for career education, training and technical development; improved career tracking; and reducing the time it takes to bring new hires onboard.

CWT will also play a part in manpower decisions. As the active and reserve components draw down their end strengths, Department of the Army, or DA civilians are also seeing their numbers decline, Lamont said, "to the maximum extent possible, through voluntary departures and attrition."

He said manpower decisions are based on providing a "flexible and adaptable civilian workforce fully capable of supporting the Army and the nation.

"Army leadership is handling the drawdown in both the military and civilian workforce with utmost care and compassion," he continued. "But, we must do this smartly to achieve not just the right number of people but the right mix of skills to move our Army forward."

The type of civilians the Army needs, according to Lamont, are those who are "capable, technically proficient, well-grounded leaders, innovative, creative, embrace change, work collaboratively, understand the values and skills of partnering and are empowered to solve needs and problems."

And to that list of desired traits, the assistant secretary added: "Willingness to take risks. (We need) great leaders who are not afraid to put it on the line from time to time -- and that's an all too rare commodity in our big building across the river," he said, referring to the Pentagon.

Lamont noted that civilians comprise a great percentage of the Army and also deploy alongside them, performing many critical missions. Of particular value, he said, is the continuity civilians provide to the Army which is "lacking" on the uniform side.

"(I'm) fortunate to be surrounded by such talented and spirited men and women (who are) all striving to serve our country in the best way possible," he concluded. "Yes, you do make a difference."