Thursday, March 19, 2020

The labor force that is the Army

The Army Times has this story:

Choose your job: Army offers soldiers career agency to bolster retention
Kyle Rempfer

"Assignment Interactive Module 2.0 offers a virtual conduit through which units can advertise jobs; soldiers can attract hiring units by highlighting their life experiences, degrees and extracurricular pursuits; and the Army can gather large amounts of data on all of it.

"The marketplace has been open for the past four assignment cycles, but the latest iteration that closed this winter was the first where all positions were viewable to the entire moving population and the process was guided by the Army Talent Alignment Process rules, which more heavily weigh a soldier’s personal desires.

“This is the first time that we allowed complete transparency and also had set it up so the decisions that came out of this process were going to have the preference of the individual officer prioritized over any other consideration,” said Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee, director of the Army’s Talent Management Task Force.

"Officers participating in the first assignment cycle had roughly two months to contact the unit and ask questions, such as about the command climate and the training calendar. Officers could also speak directly to unit leadership, make a value proposition to them and learn what the unit offers in return.

"And while the Assignment Interactive Module 2.0 is currently only available for officers, an enlisted virtual marketplace is expected to deploy in January 2021.

The Armed Forces News has this one:
Army Tests New Enlisted Assignment System
Published: March 12, 2020
"Spurred by the success of a similar program for officers, the Army will begin a pilot plan to implement a marketplace-style assignment system for enlisted soldiers, the Association of the U.S. Army reported. Beginning this summer, soldiers and non-commissioned officers in armor, military intelligence and quartermaster military occupational specialties (MOSs) will take part in testing of the Assignment Satisfaction Key-Enlisted Marketplace, AUSA reported, citing an Army press release. By the beginning of next year, the Army expects to have the system in place for the entire force.

"The plan calls for soldiers to be able to view a complete list of available positions from which to choose. They would then be able to rank their preference for new assignments based on personal and family needs, AUSA reported."


and the WSJ has this one:

In Generational Shift, Army Uses a New System to Promote Hundreds of Officers
The Army is revamping its process and adapting private-sector techniques to choose new battalion commanders, a keystone position

"The U.S. Army has initiated the biggest shift since the Vietnam War era in how it selects a key class of officers, drawing on the hiring practices of private-sector organizations and corporations such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Google.

"The aim is to move away from techniques used for over 50 years that rely on past military jobs, physical fitness scores and the recommendations of generals to promote officers to the job of battalion commander.

"The new system includes surveys by subordinates, writing tests, psychological assessments, cognitive evaluations and a series of simulated militarylike scenarios in a wooded area on base to gauge leadership and problem-solving abilities.

"It stresses anonymity to eliminate any possible bias. As soon as candidates arrive, they are assigned a number and aren’t known by their names. At an interview, candidates are seated behind a black curtain, and a five-member selection panel is unable to see a candidate’s uniform, with its career-defining ribbons and patches."

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