Towards a U.S. Army Officer Corps Strategy for Success: A Proposed Human Capital Model Focused Upon Talent
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Through history, U.S. Army officers have played an integral role in its national security policy. We find compelling evidence the U.S. Armys Officer Corps will be unequal to future demands unless substantive management changes are made. The most obvious risk indicator is the Armys persistent and substantial gap in mid-career officers. Much stems from low officer continuations beyond the initial service obligation. The Army has shifted its sources of commission from those that screen, vet, and cull for talent to those with minimal talent filters. Officer Candidate School accessions have increased to more than 40 of active duty commissions. At the same time, promotion rates have skyrocketed so that officers choosing to remain can reasonably expect continued advancement. These problems are grounded in the Armys failure to respond to a changing talent market. The Army has lacked a cohesive strategy to guide its officer manpower efforts. The authors argue these challenges demand a comprehensive Officer Corps strategy recognizing the interdependency of accessing, developing, retaining, and employing officers whose mental acuity and intellectual agility allow them to master the diverse competencies demanded now and in the future. Such a strategy will position the Army to compete with the civilian market for talent. It will move the Army beyond personnel management to talent management. An officer talent management strategy will also create the institutional agility required to facilitate job matching, allowing the Army to achieve the right breadth and depth of officer competencies to meet evolving requirements. To realize this vision, the Army must develop a strategy that commits ample resources, incorporates appropriate policy, and reevaluates existing organizational designs. Failure to do so may result in a U.S. Army unequal to its share of the security challenges confronting the United States.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations