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The Army Talent Alignment Process (ATAP) is a decentralized, regulated, market-style hiring system that aligns officers with jobs based on preferences. By October 2019, the majority of active duty officers and units will participate in the ATAP for their summer 2020 assignments. Officers use AIM 2.0 to access the ATAP until it becomes available in the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPS-A).

  • Officer preferences are shaped by their unique Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviors (KSBs).
  • Officers are matched with available assignments where their KSBs align with those desired by unit commanders.
  • ATAP is transparent- all participating units and officers can see each other.
  • Unit commanders and human resource managers should describe the unique requirements of available jobs and interview potential candidates.

The Army is undertaking the most comprehensive reform of its three officer personnel systems (Active, Guard, and Reserve) across the Total Force since the Officer Personnel Act of 1947. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act granted several new authorities that provide the Army flexibility to determine the characteristics of a future talent-based system. The Army has determined how it will implement the new authorities and is on the verge of releasing several new policies and initiatives that set Army Talent Management in motion.


Current Initiatives
GRE at Captains Career Course
This summer the Army launched the first step in establishing a culture of assessments throughout an officer’s career. The Army will use the results of the GRE to inform selection decisions for who attends competitive advanced education programs. The GRE is the first of many assessments the Army will implement in order to gain accurate, detailed, and objective information about the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of its people. The data collected informs and shapes future decisions about officer development.
Battalion Commander Assessment
The Army is considering implementing a new requirement for officers who compete for battalion command to participate in the Battalion Commander Assessment Program to assess each officer’s fitness for command and strategic leadership potential. The Battalion Commander Assessment Program is a four-day event that assesses officers who are selected by the centralized selection board. Participants will undergo a series of cognitive, non-cognitive, and physical assessments in addition to a panel interview with senior Army officers. Selection for battalion command level positions is one of the most important decisions the Army makes. The intent of these assessments is to expand the Army’s understanding of each officer’s talents, assess their strategic potential, and make data-informed decisions.
Merit Based Promotions
Merit based promotions are set to begin this year for majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels starting with the FY20 Army Competitive Category O-4 promotion list. The Army will promote the top performers based on their promotion board order of merit list and the remaining officers will be promoted by seniority.
Brevet Promotions
The Army is piloting 200 brevet positions this year and up to 770 next year. The positions will be included in the market under the Army Talent Alignment Process in AIM 2.0. Officers will have visibility of brevet positions for which they are eligible in their assignment marketplace. A brevetted officer would receive financial compensation of the new rank while in a brevet status. The Brevet Promotion Program is intended to alleviate critical shortages of officers to better leverage the talents of junior officer, and to incentivize retention of those officer’s in whom the Army invested for education and experience.
Opt-Out of Promotions
The Army is in the process of implementing a new authority allowing certain officers to opt-out of promotion boards. Beginning with the fiscal year 2020 Lieutenant Colonel Active-Component Category promotion selection board, officers whose career progression is delayed due to advanced education opportunities and unique assignments may request to defer their competition for promotion for one year, up to two times – without prejudice – in order to gain further professional development. The implementation of this new authority is the Army’s first step towards a more flexible and individualized career path for its officers, without the constraint of fixed timelines.
Direct Commission
The Army is offering direct commissions for people who have proven, in-demand skills and abilities. This new policy gives the Army the ability to acquire the talent it needs to ensure we continue to dominate in land combat today and into the future. Individuals who have acquired skills and leadership roles in the civilian sector, especially highly sought-after cyber or other emerging technical skills, can consider joining the Army and their unique skills and experiences will help determine their entry rank.

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