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Talent Management Task Force visits Hood

Talent Management Task Force visits Hood

By Sgt. Ryan Rayno, 7th MPAD (article)

Brig. Gen. Joseph P. McGee, the director of the Army Talent Management Task Force, visited Fort Hood March 19 to discuss upcoming changes on how the Army will better identify and select commissioned officers for future assignments.

McGee stressed the importance of identifying the strengths and talents of each Soldier so that they can be put in a position to improve their unit and the Army as a whole, even if those positions are not part of their standard branch tract.

“It doesn’t have to do with rank, it doesn’t have to do with how well you were a battalion or brigade commander,” McGee said.  “It has a lot to do with what skill sets you need in those jobs to be able to succeed, and then how you can see those skill sets so you can put them into the right positions so they can contribute in the maximum way to accomplish the Army’s mission.”

As part of the shift from a more traditional career path, the Talent Management Task Force has begun the expansion of the Assignment Interaction Module 2.0, which allows Soldiers to upload résumés and provide a more personal description of themselves and their career goals.

In turn, leaders of potential gaining units are able to search for Soldiers within AIM 2.0, whose talents, skills and knowledge best align with the organization’s needs.  Leaders that are able to more accurately gauge the workforce will help determine the right Soldier, in the right job, at the right time.

“I think the changes in the program will really help, especially for those like me in Forward Support Company,” said 1st Lt. Thompson Manuszak, the maintenance control officer for Juliet FSC, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment.  “My senior rater compares me to infantry and armorer officers, which means I’m almost guaranteed to never get a top slot just because my battalion commander is an infantry officer.”

“I do think, in the long-term, I’ll be fairly compared to my peers, because at the end of the day, it’s like comparing apples to oranges in my personal opinion.”

For Soldiers on Fort Hood, the discussion helped build optimism for their future, and the progress of their Army careers.

“I’ll be a part of that first generation of officers that are transitioning into the new system, so I think it will be a very interesting experience to go through,” Manuszak said. “I think I’ll have a bit more control over my career than I would have had before.”

2 Comments

  1. Is “Talent Overrated?” How can the Army Account for the Human Domain of determining “Talent?” Background: After reading Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin, I’m asking myself, peers, and subordinates how do we (the Army/Leaders) account for performance and potential for officers and NCOs with the human dimension. For example, an officer/NCO may receive a HQ rating from one commander; however, a new commander during the second rating assesses the officer/NCO is outstanding and can’t understand the first evaluation. Unfortunately, our boards don’t have the context of the human dimension during the first rating, and the officer/NCO is “At Risk” or he/she has a “weak file.” How do we account for personality conflicts? We are all professionals; however, “Talent” seems to be in the eye of the beholder versus enabling officers/NCOs to master the fundamentals with what Geoff Colvin calls “deliberate practice.” This is one of the key factors in all the great athletes, performers, and professionals in his study.

    Reply
    • Thank you for your enthusiasm about Army talent management and desire to continue the discussion. The Army defines talent as the unique intersection of knowledge, skills, behaviors, and preferences (KSB-Ps) in every officer. What you’re referencing are evaluations, a subjective process of observing and measuring an individual for the purpose of judging him or her by comparison to similar individuals. Assessments, much like the physical fitness test, are a set of instruments that provide a standardized common lens, are valid, and reliable for the purpose of providing accurate and granular talent data on an individual. Under the current system, the Army does not have a comprehensive assessment framework for officers or NCOs. The foundation of a talent management system is a granular level of detail of the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and preferences (KSB-Ps) of every officer in the Army. The Army is developing prototypes and pilots to determine how to use assessments to gather data about every officer’s KSB-Ps. In the meantime, the Army Talent Alignment Process (ATAP), enabled by AIM 2.0, moves us forward dramatically to gather this information. ATAP empowers individuals to describe their talents in detail – helping the Army to align their talents with assignments. It also empowers units to determine the unique requirements of available duty positions and delivers officers whose talents match with those positions. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act granted nine new authorities that provide the Army flexibility to determine the characteristics of a future talent based system. We continue to vigorously explore options to make recommendations to the promotions and selections system but rely on feedback like yours and that of other officers to ensure we’re building a talent management system that delivers the right officer, to the right assignment, at the right time, over time.

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