Under Secretary challenges Army senior leaders to revamp civilian career management

Under Secretary challenges Army senior leaders to revamp civilian career management

By Audra Calloway During a two-day session at the Pentagon last month, approximately 30 members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) gathered to discuss how to improve civilian career development. Army Under Secretary Brad R. Carson hosted the event, which was meant to help shape policy changes regarding how the Army hires, trains, develops, and sustains its civilian workforce. “Many civilians are expected to come to their jobs with the requisite skills and do not always receive the necessary training to advance their talents and careers,” said Scott Rowell, Civilian Workforce Transformation Integrator. “This is different from Soldiers, who know that the Army has a standardized system to help them […]

August Army DACM Office Hot Topics

August Army DACM Office Hot Topics

Hot Topic #1: Expanding the use of of the Senior Rater Potential Evaluation (SRPE) In 2003, the Army Director Acquisition Career Management (DACM) developed a new tool to manage the talent of the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAWF): the Senior Rater Potential Evaluation. The SRPE was designed to evaluate the potential of designated civilian employees to perform in positions of increased responsibility. In contrast to existing personnel appraisal systems, the SRPE predicts potential future performance; while the Total Army Personnel Evaluation System (TAPES) and the various personnel demonstration projects evaluate current performance and contributions to the mission. The SRPE has been a valuable resource for managing the talent of the AAWF. […]

The ‘OTHER’ Acquisition Phase

The ‘OTHER’  Acquisition Phase

Focusing on better buying power and value engineering efforts By Lt. Col. Elliott R. Caggins, Mr. Jason R. Middleton and Maj. Demond J. Merrick The vast majority of the acquisition workforce has a great understanding of the life-cycle management process, including designing, developing, procuring, producing, fielding and sustaining military equipment. The defense acquisition life-cycle model goes into great detail on the operations and support phase, but it barely covers the cycle’s end—divestiture. In fact, the Defense Acquisition University’s life-cycle management chart simply lists divestiture as “disposal,” even though it’s much more than that. With its focus on life-cycle phases from design to sustainment, formal acquisition training often neglects disposal, which […]

‘Piece’ of Mind

‘Piece’ of Mind

By T’Jae Gibson A team of researchers from the Army Research Laboratory and a number of universities are taking a physics-based approach to understanding traumatic brain injuries. They’re partnering with military medical experts like those at the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and others to understand the relationship between blast events – like explosions after an IED detonates – and brain injury. In this episode of Inside the Lab, ARL explores unique research approaches to understand how traumatic brain injuries occur, the challenges in detecting and diagnosing traumatic brain injuries and the obstacles Army and university researchers are attempting to overcome to find protection solutions to mitigate the effects […]

Army simulates battlefield environment in labs to prepare for cyber threats

Army simulates battlefield environment in labs to prepare for cyber threats

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T and Matthew C. McVey, SoSE&I ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (August 4, 2014) — As new technologies are introduced into the Army’s network, they are evaluated during semi-annual, Soldier-driven operational exercises in the mountains and desert of Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Though the Soldier-executed test is the focus of these Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs), the overall success of the effort rests heavily on lab-based planning and integration testing back at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where months of risk reduction activities and evaluations are conducted prior to the operational event. After all, if the capability doesn’t work in the lab, it’s not […]

Many tasks, one tool

Many tasks, one tool

PM CCS seeks maximum efficiency, affordability with consolidated contractor logistics support by Mr. Raymond W. Chin and Col. Richard J. Hornstein As materiel developers, acquisition program executive officers (PEOs) and project managers (PMs) must consider all aspects of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF) before the Army enterprise can fully institutionalize a capability. Over the past 12-plus years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has successfully developed materiel solutions and pushed them out to the force, using agile acquisition processes to meet the needs of combatant commanders. However, the full set of DOTMLPF considerations often failed to align with the deployment of the “M”—materiel—and […]

Industrial base essential to overcome future threats

Industrial base essential to overcome future threats

J.D. Leipold WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 25, 2014) — Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, said that after three months in his position, one of the things he’s learned is how the industrial base is interwoven with risk. Speaking before a packed house of Association of the U.S. Army members, at the organization’s Institute of Land Warfare breakfast, Thursday, Williamson said he wasn’t going to make remarks about specific equipment programs. Instead he wanted to talk about what kept him up at night. Williamson said he is concerned that experts will not be available to […]

Training on the Virtual Net

Training on the Virtual Net

Video game-like approach reduces classroom time, increases engagement By Maj. Naim R. Lee, Ms. Caroline McCarthy and Dr. Samuel Johnson Today’s Soldiers have grown up in the digital age. They play video games that enable friends and even strangers to team up online to slay aliens, combat terrorists and save the world. They take advanced high school and college classes online, and their smartphones are almost an appendage. “Death by PowerPoint” is no longer an effective means of training, especially on the Army’s advanced network and communications equipment. Soldiers are now learning faster and more efficiently, immersed in operational scenarios within virtual training environments and using the power of their […]

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. Mark P. Henderson

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. Mark P. Henderson

POSITION: Training With Industry Fellow COMPANY: Cisco Systems, Inc., Herndon, Virginia TOTAL YEARS OF SERVICE: 23 AWARDS: (2) Bronze Star Medals EDUCATION: MBA and M. Ed. Troy University, Troy, Alabama; BS Political Science and Government, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia. DEPLOYMENTS: 2007-2009, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan; 2010-2011, Afghanistan   Acquisition officer trades uniform for a suit   By Tara Clements Having served in the Army for 23 years, six of them as an enlisted Soldier, Lt. Col. Mark Henderson has enjoyed diverse and challenging assignments, but is always looking for ways to grow and improve—leading him to one of the most insightful and rewarding jobs of his career. Several months […]

‘Digital Dirt’

‘Digital Dirt’

With too many boots for too little ground, training system expands units’ options By Col. Wayne Epps American humorist Will Rogers is often quoted as saying, “Buy land. They aren’t making any more of the stuff!” The Army is not finding that quip quite as funny as it once was, as the number of troops returning to their home stations puts a serious strain on the available training space. While the Army was heavily deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a typical Army post had most of its units in combat, leaving the pre-deployment units back home with ample space to conduct live training. Today, that situation is reversed, which is […]