Acquisition Leader Assessment Program (ALAP)

“ALAP allows the Army the opportunity to see beyond the words on a performance appraisal in order to really understand who we are as officers and civilians to make that right decision to fill positions.”
– Lt. Gen. Robert L. Marion, Director, Army Acquisition Corps

WHAT IS ALAP?

ALAP is a focused battery of interviews, screenings and assessments designed to determine an individual’s readiness for command, while identifying their underlying strengths and weaknesses in several behavioral domains. This helps ensure that the Army is making the most informed choices for its acquisition commands/key billets, while also providing opportunity for self-reflection and development.

The Acquisition Leader Assessment Program (ALAP) is an acquisition-specific subsidiary program to the Command Assessment Program (CAP), the program that the Army uses to supplement the Army Competitive Category (ACC) command and key billet centralized selection list (CSL) process.

PROCESS

The CSL board results in an order of merit list (OML) of qualified candidates for command and key billet. Once ALAP is complete, the final OML may adjust based off the results of the ALAP. The final OML of selectees produced at the completion of ALAP will be used by HRC to slate officers and civilians against principal and alternate command/key billet requirements. Additionally, a candidate may be determined “not yet ready for command” due to their performance at ALAP and removed from the OML listing entirely for that year group.

TIMELINE, PROCESS, AND STEPS

CSL Opt Out/Application Period for FY24 O5/GS-14, O6/GS-15, and all associated broadband equivalent levels
  • Civilians: Feb. 21 – April 22, 2022
  • Officers: May 3 – 25, 2022
  • Process differs between MIL and CIV candidates. Please refer to the CSL Information page for more information
FY24 CSL Board
  • June 6 – 10, 2022
MILPER Release and Invitations
  • Aug. 11, 2022
Army Leader Assessment Tool (ALAT) Assessment Window (Peer and Subordinate Feedback, Self Assessment)
  • O5/GS-14: Aug. 15 – Oct. 21, 2022
  • O6/GS-15: Sept. 6 – Nov. 4, 2022
ALAP Attendance (Ft. Knox, KY)
  • O5/GS-14: Oct. 13 – 27, 2022
  • O6/GS-15: Oct. 28 – Nov. 9, 2022
OML release and CSL principal/alternate release announcement
  • O/a late January 2023
FY24 CSL Slate Publish
  • O/a April 2023

OVERVIEW OF THE ARMY LEADER ASSESSMENT TOOL (ALAT)

“[The Army Leader Assessment Tool is] going to tell us how the leader operates within the demands of battalion command. So the assessment was designed to specifically capture those key behaviors, competencies and attributes that are known to predict success in battalion command.” – Dr. Melissa Wolfe, Sr. Research Psychologist, Center for Army Profession and Leadership

Peer and subordinate feedback is vital to an individual truly understanding their strengths and weaknesses as a workforce professional and a leader. It helps identify blind spots and can provide narratives that may differ from what an individual perceives of themselves. The feedback gathered during the ALAT window is consolidated and reviewed by the assessment facilitators and used to evaluate specific leader attributes and competencies demonstrated by an individual within recent history of their career. The feedback is also utilized to identify counter-productive leadership traits and frequency. Willing and honest participation in this process is essential, as this is the opportunity for participants to inform the Army’s selection of our future leaders.

The ALAP team has used extensive data to identify and request the peer and subordinates to submit anonymous feedback on a candidate to ensure fairness and consistency, while obtaining honest feedback without concern for retribution. Candidates cannot select survey participants themselves and cannot influence the direction of feedback submitted by those who choose to participate.

The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete and is completed by those who have worked with the candidate within 5 years of receipt, be it as a peer or a subordinate.

Candidates must meet the following ALAT assessment requirements in order to participate in ALAP;

  • O5/GS-14 Candidates – 10 peers, 5 subordinates, 1 self-assessment
  • O6/GS-15 Candidates – 10 peers, 10 subordinates, 1 self-assessment
  • Candidates going through ALAP multiple times will be required to have a minimum of 3 new ALAT submissions in order to compete at subsequent ALAPs, as required.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

This is a very high-level overview of the process to participate, with many steps comprising each facet. Specific details on participation will not be listed here as they are subject to change. Invited candidates will receive additional information on required steps and deadlines over the course of time leading up to ALAP.

In order to participate, candidates must:

  • Be eligible and opt in/apply for the CSL Board process. Please refer to the CSL Information page for more information
  • Obtain required amount of ALAT survey responses
  • Satisfy any pre-CAP ACFT requirements, as applicable
  • Complete all pre-ALAP required actions upon notification of invitation to ALAP

Candidates will be required to travel to Fort Knox for 6 days (including travel days) from their current duty stations to participate in ALAP. Barracks lodging is provided, and all travel arrangements are done through Defense Travel System. Funding for candidate TDY to ALAP is provided by the US Army Acquisition Support Center, the candidate’s command/organization will not need to allocate funds for their personnel to participate.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR ALAP

Army Talent Management hosts a CAP-dedicated webpage that contains numerous resources on preparing candidates for CAP. Candidates who‘ve been invited to attend ALAP and successfully registered on the CAP Candidate Portal will also be given access to additional preparation resources, including candidate schedules, packing lists, driving directions, etc. Links to the CAP Candidate Portal will be provided in the official MILPER publication for ALAP.

SERGEANTS MAJOR ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (SMAP)

The CAP process has been expanded to apply towards Command Sergeants Major billets for senior non-commissioned officers. 51C NCOs have been invited to participate. These candidates will undergo similar assessments as those administered in ALAP; however, they are more akin to the assessments that the broader CAP population will participate in, considering that this population does not include civilians and assessments are weighted differently than they would be in an ALAP setting. Unlike ALAP, acquisition NCO candidates will mix in with the remaining SMAP cohorts.

  • The eligibility, process and timelines differ from what is listed above for ALAP. For more information on SMAP participation, please refer to the Army Talent Management page for CAP and this associated publication on the subject

POC: ALAP Program POC – Adam Polite, USAASC: adam.b.polite.civ@army.mil

FAQ

What is the difference between BCAP, CCAP, ALAP and SMAP?
  • ALAP refers to the acquisition-specific component of CAP. When we refer to ALAP, we are referring to all acquisition candidates and personnel (sans NCOs) going through the program as a whole. However, based on compo and grade, the cohorts have different names and are identified as follows:
  • BCAP refers to the O5/GS-14 Officers and Civilian population
  • CCAP refers to the O6/GS-15 Officers and Civilian population
  • SMAP refers to our Non-Commissioned Officer population. While there are 51C NCOs competing, we do not include SMAP as part of ALAP as they are two separate programs.
How are the Ht/Wt and ACFT scores used to compile the final decision of an ALAP candidate?
  • Officers: Participation in the Height/Weight assessment and Army Physical/Combat Fitness Test Assessment is a required ALAP component for our Officers and Enlisted personnel, but it is used as a screening tool ONLY. If an Officer fails either assessment w/o an Approved Exception to Policy (ETP), they will not continue forward at ALAP and immediately be deemed “Not Yet Ready for Command” for this assessment cycle.
What happens if I am identified by the CSL board as a principal/alternate, but I am found not yet ready for command at ALAP?
  • You will be removed from the OML and from CSL consideration for that FY. You are permitted to recompete during subsequent years, as long as you qualify. Participation in ALAP will be required again for consideration.
If I am a civilian competing for both the O5/14 CSL board and the O6/15 CSL board, how many times do I have to attend ALAP?
  • Civilian candidates who qualify on both lists will attend ALAP twice; once as a part of a BCAP cohort AND again as part of a CCAP cohort. Candidates returning from CCAP after having completed BCAP already will only be required to take assessments that are different from those administered during BCAP.
As a civilian, do I have to take the Height/Weight assessment and ACFT?
  • No. Participation in these assessments is voluntary for civilians, and participation (or lack thereof) in these events will not impact their overall standing on the OML, regardless of performance.
How does our performance from each assessment impact a final decision on our readiness for command?
  • Each assessment falls into one of three different result methodologies that culminate in a final decision and overall OML standing:
  • Informing – Information derived from this type of assessment will be used to inform the voting panel prior to the final interview to help direct the line of questioning
  • Scoring – results from these events will rack and stack against other candidates, impacting the final overall OML standing
  • Screening – a pass/fail methodology is applied, where individuals are found “ready for command” or “not yet ready for command” based on their performance during these events
Who is responsible for funding my participation in the event?
  • USAASC will resource all candidate participation in the event. Official correspondence to all invitees will detail the process for submitting a TDY request in DTS appropriately. If you have any further questions on this process, reach out to the ALAP Program POC directly.