The Bayonet

Tuesday, Jul. 01, 2014

Program to coordinate DA civilian development

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While Soldiers have numerous opportunities for training, education and professional development, the same opportunities for Army civilians are not as well known.

However, a new Maneuver Center of Excellence program will seek to change that. The MCoE Civilian Education and Professional Development Program will seek to provide a structured civilian education and professional development program that is nested within an Armywide program. The CEPDP will have the goal of enhancing the MCoE's effectiveness by developing the talent of Department of the Army civilians through a comprehensive, coordinated program that will maximize individual employee performance and qualifications for career enhancement.

Jay Brimstin, Directorate of Training and Doctrine deputy director, said the program is being established to reflect Army priorities and will help to coordinate efforts that are currently separate.

"As the Army has looked at the Army Leader Development Strategy, there are imperatives within that strategy for the development of civilians," he said. "In the past, it has been a very fragmented process. Just as an example, at the MCoE, we've got TRADOC, IMCOM and MEDDAC employees and then we've got our various tenant units that fall under different commands, and there's no synchronization or coordination among the various participants.

Included in this program will be an increased level of commander involvement in civilian development.

"A fundamental of Army leader development is that commanders are responsible for the development of their personnel," Brimstin said. "Inherent in that responsibility is the development of any civilian personnel assigned to their organization. Commanders have been essentially left out of all of the processes associated with civilian personnel development. They're generally unaware of the requirements or the opportunities that are available for DA civilians. One of the goals of this program was to get them visibility on what those requirements are and what the opportunities are.

"What we're looking to in the future is to begin doing semiannual training briefs to commanders and directors, as well as the commanding general and commandants, which will essentially describe the state of training and development of the civilian personnel within each of the career fields, as well as what the future plans and programs are."

All Army civilians fall under one of 31 career program categories, each with its own certification or education initiatives. As part of the CEPDP, each career program will have a program manager that will be part of the CEPDP board of directors and will provide semiannual training briefs to commanders, Armor and Infantry School commandants and the MCoE commanding general.

Brimstin said the need for a governing body became apparent as civilian development was discussed at higher levels.

"It just became so obvious that this was needed as the Army continued to focus on civilian education and development and it was being addressed in the Army Leader Development Forum, which is a quarterly forum hosted by the TRADOC CG and attended by personnel from across the Army," he said. "Invariably, every one of these quarterly sessions includes discussion about civilian leader development. It's clear that at the general officer level, they are very much focused on that Army imperative of developing civilians.

"Because of that process, we clearly recognized that there was a need to provide some sort of coordinating body for the entirety of Fort Benning - not just the TRADOC and IMCOM employees."

The CEPDP board will also be tasked with identifying the best MCoE civilians to take part in Army-level development programs.

"One of the things the board will do is when the MCoE is allocated a limited number of allocations for a particular Army-level developmental opportunity, the board will then make the final decisions on which MCoE nominations go forward," Brimstin said. "Each of those has its own unique set of criteria. First and foremost, this board will ensure that the nomination we send forward actually do meet the criteria. We also want to look from the unique perspective of the MCoE at the future potential of the individuals and the potential benefits for the MCoE of these individuals participating in the programs."

The CEPDP board has already conducted two meetings and multiple working group sessions, with a goal of holding the first semiannual training brief in August or September.

In the future, civilian professional development opportunities could include attendance at various military training courses, such as the Warrior Leader Course.

"Although it wouldn't be appropriate for the majority of civilians because they're probably retired military who at some point in their career probably went through something similar to WLC, we've got a large number of civilian employees who have never served in the military," Brimstin said. "So, it would be beneficial for them, I would think, to gain some greater understanding of Army leadership, Army counseling and to just get a general sense of the roles and responsibilities of NCOs in our Army."

However, there are many policy issues to work out involving accreditation, student accountability and course capacity before such attendance can begin, Brimstin said.

TRADOC Intermediate Leader Development Program

Among the professional development opportunities that will be available to Maneuver Center of Excellence civilians through the Civilian Education and Professional Development Program is TRADOC's new Intermediate Leader Development Program.

The ILDP has been designed to specifically address the needs of mid-level (GS-11 to GS-13) civilian employees, as well as current capability gaps in available leader development programs for large numbers of TRADOC employees.

ILDP will develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to broaden leadership capabilities and competencies of mid-level employees, while providing organizations with a pool of developing leaders.

The ILDP will focus on developing mid-level employees through a centrally funded, tailored program of education, training, and experiential learning while maintaining their current positions.

Career programs

All MCoE Army civilians now fall under one of 31 career programs. The 31 career programs include:

CP 10 - Civilian Human Resources

CP 11 - Comptroller

CP 12 - Safety and Occupational Health Management

CP 13 - Supply Management

CP 14 - Contracting and Acquisitions

CP 15 - Quality Assurance

CP 16 - Engineers/Scientists (Non-construction)

CP 17 - Material Maintenance Management

CP 18 - Engineers/Scientists (Construction)

CP 19 - Physical Security

CP 20 - Quality Assurance ( Ammunition Surveillance)

CP 22 - Public Affairs

CP 24 - Transportation/Distribution Management

CP 26 - Manpower/Force Management

CP 27 - Housing Management

CP 28 - Equal Employment Opportunity

CP 29 - Installation Management

CP 31 - Education Services

CP 32 - Training/Doctrine Development

CP 33 - Ammunition Management

CP 34 - Information Technology Management

CP 35 - Intelligence

CP 36 - Analysis, Modeling and Simulation

CP 50 - Military Human Resources

CP 51 - General Administration

CP 53 - Medical

CP 55 - Inspector General

CP 56 - Legal

CP 60 - Foreign Affairs

CP 61 - Historian

CP 64 - Aviation

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