31 January 2010

US Army Officer Developmental Model to Move into the 21st Century?

We always talk about re-vamping the developmental model for promoting, training, educating, and retaining US Army officers, and we've seen some small indicators of change. One of the most notable examples occurred when General David Petraeus sat in on a board which convened to select the next crop of one-star generals.

With that said, maybe there is a chance that we might finally see some change in the personnel policies which govern officers. The Army Times reports that a new task force in charge of reviewing the Officer Personnel Management System is considering some changes. I'm a little skeptical, but I've been wrong plenty of times before:

  • The new model might do away with promotions based solely on time in service--in the new model, officers must meet certain requirements--such as company command or completion of their career course--in order to get promoted. Promotion to the next rank might work in a manner similar to college students obtaining a degree, with some taking three years to get their degree, others taking five years. I kind of wonder what this means for units, as company commands are often given and taken away based on the career timelines of individual officers. In any battalion or brigade, there's always a "cue" of captains serving on staffs, waiting for their turn to get their 12 months of command. I wonder exactly how this will affect the internal movement of company commanders, as I can see battalion commanders hanging on to company commanders for quite a while if there's no real hurry to switch out commanders.
  • The Army Times reports that the OPMS task force is considering revamping the current officer evaluation system. Not certain what evaluations mean anymore when a.) the evaluation really is based on the writing skills of the rater and b.) the Army is so short on captains and majors that bad evaluations are no longer a discriminator for promotion.
  • Encouraging "elective" assignments outside of one's branch. I could see this as valuable if we're truly attempting to build "pentathlete" leaders. Plus, it might break up the monotony of one's career and make it a bit more interesting.

Certainly, I'm interested to see what this new task force comes up with, although I can't help but retain a bit of skepticism. Stay tuned for more...


Amanda Violette Groth said...

Yeah, bring back blocked OERs for junior officers. That way if you really suck - there it is!

Starbuck said...

Yeah, but I can see everyone getting a mandatory "top" block, with the "center of mass" block being the kiss of death. All evaluations are pretty much inflated.

Anonymous said...

Military pilot who had sex with an 11 year-old boy when he was 17!!
As a child he was an aggressive sexual preditor who violated his brothers, all of whom went on to have homosexual experiences. 6-8 years old, he forced his brothers to copulate him, one before he was out of diapers.
Amusing that is his preference in his marriage and he has a problem with intercourse.
How long did he continue to think about boys when he masterbated??? In basic training? Into his flight training?