WASHINGTON “â€ The Army must begin to shape the force to meet its future requirements by implementing the Qualitative Service Program. That is according to a memo signed March 13 by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III.
The memo states, “It is imperative as we move forward that we retain our best leaders, but we can no longer afford certain over-strength Military Occupational Specialties and promotion stagnation.”
The Qualitative Service Program, known as QSP, establishes the use of formal enlisted centralized board processes to identify noncommissioned officers, known as NCOs, for involuntary separation from active duty in order to improve grade/Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS, readiness at NCO levels by satisfying force structure requirements; enhance the quality of the NCO Corps by retaining NCOs with the greatest potential for continued contributions; and support sustainment of viable career paths across MOS/skill levels in an all-volunteer Army.
The Army will implement QSP applicable to Active Component and U.S. Army Reserve-Active Guard Reserve NCOs. This program will begin with the centralized selection boards convening after April 1, 2012, and will include three elements:
“Â¢ Qualitative Management Program Board, which considers Senior NCOs (E7-E9) for denial of continued service whose performance, conduct, and/or potential for advancement may not meet Army standards;
“Â¢ Over-Strength Qualitative Service Program Board, which considers NCOs (E6-E9) for potential denial of continued service when an NCO possesses a specific Primary Military Occupational Specialty/grade where the Army’s 12-month operating strength projection exceeds its goals;
“Â¢ Promotion Stagnation Qualitative Service Board, which considers NCOs (E6-E9) for potential denial of continued service when an NCO possesses a specific PMOS/grade where promotion stagnation exists.
The first series of QSP boards will identify approximately 4,000 NCOs (E6-E9) for separation by the end of fiscal year 2013. The majority of these NCOs will be retirement eligible and will retain all benefits earned.
Those NCOs identified by OS-QSP and PS-QSP who are not eligible for retirement will be afforded an opportunity to volunteer for reclassification into a shortage MOS, if qualified. This represents about 3.5 percent of the Army’s current inventory (E6 and above).
The Army’s commitment to leader development calls for evolving human resource policies to support development of adaptive noncommissioned officer leaders who are skilled in their core competencies.
Over the past several years, the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Army G-1, put into place a series of HR policies designed to support the principles of the Army Leader Development Strategy. These changes foster a balance of training, education, and experience while encouraging life-long learning and development.
“Our Soldiers performed superbly over the last 11 years of war, displaying the values, character, and competence that made us successful. We value their service,” said Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, deputy chief of staff for personnel, G-1.
“As the Army faces personnel reductions, we must manage the force with precision in a way that identifies those with the greatest potential to meet our future requirements. Moving forward with this program will posture us to meet the challenges ahead, further strengthen our NCO Corps, and preserve the all-volunteer Army.”
Proactive leadership is essential to make QSP successful for the Army. Effective performance counseling and accurate evaluations will enable NCOs to better position themselves for future service.