WASHINGTON — Soldiers and Army civilians will start to see the implementation of the Army Profession Campaign beginning in January, senior Army leaders said, Oct. 22.
“It’s important that all Soldiers master their profession, whatever it might be,” said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno. “We depend on you to understand what you do, because for us to be successful, we must trust that each and every Soldier understands what their job is and how it is interrelated.”
To gather the information needed to establish how the Army should move forward following more than 10 years of persistent conflict, several assessment tools were employed by a “community of practice.”
This community was formed with designated leads from Army Civilian University, Army Capabilities Integration Center, Center for Army Leadership, Center for the Army Profession and Ethic, Initial Military Training, Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development, U.S. Army War College and the Warrant Officer Career College.
“We came to these conclusions, in regards to the Army profession, not as a result of a top-down directed process, but more importantly, the largest study on the subject of the Army profession that has ever been conducted,” said Gen. Robert Cone, commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command.
The Army Research Institute distributed two Army-wide surveys. These surveys were designed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of the essential characteristics of the profession. More than 41,000 Army professionals responded to these surveys.
Five installations conducted multiple focus group sessions organized by cohort. These focus groups solicited candid feedback from more than 500 Soldiers and Army civilians on the profession’s concepts, strengths and weaknesses. These focus groups also presented numerous recommendations for how the Army might possibly shape the future of the profession.
Dialogue was captured and analyzed from 15 forums on the Army profession. These forums included hundreds of attendees from across the Army, academia and other services. During these forums senior leaders were presented with findings of the campaign and were able to share their perspectives.
The campaign also engaged the profession extensively through social media, and numerous topics were discussed in these venues. These discussions were monitored, captured, and analyzed for common themes, resulting in thousands of observations and comments being added to the campaign’s body of knowledge from the social networking effort.
The TRADOC G-2 “Red Team” provided an analysis of possible threats to the profession and the professionalism of its membership.
Each community of practice member researched and reviewed prior Army studies to inform and compare to current findings. In total, over 35 studies were considered and 15 studies were thoroughly analyzed in support of the campaign.
Cone said the items and major concepts that arose from the Army Profession Campaign will be foundational to doctrine, ranging from leader development, training, and command and control.
“One of the things we know is that as a profession we must have certifications and standards,” he said. “It repeatedly came back that we were not keeping up in regard to ensuring our subordinates (had) the professional military education that is commensurate with the rank they were wearing.”
The study also identified there were a number of different erosions of leader responsibilities to subordinates, such as coaching, teaching and mentoring.
“These things are out there and they helped us find a plan of action,” Cone said.
In all, he said, there were nearly 60 specific recommendations that came out of the Army Profession Campaign report and about half of those reside under TRADOC in terms of implementation within the institutional Army; the remainder are carried over to the operational Army. The full report can be found at http://cape.army.mil/repository/CY11ArmyProfessionAnnualReport.pdf.
“It all starts with doctrine,” Cone said. “It’s one of the things that repeatedly came back that as a profession the Army has to be based on standards, discipline and a unique body of professional knowledge.”
To that end, the largest release of new doctrine recently occurred, and central to that, in each of the 30 manuals are the fundamental precepts of the Army profession, Cone said.
Cone explained that with the rewrite and release of the new doctrine, TRADOC was able to incorporate the lessons learned and then create a common terminology between the manuals and the ideas inside the pages. Once that was finished and released, the question remained on how to inculcate the doctrinal concepts into the operational force.
The easier part will be through the institutional training that takes place during a Soldier’s career, Cone said. Both officer and enlisted courses are going through major revisions to rebalance them from preparing Soldiers to go downrange to Iraq or Afghanistan, to a broad set of competencies consistent with the larger profession.
“The operational force largely comes in on how things operate in a unit on a day-to-day basis; how they are adapting doctrine, and how they are adapting the new training procedures,” Cone said.
The civilian work force plays a crucial role in Army operations, since 60 percent of the generating force within the Army is made of civilians, said Karl Schneider, principle deputy assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs.
“It seems to me it is vital that our Army civilians be incorporated into the Army profession,” he said. “We have to invest in the training, the education and the experience of our Army civilians if we want them to be part of the Army profession.”
The Army Civilian Workforce Transformation is the first step. Every Army civilian now belongs to a career program and in that career program they will see a path of training, education and experience that will allow them to progress within their career program.
Schneider said that in the past, only 40 percent of Army civilians had a career program.
“We are working with the Army G-3 and TRADOC to make sure we have the ability to educate and train our Army civilians and to give them the experience to do well as members of a profession,” Schneider said.