WASHINGTON – The Army is undertaking a massive effort to improve the way it manages its talents across the force. And the main source of service agents implements these principles early in an officer’s career, before it even begins.

The Army Cadet Command Reserve Officer Training Corps produces the majority of service officers.

Until recently, the primary consideration when assigning young lieutenants to one of the 17 base branches of the army was the nebulous “needs of the army”, as well as an order of merit ranking each cadet. who was competing for an active duty commission.

“Being a graduate of ROTC myself … what I experienced years ago [was] really driven by the needs of the military, ”Major General Johnny Davis told Army Times at the US Army Association’s annual meeting on Tuesday morning.

Davis took command of the Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Ky. In August and sat down for a one-on-one interview.

“What’s very different is that it’s, I think, more transparent than ever … about how I went through the hookup sequence. [more than] 30 years ago, ”added the general.

Now, the connection process takes into account the skills, talents and preferences of cadets. The process includes a new web portal where cadets take a talent assessment exam, learn about the talents each branch is looking for, and submit their resumes and preferred branches.

A key part of the new initiative, Davis explained, was a concerted effort to educate cadets about the importance of taking talent assessments seriously and spending time learning about the branches.

“[Cadets] must be more transparent …[they] must be part of this process, ”Davis said. “Or, we can potentially have superstars landing in a branch that is not one of their favorite branches …[ing] this talent is going to be more difficult if it is not one of the branches in which they want to land.

For the first time, cadets are conducting branch interviews by videoconference, which will allow them and representatives of the various branches to assess their mutual suitability.

“Some interviewed with 15 branches; others interviewed with [only] two or three, ”Davis noted. “It gives you the opportunity to educate yourself, and we’ve opened the doors to allow that to happen. “

Davis believes that improving the talent management process and finding mutual agreement between cadets and the position they will occupy as an officer will increase the quality, morale and retention of junior leaders overall. of the force.

“Once you land the right job, all other things start to fall into place throughout your military career,” Davis said. “It’s a good thing for the force, and I think it’s a good way to retain talent and then continue to manage that talent throughout a successful career.”

The results of the first round of talent-based branching will be released soon, Davis said.

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the military. He initially joined Military Times as a trainee journalist in 2020. Prior to journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.