Update: Dave says in the comments there’s improvement in the detailing. Good, but is it too little too late?
John’s right. This is important. As I read it, Army’s stating that jobs doing the wartime leadership job count as significant career enhancers and backing it up with policy that sounds hard to escape.
I have directed HRC [Human Resources Command] to award Centralized Selection List (CSL) Credit for LTCs serving specifically in the TT Commander positions that have direct leadership responsibility for a training/transition team. [This means the guys are getting effective credit for battalion command – a Big Deal]
Therefore, we are creating a new CSL sub-category called “Combat Arms Operations”. It will be open to all eligible officers in the Maneuver, Fires and Effects (MFE) branches and to Foreign Area Officers (FAO). It will fall under the Operations category and will be effective on the FY 10 CSL board which meets this September.
As a bridging strategy, for FY09 we will activate officers for these command positions from the alternate lists of all four major MFE command categories – Operations, Strategic Support, Training, and Installation. Officers accepting and who serve will be awarded CSL credit in the Operations category for serving as a Transition Team Commander. Additionally, if selected by the FY 10 CSL board, the officer may opt to command in the category they are selected after completion of their TT Command. Those that do command will receive credit for a second CSL command. If chosen, and they opt not to command, they will still receive credit for their TT command. [This is a REALLY big deal – multiple commands!]
But look at what Navy’s doing. We’re sending who we think we can afford to lose, much of the time, instead of who’s good. I’ve seen guys think it’s a get-well tour–mainly because they were told that by someone they trusted–and that becomes a disappointment at promotion time because those guys weren’t getting promoted. We’re sending non-screened guys to DLI and to Baghdad and to the ‘stan because they will do an IA; we’re sending JOs to IAs as soon as they move to the apartment at the shore tour location and they get out. The Navy guys doing the hard job in the only shooting war we’re fighting are guys who aren’t on the fast track–one of the readers here did a job that Army thinks is significant command, but Navy doesn’t and said guy is done in uniform. I got refused volunteer slots in a previous community because it was more important to fill (insert meaningless ‘job we’ve always done’ here) instead.
I’ve railed in my earlier career against the dumb practice of putting only guys we think are not-fast-track (and who we then don’t select and dump) in forward deployed, sensitive jobs that have more real world use than many of the jobs that historically go to fast track “obvious star potential” officers. This is more of that problem, magnified a little because we’re, you know, being shot at.
You get the people you pick. The force is shaped by who you pick. We’re by and large not picking guys who are actually doing the wartime job, save a few tokens with high visibility. Does this bother anyone out there?