FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii –
The 9th Mission Support Command conducted its first-ever talent management board on Feb 2, 2023.
There were several other units involved in the Pacific centric forum including multicomponent and individual mobilization augmentee (IMA) units such as U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Army Pacific, Special Operations Command Pacific, 18th Medical Command, 7th Battalion Army Reserve Career Group and the 311th Signal Command (Theater). It is likely the first localized board to happen in the Army Reserve and provides a forum for commanders of 9th MSC units to work with other units both inside and outside of the command to put the right talent in the right places.
The term talent management (TM) is one the most popular themes and priorities at this moment in the United States Army. The same is even more true for our U.S. Army Reserve. Everyone is trying to figure it out and make no mistake, “TM is not a bumper sticker” according to Brig. Gen. Mark Siekman, commanding general of the 9th Mission Support Command.
The 9 MSC aims to lead the charge to operationalize TM as the proving ground model used to align talent in the right place and at the right time, especially for our TPU Soldiers who have not had a reliable TM system or process in place to identify, develop, and invest in our greatest asset, people!
TM is commander’s and CSM’s business and the 9th MSC believes this is the key to the art behind the science of TM. “One of our strategies was to conduct the first of its kind Army Reserve TM forum. The intent is to discuss our manning priorities, vacancies, anticipate future requirements, and make recommendations and decisions on the transfer or re-alignment of select Soldiers for professional growth.”, said Lt. Col Mark Lee, 9th MSC command talent manager.
The board was conducted using a professional sports league draft style approach and Soldiers with good potential or in need of growth as identified by their leadership were considered “free agents”. “The intent is to maximize organizational capabilities and provide commanders’ flexibility by enhancing the career progression and professional development opportunities for Soldiers,” Lee said .
The 9th MSC intends to build upon the board process in the future by expanding it to all ranks among the TPU, IMA, and AGR populations, thereby helping each Soldier increase their confidence and competitiveness for future promotions, nominative opportunities, and competence for future emerging missions. DA Pam 600-3 (Officer Professional Development & Career Management), paragraph 3-4 f., states the following about broadening development “The result of broadening is a continuum of leadership capability at direct, operational, and strategic levels, which bridges diverse environments and organizational cultures”.
This new TM process challenges the status quo of allowing TPU or AGR Soldiers to sit in units or positions for multiple years even after they have peaked, burned out, or met prescribed tenure guidelines and helps deter leaders from selfishly hoarding all the best talent instead of releasing them for growth opportunities while mentoring and investing in new talent. The Chief of the Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command, LTG Jody Daniels, had the following to say about time in position in her article "Changing Culture," “Soldiers who remain in place for many years are likely stagnating and blocking the position for others seeking upward mobility or a broadening experience”.
Finally, the 9 MSC intends to use the TM Board and other innovative initiatives as a tool to attract and retain the best talent to our formations and to speak with one voice for the Army Reserve of the Pacific.