Army secretary encourages job shifts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Army’s civilian employees and top civilian leaders need to get the big picture of the service, said Army Secretary Francis Harvey, adding that he intends to offer them the same changes in duty stations and jobs available to uniformed personnel and leaders.

Harvey, speaking Sept. 17 at the 128th annual conference of the National Guard Association of the United States, said he views the Army’s civilian employees as key to the service’s transformation process and wants to establish a professional Civilian Corps with the background and servicewide experience to help manage that transformation.

Army civilian employees have taken jobs with one command and stayed with an organization until they retired 40 years later, Harvey said. Today, civilian employees, particularly members of the Senior Executive Service who work in positions and pay grades equivalent to general officers, should develop broad work experience in their Army careers, he said.

For example, Harvey said, top-ranking civilians working in Army logistics at the Pentagon could benefit from a tour in the Army Materiel Command, Harvey said. Such changes in assignment would be voluntary, he said.

The Army does not intend to involuntarily transfer a Pentagon-based civilian manager to Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Harvey said. But, when such a move is offered, Army civilian workers and leaders react positively to an opportunity to broaden their experience, he said.

To foster development of Army civilian managers, Harvey said he has set up a civilian leadership management office. The Army needs to offers its civilian leaders the same kind of professional development officers get at staff and command colleges, he added.

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