One of the initiatives I am working on for our enlisted Soldiers is talent management. Broadening comes up in almost every conversation I have with Soldiers and leaders when I talk with them about managing talent in our force.
‘Broadening’ is a term that we use all the time in these conversations, but I find Soldiers and leaders use the term to mean all kinds of assignments, duty positions, education, and fellowships. You name it and ‘broadening’ is probably used to categorize it.
All these conversations intrigued me, and led me to consider how the Army truly defines broadening. In ADRP 6-22, “Broadening consists of those education and training opportunities, assignments, and experiences that provide exposure outside the leader’s branch or functional area competencies.” This definition explains why broadening means all kinds of things to Soldiers and leaders. My first thought was, we need to refine this definition so our Soldiers and leaders will be properly aligned with where the Army is headed by identifying knowledge, skills, and attributes or KSAs.
The future Army will manage talent better by assigning and selecting Soldiers for opportunities using a holistic approach including KSAs. Broadening opportunities are crucial in developing leaders with a wider range of experiences and skills who can operate in ever-changing global environments. Officers refined their perspective of broadening for their cohort in DA PAM 600-3, Commissioned Officer Professional Development and Career Management. I think it’s time to update the broadening concept for enlisted Soldiers in DA PAM 600-25, U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Guide.
Here’s the definition we have developed for broadening, “the purposeful expansion of a NCO’s core MOS proficiency and leadership, provided through developmental assignments, education, training, and other opportunities both within and outside their career management field, resulting in agile and adaptive leaders capable of operating in complex environments.” Examples of developmental assignments are Joint, NATO, Drill Sergeant, Recruiter, AIT Platoon Sergeant, Instructor, ROTC, and IG. Fellowships with degree completion, attending other DOD leadership academies, and professional reading are examples of the education component to broadening. Training with industry, credentialed functional training, and training in joint and multinational environments broadens Soldiers.
Other opportunities for broadening are experiences working in Joint Interagency Intergovernmental and Multinational environments, working as a Defense Attaché, the White House Transportation Agency, selection or working with Special Operations forces, and any other future opportunities not currently available. The four components (developmental assignments, education, training, and other opportunities) all lead toward agile and adaptive leaders capable of operating anywhere in the world.
Your talents and attributes are the most important combat multiplier our Army and nation can rely on. It is imperative we identify your talents, develop them, and optimize them for our nation’s national security, the future of our force, and for the future of our society as you become veterans employing your talents in the civilian workforce.
Check out this link on HRC’s site that has more information about broadening opportunities. Be sure to click on the program catalog with descriptions about 21 different broadening opportunities including a White House Fellowship and Training with Industry opportunities.
Victory Starts Here!
– CSM D