Starting Strong: Talent-Based Branching of Newly Commissioned U.S. Army Officers

  • April 01, 2016
  • LTC Michael J Colarusso, LTC Kenneth G Heckel, COL David S Lyle, LTC William L Skimmyhorn



Because the U.S. military's long-held advantage in physical capital and equipment is waning, cutting-edge human capital management is more critical than ever before. The authors of "Starting Strong" argue that by gathering detailed information on the unique talents possessed by each newly commissioned Army officer, as well as on the unique talent demands of each Army basic branch, the Army can create a "talent market" that identifies and liberates the strengths of every officer, aligning each with the career field where they are most likely to be engaged, productive, and satisfied leaders. Strong evidence demonstrates that this talent-based approach better aligns officer talent with occupational requirements while simultaneously increasing individual branch satisfaction.