Talent Management: Why Not Apply It to Army Civilians?

  • Colonel Silas G. Martinez

Given the importance of whole-of-government approaches to solving volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous strategic problems in this era of fiscal austerity, the United States (US) Army owes it to the American people to maximize the effectiveness every employee. The US Army has focused on talent management in its Senior Officer Corps as one way of developing the next generation of leaders to work in that environment. Still, precious little has been written about talent management for the Department of the Army (DA) Civilians who comprise nearly one-third of the US Army, and who provide continuity in the organizations that conduct Army operations around the globe and across the Diplomatic, Information, Military, and Economic objectives. This paper focuses on talent management of DA Civilians. We start with a review of talent management literature, and then outline the general goals of talent management for any population. We will look at the current state of talent management for the DA Civilians, and make recommendations on how to better employ that talent. We end with a discussion about a lateral entry, a specific business talent management practice that may be suitable for use for DA Civilians.