Army Talent Management: Developing and Selecting the "Right" Strategic Leaders

  • Lieutenant Colonel John M. Cushing

The United States Army is entering a period of challenging times with respect to budgetary constraints and, more specifically, the reduction of United States Army personnel. One would argue that in order to keep the military at the state of readiness needed to fight the limited wars of the 21st century the Army needs to find unique and creative ways to recruit and retain talent. Just as General Martin Dempsey stated, “We must get the people ‘right’” if we are looking to maintain and build the next generation of leaders to retain our reputation as a dominant Army in the world. This paper defines the strategic environment and identifies failures in our talent management process in the last twelve years of war that have caused gaps in critical knowledge, skills, and attributes essential for strategic leaders. This paper proposes a definition of talent management in the current strategic environment and provides recommendations in the areas of officer assignments, officer evaluation reports, and promotion boards.