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Civilian Logistics Career Management

Imagine waking up in the morning, grabbing your coffee, and driving to work with a smile on your face because you genuinely love your job. These days, many people are concerned with just finding any job. But at the Department of the Army (DA) Civilian Logistics Career Management Office (CLCMO), our mission is to help build challenging, successful careers that last a lifetime. CLCMO provides life-cycle career management services aimed at developing multifunctional logisticians who are capable of operating and leading in a joint environment. The office performs its mission as the Executive Agent for the DA Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, Functional Chief’s Representatives for the supply management (CP–13), materiel maintenance management (CP–17), and transportation and distribution management (CP–24) career programs through the leadership of William Moore, Deputy to the Commanding General of the Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee.

Recruiting Logistics Management Interns

The seed to grow a career in logistics starts in the recruiting process. We recruit, hire, train, and distribute approximately 75 interns each year from the 2-year DA Logistics Management Intern Program. Information about the program is provided through brochures, briefings provided at numerous Army conferences, Basic Officer Leader Courses (BOLCs), college and university career fairs, college campus Reserve Officer Training Corps offices, and Internet-based electronic recruiting. One of the best recruiting tools is word-of-mouth. After reading this article, readers are encouraged to become one of CLCMO’s valuable recruiters.

Linda Sawvell leads the recruiting process in Rock Island, Illinois. CLCMO receives hundreds of résumés and transcripts during a recruiting season. Its well-trained staff looks at each individual’s past strengths and potential for the future. Everyday is busy with résumés, referrals, phone calls, and emails. The CLCMO staff looks forward to transforming the many résumés into real people by getting to know applicants through telephonic and personal interviews. A panel of senior Army leaders interviews the best-qualified individuals. This process has served the Army well, resulting in approximately a 15-percent selection rate of applicants.

Training Logistics Management Interns

Individuals enter the DA Logistics Management Intern Program as general schedule (GS) employees in the grade of GS–7 with a target grade of GS–11. After one successful year, they are promoted to GS–9. After another successful year and their reassignment to their permanent positions, they are promoted to GS–11 or an equivalent pay band.

During the first 18 months of the 2-year program, interns are assigned to CLCMO. Our supervisory intern program managers develop schedules for each class of interns and provide individual mentoring and supervisory guidance. Throughout the program, the logistics management interns receive training from the Army Logistics University, the Army Transportation School, contracted courses, and on-the-job training at Department of Defense (DOD) activities.

Basic Officer Leader Course. The key component of the training program is the Quartermaster, Ordnance, or Transportation BOLC. Each logistics management intern participates in one of these BOLCs, including the field exercises, to gain a personal understanding of their ultimate customer—the Soldier in the field. Equally important, having interns participate in BOLC gives lieutenants a personal understanding of the Army team and the value of Army civilian team members. In BOLC, military-civilian relationships are built that last a career and a lifetime.

In addition to BOLC, logistics management interns receive formal training in the functional areas of supply, materiel maintenance, and transportation as well as interpersonal communication, contracting, and financial management skills.

On-the-job training. Each logistics management intern receives hands-on training at an Army activity, generally an installation directorate of logistics. Interns also complete on-the-job training at a non-Army DOD activity (including the Navy, Air Force, and Defense Logistics Agency) to understand the working relationship Army logisticians have with fellow DOD agencies. As the number of interns hired annually has increased significantly, the training platforms must increase as well. CLCMO is looking to expand training venues in the current agencies and through partnerships with the Defense Commissary Agency and others.

Worldwide assignment. Upon completion of the 18 months of formal training while assigned to CLCMO, logistics management interns are reassigned to another Army activity worldwide. Individuals entering employment under the intern program must sign a mobility agreement consenting to move to where the Army needs them. The follow-on assignment for the intern is determined approximately 5 months before their permanent change of station.

Competitive Professional Development Program

The DA Logistics Competitive Professional Development (CPD) Program, also managed by CLCMO, develops high-potential individuals to become sought-after logisticians through a variety of training and career-enhancing assignments paid for through the Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System. Career progression is determined by an individual’s potential, demonstrated knowledge, and skills.

The competition for positions throughout DOD has never been fiercer. Veterans leaving military service are well qualified for many of the logistics positions in DOD. The military career management system mandates functional and leadership training and a variety of assignments throughout a service member’s career with progressively greater responsibility. Competition is a good thing since selecting officials want the best person for the job on their team. It is up to individuals to prepare for their career goals. The CPD staff can help individuals achieve civilian career goals though several programs.

University education. College education is critical to the success of today’s and tomorrow’s leaders. For DA civilians who are interested in leadership positions, but do not have a bachelor’s degree, it is essential to pursue a degree. They should first choose an accredited college or university that is local or online. Through the Academic Degree Training Program, CPD can pay for courses and books for employees who intend to pursue a degree. Based on command approval, students may attend classes part-time or full-time. Funding is also available for single job-related courses.

Leadership and management programs. Numerous functional and multifunctional leadership and management courses are offered online through Army, public, or private schools. Many programs (in-cluding the costs for materials, tuition, and travel) can be funded through the CPD Program. Courses include the Theater Logistics Studies (TLog) Program, offered by the new Army Logistics University; the Leadership for a Democratic Society course, offered by the Federal Executive Institute; and the Harvard Executive Fellows Program, offered by Harvard University.

Certification. Another avenue of professional development is Defense Acquisition University Life Cycle Logistics certification. Certification is based on education, training, and experience as outlined in the Defense Acquisition University catalog found at www.dau.mil. For non-acquisition workforce employees, some of the requirements for certification can be funded through the CPD Program. Pursuing certification opens the door to other career opportunities.

Developmental assignments. Developmental assignments also help to build a desirable résumé. Multifunctional developmental assignments of 6 months to 1 year are offered with the DA Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, and the Joint Staff J–4, among others. The Office of the Secretary of Defense Supply and Transportation Fellows Program is a year-long assignment with rotations through the various support agency staff offices. Assignments with the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Northern Command are currently under development.

Training with industry. Those who regularly work with industry partners may pursue a training-with-industry assignment. Training-with-industry participants have worked at FedEx, United Van Lines, US Airways, Boeing, and Landstar. Announcements for training-with-industry assignments are distributed with application instructions through career program managers.

Army Civilian Education System. The Army Civilian Education System (CES) provides a leadership development ladder through the Army Management Staff College Foundation, Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Continuing Education for Senior Leaders courses. Information on Army CES courses is available on the college’s website, http://www.amsc.belvoir.army.mil/ces.

Senior service college. Education for DA civilians culminates with a senior service college, which is the apex of the Army Civilian Education System. Attendance at a senior service college prepares civilians for positions of greatest responsibility in DA and provides advanced-level educational opportunities for those who have completed training through the CES Advanced Course or equivalent training. According to the Army Management Staff College website, Army equivalents of the Advanced Course include Sustaining Base Leadership and Management, the Army Command and General Staff College’s Intermediate Level Education, the Warrant Officer Senior Staff Course, and the Sergeants Major Course.

Leaders who attend a senior service college, such as the Army War College, must have an understand-ing of complex policy and operational challenges as well as the national security mission. Applications for senior service college are accepted annually. Information and application procedures can be found on the Army’s civilian personnel website at www.cpol.army.mil/library/
train/catalog
.

Professional development opportunities are announced and distributed quarterly through career program managers. These prospects exist to enhance an individual’s skills, knowledge, and potential. Civilians who reach out to take advantage of those opportunities are better candidates for their next career moves.

Career Referral

CLCMO seeks to create a workforce of logisticians capable of operating and leading throughout DOD. To support this goal, CLCMO’s policies for the recruit-ment of vacancies at the GS–12 through GS–15 levels include seeking candidates from across DA and DOD. To support this recruitment, the payment of permanent-change-of-staion (PCS) expenses should be offered; otherwise, by default, the result is local merit promotions. CLCMO has long supported an Army-wide policy to mandate the offer of the payment of PCS expenses. Activities like the Army Training and Doctrine Command, the Army Installation Management Command, and the transportation and distribution management career program have this policy in place, to their benefit.

To help logisticians network in the pursuit of career management assistance, the new Logistics Future Oriented Relevant Career Enhancement (LOGFORCE) tool has been developed. This online tool will continue to be enhanced to provide access to mentors, vacancy announcements, career road maps and guidance, career program managers, and online networking with other logisticians. LOGFORCE also provides visibility of the logistics workforce from entry to senior levels.

LOGFORCE was demonstrated with initial operating capability at the Civilian Logistics Career Management Planning Board in August. The tool is now available for use through Army Knowledge Online at https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/600124.

More information on the programs mentioned in this article is available at the CLCMO website at http://www.cascom.army.mil/CLCMO/.

Ellen Savedge is the director of the Civilian Logistics Career Management Office at Fort Eustis, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Old Dominion University.

Liana Angelo is a student career experience program employee in the Civilian Logistics Career Management Office at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Christopher Newport University.

The authors thank Judy Gorman, Linnea Kerins, and Roberta Hermann for their contributions to this article.


 
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