FA Officer Manning SITREP by ProQuest


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									SPC Harry Graham and WO1 Chad Cavender, 2nd Battalion, 319th
Field Artillery (2-319 FA) (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division, call
for fire on a suspected weapons cache during a terrain denial
mission, Iraq, 11 June 2007. (Photo by SGT Jeffrey Alexander)

   FA Officer Manning SITREP
    By CW4 Dorian K. Brunson; Mary Patrick; Majors Joshua R. Richardson, Julian T. Urquidez, John J. Montgomery,
       Kevin R. Taylor and Robert Wright; and Lieutenant Colonels Andrew C. Gainey and Michael J. Gould, all FA

      n light of the annual Fire Support              in broadening assignments and more            some relief in the long run to help bring
      Seminar, Field Artillery (FA) Branch            choices in assignments overall.               us back into balance.
      at Human Resources Command                        Despite these positive trends, chal-          During the past year, HRC informally
   (HRC), Alexandria, Virginia, is provid-            lenges remain. Our inventory of officers,     kept track of trends and perceptions from
   ing this “situation report” (SITREP)               particularly at the captain and major         the field to share with senior leaders and
   from our “foxhole” on the state of our             grades, continues to be significantly less    to help us improve our tactics, techniques
   officer corps and a sense for the trends           than our authorizations and requirements.     and procedures (TTPs) as assignment
   and perceptions from the field. In many            This continues to strain our generating       officers. FA Branch managers’ mission
   ways, this has been a good year for                force; Training and Doctrine Command,         is to meet Army requirements and serve
   FA. Exceptional accessions from US                 combat training centers (CTCs), active        Redleg officers. We take that mission seri-
   Military Academy (USMA), Reserve                   Army, Reserve Component and other             ously and continuously adapt to demands
   Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and                  organizations across the Army that train      of the Army’s and officers’ needs.
   Officer Candidate School (OCS) and a               and prepare our officers to serve.              This article is an update from each
   leveling off of attrition at all ranks in-           These challenges are not unique to          HRC officer assignment desk to inform
   creased our manning strength. Battalion            FA, nor are they fleeting; they will be       the Fire Support Seminar attendees and
   command opportunities are strong, and              with us for the foreseeable future. Up-       add to the dialogue.
   selection rates remain extraordinarily             coming changes and reorganizations in           Warrant Officer (WO) Assignments.
   high through colonel. Additionally,                Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi         FA WOs are the fastest growing and most
   HRC has been successful in providing               Freedom will put additional strain on the     diverse group of officers in the Field
   more opportunities for officers to serve           force in the short term, but should provide   Artillery. They are the most frequently

   30    March-April 2009   •
deployed FA officers, and they continu-          Lieutenants. The newly accessed                  time-in-grade. Junior and senior lieuten-
ally perform at an extremely high level        lieutenants are smart, energetic and very          ants are eligible for the captain Army
of proficiency. There are roughly 400          intelligent. Each one brings his unique            Competitive-Category Promotion Board
WOs in FA, and the demands for their           ideas and experiences to the Branch and            based upon their first lieutenant dates
abilities are being solicited across all       the Army to make a difference in the               of rank.
echelons of the Army and unconven-             War on Terrorism (WOT). HRC provides                 Junior Captains. This past winter, the
tional forces. Lately, HRC has received        information to the lieutenant population           Vice Chief of Staff of the Army directed
questions about the assignment process,        concerning anything from, “when will as-           HRC to get more officers to Professional
unit strength, career progression and          signment and orders be released” to “what          Military Education (PME) and sooner,
operational tempo (OPTEMPO).                   classes will I attend?” to “where will I live      especially to the Captain’s Career Course
  HRC looks at each officer’s assignment       while attending BOLC?” Feedback from               (CCC). During the past seven years,
request individually. It considers the         the field continues to be positive from the        many officers’ career progression has
needs of the Army, availability, career        officers and their leaders.                        been disrupted due to the OPTEMPO
development and officer preference. No           Lieutenants attend Basic Officer                 associated with WOT. This policy change
two requests are the same. The FA war-         Leader Course (BOLC). BOLC consists                will reduce the back-log of officers who
rant assignment desk currently is faced        of three phases. Phase I, conducted by             need to attend CCC and will ba
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