HRC has been directed to maintain this unit-fill percentage across the force. [...] when an officer is reassigned, we must ensure that the prospective unit does not drop below 75 percent. [...] lieutenants are promoted to first lieutenants at 18 months time-in-grade.\n FABranch will continue to assign officers to positions that afford them the opportunity to be assigned by the chain of command into key and developmental positions.
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 I 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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