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Published on July 31st, 2016 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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HRC commander hosts leader professional development forum

Pictured left to right: Chief Warrant Officer Joel Smith, Human Resources Command chief warrant officer, Col. Steve Cornelius, U.S. Army Central human resources directorate chief, Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, commanding general, Human Resources Command, and Command Sgt. Maj. Wardell Jefferson, Human Resources Command.

By Sgt. Victor Everhart Jr.: USARCENT Public Affairs

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE. S.C. – Maj. Gen. Thomas Seamands, commanding general, Human Resources Command, visited noncommissioned officers and officers of U.S. Army Central to host a leaders professional development forum to explain and clarify the goals of the already in effect drawdown and how to remain competitive and marketable in this time of change.

“The days of having many Soldiers to accomplish different tasks is coming to an end,” said Seamands, as he opened the professional development forum. “We’re headed in a direction where being multi-talented is going to be expected, so development of our junior Soldiers and officers is a huge focus for the future.”

Talent over mass numbers, is where the Army is going, said Col. Steve Cornelius, USARCENT chief, human resources directorate.

“We’re no longer a formation of plenty, but transitioning into a formation of talent, looking at how we’re going to develop and mentor junior Soldiers and officers to be able to shine in an environment such as USARCENT,” said Cornelius.

During his brief, Seamands explained to the audience that he wanted an open conversation because, “without friction there’s no progress.”

Opening the floor to suggestions and questions alike, many stated the challenges facing their respective directorates; questions geared toward the commanding general of HRC were focused on the complicated mission of U.S. Army Central and how disappearing positions only makes accomplishing this mission more challenging.

“The Army is moving toward a younger more battle-tested formation,” said Seamands as he discussed the goal of the drawdown. “The changes to the retention control point, qualitative service program, selective early retirement boards and officer separation boards are the way we’re going to get there, making room for younger multi-talented Soldiers.”

“What NCO’s need to realize is that putting your best foot forward is going to be rewarded and appreciated,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Vittorio DeSouza, USARCENT Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion command sergeant major. “With the number of Soldiers dwindling, proving your worth is going to be a huge part of your retention, being a multi-talented Soldier is going to keep you in the Army and becoming comfortable and lackadaisical will not.”

Cornelius said the key takeaway of the professional development forum was where the Army finds itself.

“As the force goes down to 450,000, it’s going to have a cascading effect on other things like how we look at manning our formations (and) the skills needed to be successful in those positions, said Cornelius. “Especially how we man the formations of USARCENT. It’s important to look at how we balance our workload with our expectations.”

With the transition in progress, Seamands said leaders had to change how they evaluated talent.

“That’s what brought the change in both evaluation reports,” said Seamands. “Being able to quantify your best Soldiers and show how they were or are critical in your formation is going to be huge effect with the new reporting system.”

Also, Seamands said being accountable for their Soldiers reports is going to have huge effects on leaders as well.

“With raters and senior raters having profiles that can be looked at and evaluated, it makes the leaders accountable for how they rate and evaluate their Soldiers,” Seamands said “We feel like this will bring a real feel to evaluations that may not have been there in the past.”

With all the changes in affect or currently being prepared, the Army is in a stage of transition.

“At the end of this if we’re left with a better Army than we started then we have succeeded in improving our foxhole,” said Seamands.

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