Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs - We Are The Mighty
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Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army continues to expand talent management plans for senior noncommissioned officers that could one day incorporate junior NCOs, as part of the service’s ongoing effort to place the right leaders in the right jobs.

Following the rollout of command assessment programs for lieutenant colonels and colonels, the Army Talent Management Task Force is now focusing to harness enlisted talent.

In November, the Sergeant Major Assessment Program was initially tested at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to evaluate nearly 30 brigade-level sergeants major for future senior assignments.

Earlier this month, the sergeant major of the Army decided to implement the program at the brigade level this fall, with plans to extend it to the battalion level the following year, said Maj. Jed Hudson, the task force’s action officer for enlisted talent.

“Now we’re going to have an opportunity to really use objective assessments to complement the current subjective evaluations that are already used as we select battalion and brigade command sergeants majors,” he said Wednesday during an Association of the U.S. Army Noon Report.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs

First sergeants

The First Sergeant Talent Alignment Assessment also held a recent pilot with about a dozen master sergeants from the 82nd Airborne Division and 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“99 percent of them said it was a great initiative and they felt it had a more holistic look at an NCO to match up with those positions,” said Sgt. Maj. Robert Haynie, the task force’s NCO team lead.

Additional pilots are being scheduled with 1st Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, and potentially with units in Alaska later this year, he added.

Leaders believe if the best individuals can fill first sergeant slots, it could help bolster the Army’s “This is My Squad” initiative, which aims to build cohesive teams at the squad level.

“That company-level first sergeant really coaches, teaches and mentors and puts those squad leaders into those right positions,” Haynie said. “Having the right NCOs with the right characteristics helps us get after that.”

Similar to the officer assessments, both enlisted programs plan to use objective methods to prevent unconscious bias, such as behavioral-based interviews that are double blind using a standard rubric of questions for each person, Haynie said.

The First Sergeant Talent Alignment Assessment also collects details on an individual through an assessment battery that measures a variety of their attributes, such as ethics, decision making, and general intelligence.

Those details are then seen by local commanders along with the normal data previously used, including evaluations, military and civilian education and military occupational specialties.

“They still have the authority to make the decision, but [now] they have the information to make an informed decision,” Hudson said.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs

ASK-EM

The Assignment Satisfaction Key-Enlisted Module, or ASK-EM, is also now fully operational and is in its second iteration, which is on track to assist about 9,000 NCOs through their permanent change-of-station process, Hudson said.

ASK-EM, which is run by Army Human Resources Command, allows NCOs from E6s to E8s to access a marketplace where they can enter their preferences and see available positions, while providing them more predictability on when they’ll move.

During the initial run of ASK-EM, about 25% of NCOs were able to receive their first choice of duty station, while roughly half had one of their top five choices, Hudson said.

In comparison, the first assignment cycle of the officer’s marketplace, called the Army Talent Alignment Process, saw 47% of roughly 13,000 officers receive their top choice last year.

“We think there’s no reason that the noncommissioned officer marketplace won’t be able to emulate that type of success,” Hudson said.

The major said he recently spoke to a master sergeant with the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, who informed him that he was able to get his first choice at U.S. Africa Command.

“One thing he told me, though, you still have to preference based on what skills you have,” Hudson said. “Are you qualified for the job and is it right for your career?

“So if you’re only preferencing based off location, especially junior NCOs who may not understand the career implications as much, there’s a chance that they will not set themselves up for success.”

The enlisted marketplace will shift the decision authority from assignment managers to local commanders, so they can better decide on what they require from a list of individuals.

“The assignment manager remains in the process as far as an advisor and a mentor to the individuals who are moving,” Hudson said. “It allows people to really have transparency on all the talent available and the individual [to have] transparency on all the assignments available.”

While senior NCOs may mostly benefit from the initial enlisted programs, Haynie said they will eventually trickle down to junior NCOs.

“We are moving forward with ‘people first’ and really putting our money where our mouth is and doing these initiatives,” he said. “This is going to continue.”

Intel

Watch Conan O’Brien train to be a military working dog

Late night host Conan O’Brien visited with Air Force working dog handlers and got into all sorts of shenanigans. He joked with the handlers, watched the dog chase down a suspect, and even tried to out-dog the Air Force’s canines.


You read that right. He tried to compete with the dog in an obstacle course.

Some of the obstacles went well:

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
GIF: Youtube/Team Coco

Others, not so much:

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
GIF: Youtube/Team Coco

Check out the full video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2gYZza5coofeature=youtu.be

Intel

This Oscar nominated film deals with the consequences of bad rules of engagement

The Danish film ‘A War’ is about an officer who had to make a hard decision under fire and the legal charges he faced when he returned home. It’s an unflinching look at military families, the strains of separation during deployment, and the unforgiving nature of commanding troops under fire while wrestling with restrictive rules of engagement.


The film has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and will be released in limited theaters starting February 12.

 

Intel

DARPA’s new jetpack is a flightless sci-fi bummer

When you hear the word “jetpack,” you picture someone zooming through the sky like the Rocketeer. But DARPA and Arizona State University’s version of the jetpack is a complete let down.


“We’re not able to fly with our jetpack,” said graduate engineer Jason Kerestes, in a video from Arizona State University. “We have instantaneous thrust and we can pretty much trigger it to allow for faster movement and agile motions.”

The pack is designed to enable troops to run a mile in four minutes, but it doesn’t look like they’re quite there yet. At 3:07 of the video, the engineers say to a runner that his time improvement with the jetpack was only three seconds.

Watch the jetpack in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=290REmBFuIE

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Intel

Here are a few more reasons not to be a deserter (in case you needed them)

The maximum punishment for desertion during a time of war is death. But it’s highly unlikely Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who allegedly left his Afghanistan post in 2009, or any troop today would receive that sentence. The last service member executed for desertion was Pvt. Eddie Slovik in 1945 (by a twelve-man firing squad).


There were over 20,000 American military deserters between 2006 and 2015. Of those, about 2,000 have been prosecuted.

This short TestTube News video explains the severity of desertion and its place in military history.

Watch:

Intel

Here is (not) the US military’s answer to Russia’s flagship Armata tank

An animated video claiming to be a new U.S. military weapon concept to target T-90 and T-14 Armata tanks has gotten a lot of attention on the Internet. The video titled “US Military SNEAKY SURPRISE for T-90 Armata Tanks” was published on December 10, 2015, and has more than 1.2 million views on the popular YouTube channel ArmedForcesUpdate.


Related: The Russian military actually used this hilarious video to recruit paratroopers

While cool in concept, we were more surprised by the video’s creators, RT News—Russia Today—who’s logo and spinning globe appear at 3:16 of the video. The video’s animation, music and naming convention is also strikingly similar to the Russian transformer video WATM published in November 2015 called “Russian military NASTY SURPRISE in a box for US Military.” RT is a Russian government-funded television network directed to audiences outside of its federation. The network is based out of Moscow and broadcasts around-the-clock programming in different languages across the world.

It’s unclear why would Russian state media make a video destroying its new main battle tank. In the meantime, check out the video. (Russia paid good money for it.)

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55fBmn2y2-s

Intel

Hypersonic missile tech is the new nuclear ace in the hole

As we prepare to scale down our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Military is rapidly shifting its focus from regional kinetic engagements to theater-level strategic positioning. In many ways, this new posture will leave the military looking a lot like it did before the wars in the Middle East. In short, it means a renewed reliance on our Naval and Air Force deterrent technologies: think stealth bombers and nuclear submarines. 

The Navy and Air Force represent two parts of the United States’ nuclear defense triad. The Navy’s SSBN submarines silently swim the world’s oceans waiting for a first or second strike command. Likewise, Air Force bombers are positioned worldwide, ready to drop munitions on our enemies. But the backbone of the nuclear triad has always been our land-launched nuclear missiles. 

Now, new reports from the Pentagon and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) suggest that the standby strategy for nuclear deterrence is getting a technological facelift in the form of the Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept, or HAWC. 

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Raytheon-Northrop Grumman hypersonic missile concept. (Raytheon Photo.)

HAWC is essentially an inter-continental ballistic missile that can be launched from an aircraft. Traveling at hypersonic speeds, the HAWC would provide “longer ranges with shorter response times and enhanced effectiveness compared to current military systems,” according to Andrew Knoedler, Program Manager of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. 

“Such systems could provide significant payoff for future U.S. offensive strike operations, particularly as adversaries’ capabilities advance,” Knoedler added. 

To put that in perspective, consider that the top speed for your standard-issue Tomahawk cruise missile is about 550 miles per hour; this is slower than mach 1. The Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept will travel at five times the speed of sound. It will be capable of hitting any target on the planet within one hour from launch.

DARPA and the U.S. Air Force have been working on HAWC for a while, and today the Pentagon announced that the program will be joining forces with its Australian counterpart Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment, or SCIFiRE. According to the press release, by joining the two programs, the Pentagon is hoping to “advance air-breathing hypersonic technologies into full-size prototypes that are affordable and provide a flexible, long range capability, culminating in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions.”

The latest concepts of the HAWC offer much more than simple warhead delivery. In fact, the newest system, nicknamed Mayhem, will be able to be launched from a much smaller aircraft — like a strike fighter jet — and will be able to be fitted with a series of different payloads. In addition to munitions, the Mayhem will be able to carry sensors, surveillance equipment, or communications devices. 

According to a September report from Defense News, both Lockheed Martin and Ratheon have completed prototypes; both prototypes are currently being tested. These flight tests will evaluate whether the weapons’ propulsion and thermal management systems will be able to withstand hypersonic cruise speeds, according to DARPA.

“These tests provide us a large measure of confidence – already well informed by years of simulation and wind tunnel work,” said Knoedler. 

“That gives us faith [that] the unique design path we embarked on will provide unmatched capability to U.S. forces.”

This article was originally published on November 30, 2020.

This article originally appeared on SOFREP. Follow @sofrepofficial on Twitter.

Articles

This epic World War I movie was made with Legos

In early 1918, American troops were reaching France and beginning to make an impact on the ebb and flow of the war. While the previous combatants had been largely deadlocked for years, fresh American troops could turn the tide of otherwise evenly matched fights.


Germany was on the losing side of this power shift and needed to win the war before more American troops and equipment could arrive. A grand offensive was planned that would come to be known as the Fourth Battle of Ypres or the Battle of Lys.

If successful, it would have forced the British back to the channel ports and possibly caused an evacuation like that in nearby Dunkirk 22 years later.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
A British artillery crew maneuvers its 18-pounder field gun at Saint Floris during the Battle of the Lys, also known as the Fourth Battle of Ypres. (Photo: Imperial War Museum)

A two-day artillery bombardment preceded an attack on April 9, 1918, that drove the Portuguese defenders in the Ypres Salient back five miles and cost 7,000 Portuguese lives.

British troops in the area were forced to pull back and cover the gaps of the withdrawing Portuguese soldiers and nightfall on April 9 found them in a precarious position. They held the high ground that the Germans desperately needed and they were outnumbered. The British 19th Division was attempting to hold off a concerted attack by the entire German Fourth Army.

In this brickfilm, a stop-animation movie made almost entirely with Legos, YouTube user Snooperking recreates that disastrous morning for the allies in April 1918 as the British attempt to hold the line and prevent the Germans taking the high ground.

Snooperking, YouTubeSnooperking does a pretty impressive job with the Legos, representing dead bodies from previous fighting with small skeletons and using different Lego heads to capture the fear of the attackers, the resolve of the defenders, and the utter panic when any soldier finds himself on the wrong end of the bayonet.

Luckily, while the middle weeks of April 1918 were disastrous for the British in terms of lost territory, they did bleed the Germans heavily for every yard of territory lost. The German offensive stalled and was called off at the end of April. German losses during the attack allowed for their stunning defeats a few months later as Allied forces, bolstered by American reinforcements, went on the offensive.

(h/t Doctrine Man)

Intel

Hilarious Video Shows What Marines Stationed In 29 Palms Don’t Say

The massive Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, Calif. is known for its remote desert location, proximity to Las Vegas and Palm Springs, and insane level of training opportunities.


Also Read: Here’s The Intense Training For Marines Who Guard American Embassies

But it’s also known to offer less-than-stellar fun outside the base, especially when compared to Camp Pendleton, the Marine base on the southern California coast less than three hours away.

A group of Marines put together a video to highlight some of the more interesting things about Twentynine Palms: Black flag conditions putting a stop to training? Nope. Cut back on drinking? Not here.

Check out the video, called “Sh– Marines in Twentynine Palms don’t say.”:

NOW: Incredible Photos Of US Marines Learning How To Survive In The Jungle During One Of Asia’s Biggest Military Exercises

OR: 7 Criminals Who Messed With The Wrong Veterans

Articles

This extreme winter survival course teaches troops how to stay alive in Arctic conditions

Few places on the face of the earth can be as unforgiving or as deadly as the frozen Arctic.


Because of the dangers of the Arctic environment, coupled with the growing strategic importance of this part of the world, the US Air Force runs the Arctic Survival School out of Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

Each year, this five-day intensive training program, also known as Cool School, teaches over 700 servicemembers the survival skills necessary to fight back against nature and survive in the Arctic.

“Mother nature does not like you in this situation,” Survival Instructor Staff Sgt. Seth Reab, tells his students in the morning freeze. “She’s violent. She’s harsh. Your job is to survive until help comes; her job is to find a way to take your life.”

The Air Force’s Cool School, which brings in more than 700 participants every year across all service branches, takes place outside Eielson Air Force Base, deep inside Alaska. Temperatures average about 30 degrees below zero.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon young Jr./USAF

At the start of the course, all participants are given the emergency equipment they would have depending upon what plane they would be flying.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: YouTube

The emergency equipment usually works. But everything else in the Arctic will try to kill the participants. This includes subzero temperatures …

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: YouTube

… and even dehydration. Despite the abundance of snow, it is extremely difficult to drink enough water under harsh Arctic conditions.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: YouTube

One of the first things students are taught is to harvest snow in parachutes, in order to melt it down for water.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon young Jr./USAF

This supply of snow can then be moved into tin cans, in which the snow can be mixed until it melts enough to easily drink.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

Warmth is just as important as water. Students are taught to find tender wood with which to build a fire.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

In Cool School, students are taught the ideal way to split wood into longer thin splints that will burn more easily and evenly.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: YouTube

Servicemembers learn to create sparks with a metal match. Though somewhat antiquated, metal matches can be used indefinitely.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: YouTube

Once students create a fire, it can be used for signaling, heat, and food preparation.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

Students also learn more basic practical skills — they have to change socks in order to keep feet dry so as to avoid hypothermia.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

On the first night of school, students are taught to create open primitive shelters that provide little insulation from the elements.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

Staff Sgt. Joseph Reimer unpacks his duffle bag during the first night of arctic field training near Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The course is five days in duration with instruction in familiarization with the arctic environment, medical, personal protection, sustenance and signaling. Reimer is an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron

During the second day, instructors teach students to make more complex A-frame shelters out of wood and a parachute or tarp.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

Airman 1st Class Ray Simon prepares the cover for his thermalized A-frame shelter during arctic survival training at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The A-frame shelter is designed to keep the survivor warm and dry to endure harsh arctic nights. Simon is a 3rd Maintenance Support Squadron crew chief.

The A-frame is then covered with almost a foot of snow to provide insulation.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

Airman 1st Class Ray Simon looks out of his thermalized A-frame tent during Arctic Survival School training. The thermalized A-frame is designed to keep survivors warm and dry in arctic environments. Simon is a 3rd Maintenance Support Squadron crew chief and also a member of a crash disable damage recovery team responsible for retrieving downed aircraft in emergency situations.

Another vital principle of survival students learn is how to create an effective signal fire by placing a flare inside a base of kindling and smoke-generating tree limbs.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr./USAF

Staff Sgt. Seth Reab ignites a flare in the middle of tender wood to create a smoke signal during a field training lesson at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The signal flare can be seen for up to 10 miles away and much further when rescue help is coming through the air. Reab is an Air Force Arctic Survival School instructor assigned to Det. 1, 66th Training Squadron at Eielson AFB.

Next to the smoke signal, students create a giant letter ‘V’ to alert passing pilots that they are in need of rescue.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
photo: YouTube

You can watch a recap of the Arctic Survival School below.

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Intel

The F-35 Can’t Carry Its Most Advanced Weapon Until 2022

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
Photo: Lockheed Martin


Lockheed Martin’s F-35B variant has hit yet another snag which could seriously impact the aircraft’s overall ability to strike at ground targets.

Now, the fifth-generation aircraft will be unable to carry the military’s latest and most advanced munitions for awhile.

Also Read: 17 Signs That You Might Be A Military Aviator

Due to a design oversight, the internal weapon’s bay of the F-35B is too small to carry the required load of the new Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), Inside Defense reports, citing the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office. The SDB II is a next-generation precision-strike bomb that was meant to dovetail with the F-35 program.

The F-35B was designed to carry eight SDB IIs inside the internal weapons bay. These bombs would allow the F-35 pilot to target eight points from 40 miles away and with complete precision. The SDB IIs can also change course in-flight to follow moving targets through laser or infrared guidance systems, according to Foxtrot Alpha.

However, the F-35B can only fit four of the required bombs in its weapons bay. The F-35B variant has a significantly smaller internal bay than the F-35A and F-35C due to the aircraft’s design as a short-takeoff-vertical-landing aircraft.

Inside Defense reports that the “Navy initially wanted to field the SDB II first on the F-35B/C but is instead bringing forward integration with the F/A-18 Super Hornet. The SDB II is an F-35 Block 4 software capability and the release of that software load has been pushed back to FY-22.”

In other words, because the SDB II is included with the weapon Block 4 upgrade for the F-35, the aircraft is now likely to not field the new munitions until 2022.

Army moves forward with enlisted talent programs
F/A-18C releasing a laser-guided bomb. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

F-35 spokesman Joe DellaVedova confirmed to Inside Defense that the SDB II problem has been known since 2007 and the more difficult changes to the aircraft have already been made in order to allow it to field the munitions.

“We’ve been working with the SDB II program office and their contractors since 2007,” DellaVedova said. “The fit issues have been known and documented and there were larger and more substantial modifications needed to support SDB II that have already been incorporated into production F-35 aircraft.”

The F-35B variant is the Marine Corps model of the plane and 34 aircraft have already been delivered to the branch. The delay in implementing the SDB II will not affect the aircraft’s ability to fly but will limit the operations that the F-35B will be able to effectively carry out.

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Intel

This New Zealand Army war cry is actually a farewell to fallen comrades

Like the US military with service and unit mottos, each service and unit within the New Zealand forces has a haka.


From Encyclopedia Britannica:

Haka, (Maori: “dance”) Maori posture dance that involves the entire body in vigorous rhythmic movements, which may include swaying, slapping of the chest and thighs, stamping, and gestures of stylized violence. It is accompanied by a chant and, in some cases, by fierce facial expressions meant to intimidate, such as bulging eyes and the sticking out of the tongue. Though often associated with the traditional battle preparations of male warriors, haka may be performed by both men and women, and several varieties of the dance fulfill social functions within Maori culture.

This video shows the soldiers of 2/1 RNZIR Battalion performing their unit haka as a final farewell to their fallen comrades:

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