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Army Commissioned Officer Career Information
Factors affecting OPMS
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Various factors continuously influence the environment in which OPMS operates. In turn, changes in that environment necessitate continuous adjustments and alterations of policy by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (DCSPER) . Factors that influence OPMS policy are:

Law. Congress passes legislation that impacts on officer career development through required changes in related Army policy. The Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1981 (DOPMA) created officer strength limits, promotion flow and timing points and the integration of Regular Army (RA) and other than Regular Army (OTRA) into common patterns. Tenure for officers was an essential ingredient in the legislation. However, as the world threat and force structure changed, legislative revisions to the original DOPMA were sought to afford better flexibility in strength management. The Department of Defense (DOD ) Reorganization Act of 1986 (Goldwater-Nichols Act) impacted on the officer corps by instituting Joint Officer Management provisions requiring a number of officers in the Army to serve in joint duty assignments as field grade offi­cers. In 1986, Congress also passed Public Law 99-145, which specified the acquisition experiences and education necessary for an officer to be the project manager of major weapon systems. This law later led to the creation of the acquisition corps.

Policy. New laws often create changes in policy. Policy is also the purview of the Executive branch, which acts through the Depart­ment of Defense. An example of how legislation impacts on DOD and Army policy is the creation of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) in 1990. During 1989, the military departments studied an Executive and DOD review of Public Law 99-145 and the Packard Commission report on acquisition. In January 1990, the Secretary of the Army announced the implementation of the AAC based on a Presidential order and DOD directives which instructed the Services to create an acquisition corps.

Budget. Perhaps the most important impact on the career de­velopment of officers is embodied in the annual fiscal year defense budget. Funding limitations and allocations imposed by Congress affect the entire spectrum of officer management. The size and composition of the officer corps, accessions, strength management, promotion rates and pin-on-points, schooling, education programs and permanent change of station (PCS) timing are but a few of the areas affected by budget decisions and subsequent policies. The defense budget reflects the will of Congress in meeting the per­ceived military threat as well as the global and national economic challenges. Future budget decisions will continue to impact the Army and its officer corps.

Proponent vision. The duties of the proponent (as stated in AR 600-3) are executed, in part, by the publication of this pamphlet. Each proponent has responsibility for a branch and/or functional area and oversees the entire life cycle development for their officer population. Proponents project future requirements for officer skills and sustain or modify elements of force structure and inventory to meet future needs. They define the three pillars of leader develop­ment: institutional training and education, operational assignments and self-development goals. Proponents design and articulate doctri­nal based work for specific branches and functional areas by grade; documented in TOE/TDA positions and clearly described in career patterns. These patterns of officer development are embodied in life cycle development models. They are the diagrams of life cycle management provided in this pamphlet and used by OPMD assign­ment branches to execute the proponent career programs. As proponents modify officer skill requirements or development models to meet changing conditions, the OPMS and this pamphlet will be updated.

Officer needs. At any given time, the officer inventory reflects American society as a whole and may span over 4 decades of age groups. Career expectations, job satisfaction, discipline, priorities, leader abilities, educational aptitude, importance of family and cul­tural values vary widely among serving year groups. The Army, through OPMS, responds to the individual needs of the officer as well as the mission and requirements of the force.

Technology and specialization. Besides the obvious advance­ments in science and technology evident in the Army’s warfighting equipment, the quantum increase in information and required deci­sion making inherent in modern doctrine and warfare necessitate increased specialization within the officer corps. Complex and lethal weapons, joint and multinational doctrine and organizations, and a global political and economic connectivity require the utmost com­petence in the officer corps. Such skills are mastered through self-development, mentoring, a combination of civilian and military educational programs and a series of challenging, developmental assignments.

Special programs. Special programs meet a unique require­ment for the Army. Many are Army initiatives; others are directed by higher authority such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and some are mandated by law. One current example is the long-term, Congressionally mandated requirement with special sig­nificance to both the Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) known as the AC-to-RC (AC/RC) Program. AC officers advise and assist RC units, and promote and enhance Total Force interoperability. Participation in this program is a professionally challenging as well as professionally rewarding experience.

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Above information derived from Army Pamplet 600-3

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