Senior enlisted personnel attended an introduction brief on the new First Sergeant Talent Alignment Assessment and Sergeants Major Assessment Program, during a meeting of Redstone noncommissioned officers Aug 16.
“These assessments allow Army organizations to fill out a talent requirement worksheet, outlining certain unique knowledge, skills and behaviors for the selection of the incoming senior enlisted leader,” Sgt. Maj. Steve McDonald, of the Army Talent Management Task Force, said.
In support of the Army’s People First philosophy, these two assessments fall under the new Army Talent Alignment Process, which is undertaking the most comprehensive reform of personnel management since the Officer Personnel Act of 1947.
The programs are expanding the Army’s understanding of senior noncommissioned officers’ talents and assess their readiness for senior level command.
“Maybe the unit is about to deploy or has a commander that needs a certain personality type of senior NCO to make the unit more successful, this assessment will help place the right leader at the right time,” McDonald said.
By moving away from the traditional centralized assignment process at Human Resources Command, the Army is moving the hiring authority down to the battalion or brigade level, enabling them to hire their own teams.
“During SMAP, senior NCOs will take a series of assessments: cognitive and non-cognitive, written communication, verbal communication, peer and subordinate feedback, and physical fitness,” Sgt. Maj. Robert Haynie, of the Army Talent Management Task Force, said. “SMAP uses psychometric assessments to help inform a candidate’s readiness to serve as a command sergeant major.”
The Army uses the results of the SMAP to better understand the senior enlisted noncommissioned officers’ talents, allowing them to make a more informed decision on who is best suited to lead.
“Part of the SMAP includes a writing assessment, which the Sergeants Major Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point grades separately,” Haynie said. “The grades are then calibrated and validated to reach one score.”
The information from the SMAP anonymously goes to the Army Conference of Talent Interview excluding all information that would identify the applicants. During this stage the participant’s SMAP results will be evaluated to determine eligibility for command positions.
“The goal of SMAP is to better inform those who are slating positions to reduce executive risk and counterproductive behaviors,” Haynie said. “We are able to see those with toxic behaviors through psychometrics and remove them from the candidate pool.”
SMAP also provides feedback to participants allowing for them to work on their individual developmental needs through the Army Coaching Program and self-development.