Civilians Essential to Building Army of 2030

Civilians Essential to Building Army of 2030

Dr. Agnes Gereben Schaefer, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, speaks at the Army Civilian Showcase at AUSA 2023 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (Tristan Lorei for AUSA)
Photo by: Tristan Lorei for AUSA

Army civilians are playing a vital role in building the Army of 2030, Army leaders said Oct. 11. 

“We cannot afford to lose sight of the efforts required to recruit the necessary skill sets and personnel to maintain robust career paths [for Army civilians], guarantee immediate and long-term readiness and construct the Army of 2030 in the face of adversity,” Agnes Schaefer, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, said during an Army civilian showcase at the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Exposition. 

Today, there are about 262,000 Army civilians, Schaefer said. Army civilians work alongside soldiers and leverage their expertise and skills to contribute to the Army and its mission, according to the Army’s website.  

The share of Army civilians is growing. The Army Corps of Engineers, for example, has “doubled in size in the last few years,” said Karen Pane, director of human resources for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Pane added that she expects the corps will continue to double in size, and it is focused on “innovating in everything [they] do.” 

Serving as an Army civilian is more than a career, said Lt. Gen. Christopher Mohan, deputy commanding general and chief of staff of Army Materiel Command. “We can’t do it without you guys. … It’s not just a career, it’s a calling,” he said. 

Army civilians are an essential teammate to the warfighter, said Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais, deputy commanding general and chief of staff of Army Training and Doctrine Command. 

“I would not be sitting up here if it hadn’t been for the great civilians I had the pleasure of serving with throughout my career,” she said. “We are a team. … At the end of the day, it’s about how you bring that whole team together so that you can leverage the expertise, the experience and the knowledge from everybody and bring it to bear, which makes us the best … Army.” 

Building the Army of 2030 would not be possible without Army civilians, Schaefer said. “I extend my gratitude for your unwavering dedication and commitment to our force,” she said. “The Army would not be the Army without you.”

— Karli Goldenberg