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New Test Measures Soldiers’ Suitability for In-Demand Jobs

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U.S. Army
Monday, November 18, 2019

The Army is developing a test that will better assess a soldier’s skills and abilities and help leaders put the right person in the right job, the senior enlisted soldier for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command said.

The effort, which is part of the service’s ongoing talent management initiative, would help the Army determine which soldiers are best suited for in-demand jobs such as recruiter, drill sergeant and observer coach/trainer, Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Guden said during a panel discussion at the recent Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

“This test should be able to assess those attributes that are needed to be successful in those jobs,” he said.

The goal is to have soldiers take the test early in their careers, Guden said, preferably before attending the Basic Leader Course, which is a prerequisite for promotion to sergeant. “Then leadership can take a look at this test and say, ‘Hey, here’s how we can guide your path,’ ” he said. “We want to tell our entire enlisted force, fairly early in their career, how we can best utilize their talents.”

The Army already has developed a test it can use. The Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System was implemented in 2009 at the military entrance processing stations, and it’s been used to augment the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.

The plan is to use the same test but format it “a little differently” and rename it the Noncommissioned Officer Selection Battery, Guden said.

There is no timeline yet for when the test will be rolled out across the force, but the idea is not new, Guden said. “From the perspective of [the U.S. Army Recruiting Command], they’ve been thinking about this type of test for recruiters for a while,” he said.