Schaefer: Civilian Corps Modernizing Alongside Army

Schaefer: Civilian Corps Modernizing Alongside Army

Agnes Schaefer speaks to AUSA attendees
Photo by: AUSA/Luc Dunn

As the Army modernizes to build the force of 2030, the service’s civilian corps will also transform by changing the way it recruits, develops and retains the best talent needed to support the warfighter, a senior Army civilian said.

Agnes Schaefer, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, said modernization of the Army’s civilian policies, processes and systems will be a top priority for her as “we work to build the Army of 2030 and beyond.”

“Throughout my career I have always put an emphasis on Total Force issues, and that includes not just the reserve component and the active component, but it also includes civilians,” Schaefer said May 4 at an event hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army to honor Army civilians.

During the event, which was held in honor of Public Service Recognition Week, Schaefer recognized four Army civilians with awards for distinguished service.

Schaefer pointed out that civilians have been supporting the Army since 1776, a corps that today makes up 24% of the Army population.

After just four months on the job, Schaefer said, she has made it a priority to elevate the focus on Army civilians by charging ahead with the Civilian Implementation Plan, a program of initiatives introduced last year that aims to modernize civilian talent management.

“The Civilian Implementation Plan is our roadmap to enhance the Army civilian experience by modernizing how we recruit, develop and retain top talent today and for the future workforce,” she said.

Schaefer, who was sworn in as an Army civilian on Dec. 22, previously served as a senior adviser to the deputy secretary of defense and the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and she was a senior national security researcher at the Rand Corp.

In promising to advance the Civilian Implementation Plan, Schaefer said she will work to allow more movement for Army civilians across components, rotational job assignments for those who want to try different career tracks and to better match people with jobs by upgrading a talent management process and personnel system “that is very inflexible,” she said.

“I am extremely proud to be an Army civilian, and along with you, I want to ensure that we are ready for the future with the right talent, skills and capabilities to support the warfighter,” she said.