Army civilian blows doors off career progression

| June 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

Civilian ELDP program builds agile and a more decisive workforce

Jeff Hawk
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

WASHINGTON — Army civilian Tacoma Anderson is literally busting down doors to progress her career.

The 15-year Army careerist recently traveled to the Kingdom of Bahrain where the Coast Guard taught her how to breach structures and apprehend bad guys holed up inside.

“We learned how to cut down doors, enter the building and take over,” said Anderson, a 41-year-old housing management specialist in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management at the Pentagon.

Anderson is participating in the Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development Program, or ELDP, which provides a series of stateside and global training experiences that blend experiential and academic learning with hands-on exercises.

The 10-month program focuses on the role of the war fighter. It’s one of many programs available to Army civilians to help them progress their careers while filling proficiency gaps in the Army. The goal is to develop agile, decisive and competent civilians who can lead in a dynamic, global environment.

The ELDP is the latest in a series of sequential and progressive Army and Defense Department courses Anderson has taken to accelerate her career and develop her expertise and leadership skills. An enlisted Soldier for eight years, Anderson has taken the fast track in her civilian career, progressing from a GS-4 to a GS-12 in seven years.

“The Army’s 330,000-plus civilians must be provided the same opportunities to progress their careers as those available to the military workforce,” said Vicki Brown, chief, Civilian Training and Leader Development, Army G3/5/7. “Competent, decisive civilian leaders help save lives and secure our freedoms by providing expertise in support of the war fighters.”

Congress agrees.

The National Defense Authorization of 2010 charged the Defense Department to “plan, program and budget investments in civilian leader development.” The Army’s CES supervisory development courses, and Department of Defense offerings provide the training framework Congress envisioned.

CES is the Army’s core leader development system, which begins with the Foundation Course. Civilians at all grade levels hired after Sept. 30, 2006, are required to complete the self-paced, distance-learning course. Topics range from conflict management and team building to Army values and leadership doctrine.

The follow-on courses — basic, intermediate and advanced — all build on this foundation. The courses progressively address financial management, supervisory skills, human resource management, leader development and other subject matter areas. They take students from small team leadership to operating in the joint, international DOD arena.

The current Supervisor Development Course, or SDC, is the mandatory training for all military and civilian supervisors of Army civilians. They must take the training within one year of appointment to a supervisory position and complete refresher training every three years. Supervisors are to complete their training requirement by June 30. The subsequent Manager Development Course, or MDC, is recommended for supervisors to continue building their management skills.

“I’m looking at future opportunities,” she said. “Being a continual learner means always being on the front line, just like our war fighters.”


Learn more about ELDP and other civilian professional development opportunities online at:

(Editor’s Note: Hawk is the public affairs officer for the Pittsburgh District Corps of Engineers. He wrote this article during a public affairs fellowship with the Civilian Training and Leader Development Division in the Headquarters, Department of the Army, G-3/5/7 Training Directorate.)

Tags: , ,

Category: Army News Service, News, Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *