The United States Army is committed to helping Army civilians develop strategic vision for their careers and providing excellent professional development opportunities for key members of the entire Army team.
Army civilians like Mark McClure, an operations officer at Command-Pacific for US Army Installation Management at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, know this firsthand. In November 2022, McClure successfully completed the Common Core Course for Army Command and Staff Officers at the Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
“It’s been a challenging journey, but a very meaningful one,” McClure said.
Army civilian participation in CGSOC Common Core has been part of the Army’s corporate talent management program since the first Army civilians completed the course at Fort Leavenworth in 2017.
“When you review the course requirements, you’ll quickly discover that the fundamentals of the military as a profession are the cornerstone of the course, and it is in fact one of the first lessons they teach,” said McClure.
The purpose of CGSOC is to educate and train leaders to serve as staff officers with the ability to build teams, lead organizations, and integrate unified land operations with joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational partners in complex and uncertain environments. The course helps graduates move from a tactical-level focus to an operational-level perspective.
McClure believes senior Army civilians should consider attending CGSOC to gain a better understanding of the Army as a profession. “They have reached the point in their careers where what they contribute to the military is recognized, taught, and formally trained in the doctrinal application of the profession,” McClure said.
Students learn how politically developed strategies evolve into general operational concepts. They begin to understand the related issues involved in integrating new capabilities into the force.
Military civilians are already change managers, but exposing them to how the military changes as an institution has a lasting impact.
“The professional development and growth opportunities offered to Army civilians through Enterprise Talent Management programs like CGSOC are incredibly valuable. I often ask my team not to think for me, but to think like me. As a Professional Military Education graduate myself, the value of having a shared understanding with key members of my team about how the military works at an operational level cannot be overstated,” said Craig Deatrick, director of senior executive service at IMCOM -Pacific .
The CGSOC Common Core Curriculum consists of nine blocks of education, including Fundamentals/Ethics, Strategic Context of the Operational Art, Unified Action, Joint and Army Doctrine, Leadership, Force Management, History, Joint Planning, and Planning of the army.
The ETM program is managed by the Assistant Secretary of the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs Civilian Senior Leader Management Office. ETM helps prepare the next generation of civilian Army leaders for positions of greater responsibility through education and hands-on experience. Army civilians grade GS-13 (GS-12 by exception) with a baccalaureate degree and three or more years of Army civilian service are eligible to apply to attend CGSOC.
Civilians interested in applying to CGSOC, or any other ETM program, should visit the Army Senior Enterprise Talent Management Portal at for more information, application instructions, and timelines.