Solving the Army's data talent problem

Solving the Army's data talent problem


Solving the Army's data talent problem

  • By Lauren C. Williams

  • Oct 15, 2020


    The Army is in serious need of data talent, but boosting recruiting efforts can't be the only strategy.

    Mark Gorak, the director of people analytics for the Assistant Secretary of the Army Manpower and Reserve Affairs, said the military service needs to develop specific skill sets and retool or retrain existing workforce, while also taking advantage of direct commission and rapid civilian hiring authorities.

    "The senior leaders know we need more but they don't know what that means. So what does more of this skill set mean" that's what needs to be developed, Gorak said during a discussion on the Army's data workforce at the virtual AUSA conference Oct. 13.

    The need was evident during the Army's six-week experiment testing out a portfolio of prototypes from its tactical network to launching small unmanned aerial vehicles. Having researchers and scientists alongside military operators during the large-scale experiment cemented a need to put coders and data-focused talent on the battlefield.

    "We are in this enlightenment process about what is the intersection of our equipment modernization lines of effort with modernizing the talent base that the Army is going to demand for the future," said Kate Kelley, Army Future Command's director of Human Capital.

    Defense technology experts have floated the idea of creating military academies to develop tech talent. While the Army hasn't fully embraced that idea, Futures C ..