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In 2014, the National Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense to reconsider the way the Army evaluates and selects leaders. This call for reform came after repeated surveys from the Center for Army Leadership suggested a widespread dissatisfaction with the current approach.The Army today is seeking to inculcate a philosophy of mission command across the force based on a culture of mutual trust, clear intent, and decentralized initiative.It is therefore, reasonable to ask if our current performance evaluation system contributes or detracts from such a culture. This paper seeks to answer this question by considering the essential leader attributes required for the exercise of mission command and then considering practical methods for evaluating this behavior. It then reviews the history of the existing Army performance evaluation system and analyzes how well this existing system conforms to the attributes of mission command. Finally, the paper examines other methods of performance evaluation outside of the Army to determine if those methods could provide a better model. This examination includes a variety of best practice models in private business and the public sector and identified alternative approaches to performance evaluation.
AUDIENCE: U.S. Army leaders, workforce practitioners, employment analysts, human resources professionals, and career planners may be interested in this work about the performance of U.S. Army officers. Students pursuing coursework in human resources, and organizational behavior, and military science degree programs, especially within the U.S. Army may also value this perspective.
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About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
CURTIS D. TAYLOR is an active duty U.S. Army Armor Officer with 21 years of experience in operational and training assignments including four tours to Iraq and Afghanistan as a strategic planner, battalion operations officer, brigade operations officer, and battalion commander. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Commander’s Initiatives Group for the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, responsible for drafting an integrated strategy for investment in human dimension programs such as leader development, education, and talent management across the Army. In 2015, Colonel Taylor is slated to assume command of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. Colonel Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy, and two master’s degrees from the Command and General Staff College in military art and science and in strategic studies.