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Corporate training expands to NCOs

May. 9, 2013 - 07:30AM   |  
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FORT KNOX, KY. — Training With Industry opportunities now are available to select noncommissioned officers who want to broaden their professional development through learning experiences in corporate America.

TWI assignments, long available to officers and warrant officers, typically expose soldiers to private-sector management strategies, practices and tactics not taught at Army schools or civilian universities and colleges.

TWI opportunities for NCOs are targeted at members of Career Management Field 14, Air Defense, through the combat service support specialties such as public affairs, ordnance and quartermaster, said Sgt. Maj. Rodney Allen, sergeant major of Human Resources Command’s Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate.

Allen described the TWI program as an evolving project for enlisted soldiers.

As of mid-April, 75 firms were participating in the program, and 60 soldiers had completed TWI assignments, “and those totals will increase,” Allen said.

Included among the participating companies are Google, Exxon, Microsoft, Sears, Amtrak, USAA, Turner Broadcasting and UPS.

TWI assignments usually are 12 months long, and participating soldiers incur service-remaining active-duty obligations of two to three years.

Training opportunities usually are identified by the military occupational specialty proponents, such as a branch service school or center of excellence, in coordination with the EPMD.

“However, sometimes soldiers recommend a potential program, and are approved for participation by their branch,” Allen said.

Soldiers approved for TWI assignments usually are in the ranks of staff sergeant through sergeant major. Requests to participate take three to five months to process before being approved by the MOS proponent and HRC.

In screening applicants, HRC makes sure soldiers have completed the appropriate level of NCO education for their rank and are available for a permanent change-of-station move in terms of time on station or an overseas assignment rotation date.

TWI is viewed as a type of broadening assignment that takes soldiers out of the normal career track for their MOS but that provides skills and learning that contribute to their leadership development and usually are viewed with favor by senior NCO promotion boards.

Other broadening opportunities include:

■Assignments as an adviser to a Reserve unit

■Service on the Army Staff at the Pentagon

■Equal opportunity NCO

■Inspector general NCO

■Drill sergeant

■Detailed recruiter

Soldiers who are interested in this program should contact their career branch professional development NCO.■

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