Soldiers looking for help to navigate their way to a successful career can now log on to a new and improved Army Career Tracker.
The tracker is a career management site that helps enlisted soldiers, officers and Army civilians map out their careers based on their specialties. And as of May 27, more than 1 million users — more than 670,000 enlisted, 135,000 officers and warrants, and almost 200,000 Army civilians — are now using the system, which pulls together in one place information from 14 different Army systems, including training opportunities and education requirements.
The redesigned version of the Army Career Tracker includes some new features and gives users a new look and feel. Using feedback from soldiers, the new site also offers improved navigation, officials said.
"A young soldier can look at it and see the career path from an E-1 all the way to a sergeant major, all the schools they must go through, all the different training they must attend," said Aubrey Butts, the director of the Institute of Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development, which is part of Training and Doctrine Command. "And if you look at a career that’s 30 years, you can look on the site and it’ll take you to the source documents that tell you what you need to do and what you must accomplish. It’s a self-service feature to help guide soldiers to success."
Sgt. Maj. James Thomson, the sergeant major for the Institute of NCO Professional Development, encouraged all soldiers to use the Army Career Tracker.
"What I would counsel a young soldier on is there’s no better advocate for their career than themselves," he said. "As your supervisor, I’m here to support you and mentor you and help you, but the best way for you to help yourself is to act now and log in to the Army Career Tracker."
The Army Career Tracker was redesigned using soldier feedback. Photo Credit: ArmyThe Army Career Tracker was first launched in 2009 as a way to easily present to soldiers the "wealth of information" that’s out there, said Jeffrey Colimon, the Army Career Tracker functional program manager. The intent is to offer soldiers personalized career information based on their rank and military occupational specialty, Colimon said.
"The information that [soldiers] receive from their first-line supervisor is only as good as the first-line supervisor," he said. "We undertook the challenge of coming up with a system that would serve as point of entry that would display career information to a soldier where they could manage their own career."
The Army Career Tracker, which was fully implemented in 2011, integrates information from 14 different Army systems and makes them accessible in one place, Colimon said. If a soldier needs to take action in a specific area, the Army Career Tracker will take him back to the source system so he can take the necessary action, Colimon said.
"We combine training, education, experiential learning and self-development into one entity," he said.
Soldiers also can use the Army Career Tracker to keep tabs on their progress and career development, search multiple Army education and training resources, create professional and personal goals, receive personalized advice from leaders and mentors, and enroll in courses and training.
One new feature in the Army Career Tracker is the Army sponsorship program, Colimon said.
This program connects soldiers who are preparing for a permanent change of station with a sponsor at their new unit. This new feature ensures soldiers and their families are taken care of even before they arrive at their new duty station, Colimon said.
The Army used soldier feedback to improve the Army Career Tracker, which helps troops map out what they need to do for a successful career. Here, new West Point cadets are graded on their response to a chemical attack. Photo Credit: Mike Strasser/ArmyThe Army in April revised all 187 enlisted career maps featured in the Army Career Tracker, Colimon said.
The tracker also features about 200 officer, 76 warrant officer and 844 civilian career maps.
The revised career maps have "more interactions, they’re definitely more dynamic," Colimon said.
"It gives them the opportunities, from cradle to grave, that have been established by the MOS proponent, by their career program proponent, or by their career field proponent," he said.
The revised career maps "really does enhance" the ability of the soldier and their supervisor to develop personalized individual development plans to manage their careers, Thomson said.
The Army also is currently running an Army Civilian Acculturation Program pilot, designed for new Army employees, said Ruth Sharp, acting director of civilian human resources for the TRADOC G-1/4.
The pilot program, which is currently underway with about 130 new hires, helps new employees learn about and get to know the Army. It also helps them develop an individual development plan and guides them on which education courses and training are required during their first year of employment, Sharp said.
The Army will expand the pilot in July to include new civilian employees at all TRADOC activities, she said.
Another new feature is the Army Transition Program, which prepares soldiers for the transition to civilian life, Colimon said.
"Throughout the military lifecycle, the Army Transition Program has specific requirements," he said. "We send soldiers notifications for these requirements to take specific actions throughout their lifecycle."
Another advantage to the transition program is it allows a soldier to look at his whole career in one place as he’s preparing a resume, Butts said.
"That’s one of the main features in helping the soldier to take his career, categorize it, put it in a logical form that he can put together for an employer when he gets out," he said.