Section 809 Panel Commissioner Lt. Gen. Ross Thompson (USA Ret.) discusses workforce recommendations for the Department of Defense, and why it’s important for career paths to be better defined.
Some of the recommendations outlined in the Section 809 panel’s report to Congress concern the acquisition workforce. Section 809 Panel Commissioner Lt. Gen. Ross Thompson (USA Ret.) says that one thing Pentagon must do is better define career paths for their civilian professionals. “The acquisition workforce at the Pentagon is about 90 percent civilians, and 10 percent military. The military career paths are fairly clear. When I came in the Army, for example, I knew clearly what I needed to do, and what point in my career I needed to do it in order to advance and be successful and to do the kinds of things I aspired to do,” Thompson said. “For us, when we looked at it from the 809 perspective, It wasn’t as clear that the career paths for the civilians were as well laid out. What we’re trying to do is get career paths for the civilians so they can understand what they need to do over the course of a career to support the mission of the organization but also to live up to their personal aspirations.”