Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association

The AG Corps as a Profession – Notes from the Chief of the Corps

By COL Robert L. Manning, Commandant, AG School, Chief of the AG Corps, and Chief, Army Bands

Soldiers and Civilians of the Corps, you may already know that the Army is conducting a review of the Army Profession. As part of this review, the TRADOC Commander, GEN Martin Dempsey poses three critical questions that we should address:

1.  What does it mean for the Army to be a Profession of Arms?

2.  What does it mean to be a professional Soldier?

3.  After nine years of war, how are we as individual professionals and as a profession meeting these aspirations?

Throughout 2011, there will be many opportunities to address these questions, as well as ongoing discussions with respect to our Army as a profession.  Given this back drop, I ask the following questions:

1.  How is the AG Corps viewed as part of the Profession of Arms?

2.  What does it mean to be an AG Soldier and HR Professional?

3.  How are we as a profession handling the challenges of persistent conflict, changing doctrine and Personnel Services Delivery Redesign (PSDR)?

Obviously, these are tough questions to answer, but in this article I will lay a foundation that will hopefully facilitate discussion, dialogue and even friendly debate.

How is the AG Corps viewed as part of the Profession of Arms?
The AG Corps has a long and distinguished history that predates the birth of the country and was one of the first branches established by the Army. The AG Corps has been remarkably agile, diversified and resilient throughout its history.

Today, as the Army transformed to a brigade centric modular force, the AG Corps met this challenge through PSDR by building professional HR capabilities in formations across the force. The collective expectation of leaders is that there will be an ubiquitous professional AG/HR team ready to advise commanders with timely, accurate and relevant information so commanders can make informed decisions at decisive moments as they pertain to the human dimension of readiness. This is our charge as both AG warriors and HR Professionals.

What does it mean to be an AG Soldier and HR Professional?
We live and embody the seven Army values. In addition, HR professionals must be grounded by the four core competencies and six enduring principles laid out in FM 1-0, Human Resources Support. Much is expected of the AG Corps, our jobs are never done. For instance, resetting an organization is every bit as challenging as maintaining it during the other phases of the ARFORGEN process. Yet, our customers, the commanders, Soldiers and Family members alike expect us to deliver the highest quality product regardless of the ARFORGEN phase, and whether we are serving in the operational or institutional parts of the Army. The bottom line is that AG Soldiers and HR Professionals regardless of location or function take care of the Army‘s most precious resource that being our Soldiers and their Families.

How are we as a profession handling the challenges of persistent conflict, changing doctrine and PSDR?
The past nine plus years have certainly been a challenge for the country, the Army and the AG Corps. This generation of Soldiers is witnessing extended combat operations for the first time. Adding to this environment the fielding of new doctrine and a new means in which to deliver personnel services and it makes one wonder how it could be done because these were and continue to be uncharted waters for our professionals to navigate. But, despite early lessons learned such as how an HROB should be employed, or how many itty bitty units (IBUs) constitute over modularization; we worked through these and other obstacles to continue meeting the expectations of our combat commanders.

FM 1-0 is widely circulated and judging by the knowledge level of incoming students to the AG School House, it‘s being read too.

So what does it all mean?  It means today‘s AG Soldiers and HR Professionals are meeting challenges not unlike their predecessors over time and doing so in a most professional manner. Our Corps is just as relevant today as ever thanks in large part to these dynamic professionals who not only know what it means to be an Army professional, but more specifically, an Army HR Professional.

Defend and Serve!

What are your thoughts regarding the AG Corps as a profession?  How would you answer the following questions:

1. How is the AG Corps viewed as part of the Profession of Arms?

2. What does it mean to be an AG Soldier and HR Professional?

3. How are we as a profession handling the challenges of persistent conflict, changing doctrine and PSDR?

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2 thoughts on “The AG Corps as a Profession – Notes from the Chief of the Corps”

  1. Great questions which are just as relevant today as in 1776. The Adjutant has always been the right hand of the commander, taking care of the commander’s most important asset, PEOPLE> AG’s roll with the punches, can operate in any structure, and provide the same first class support to all soldiers. The important thing to remember is to become proficient in all aspects of personnel support while maintaining the physical strength, endurance, and perseverance to soldier on through many obstacles.

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