UMO Lessons Learned: Moving my Unit 8,240 Miles
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
1w ago
As a new lieutenant arriving at my first unit, I was eager to apply what I learned and make a difference. So I was excited when my commander appointed me as the Unit Movement Officer (UMO). I didn’t know what that was, but it sounded important, and I was happy to learn and contribute to the team. However, I quickly learned that UMO duty is not for the faint of heart. It is very tedious, requires a lot of external coordination, and comes with a great deal of responsibility. For my recent deployment, I was responsible for ensuring hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment successfully mov ..read more
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Unit Movement Officer
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
1w ago
A listing of the contents of the zip file is attached below if you’d like to peruse it before downloading the 110MB zip file. As a non-member of Junior Officer, you may request the Unit Movement Officer package by completing and submitting the form below. [contact-form-7] The post Unit Movement Officer appeared first on The Center for Junior Officers ..read more
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Continuation Pay- Planning For The AY25 Change
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
3w ago
Did you know – if you are in the Blended Retirement System (BRS), you’re eligible for a mid-career bonus that might be worth 2.5x to 13x your monthly base pay?! This is called continuation pay, and it’s one of the key factors that distinguishes Blended Retirement from the Legacy system. The Blended Retirement System has been functional for the better part of 7 years, but there is still limited awareness about continuation pay, eligibility, and how to request it.  The Army is giving its continuation pay program an overhaul in calendar year (CY) 25. The changes will change both when act ..read more
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Planning your KD Complete Broadening Assignment – From Diving in the Persian Gulf to Spearheading the Army’s Transition to Cloud...
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
1M ago
              During my time in Kuwait, scrolling through assignments on AIM 2.0 became my daily battle rhythm; I was five months out from returning to Fort Eustis, and upon returning, my time as Executive Officer for the 74th Engineer Dive Detachment would sunset. Like most post-KD engineer LTs, I could easily fill a position within the Battalion S3 or within USACE. Both options provide valuable experience, but I wasn’t convinced that either assignment was right for what I wanted to learn over the next couple of years. After weeks of tabbing assignments ..read more
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Enhancing the Company HQ Section Using Agile Principles
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
2M ago
Our Company HQ Section faced a substantial increase in workload due to our Brigade’s short notice Immediate Reaction Force rotation to Grafenwoehr, Germany. From the initial hectic two-week preparation to our return to home station, our HQ Section found itself stretched thin. The Company relied on the HQ Subsection Leaders, the Operations Sergeant, and me as the XO, to balance competing requirements. On top of that, some of us, myself included, were inexperienced in our roles. To achieve our mission, the HQ Section had to quickly transition away from the traditional directive leadership ap ..read more
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Living the Agile Values
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
2M ago
Agile is a comprehensive project management approach that focuses on short, iterative, and incremental steps that encourage cross-functional collaboration, continuous assessment, adaptability, and team empowerment [1]. In contrast to military planning methodologies such as Bureaus, Centers, Cells, and Working Groups (B2C2WGs); Operational Planning Teams (OPTs) [2]; Army Design Methodology; Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP); and Troop Leading Procedures (TLPs) [3], Agile is a framework that provides values and principles that can guide and enhance a team’s productivity, flexibility, a ..read more
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Stop Saying Convoy
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
2M ago
We need to eliminate a word from our vocabulary: convoy. It’s not helpful for our leaders and shortchanges what commanders need from their subordinates because the word doesn’t evoke a tactical, deliberate operation. The appropriate word to use is patrol. Why does it matter? First, a convoy tends to evoke thoughts of an easy movement. There are no easy movements. Second, there are no principles of convoying. There are, however, five principles of patrolling. Patrolling is demanding and keeps us focused on combat. Last, the proliferation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) puts us under contin ..read more
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The Things We Forget as Company Commanders
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
3M ago
Taking company command is as daunting as it is exciting. The question I asked myself most often in the first few weeks was “what am I supposed to be doing?” This is often answered intuitively since Company Commanders attend meetings, presumably fall into a prescribed battle rhythm, and accomplish tasks inherent to their position like planning training and checking a variety of Army systems. As time progressed and I developed a level of comfortability with my focus, I began to ask something different. What am I missing? This is a more dangerous, nuanced question. This essay is a review of t ..read more
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Staff isn’t Purgatory: Three Rules
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
3M ago
“Ryan, you will be moving to the S4 in 90 days,” my Battalion CDR said to me as we met in Afghanistan for the first time.  I was an Executive Officer in the Forward Support Company (FSC) and deployed advanced echelon (ADVON) for the battalion.  “What did I do wrong”, I thought.  This was my second deployment with the FSC, and I had been part of the year-long train up to this deployment.  I wanted to be with our company, not sitting on battalion staff.  It turned out to be a great learning experience and set me up for future success.  As you come out of a leade ..read more
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The First Four Years: Career Considerations for Junior Officers in the AIM environment.
The Center for Junior Officers
by james.d.watson
4M ago
AIM 2.0 In 2019 the Army introduced a new system to improve talent management and retention rates among officers. The new system, “Army Interactive Module” (AIM), is a web-based application that empowers officers by allowing them to preference assignments and take a more active role in career management. This system is a powerful tool for officers seeking new assignments and career growth but may mislead junior company-grade officers who do not understand the subtle differences of Army units. Domains of Leader Development “Institutional, Operational, and Self-Development,” are the three do ..read more
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