By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Nov. 25, 2009) -- A new test program will allow some officers to transfer into a new branch or functional area.
The Officer Service Management Pilot Program allows officers who meet the rank, time-in-service, and career field criteria to be considered for acceptance into a new branch or functional area.
Regular Army captains or captains promotable, with less than nine years of active federal commissioned service, may participate in the OSMPP. Regular Army majors with less than 14 years of AFCS may also participate.
The program is designed to help the Army balance out the officer force by moving officers from overmanned career fields to undermanned career fields, said Lt. Col. Eric Brunken, Army Human Resources Command, chief retention branch, leader development division.
Brunken also said the program serves as a retention tool for officers.
"Primarily, that is a matter of job satisfaction," he said. "The officer, because he gets to voluntarily pick his branch, gets to go into a branch that he feels more comfortable or more excited about going into."
Brunken said the Army will convene quarterly panels to approve or disapprove officer applications for branch/functional area transfers. The first such panel, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010, meets Feb. 1-5.
Those officers that wish to request a transfer into a new branch or functional area under the program must complete a DA Form 4187 and submit it before Dec. 31, Brunken said.
Two MILPER messages, 09-243 and 09-259, address the OSMPP. The first describes the program and details basic requirements for participation. The second lists the specific details for applying to the 2nd QTR/FY10 panel.
In particular, the second message spells out the branch and functional areas/year group combinations for officers that are eligible to participate in the program. It also lists the branch and functional areas/year group combinations that are available as choices to be transferred into.
If officers apply for the program and are not chosen the first time, or they do not see that a branch or functional area they are interested in is available, they can apply again to a later panel, Brunken said.
"It's not a one-time shot," he said. "If officers see a branch they want to go into, and it is not available this time, they should look again in May or in October. Eventually there will be an opportunity to branch transfer into something they want to do."
It is expected the Army will offer additional OSMPP opportunities in both May and October 2010.