Army officers who are on the short list to become a battalion commander will now undergo a psychological exam.
According to an Army press release last week, a new five-day program called the Battalion Commander Assessment Program (BCAP) at Fort Knox will give soldiers on the lieutenant colonel centralized selection list “physical, cognitive, and non-cognitive assessments.” It will include written and verbal communication tests; behavioral psychologist interview; and a panel interview with senior Army officers.
“We spend more time and more money on selecting a private to be in Ranger regiment than we do selecting what I would argue is one of the most consequential leadership positions in the Army, our battalion commanders,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said in the release.
The process for picking battalion commanders has previously, according to the Federal News Network, “been based entirely on past performance, allocated by selection boards solely on the basis of a candidate's prior officer evaluation reports.”
Now, the BCAP will pull together “talent assessment data” of the officers, which will help assess their individual potential. Human Resources Command will then rank “primary and alternate selects,” and place them in positions.
McConville told the Federal News Network that BCAP will allow officers “to be assessed on their comprehensive leadership assessment battery, which tests out their ability to lead in the future.” He said that the oral and writing test, along with a fitness test and interview results “comes together to give them a score.
“I think the idea of actually looking the officer in the eye and seeing how they performed side-by-side with their peers will give us a much, much better picture of who our future leaders are.”