Army Encourages Managers to Fill Openings Created by Training Programs

New guidance on supporting ‘high performing employees.’

The Army is encouraging managers to “backfill” vacancies created by civilians taking career development, leadership or training programs.

In guidance released on June 12, Deputy Assistant Army Secretary Anthony Stamillo said the service wanted to “encourage [its] high performing employees” to apply for career development programs and also make Army officials aware that they “already have the authority to backfill a vacancy created by an employee” in a training program.

“In addition, Army is providing a blanket exception to backfill those vacancies through any recruitment source as long as the organization has sufficient funds,” Stamillo said.

Stamillo said Army managers should “consider various options” before filling the positions and see if “temporary promotions,” reclassifications of empty positions, or additional mechanisms to promote “upward mobility” of junior employees would be a better solution. He asked managers to consider if the employee in training would be returning to the post upon completion of the program, and said temporary reassignments could be considered as well.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered a departmentwide hiring freeze at the beginning of the year to preempt possible disruption from sequestration-related budget cuts. The Army specifically exempted several personnel categories from the freeze, including mission critical jobs, civilians serving in combat zones and employees supporting the Wounded Warrior program. 

(Image via Nonnakrit/