Space Force Releases First-Ever Human Capital Plan


The Space Force has released its first ever human capital plan, touting it as an “ambitious” document to strengthen and develop America’s newest and smallest military wing.

“It’s really avant-garde. It’s leaning forward, looking to the future. It pushes the boundaries, ”Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W.“ Jay ”Raymond told AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber ​​conference. “It brings together all aspects of personal development, from assessments to recruiting to development, for all Guardians – officers, enlisted and civilians. “

Underpinning the 25-page document, the executives said, there are five goals. Two of them are common to any organization: generating and hiring talent, and developing and employing these talents, acknowledged Patricia Mulcahy, deputy chief of space operations for personnel and logistics.

But while the goals are common, the way the Space Force plans to achieve them is different, especially from other services. When it comes to recruiting, the service “may not look where everyone else is looking,” the Staff Sgt. Space Force Roger A. Towberman said in his opening remarks.

In particular, Towberman and other leaders stressed the need for the service to prioritize diversity, especially given its current demographics. Right now, Mulcahy said, only 18% of the Space Force is made up of women.

“Diverse teams outperform homogeneous teams on a consistent basis – they just do it,” said Brig. General Shawn W. Campbell, Deputy Head of Human Capital, USSF. “And so when we talk about team building and how we build those teams, we look at teams in terms of the diversity needed to offer different perspectives. “

Flexibility is another key part of the talent identification and recruitment plan. For people with experience at NASA, academia, or other space industries, Raymond said he hopes to “do more innovative things like full-time and part-time and go back and forth in depending on where you are in your life “.

Skills and abilities

Once the Guardians are in service, the Space Force hopes to “migrate from highly structured career paths to a regulated market approach,” according to the document titled “The Guardian’s Ideal.”

It will take the form of a talent market similar to the one the Air Force has nowCampbell said. In the Space Force market, however, positions will be coded with competencies – “knowledge, skills, attributes and behaviors” – starting with core competencies, then expanding to specialties and terminal professional skills.

In this system, each Guardian will be able to see how their skills match the position.

“We’re not necessarily just looking for class pay, or it’s time for you to rotate, or it’s time for you to do X kind of work, because… we don’t have a pyramid,” said Campbell. “This is not, we believe, the best way for us to develop or employ our Guardians.”

The purpose of these skills, said Jason Lamb, Space Force talent strategist, is not to keep the Guardians confined to one career area. Instead, he said, skills will define ability, not just experience. And when it comes to identifying capabilities, Towberman said in his speech that the service will take a more expansive approach.

“We’re questioning things like using what… you’ve done to secure what you’re capable of,” Towberman said. “And we’re looking more for aptitude tests, maybe aptitude tests, personality tests. We are ready to look at anything that allows us to better predict the outcome we want, which is the greatness of our business.

Activate resilience

For now, the Guardians continue to follow Air Force standards for fitness testing. Changes, however, could come soon, as The Guardian Ideal identifies a timeline for developing a fitness program and standard by the end of 2021.

All indications indicate that this program has a unique structure. The service previously said it was working on a “holistic health and wellness” program, and the human capital plan unveils that concept, promising to address fitness, ergonomics, nutrition and fitness. sleep hygiene.

As part of a more holistic view, Mulcahy added, the service hopes to take a more detailed scientific approach, one that emphasizes the traditional annual fitness test.

“We believe that fitness should be an everyday thing. And so we are looking for ways to potentially move away from each other once a year. This assessment allows you to say, “OK, I don’t worry about this anymore. Instead, the service is moving towards a “that complements a daily fitness regimen,” Mulcahy said.

With that in mind, Campbell said, the service will look to invest in wearable technology that can track Guardians’ health (their sleep rate, heart rate, and other key markers) and then provide that data to the Guardians for them. help to live a healthier life. on a daily basis.

And fitness is just one aspect of resilience that the USSF aims to develop.

“We know that physical fitness, whether it’s physical or mental, spiritual, financial, is not episodic,” Towberman said. “I could win the lottery and end up still poor. Fitness is a process. It is a way of life. And what we owe you as an institution is better architecture of choice, better resources, better incentives, to make sure everyone can be resilient in all areas of fitness. We don’t want episodic testing, creating more anxiety than it relieves. We want you to get more sleep. We want you to eat better. We want you to hydrate. We want you to take care of each other.

Digital mastery

Raymond has previously said he wants the Space Force to be America’s first “digital service” and Towberman has certainly addressed the perception of the USSF as the youngest and most plan-savvy service. technological in his opening speech, “Rolling rick”The audience to launch their speech.

But while many young Guardians joining the Space Force have grown up with the internet and are probably more comfortable with certain technologies, it would be a mistake to view them as already “digitally comfortable,” the goal stated. in The Guardian Ideal.

“I think we often look at Gen Y and Gen Z in particular, and we say, well, they’re all digital natives,” Campbell said. “They’re in the sense that they grew up with a technology that we think of all around us, but they don’t understand how it works. It’s different. So we want to make sure that you understand not only how to use it, but also how to apply it in the most meaningful way.

Not everyone in the Space Force will have to be a gifted coder or digital expert, Towberman pointed out. But each Guardian will need to be able to work with these people to find the appropriate applications of these skills.

“We have to understand the power that can be unlocked with the power of great programmers, with humans who are digitally savvy,” Towberman said. “And it’s those things together, both the imagination and the craftsmanship, it’s architecture. It is a mixture of the two. We need this. Sometimes we’ll get it in one person. Often times we will need it in teams.


The release of The Guardian Ideal comes amid a series of announcements from the Space Force. On September 20, the service announced its insignia for the enlisted ranks, and on September 21, it revealed drafts of its uniform and PT gear.

These announcements, Towberman said, exemplified the end goal: to connect in a collaborative environment.

“What I’m most proud of is that these [insignia] came from the Guardians, ”Towberman said. “We asked and we got hundreds of ideas. Then we asked for more, and we narrowed down the selection. Then we asked for more and re-selected. And then we shared, and we changed, and we discussed. … But what I do know is that we could have had countless other results. And we would have had good feedback on them because it was really about the process. And I’m proud of the process and I was confident throughout, not because I thought the outcome was something I could guarantee. It was the process I believed in.

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