NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. –
USMEPCOM launched its new Strategic Plan at the FY24 Senior Leader Offsite (SLO) in mid-November. A command’s strategic plan outlines the operational approach for its personnel moving forward. It does so by identifying goals and objectives, rather than specifying concrete projects.
“What the Strategic Plan does is lay out a collective vision for everybody in the command to understand when they see a change happening, what it is leading us toward,” said Robert Bowen, J-8 futures division chief and strategic plan lead. “Now that we have this plan, we have to do the work to actually turn those goals and objectives into programs and policy changes.”
The previous strategic plan focused heavily on medical modernization. Groups like the Medical Modernization Team and Rapid Delivery Team were born out of that plan. USMEPCOM’s new ten-year strategic plan (2023 – 2033) will guide projects aimed at increasing processing efficiencies. Efforts include reducing the number of visits per applicant, enabling the command to be responsive to applicant population shifts, improving system integrations and recruiting and retaining an upskilled workforce.
“The strategic plan is going to help us stay on the cutting edge of modernization that we’ve just got to in the past couple of years,” said Col. Megan Stallings, USMEPCOM commander. “It helps not only to drive that change forward but keeps us transparent. Our IRC partners can see what we’re trying to do to make ourselves better through the plan.”
The plan is presented in a concise 10-page document that can be viewed here[M1] . The core goals focus on medical, testing, processing, human capital and resource management. Compiling and refining the objectives within those five main goals required extensive research and input from all directorates.
“Representatives from all of the directorates provided input as we did the initial analysis,” said Bowen. “We did not change the goals from the previous strategic plan, but we modified their language and focus and then developed the objectives underneath each of those goals. We drafted those changes through the Senior Leader Council. We held about 10 sessions to hash through the specifics and make revisions. From those agreed upon objectives is where we will derive the projects, policy changes and whatever else we think needs to be done.”
Some of the efforts already underway to get after the renewed plan include the development of Artificial Intelligence to aide in prescreen reviews and a new Talent Acquisition Division (TAD) which will focus on growing human capital by bringing in and retaining new talent to USMEPCOM.
“The Strategic Plan is all about allowing people to be more efficient and effective in their jobs,” said Bowen. “We want our partners to have it easier, but we also want to make it easier for applicants to process through the system. In the end, we want as many people as possible that are qualified to serve in the military to get that opportunity.”