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The Total Army

Have you considered a career with Army Civilian Corps?

By Valerie Anderson

Did you know that civilians have been a major part of the U.S. Army since the Revolutionary War? According to U.S. Army’s Civilian Personnel Online (, the Board of War and Ordnance was established in 1776 with responsibility to equip and dispatch troops; account for arms, ammunition and equipment; maintain personnel records; and disburse funds. At that point, civilians were hired by the Continental Army for driving, crafts, carpentry and laborer jobs. Throughout history, civilians have played a vital role in supporting soldiers. Today the Army integrates the talents and skills of its military and civilian members to form what they refer to as the “Total Army.”

Civilians Working for Uncle Sam

The Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff announced the establishment the Army Civilian Corps in a memorandum dated June 19, 2006. This establishment unified Army civilians and championed them as a vital part of the Army team.

Career opportunities for civilians in the Army exist in professional, administrative and technical fields worldwide. They work in a wide range of occupations, including scientist, engineer, administrator, physician, information technologist, childcare director, program analyst, recreation specialist, customer service representative and others. Civilian employees succeed at various levels within the organization, including crafts, trades, clerical, technical, administrative, professional, supervisory and executive.

Individual career advancement depends on a variety of factors, including demonstrated performance, assignments completed, formal education, functional and geographical mobility, and completion of training programs.

Career programs are available to assist employees in achieving their goals. More information can be found at

Lifelong Learning

For those still in school, the U.S. Army offers a variety of opportunities to gain career-related work experience. Student programs are available to anyone enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student at an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, two-year or four-year college or university, graduate or professional school. Upon graduation, students may progress to permanent full-time jobs. Internships with career development opportunities are available through the Army Civilian Training, Education and Development System (ACTEDS). More information is available at

The Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) Management Trainee program offers employment opportunities to recent college graduates. Openings are available in a variety of fields. To learn more go to show_file.asp?fileID=192.

Full-time employees of the Army Civilian Corps continue to learn and develop throughout their career, as education and training is considered essential for continued success. There are numerous educational and training opportunities available to expand knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Extensive onsite training relating to over 150 different occupational areas.

  • Academic programs and diverse professional development programs.

  • High tech, administrative, technical and clerical training courses.

  • Developmental assignments seminars, conferences and instructional activities.

Total Army Benefits

The Department of the Army was ranked one of the best places to work in the Federal Government for 2007. These rankings were developed by measuring workplace satisfaction among current employees in 283 Federal agencies in areas such as pay and benefits, family-friendly culture and benefits and work/life balance.

One reason Army civilians are so happily employed is their numerous location options. Wherever there is a U.S. military presence, there are employment opportunities—this includes a wide variety of locations throughout the U.S. and overseas. As an added bonus, the Army may provide additional pay to cover rent and utilities for employees working overseas. In some cases, they may also pay for travel and shipment of personal belongings when employees move to new assignments.

Army employees also receive a comprehensive compensation package, including:

  • Comprehensive health and life insurance.

  • Generous retirement programs.

  • Paid holidays, sick leave and vacation time.

  • Flexible work environment.

  • Paid employment related training and education.

  • Possible student loan repayment.

  • Payment of licenses, certification and academic degrees as applicable.

  • Bonuses, incentives and awards as appropriate for the job.

  • Competitive salaries.

  • Annual pay increases and locality pay adjustments.

Commitment to Values

Army Civilian Corps stresses their commitment to American values, including the belief that success requires an environment where people are respected and valued. And a commitment to a diverse workplace that provides opportunities for growth and development for everyone.

Does this sound like a place you could pursue your career? Log onto to find out more.

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