Army Beefs Up Assessment for Battalion Commanders

Washington Report

The Army has officially launched new requirements for potential battalion commanders that include a five-day evaluation at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Instead of a board review of personnel files, they will now be selected through an evaluation process called the Battalion Commander Assessment Program, (BCAP), which will feature grilling from senior leaders and a psychological review.

Army officials announced the changes last year and previously conducted pilot programs at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Gen. James C. McConville, the Army chief of staff, has championed the change. He more recently said battalion commanders had the “most consequential job in the Army.”

The general told reporters the BCAP aims to develop the Army’s future strategic leaders and get the best out of commanders.

“Every once in a while, you have a great performer that’s very, very good but they have some holes in their swing,” he said. “It may be how they treat people. They may not even know it.”

Officials said the program will identify a primary list for commands along with an alternate list. Those officers deemed not “ready for command” will not suffer negative consequences. Instead, they will be informed of areas needing improvement.

The Army conducted the first BCAP at Fort Knox earlier this month. About 800 officers competed for roughly 450 battalion commands that will open this year.

Department of Defense