A new Army policy requires officers enrolled in Captains Career Courses to take the Graduate Record Exam.
The computer-administered test is used by many universities to assess potential applicants for graduate programs. In the Army, officers applying to the Advanced Civil Schooling program must now include their GRE scores in their nomination packet.
Army leaders said the first students to take the GRE as part of the new requirements are doing so this month, with full implementation expected by October.
The Captains Career Course is intended for officers with at least three years of service. The course aims to provide the tactical, technical and leadership skills needed to lead company-size units and serve on battalion and brigade staffs.
Army officials said the new requirement will help establish “a robust culture of assessments across the Army” while also gathering new information about the talent of the officer corps and ensuring the Army is “making the best investment decisions for future readiness.”
Eventually, a new “regimen of assessments” throughout an officer’s career will guide promotion, selection and assignment decisions.
“Assessments provide a common lens through which to identify an officer’s knowledge, skills, behaviors and preferences,” said Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee, the director of the Army Talent Management Task Force. “They differ from evaluations which provide subjective information about the performance and potential of officers. The best decisions about our people are informed by both evaluations and assessments.”
Officials say the changes are part of what is the most comprehensive reform of the Army personnel system since the end of World War II.
“The Army will use the results of the GRE to make more informed decisions with regards to competitive advanced education programs,” officials said. The Army is fully funding the cost for each student to take the GRE, but officers will need to schedule their exams and conduct their own test preparation.