The Army is preparing to launch a pilot program that could fundamentally change the way the service manages its soldiers and matches people to their next assignments.

The Assignment Interactive Module pilot is scheduled to begin in December, said Maj. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, director of the Army talent management task force.

AIM is designed to collect in one database information on soldiers’ job preferences, background, skills and expertise, everything from foreign language proficiency to civilian-acquired skills, Shoffner said. The pilot is a precursor to the Integrated Pay and Personnel System-Army, or IPPSA, which will for the first time allow the Army to look at soldiers and their talents and abilities across all three Army components.

This gives the Army “total visibility and automated ability,” as it manages almost 1 million people, Shoffner said.

“The big idea is that we can enhance readiness if we can figure out how to maximize everyone’s potential to contribute,” Shoffner said. “Some might say it’s about taking care of your best, but it is much more than that. We want to find those talents that may not be readily apparent. We want to find out what people can do, abilities they have that may not be obvious and then are more difficult to manage.”

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