The ACTEDS Training Catalog

Chapter 2: Senior Service College /Professional Military Education
(SSC/PME) Programs

General Information
Grade GS-14 or 15, or pay band equivalent position.


This chapter provides SSC/PME announcements and application procedures.
(IAW Army Directive 2015-24 (DA Senior Enterprise Talent Management - SETM Program -

For Academic Year (AY) 2017-2018, Army has civilian quotas for the following schools:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (NSRS),
    Fort McNair, Washington, DC
  • Army War College (AWC) - Carlisle, PA
  • Army War College Distance Education (AWC-DE) - location is your permanent place of work. AWC-DE is a two-year non-resident program

These schools are the only ones available for Army civilians for AY17-18 SSC/PME.

Applicability You must be applying for one of the Army Civilian SSC/PME quotas. If you are a participant in the Defense Senior Leader Development Program (DSLDP), refer to the directions immediately below. All regular Army civilian applicants will follow the guidance in this chapter.
  • DSLDP applicants - Do not apply for PME under this chapter's procedures. Based on participation in the DoD-wide program, you will have a different list of SSCs offering PME as well as different procedures/timelines to follow. DSLDP applicants should follow rules at:

NOTE: Eligibility requirements and rules for mandatory compliance with the Graduate Placement Program (GPP) and Mobility Agreement applies to all PME participants (except AWC-DE non-mobile option).

Application Deadlines



SSC/PME 30 Jun 2016 25 Jul - 25 Aug 2016 Jul/Aug 2017 - Jun 2018 (resident courses)

May 2017-Jun 2019 (nonresident course)

NOTE: ALL SSC/PME applications must be submitted via the automated SETM-System through the applicants' command structure AND receive command endorsement.

The applicant is expected to contact his/her command (Army Command, Major Subordinate Command or Direct Reporting Unit) to determine if any additional procedures or deadlines must be met for their applications to be forwarded.

Length of Program:
  • 10 months full-time residence course OR
  • 2 years nonresident distance education courses
NOTE: Actual start/stop dates are dependent upon specific College requirements and whether attending a resident program or taking a nonresident distance education program. See the individual school Nomination Sheet for Academic Year 2017-2018 (Resident), Academic Year 2017-2019 (Non-Resident) for specific start and stop dates.

Target Audience/Ideal Candidates

SSC/PME is the apex of the Army Civilian Education System (CES) and prepares civilians for positions of greatest responsibility in the Department of Army, including but not limited to Army Enterprise Positions. SSC/PME provides advanced level educational opportunities for those who have completed CES training through the Advanced Course or who have received course credit from HQDA G-3/5/7.

Leaders who attend must have an understanding of complex policy and operational challenges and increased knowledge of the national security mission.

Selection for attendance at a SSC is a competitive process and a HQDA SETM-Board screens applicants and makes Army nominations. Like the Officer Corps, Army Civilians graduating from SSC are centrally placed under the SSC Graduate Placement Program (GPP) in a position of greater responsibility in another assignment or organization where they can apply the advanced education they have received per VCSA memo at

Selection of Army Civilians to attend leader development and education courses is linked to performance in current assignments, to professional and career development and progression, to career development plans and career management models, and to future assignments. Students are expected to significantly contribute to the learning environment through in depth analytical discussions drawing on their subject matter knowledge and experiences in strategic and policy aspects of national security. Generally, the superior SSC/PME candidate:

  • Is a high performing leader with outstanding potential for more responsible leadership positions across the enterprise
  • Is ready and able to contribute as a student at a senior leader SSC/PME school.
  • Has a broad and varied history of experience leading to increased responsibility and broad perspectives:
    • In multiple organizations, commands, or Defense agencies;
    • At various organizational levels (operating, staff, headquarters);
    • In a range of related occupational areas; and
    • At multiple geographical locations.
  • Has leadership and managerial experience that has demonstrated the competence, confidence, and motivation to be a bold and innovative leader in the public sector, to include significant experience in supervising or managing people in an official capacity.
  • Has an outstanding performance record and has progressed through positions of increasing responsibility at a faster pace than his/her peers.
  • Values life-long learning and:
    • Has succeeded in rigorous programs of formal education, training, and self-development
    • Has one or more degrees in fields related to his/her occupational specialty, and
    • Has successfully completed Army-sponsored leadership programs and other developmental activities toward attaining career goals.
  • Is motivated to succeed, and is willing to challenge himself/herself to do so; and
  • Has the passion to lead, inspire, and produce results for Army.

Only those with the capacity, commitment and leadership support to pursue a rigorous educational program should be nominated. Specific eligibility requirements and additional guidance on identifying candidates follow.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for SSC/Professional Military Education (PME) per Army Directive 2015-24, Army Civilian applicants must have met all eligibility requirements at the time of applicant submission to his/her command:

  • LENGTH OF ARMY EMPLOYMENT: Be a permanent, full-time Army Civilian employee for a minimum of three years at time of application. Eligible applicants must have career status in an Army permanent competitive appointment, Schedule A, Excepted appointment without time limitation, or be serving under Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) instrumentality or hold an Excepted Service appointment in the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel Management System.
  • GRADE/PAY BAND: Hold a permanent GS-14 or 15, or pay band equivalent position.
  • LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE: Have extensive demonstrated leadership experience.
  • EDUCATION: Hold a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited institution
  • CLEARANCE: Have a SECRET clearance with pending application for a TOP SECRET clearance with Special Background Investigation access that will not expire during the academic year. A copy of your clearance must be submitted with your application.
  • TRAINING: Have successfully completed the Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course (AC) or have received Advanced Course Credit from HQDA G-3/5/7. If applying for CES Constructive Credit, applicants should allow 90 days for processing (i.e. if application is due to individual's command on 12 May, request for constructive credit should be made NLT 12 Feb).
  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: See the individual SSC/PME announcements in this chapter for additional requirements.

    NOTE: Applicants who have already completed a Professional Military Education degree (resident or non-resident) from any Senior Service College are not eligible for consideration under Department of the Army guidelines.

Nomination/ Selection Process
  • Eligible candidates: Application requires mandatory command endorsement as part of the automated SETM-System application process. Packets must go through the chain-of-command to the designated Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), Direct Reporting Units (DRU), equivalent Human Resource Directorate (HRD) Staff, or MACOM-equivalent organizations' representative. Command representative may have established local points of contact as well as internal suspense dates earlier than the HQDA date.
  • Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), and Direct Reporting Units (DRU): Will adhere to SETM Program established annual timeline:
    - 1 Mar through 15 May: Applicants, raters and endorsers provide their inputs;
    - 16 – 31 May: Functional Chief Representatives review applicants in their career programs and submit an order-of-merit list to CSLDD using the automated SETM-System.
    – 1 – 30 Jun: Commands will conduct a board at the appropriate command level, and forward the applications of the best qualified candidates to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), ATTN: CSLDD via command endorsement reflecting rank order by 30 Jun.
    Applications not submitted through the proper chain-of-command will not be accepted by CSLDD. All SSC applications will be submitted to CSLDD using the automated SETM-System.
  • Applicants: Are expected to indicate a primary and at least one alternate SSC preference on the SSC Nomination Sheet in the SETM-System applicant survey. Applicants are cautioned, however, to enter preferences only for schools that you are prepared to attend if not selected for their first choice.
  • Senior Enterprise Talent Management - SETM-Board: Will create an Order-of-Merit List (OML), ranking applicants in priority for submission to all Senior Service Colleges. The OML lists will order/arrange applicants in best-qualified priority order using board-established ranking criteria. CSLMO will release the results of the SETM Board through ALARACT, Command/Human Resource Director (HRD) channels. Based on the number of available quotas, application packages will be forwarded to the appropriate SSC.
  • The SSCs: Army applications will be review by SSCs for final processing. After review, CSLDD will notify applicants and commands of their acceptance
  • Results notification: The Secretary of the Army will authorize the release of the SETM Board results by CSLDD NLT 15 Jan. Be patient! Acceptance notifications are received by CSLDD between March and May during the same year as the SSC starts, and are dependent upon each SSC's internal review process.

Dates for Nomination & Selection Timeline


Date to be determined by individual Commands
(1 – 30 Jun 2016)
Commands conduct internal review boards and ranking. Check with your training POC for exact details.
30 Jun 2016 Deadline for Command to submit SSC Nominations to CSLDD.
1 – 7 Jul 2016 CSLDD conducts review of nomination packages to be boarded by the Senior Enterprise Talent Management Board (SETM Board)
26 Jul - 26 Aug - 2016 SSC/PME SETM Board convenes Phase I Records Review and Phase II Interviews
Dec 2016 /Jan 2017 Notification of SSC SETM-Board results to Army Commands
Dec 2016 /Jan 2017 AWC/AWC-DE SSC Nominees only confirm their acceptance via email to CSLDD.
Jan 2017 Army nominated NSRS candidate packages forwarded to NSRS Selection Board
Jan - Mar 2017 AWC/AWC-DE nominees contacted by G-37 TRV
Apr/May 2017 NSRS notifies CSLDD of final selections
May 2017 NSRS SSC selectees confirm their acceptance via email to CSLDD POC
May 2017 NSRS selectees contacted by G-37 TRV
May 2017 AWC-DE students begin class
Jul 2017 AWC residence students begin class
Aug 2017 NSRS students begin class.
Feb 2018 SETM Board SSC/GPP Placement Board convenes.
Mar/Apr 2018 SSC students notified of SETM Board direct placements.

Application Checklist

There is one checklist for all schools. Applicants will submit only one application package regardless of the number of schools for which they request consideration as follows:

Each SSC announcement: Describes the program requirements along with application, evaluation, and selection procedures. Announcements must be reviewed carefully to obtain program requirements and to submit quality nomination packages. Applicants in a pay band position should confer with a Human Resources Specialist to determine if they meet grade requirements. The SETM application website provides both a User's Guide and an additional checklist with detailed instructions for completing SETM applications and mailing address to forward additional application documents. Applications reaching CSLDD that are incomplete in any way will be returned to the command without action.

Applicant Checklist - Applicants will assemble their application package in accordance with the SETM-SSC Checklist. Some forms are on-line fillable and can be retrieved by clicking on them from the Checklist or via Appendix D: On-Line Forms, in this Catalog. Do not provide your full SSN or DOB on any documents.

Career Program Functional Chief Representatives/ Career Field Functional Proponents (FCR/FP):
  • Market SSC and encourage managers to nominate highly motivated leaders who require a thorough knowledge of strategy in order to perform at the strategic level (ACOM, ASCC, DRU, Field Operating Agency, Joint Task Force or higher).
  • Get to know the SSC selectees under your purview. Once the Army OML is published, start working with the attendees on post-placement opportunities. See the SSC GPP for more information on what you can do now to enhance the Army mission post-graduation.
  • Upon receipt of nomination packets from Command Civilian training POCs, conduct review for those applicants in the FCR or Functional Proponent purview..

Assist application in preparing the Application early
  • Assist the applicant in obtaining endorsements from first-line Supervisors and first SES/GO endorsers.
  • Provide advice and assistance to the applicant on defining his/her career goals, and in defining which SSCs are most beneficial to his/her career and the mission of the Army.

Applicant: Take these steps to submit a competitive application.

  • Discuss the one page supervisory letter of recommendation with your supervisor. If asked by the supervisor to provide input for this recommendation, do so.
  • Seek confirmation of the applicable Command intermediate suspense date and apply through chain-of-command in a timely manner.
Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), and Direct Reporting Units (DRU) equivalent HRD Staff MACOM/equivalent organizations:
Market SSC
  • Market SSC and encourage managers to nominate highly motivated GS-14/15 or equivalent leaders who require a thorough knowledge of strategy in order to perform at the strategic level (ACOM, ASCC, DRU, Field Operating Agency, Joint Task Force or higher).
  • Establish and announce command suspense date to ensure timely compliance with HQDA suspense date.

Guide Applicants and Supervisors
  • Ensure your familiarity with program requirements. Be prepared to act as an internal resource for applicants and their supervisors.
  • Screen applications carefully to confirm accuracy and completeness.
  • Verify that pay band applicants meet the GS-14/15 grade equivalency.

Letters of Recommendation:

Both Rater and first SES/GO Endorser pre-designated by the applicant in the SETMS survey must endorse each applicant as part of the SETMS application process.

Command Endorsement Memo

The "Command endorsed" order-of-merit list (OML) forwards the best qualified candidates to CSLDD. It must:

  • Include an order-of-merit list (OML) of nominees within the body of the endorsement or as an enclosure via the SETMS Command Board link.
  • If the Command/equivalent organization has only one nominee, the endorsement must include a statement that the nominee is "one of one."
  • Include the name, email address and telephone number of the Command/equivalent POC.

The Command will determine what method(s) are appropriate to generate an OML. Submit nomination packages of best qualified candidates to HQDA via command endorsement in SETMS. Command endorsement must be completed in SETMS in time to reach CSLDD by the suspense date.

Senior Service College Graduate Placement Program (SSC GPP):
Coverage The SSC GPP applies to all Army Civilian applicants for SSC. It is a post-training placement process, established by the VCSA in June 2003. It is designed to maximize Army's return on investment and provide an avenue for full utilization of the competencies acquired through SSC. The VCSA policy memorandum can be read at

  • Applicants: Must sign the SSC GPP Mobility Agreement and continued Service agreement as a condition of applying for SSC.
  • Selectees: Will submit an updated resume to CSLDD reflecting the SSC they are attending and current school and home email addresses, telephone numbers, and projected date of graduation within thirty calendar days of SSC start. Resumes will be sent electronically to:
    Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
    Civilian Senior Leader Management Office
    (ATTN: CSLDD SETM Programs)
    111 Army Pentagon, Room 1D755
    Washington, DC 20310-0111

    Email: or
  • The SSC Graduate Placement Program (GPP) is authorized to reassign you to a position in your current grade. You cannot be non-competitively promoted via the GPP. If you are looking for a specific location and/or type of duty, work with your FCR to identify vacancies and provide to CSLDD prior to the November 2016 SETM-Placement Board convening. Positions you find on your own efforts, including reassignments, must be validated and approved by the applicable FCR and the SETM-Placement Board. Use this link to the Validation Guidance that describes the characteristics of a position requiring SSC education.
  • Work with your FCR to identify your GPP goals and discuss options prior to HQDA SETM-Placement Board placement board. The FCRs are actively committed to finding you a post-placement assignment that meets both SSC requirements and your personal goals. Students should establish and maintain regular communication with their FCRs throughout their SSC attendance.

SSC Program Manager (CSLDD)
  • Will contact students at the start of the school year to obtain updated resumes, biographies and preferences.
  • Will actively work with SSC students to identify student's personal career goals, assignment preferences and objectives. Student preferences will be considered by the SETM-Placement Board but these preferences are not binding. The needs of the Army are the first consideration when placement decisions are being made.
  • The resumes, biographies and preferences of all SSC students will be presented to the SETM-Placement Board.
  • The SETM-Placement Board will consider the SSC students for permanent lateral placement into known or projected vacancies for which they are qualified.
  • The SETM-Placement Board will make placement recommendations for ASA (M&RA)’s final approval. CSLDD will prepare world-wide announcements in March/April of the SSC graduation year.

Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), and Direct Reporting Units (DRU) Human Resource Directors (HRD), Career Program Functional Chief Representatives (FCR), Career Field Functional Proponents (FP) and Selecting Officials/Gaining Organization
  • Army Commands (ACOM), Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), Direct Reporting Units (DRU), Human Resource Directors (HRD), Career Program Functional Chief Representatives (FCR), Career Field Functional Proponents (FP) and Acquisition Support Center will provide CSLDD valid vacancies at the GS14/15 equivalencies for the SSC GPP consideration. These vacancies are due to CSLDD NLT Jan 2016.

Affirmative Action Goals:
  • Advanced leader development education such as SSC provides a valuable learning experience. The success of today's Army comes from the total commitment to the ideals of freedom, fairness, and human dignity upon which our country was founded. To this end, equal opportunity for all personnel is the only acceptable standard. The backgrounds, ideas and insights of men and women, all racial and ethnic groups, and persons with disabilities are a source of strength and diversity for our Nation and our workforce. Eligible employees should be encouraged to participate in these programs by functional, managerial, human resource, and equal opportunity officials in support of Army goals.

Administrative Procedures - Post Selection
Selectees: Accepting an SSC Offer:
  • You are required to accept in writing the offered seat. Acceptances must be submitted by email to the CSLDD POCs identified at the end of this section within two weeks of the date that final acceptance notices are released.
  • Declinations: Selectees declining SSC will forward a formal statement of declination through their chain of command to the address provided above, with copy furnished to HQDA G-37 TRV POC. Selectees who decline will be removed from any future consideration for SSC.

Civilian Training Student Account (CTSA) (HQDA G-37 TRV Civilian Training and Leader Development)

Candidates selected to attend the Army War College (AWC) and the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy residency program will be reassigned from their current organization to a long-term training authorization on G-3/5/7 Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA). Students will attend SSC in a TDY status from their current duty location. G-37 TRV will fund salary and benefits for CTSA members while in a training status. Exception: OCONUS candidates will PCS to the training site (Note: Selectees whose families will be negatively impacted by the current Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) will NOT be reassigned to the G-37 TRV TDA, but remain assigned to their current organization   --- Backfill reimbursement can be provided to organization's for the period participants are not assigned to the CTSA).

  • Final placement decisions will be made as soon as possible during the academic year. The personnel action may be cut at any point during the academic year, but not later than the second week of May each academic year.
    • The DCS G-37 TRV will cover any PCS costs unless the graduate is already covered by a transportation agreement in connection with an overseas transfer.
  • Will coordinate with the selecting official/gaining organization regarding effective date of reassignment.

Losing Organization
  • For candidates transferring to the central account, organizations will be able to backfill against the vacant position once the student has been reassigned (per effective date of the SF50).

Submit all inquiries to the HQDA G-37 TRV POC

SSC Policy and CTSA:


Mr. Don Harrison
703-545-4313 (DSN 865)

Budget/Travel Orders:
Ms. Nakiesha Pumilia
703-545-4304 (DSN 865)

Travel Orders:
CSLDD Points of Contact

Mr. Edmund Shaw, ,
703-693-1128 (DSN 223)

Mr. Timothy L. McLean, ,
703-695-7987 (DSN 225)

SETM Board and SSC GPP Policy:
Mr. Edmund Shaw, ,
703-693-1128 (DSN 223)