USTRANSCOM Unveils New Professional Development Program

Jun 1, 2023 | Your Source

To stay ahead of our adversaries, we must invest in our most valuable resource: Our people, Commander of U.S. Transportation Command Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost said during a recent supervisor town hall.

Supervisors and leaders throughout the command gathered May 18, at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, to learn what resources are available to help them develop and empower their teams. One such tool is the new automated Individual Development Plan (IDP) — a personalized career plan that tracks employee training requirements, their unique goals and professional development courses taken.

Kisacha Rice, USTRANSCOM’s human capital development chief, played a key role in the IDP’s development and was proud to announce its release, calling it an “improved mechanism for employee and supervisor engagement.”

“The IDP establishes career roadmaps for employees, enabling supervisors to provide mentorship, coaching, and support for employees as they navigate toward their goals,” Rice said. “It’s a way to inspire deliberate development and mentorship of our employees.”

Air Force Col. Jonelle Eychner, director of USTRANSCOM’s Manpower and Personnel directorate (J-1), added that this change will not only foster improved communication between supervisors and their subordinates, but benefit the command at large.

“A supervisor and ratee is the most basic and critical starting point of the larger team. If this initial team isn’t communicating, isn’t collaborating, isn’t challenging each other to become the best version of themselves, then the larger team really does lose out,” Eychner said.

The new IDP processes will aid in this communication by “identifying the most beneficial and popular courses for our team,” she continued. It will also bring insight into the Standard Form-182 processes, which governs the authorization, agreement and certification of training for federal employees.

Fleet Master Chief Donald Myrick, USTRANSCOM senior enlisted leader, echoed Eychner’s sentiment, adding that human capital growth and development is the foundation of national security.

“Strategic competition is going to require us to think very differently, as our adversaries are continually growing and developing across all spectrums of warfare. This is not just a TRANSCOM priority [but a Defense Department priority],” Myrick said.

“We have to grow our talent. It’s very important as we, as an enterprise, particularly with the direction of our commander and our J-1 team and you as supervisors, continue investing in your people,” he continued.

According to Myrick, USTRANSCOM has an annual budget of $2.5 million to pay for personal development and training, including various senior leadership and mid-manager certificate programs at Washington University, St. Louis University, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, to name a few.

To Van Ovost, taking care of people is priority, and the command must invest and retain to meet mission demands.

“We often talk about how valuable you are outside this fence line,” Van Ovost said to the audience. “But you just can’t match the culture [that comes with military and civil service]. “We’re going to remove barriers, ensure you feel like you are part of a team, and come to work knowing that you’re making a difference.

“Then we’re going to put you in leadership positions where you’re going to grow and have more impact early on than anywhere else and have opportunities that only we as a Joint Service can provide you,” she continued.

To learn more about the new IDP program or the resources available to USTRANSCOM employees, email

Or, if you’re interested in starting a career at USTRANSCOM, visit

By Jonathan Stefanko, U.S. Transportation Command

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