Pentagon Exploring AI-Powered Skills App for National Guard


The Department of Defense plans to create an AI-powered app to identify talent in the National Guard and reserve forces.

According to a post on the DoD website, the app will help the department take advantage of the hidden talent that’s knitted into the units. Scott Sumner, a technical project manager at the Defense Innovation Unit, said the guard and reserve forces offer a lot of talent that the Pentagon could use but hasn’t identified.

The Department of Defense plans to create an AI-powered app to identify talent in the National Guard and reserve forces. #HR #HRTech Share on X

For example, reservists may have experience in cloud computing, software engineering, cybersecurity or other needed skills from their civilian jobs, Sumner said. However, the department has no way to either find them or survey the skills it may have on-hand.

Dubbed Gig Eagle, the app will use AI to make the right matches, considering skills and other information entered by the reservist. Its algorithm will look to match similar words that indicate specific talent or skills needs, then forward a ranked list of candidates to the DoD hiring manager. At the same time, reservists could identify hiring managers who are looking for their particular skill sets.

Like the Gig Economy

Sumner said the app’s intended to meet short-term needs during the time reservists would otherwise spend on their normal military job.

Use of Gig Eagle is strictly voluntary, Sumner said, though he believes it’s likely that a number of reservists will want to use the app to pursue areas of special interest or pursue their own personal development.

One organization expressing interest in the app is the Space and Missile Systems Center, the primary acquisition group of Space Force, the website said. The center is interested in finding reservist airmen who have technical skills and can augment its digital workforce.

“As you can imagine, we have a lot of needs related to engineering, data and cybersecurity and information network disciplines,” explained Christopher “CJ” Johnson, the senior individual mobilization augmentee for the center’s Cross-Mission Ground and Communications Enterprise.

The Defense Innovation Unit has discussed the project with possible vendors as it envisions the app’s requirements. Private companies will be able to pitch their ideas this summer, in the hopes of testing a prototype later this year. Sumner said Congress allocated $3 million for the initial prototype.

Image: DoD

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