The Office of the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) is responsible for ensuring the career development and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification (training, education and experience) of the Army Acquisition Workforce, which consists of approximately 40,000 acquisition civilian and military members. This workforce resides in Army staff offices, Army commands, Army service component commands, program executive offices, and direct reporting units.
The Army DACM Office works directly with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition), and the Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) to enable workforce initiatives and to serve as advocates for the Army Acquisition Workforce.
Army program offers unique experience; grooms next generation of acquisition leaders
By Tara Clements and Bob Coultas FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 22, 2014) – Eight members of the 2012 Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) were recognized at a graduation ceremony here hosted by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Procurement, Harry Hallock, concluding their three-year, career-broadening experience across various Army acquisition positions and missions. Hallock advised the graduates to keep a good “balance” through their acquisition career as their leadership responsibilities increase. “I think people who stay in this job honestly, truly understand it’s a calling. We’re supporting Soldiers… we’re providing them equipment and services to help them in wartime and to come back alive. How much bigger can you get than that? But, it can become all-consuming. Keep a good balance.” CDG/AAF is a three-year program designed to develop future Army acquisition leaders by offering selected applicants expanded training, leadership, experiential and other career development opportunities. Since its inception in 1997, the program has provided board-selected individuals with essential leadership training and developmental assignments to leverage opportunities for future selection into critical acquisition and key leadership positions. “The [CDG/AAF] program offers a ‘foot-in-the-door’ opportunity unlike anything else I have seen since joining the civilian service,” said Stephen Roberts in an email interview. Because of training course commitments, he was the only one of the eight graduates unable to attend the ceremony. “The program allowed me the opportunity to serve in two assistant product manager roles, a deputy product manager role, and as an ASA(ALT) [assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology] Department of the Army systems coordinator for two significant Army air and missile defense portfolio programs. I absolutely would not have received all of these experiential opportunities had I not been selected for the program,” he added. The eight fellows were selected for this opportunity based on several criteria including potential to become strategic thinkers and leaders with integrated skill sets by the end of their three-year journey. “I now have a strategic perspective of not only the Army, but the Department of Defense as a whole, that I did not even have a hint of prior to the program,” said Roberts. And while the most memorable moments for each graduate differs, one consistent trend stands out as a significant contributor to their development—the practical experience they wouldn’t have otherwise had in their pre-program positions. Graduating class of 2012 From left, Matthew Whitworth, Huntsville, Alabama; Adam Morse, National Capital Region; Karen Short, Huntsville; Chenxi Dong-O’Malley, Natick, Massachusetts; Aladrian Wetzel; Aberdeen, Maryland; Craig Riedel; Warren, Michigan; and Timothy Hoy, Aberdeen. (Photo by Bob Coultas U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center). “My first assignment as the Soldier protection assistant product manager under Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment/Program Manager Soldier Individual Protective Equipment, [the Program Executive Office for] Soldier, was my most memorable experience by far,” said graduate Chenxi Dong-O’Malley. “It was the most intense and stressful assignment, but it provided me the most of amount of experiences from all different perspectives,” she added. Dong-O’Malley noted that the assignment provided hands-on acquisition experiences including requirements development, working with the science and technology community, contract establishments, to how to be a leader of an acquisition team and network with headquarters, Department of the Army organizations to develop acquisition milestone requirements. And from the lens of building future leaders among the group, building technical skills isn’t the only take-away. “…the fellowship taught me and helped me build confidence to seek mentorships from senior leaders whom I have observed and learned how to think strategically and how to ask the right questions,” said Dong-O’Malley. After 36 months of classes, practical experience, institutional training and executive leadership training experiences across the Army acquisition community, the fellows received their certificates of graduation ready to apply their experiences to become future leaders within the workforce. While the program does not guarantee a promotion, all graduates are currently pursuing positions of greater responsibility. “Whether the program sped my ability to get a promotion is debatable,” said Roberts. “However, the experience/training I received, by getting out of the functional stovepipe world I lived in as a Department of the Army civilian engineer, expanded my ability to both think critically and strategically to a level that I do not think would have been attainable via a different opportunity offered by the Army.” Newly graduated CDG/AAF Fellow Matthew Whitworth is presented his diploma by Joan Sable, Chief, Army Acquisition Human Capital Initiatives Division, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center and DASA(P) Harry Hallock. The next class of eight fellows have been selected, set to begin their CDG/AAF journey this next month and end in the spring of 2018. As for words of advice from the program’s most recent graduates: make the most of the challenge. To that, Roberts added, “Do not waste this opportunity. Make the choice to do whatever is in both your and the Army’s best interest and make the opportunities count.” Dong-O’Malley recommended that participants “take every chance to network with your peers and get on the calendar of your senior leaders and learn from others’ experiences and build your own experiences.” CDG/AAF Year Group 15 inductees: Scott Brady, Medical Command, Ft. Detrick, Maryland Roger Gray, Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, Huntsville, Alabama Kenyatta Juniel, Program Executive Office (PEO) Combat Support & Combat Service Support (CS&CSS), Warren, Michigan Natasha Owens, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Soldier, Picatinny, New Jersey Rachel Overman, Program Executive (PEO) STRI, Orlando, Florida Charles Parson, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, Warren Anthony Taylor, Program Executive Office (PEO) Command Control Communication-Tactical (C3T), Aberdeen, Maryland Matthew Warner, Program Executive Office (PEO) Combat Support & Combat Service Support (CS&CSS), Warren Guest speaker Harry Hallock, DASA(P) listens to opening remarks along with fellow guests, at the CDG/AAF YG 12 graduation ceremony April 22 at Fort Belvoir. Subscribe to Access AL&T is the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Subscribe Related posts: “A Unified Team”: The newest Army Acquisition Fellowship graduates September Army DACM Office Hot Topics Acquisition Education and Training Corner: August 2011 In Hard Truth, New Opportunity
Army DACM Office uses Facebook to engage with the workforce
By Tara Clements FT. BELVOIR, Va. (April 22, 2015) – Leaders from the office responsible for supporting the director of acquisition career management for the Army, or Army DACM Office, held a virtual town hall to discuss the 13 new acquisition career models and answer career-related questions from members of the Army Acquisition Workforce on the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Facebook page Tuesday. “This was a great opportunity to hear from and interact with members of the workforce,” said Diane Murtha, Chief of the Army DACM Office Concept & Policy Development Branch. “This was my first time participating in this type of forum and felt that it was very valuable to be able to answer questions that are top-of-mind for the workforce. I look forward to more in the future.” The Army DACM Office directly supports the Army, Director of Acquisition Career Management, Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson who also serves as the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. The Army DACM Office resides within USAASC at Fort Belvoir and is responsible for ensuring the career development and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification (training, education and experience) of the Army Acquisition Workforce, which consists of approximately 38,000 acquisition civilian and military members. This workforce resides in Army staff offices, Army commands, Army service component commands, program executive offices, and direct reporting units. The hour-long session resulted in 10 questions and reached more than 1,700 people. Questions focused on talent management, education and training, certification, etc. Additional participants included Joan Sable, who oversees daily Army DACM Office functions and responsibilities, Tom Evans who leads the Workforce Support Division, Wen Lin, a training development manager and Kelly Terry, lead for special projects who attended virtually. “The hour went by quickly with great dialogue and while we didn’t have any questions specific to the 13 new acquisition career models, we welcome questions and feedback at any time,” said Sable. “What’s important to note with the models, is that for the first time, all the training, experience and education resources you need to get wherever you’re wanting to go with your acquisition career is located on one page. And, they are going to get better with additional features and upgrades planned iteratively,” she added. This was the second event of its kind, with the first taking place last September with Williamson himself. Murtha noted that the workforce can expect future virtual sessions to focus on topics such as Senior Rater Potential Evaluations; Ellie, the Virtual Acquisition Career Guide and a virtual Civilian panel of flash mentors to address centralized selection lists. The Army DACM Office website provides a one-stop shop of any and everything related to Army acquisition careers. Questions from the workforce are fielded every day through the Workforce Management Inquiry System averaging responses within 24-48 hours at the latest. View a complete transcript of the town hall. Download the Career Model FAQs. Joan Sable and Diane Murtha (top), Wen Lin and Tom Evans (bottom), prepare for the Army DACM Office’s first virtual town hall on Facebook. The hour-long session, conducted April 21, reached more than 1,700 people covering career questions from members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. Subscribe to Access AL&T is the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Subscribe Related posts: NEWS YOU CAN USE DACM Corner: Selecting and Developing Acquisition Officers and NCOs Acquisition Education and Training Corner New online dashboard provides leadership with key information on training, certifications
Training with Industry welcomes new cohort
By Steve Stark FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 9, 2015) – Army acquisition’s Training with Industry (TWI) Program welcomed its new cohort of 10 officers at an orientation at the Fort Belvoir Officers Club, March 31. Joined in a day-long session by representatives from participating companies including Amazon, Boeing, Cisco, CSC, General Dynamics Land Systems, Intel, Lockheed Martin and Microsoft, the new participants got a primer on what to expect and what will be expected of them in their new assignments. The Program Executive Officer for Enterprise Information Systems, Doug Wiltsie, kicked off the event. According to Lt. Col. Clif Sawyer, a current TWI participant, Wiltsie “did a great job highlighting some of his experiences and how exposure to different business models influences his actions today.” TWI is a work-experience program intended to give top-performing at the level of major to lieutenant colonel extended exposure to industry management techniques and best practices, as well as a view from the “other side of the fence,” which they can then apply to future assignments. Doug Wiltsie, program executive officer for Enterprise Information Systems was the guest speaker at the Training with Industry (TWI) orientation for 10 new officers who start their assignments this summer. Additional speakers included representatives from industry and current TWI participants who provided an overview of what to expect and what will be expected of them in their new assignments. (Photo by Marti Giella, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center) “Depending on who you look at in this room,” said Marti Giella, an acquisition analyst who has managed the program for Army acquisition for the last two and a half years, “we have two representatives from Veterans Affairs [and] we have two representatives from the Air Force. They’re here to provide cross-collaboration—best practices, lessons learned of what they do—and it’s really been great for us. We brought some of their ideas into our program. Looking at some of the industry people here,” she continued, “it’s invaluable that they’re taking time out of their busy day to be here.” The industry representatives spoke for five to 10 minutes providing previews about how long their companies had been in the program, what their previous officers have done, and what they expect of their incoming officers. “For the incoming officers, this [orientation] is really for them. This is why we’re here. They’re starting [their TWI positions] anywhere between May 15 and July. They’ve got a big challenge, but a fun challenge and experience ahead of them,” said Giella. During a panel discussion with two current TWI participants, Sawyer and Lt. Col. Joel Gegato spoke of their own experiences with the TWI Program. Gegato was at Intel and Sawyer is finishing up his assignment at Boeing. “The orientation is a great opportunity for incoming participants to hear from senior acquisition leaders like Mr. Wiltsie, and current and past participants,” Sawyer said. “The orientation focused on the importance of understanding business practices, both differences and similarities [between government and industry], and how the perspective gains can help government acquisition professionals.” During the panel discussion, Sawyer said, “Joel and I covered several items that we thought were important during our time with TWI. Most important of all the items was ensuring we were engaged with our industry partner so both parties benefited from the relationship.” For more information on TWI, go to http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/aac-training-with-industry/ The new TWI Program participants are: Lt. Col. Robert Klarenbach, Airbus Group Inc. Maj. Steven Gutierrez, Amazon Maj. Chae Gayles, Boeing Lt. Col. Kecia Troy, Cisco Lt. Col. Ralph Ware, CSC Lt. Col. Travis Adkins, General Dynamics Land Systems Maj. Steven Power, Intel Lt. Col. Altheria Niles, Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions Maj. Anthony Douglas, Microsoft Maj. Brandy West, Microsoft Subscribe to Access AL&T is the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Subscribe Related posts: TWI: It Just May Be Your Favorite Year Exchanging Perspectives Recent leadership program graduates prepare to mentor the next generation “A Unified Team”: The newest Army Acquisition Fellowship graduates
Faces of the Force
James C. Risner
When opportunity knocks, you have to open the door. Some people, like Jim Risner, just go on out to the front porch and grab it by the lapels. “I joined the Department of the Army because of the opportunities the program provided,” Risner said, looking back on an Army career that began nearly 30 years ago. “Little did I realize how great those opportunities would be.”
“I had no intention of working for the government—I wanted to make money.” That’s what Steven Bryant told his father, an Army sergeant major who served 33 years, when his dad suggested he look for a job with the Army.
In her 30-year Army career, Amy Hayden has worked with what she calls “some very dedicated people.” But her work on one of the Army’s biggest logistics contracts showed her even greater levels of dedication—that’s pretty remarkable for someone who admits she “stumbled into” a career that a previous manager tried to discourage her from pursuing.
Melissa Garcia got her start in contracting by accident. “I responded to a request for resumes for an internship when I was in college, but I wasn’t really sure who I was submitting my resume to,” said Garcia, now contracting officer and team lead for the 919th Contingency Contracting Battalion in the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC). “I got a phone call asking if I was interested in working at Fort Bliss, and when I showed up at the Contracting Office there, I had no clue as to what kind of work they did.”
Deborah Ault has spent nearly four decades in civilian service, working her way up from typing purchase requests to serving as the director of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Knox, earning a B.S. in business administration along the way. One of the biggest changes she’s seen? Plastic.
Maj. Mark Corn
Contingency contracting requires its people to go where the action is, and as a contingency contracting officer, Maj. Mark Corn has spent a lot of time in the field, strengthening his skills during field exercises in Germany and a deployment to Djibouti. But, in looking at his career over the long term, he knows he’ll need to balance offsite work with stateside posts. Corn is the team leader for the 717th Contingency Contracting Team (CCT) and contracting officer for the 900th Contingency Contracting Battalion (CCBn) Pre-Award Division.