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.
Under Secretary challenges Army senior leaders to revamp civilian career management
By Audra Calloway During a two-day session at the Pentagon last month, approximately 30 members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) gathered to discuss how to improve civilian career development. Army Under Secretary Brad R. Carson hosted the event, which was meant to help shape policy changes regarding how the Army hires, trains, develops, and sustains its civilian workforce. “Many civilians are expected to come to their jobs with the requisite skills and do not always receive the necessary training to advance their talents and careers,” said Scott Rowell, Civilian Workforce Transformation Integrator. “This is different from Soldiers, who know that the Army has a standardized system to help them develop the technical, managerial and leadership skills needed to advance,” he said. The Civilian Workforce Transformation (CWT) program was created to help devise an enterprise approach to how the Army manages its civilian corps. The organization is creating this approach based on the highly effective, centrally managed and resourced professional development model that is used for military members. “The primary goal of CWT is to produce a more flexible and adaptable Capabilities-based Civilian workforce to better support Army goals and missions,” Rowell said. “The Army faces significant challenges in the future. As the number of active duty Soldiers decreases, the Army is calling on its civilian corps to assume greater levels of responsibility and accountability.” “Under Secretary Carson understands that Army civilians are a vital part of the workforce, and provide technical expertise and continuity to the military. His challenge to senior civilian leaders was to define what success is in regards to civilian professional development, what it will take to get there, and the metrics senior leaders will use to know they are successful,” said Rowell. Under Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson greets awardees of the Kushnick, Macy, and Hoge Awards and their spouses on June 9, 2014, during a Pentagon Hall of Heroes ceremony. The recipients of the awards, who were chosen for their leadership and innovation, were David A. Helmer, Freddie L. Giddens, and Dianne V. Smith. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller) Senior leaders focused on three main topics during the meeting, and each topic discussion was lead by an SES from TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command), Army G-8 and Army G-4. The topics included: Requirements: Generating guidance on how the Army determines and synchronizes civilian requirements across the workforce. Integration: Integrating the various phases of human capital lifecycle, from hiring to training to sustaining to retiring. Talent Management: Determining how the Army can better manage, develop and grow its civilian talent. Around 30 potential initiatives were proposed during the SES meeting, including creating a mentoring culture, improving the supervisor/employee relationship and educating prior military on how to best supervise civilian employees versus Soldiers. The Army is deciding which initiatives will be implemented, and how. In the past four years, the Army has made significant progress standardizing the civilian profession, Rowell said. The Army has placed every civilian in a structured career program, developed civilian leadership and education trainings, and created the Senior Enterprise Talent Management, or SETM, program to provide for a more coordinated management plan to prepare senior civilians at the GS-14 and GS-15 levels to assume duty positions of greater responsibility. Scott Newman, program director for Systems Engineering and Integration, CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, shows Under Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson the C4ISR Systems Integration Laboratory, the site for lab-based risk reduction for systems prior to Network Integration Evaluations at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. on July 29, 2014. (Photo Credit: Kyle Bond) Army civilians can learn about their career program and professional development opportunities by logging into their Army Career Tracker (ACT) account at https://actnow.army.mil. The ACT provides Army personnel — enlisted, officer and civilian cohorts — a system to manage their professional development and to monitor progress toward training, education, and career goals. Note: This article is the first in a series of articles highlighting key programs for Army civilians. Related posts: GoArmyEd released; soon to be linked to legacy systems GOOD FELLOWS “A Unified Team”: The newest Army Acquisition Fellowship graduates ‘Mastering’ advanced education opportunities
August Army DACM Office Hot Topics
Hot Topic #1: Expanding the use of of the Senior Rater Potential Evaluation (SRPE) In 2003, the Army Director Acquisition Career Management (DACM) developed a new tool to manage the talent of the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAWF): the Senior Rater Potential Evaluation. The SRPE was designed to evaluate the potential of designated civilian employees to perform in positions of increased responsibility. In contrast to existing personnel appraisal systems, the SRPE predicts potential future performance; while the Total Army Personnel Evaluation System (TAPES) and the various personnel demonstration projects evaluate current performance and contributions to the mission. The SRPE has been a valuable resource for managing the talent of the AAWF. The SRPE assesses the employee’s potential for promotion to the next higher grade or pay band and/or selection to fill a key billet position when compared with his/her peers. Presently, the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) uses the SRPE to determine which corps members best fit centrally selected list (CSL) positions, and to select candidates for Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition fellowships. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) uses the SRPE to evaluate candidates for Senior Service College fellowships. Using a phased approach beginning January 2015, the SRPE will be required annually for all AAWF personnel GS-12 (and pay band equivalent) and above. The first phase, beginning in January 2015, will cover all AAC members assigned to the Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), a Program Executive Office, or Headquarters, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center in the grades of GS-13 – GS-15. The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) emphasizes the development of a highly qualified and more professional acquisition workforce. The SRPE supports this goal by helping acquisition workforce employees and their senior raters identify strengths, weaknesses, and professional competencies. This information allows employees to create an individual development plan that maximizes their potential for performance in positions of increased responsibility. Final staffing of the DACM draft policy on expanding SRPE use, which will outline all requirements to ensure a smooth transition, is currently underway and will be published before the end of the fiscal year. Hot Topic #2: Training with Industry How would you like an opportunity to work in an industry-leading company—like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Boeing, to name a few—learning their best practices and bringing that experience back to the Army? Training with Industry (TWI) is a challenging program that offers this rare opportunity. The Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) offers this assignment to highly motivated and skilled officers in the grades of O3 – O5. Applicant’s backgrounds are matched with skills desired by the specific companies. Please contact your assignment officer if you are interested in participating in Training with Industry. Visit the TWI program page for additional information that includes the companies we work with and testimonials from previous program participants. You can also learn more about this program in the July-September 2014 edition of Army AL&T magazine starting on page 128. Hot Topic #3: Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) Program Do you aspire to be one of the Army’s future Senior Acquisition Leaders? The Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fel¬lows (CDG/AAF) program is the program for you. CDG/AAF is a premier leadership developmental program initiated by the Army Director for Career Management (DACM) and the U.S. Army Acquisi¬tion Support Center (USAASC) to improve the quality of the Army’s GS-12/13s and pay band equivalents. CDG/AAF is a three-year program focusing primarily on developing our next Project/Product Managers (PM); however, we also have a path for those desiring future senior acquisition positions other than PM. CDG/AAF offers developmental assignments in the Program Executive Offices (PEOs), Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)) offices, U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) headquarters, and functional organizations. The program offers expanded training, leadership, experiential, and other career development opportunities. The Army DACM Office and USAASC will announce the 2015 offering of the CDG/AAF Program next month. Applications will be available starting September 4, 2014 and will be accepted through November 16, 2014. For more details, see the CDG program page for eligibility and future announcements. ‘Army DACM Office Hot Topics’ is brought to you by the USAASC Acquisition, Education and Training Branch to help Army acquisition professionals stay on top of career information with timely updates including training opportunities, current program offerings and what’s on the horizon. Related posts: Defense Acquisition University (DAU) FY15 training schedule now open Army DACM Office Hot Topics – July Acquisition Career Counselors Kept Busy at AUSA Annual Meeting NEWS YOU CAN USE
Assistant Secretary of Defense Recognized for Skill in Communication
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Katrina McFarland, received the David D. Acker “Skill in Communication” Award. The Acker Award is the most prestigious of the awards sponsored by the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Alumni Association. It is presented annually to an individual who has promoted and communicated acquisition management and leadership excellence to the acquisition workforce. During the presentation ceremony, DAU Alumni Association President Bill Bahnmaier remarked on the various events in which Mrs. McFarland participated. “I still vividly recall one of those forums which addressed how to prepare for – and the type of material required – to successfully present a program for decision at a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) review meeting,” said Mr. Bahnmaier. “That was real communications and learning.” Among other things, Mrs. McFarland was recognized for developing unique initiatives to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency in the defense acquisition system. Also noted were her dedication and commitment to increase the professionalism of the total acquisition workforce with the introduction of the Acquisition Workforce Qualification Initiative, and her inculcation of cost consciousness and affordability across the acquisition community. The Acker Award was created in memory of the late David Acker, a staff specialist in the Directorate of Defense Research and Engineering who played an active role in preparing the charter for the original Defense Systems Management College. Previous Acker Award winners include current and former Under Secretaries of Defense and former industry Chief Executive Officers. Subscribe to Access AL&T is the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. Subscribe Related posts: Acquisition Education and Training Corner Defense Acquisition University (DAU) FY15 training schedule now open NEWS YOU CAN USE Acquisition Education and Training Corner: April 2011 Update
Faces of the Force
Fast-forward three decades, and you’ll find Wong at the Systems Engineering and Technical Integration Division for the Project Manager, Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS), which equips mounted and dismounted Soldiers with all calibers of direct fire ammunition for the Army’s current, Stryker and future forces. He is assigned there by the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (ARDEC’s) Systems Engineering Directorate, the science and technology development arm for armaments to the PM.
Lt. Col. Mark P. Henderson
Having served in the Army for 23 years, six of them as an enlisted Soldier, Lt. Col. Mark Henderson has enjoyed diverse and challenging assignments, but is always looking for ways to grow and improve—leading him to one of the most insightful and rewarding jobs of his career.
Lt. Col. James ‘Chris’ Mills
Spend the day in Lt. Col. Chris Mills’ shoes and you’ll get to experience the entire acquisition life cycle. As Product Manager for Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, he and his team are responsible for the Army’s scout helicopter and training helicopter fleets, managing the modifications, sustainment and support of more than 738 aircraft.
Lt. Col. Mark Talbot
Lt. Col. Mark Talbot joined the Army nearly 30 years ago “to be all I could be, as the slogan goes,” he said. In that time, he’s been many things including an instructor at Ranger School, the director of Acquisition Forward Operations in Baghdad, and the executive officer for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition Systems Management at the Pentagon. “I’m a pretty curious person, and my service has definitely suited my personality,” he said.
Several years ago, Daniel Woolley worked as a software engineer at a major defense contractor while attending graduate school. That work brought him into contact with a lot of dedicated individuals, and ultimately led him to his current role of chief architect at PEO C3T’s Project Manager (PM) Mission Command.
The Army’s Ground-Based Sense-and-Avoid System (GBSAA) is the first system of its kind and it’s changing the face of unmanned aviation—and as its deputy product director Mary Ottman is at the heart of the development effort