By Tara Clements
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (May 19, 2014) — Thirteen members of the 2011 Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) were recognized at a graduation ceremony at Defense Acquisition University here hosted by the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM), Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson.
“What an amazing success,” said Williamson. “The reason you were identified [for this program] is your ability to learn and grow. Take the experience you’ve had here back with you and find opportunities for others to become the next set of leaders,” he added.
The CDG/AAF is a three-year developmental 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 fellows graduating Monday began their journey together on March 11, 2011 and through the process, created a “cohesive bond” and “a unified team of 13”, according Renee Kelly, one of the graduates.
“Once we all settled in and met the rest of the year group, something magical happened and we all just clicked,” said Kelly during her address at the ceremony. Mentoring one another, editing reports and helping each other through administrative challenges were just a few of the areas the group relied on each other to achieve their mutual goal and graduate from the program.
But it wasn’t met without challenges. Sequestration and civilian furloughs impacted training events, rotations and mandatory Defense Acquisition University courses. “We had obstacles along the way, but we persevered – never giving up. Failure was not an option,” added Kelly.
Following 36 months of classes, institutional training and executive leadership training experiences, the fellows received their certificates of graduation ready to apply what they’ve learned at their respective agencies.
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