By Tara Clements
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Oct. 6, 2014) — Next Monday marks 25 years since then-Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Carl E. Vuono approved the creation of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), a specially trained, dedicated group of military and civilian acquisition leaders who develop, field and sustain the critical systems and services that enable our Soldiers to fight and win our nation’s wars. Not surprisingly, the Army acquisition community is celebrating in a big way.
To commemorate the silver anniversary, the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC), along with the Army acquisition community, has launched a campaign focused on people—the more than 12,000 members of the AAC. This cadre of hardworking professionals has even garnered presidential recognition.
“Bearing a burden heavier than any the rest of us may ever know, our service members deserve the utmost support our Nation has to offer, and our military and civilian acquisition leaders help meet this sacred promise to our soldiers,” said President Obama in his written message to the AAC on Oct. 1 for the 25th anniversary. “As Commander In Chief, I thank our dedicated acquisition leaders for their remarkable service.” Read the entire message.
A dedicated anniversary webpage, hosting the president’s message and one from retired Gen. Vuono, is designed to increase awareness for what the AAC is and does. The site features original documents; an interactive, multimedia timeline allowing users to explore the history of the corps; signature news articles throughout 25 years; and more than 20 “shout out” videos from the Army acquisition community and its most senior leaders. Don’t miss the highlight reel featuring clips from all the videos on USAASC’s YouTube playlist.
“Thank you, to each and every one of you for what you do on a daily basis,” said the Hon. Heidi Shyu, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), in her shout-out video. “The work you perform enables this Army to be the best Army in the world.”
The site also includes “25 for 25,” an opportunity to meet 25 members of the AAC in recognition of 25 years of Army acquisition excellence. This small sample of the more than 12,000-strong AAC highlights the diversity, talent, experience and professionalism that exists across the corps. From advanced medical research to rocket science to small arms to contracting and logistics, Army acquisition professionals research, design, develop and deliver the capabilities that Soldiers need to dominate on the battlefield.
The group of 25 AAC members provides an everyday, behind-the-scenes look at this specially trained, dedicated cadre of acquisition leaders—nearly 8 percent of them military and 92 percent civilian—who average 18 years of acquisition experience. Together, AAC members have earned more than 7,000 advanced degrees and nearly 400 doctoral degrees, in addition to meeting annual acquisition certification requirements.
From Oct. 6 to 17, the celebration continues online through video messages, posts and even trivia on social media platforms throughout the acquisition community that can be tracked using hashtag #AAC25.
Additionally, the October-December edition of Army AL&T magazine is dedicated to the workforce and the AAC’s 25th anniversary. Army AL&T is the quarterly professional journal supporting the ASA(ALT), comprising in-depth, analytically focused articles.
“Along with the larger Army Acquisition Workforce, the AAC is the premier developer of the materiel solutions needed for a strategically responsive force,” writes Shyu in her October-December Army AL&T column, 25 Years and Counting. “In establishing the AAC, the Army professionalized the acquisition workforce, defining career trajectories for military and civilian acquisition workers with clear expectations for education, training, experience and assignments that promote competence and skill among the workforce.”
The signature event commemorating the anniversary, hosted by Shyu and the Director of Army Acquisition Career Management, Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. Oct. 13—the very day marking the 25th anniversary—at the Army exhibit during the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.
USAASC is a direct reporting unit supporting the Army’s acquisition mission through personnel development systems and management support capabilities. One of the core functions includes managing the AAC and the Army Acquisition Workforce, including career management and development.
Army Acquisition: Professional to the Corps.