U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Selects 51C NCOs
Langston W. Willis
A reclassification board has selected 37 NCOs for reclassification into Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 51C, Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Contracting. The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) convened the board—with members from the Defense Contract Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Army Contracting Command— Aug. 14-15.
The primary mission of 51C NCOs is to deploy as contingency contracting officers and serve as members of the early-entry module contingency contracting team. The Army established the classification in December 2006 to meet an increasing need for contingency contracting officers in the modular force. The number of 51C NCOs has risen from 247 at the end of FY10 to the current 368.
A change in how the Army logistically supports its operations is the reason for the increase in 51C numbers. “The Army is more dependent on contracting for its logistical and sustainment needs than ever before,” explained LTC Anthony Maneri, Functional Area 51C Proponency Officer. “Especially in a deployed environment, they prefer military personnel to do contracting. In the future, there are going to be a lot more services that are contracted. This helps keep the Army’s end strength down and overall costs to the US taxpayer to be lower.”
“The board has three main metrics: time in service, education, and performance. That helps us to paint a picture of a well-rounded Soldier, which is what the Army is looking for.”
USAASC has been conducting the board in its current format for two years, with the 51C Reclassification Board convening once every quarter. The selection rate and number of NCOs considered for reclassification vary, depending on the number of packets received.
In FY11, 234 application packets were received and 88 NCOs were selected, an acceptance rate of 37.6 percent.
The FY12 goal was to select 95, and USAASC was able to surpass that number.
The last two boards received about 100 applicants each, with 283 total applicants in FY12. Of those applicants, 107 NCOs from 27 different MOS fields were chosen, a selection rate of 37.8 percent. USAASC’s FY13 goal is to select approximately 160 applicants to reach a projected NCO strength of 632.
Applicants for 51C reclassification must be in the rank of sergeant (eligible for promotion to staff sergeant) or staff sergeant with less than 10 years of service. Those with more than 10 years’ but less than 13 years’ service may receive waivers. Ideal candidates have good job performance, some college education (50-60 credits), and six to seven years of time in service.
Among the FY12 applicants, 21 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 63 percent have more than 60 credit hours. The majority have less than 10 years of time in service, averaging seven years, and “excellence” ratings in their NCO evaluation reports. Soldiers from any MOS are eligible to apply for reclassification.
“The board has three main metrics: time in service, education, and performance,” Maneri said. “That helps us to paint a picture of a well-rounded Soldier, which is what the Army is looking for. We’re looking for Soldiers that are among the best. If these are the people that are spending millions and millions of dollars, you want the top performers.”
The next 51C Reclassification Board will convene Nov. 6-7. For more information about MOS 51C reclassification, please see the April 7, 2011, Army STAND-TO! article at http://www.army.mil/standto/archive/2011/04/07/ or visit the USAASC website at http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/military-nco/active-component-reclass-program/.
The NCOs selected by the board in August for reclassification are:
SSG Mary A. Abbey SGT Kelvin N. Aiken SSG Carole M. Alonzo-Mercado SSG Jon T. Andersen SSG David A. Archibald SGT Chandler E. Arick SSG Marshall E. Baca SGT Benedict R. Bocalbos SGT James W. Boutchyard SSG Larry C. Buwee SSG Kamba J. Cilumba SSG Timothy D. Cook SSG Ryan Cross SSG Derrica J. Frazier SGT Nennie Y. Gargard SGT Scott D. Glenn SGT Robert L. Gonzalez SGT Tom Green SGT Richard D. Howard SGT Ryan A. Knowles SGT Kevin J. Lommer SSG Kelly N. McFarlin SGT Ranika R. Milligan SSG Kimberly H. Morton SSG Ines Necker SGT Noel I. Nieves-Chaluisant SGT Melinda L. Nixon SSG Jacqueline L. Page SGT Lenise S. Pilcher SGT Fernando D. Ramirez SGT Branden A. Roberts SSG Marie Sanders-Gulas SGT Fran R. Smith SGT Arter E. Sweatman SSG Terrance D. Veal SSG Jalila A. Wahid SSG Jacob C. Wiley
- LANGSTON W. WILLIS is a Writer/Editor supporting the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center for SAIC. He has worked on projects with the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, Program Executive Office Soldier, and the Army’s Executive Partnerships Office. He served for seven years in the U.S. Army and has more than nine years’ experience as a Writer/Editor working on military topics. Willis holds a B.A. in journalism from Norfolk State University.