What kind of innovation do you want?

What kind of innovation do you want?

Corporate strategist, defense investor and student of complex systems Pierre Chao understands the many shades of innovation, particularly how it differs—widely—from the government to the commercial sector. And he has specific ideas on what makes innovation happen, what impedes it and where innovation should not take place. Army AL&T most often looks outside the realm of defense for the Critical Thinking column, but for this issue on innovation, we thought it important to stay closer to home. That’s because innovation in government and defense, and innovation in private industry—while not completely different—have significantly different incentive structures, an issue that’s important to Pierre Chao, who has been involved with the topic […]

Faces of the Force: Capt. Bradley Coule

Faces of the Force: Capt. Bradley Coule

POSITION AND UNIT: Assistant product manager, Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System, Close Combat Weapon Systems Project Office, Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 2 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 9 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in program management EDUCATION: B.S. in engineering technology and design, University of Central Florida AWARDS: Bronze Star (2); Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal (2); Army Achievement Medal; Meritorious Unit Citation (2) Leveraging experience for mission success By Susan L. Follett Capt. Bradley Coule came to acquisition two years ago, hoping that his engineering background and deployment experience in the field could translate into helping other Soldiers. So far, he says, […]

Prototyping the future

Prototyping the future

Better Buying Power emphasizes the value of prototyping capabilities to prove them out, and the annual TRADOC-sponsored Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment is a model for the kind of venue that industry, organic developers and Soldiers need to come together to put capabilities through their paces and find the best solutions for the Soldier. By Col. F. Wayne Brewster II Rarely is an idea perfect the first time it is assessed. New technologies, training strategies and force redesign concepts need to be evaluated and improved. That’s why experimentation with prototypes is a critical tool for modernization and innovation for the Army. The Army Operating Concept’s vision for Force 2025 and Beyond […]

Kirsch, Smith and JPO JLTV tapped for acquisition awards

Kirsch, Smith and JPO JLTV tapped for acquisition awards

By Susan L. Follett Dr. James C. Kirsch, Everett F. “Frank” Smith and a team from the Joint Program Office for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JPO JLTV) have been recognized for logistics, engineering and contract management efforts that aimed to get vehicles, missiles and unmanned air systems to warfighters quickly and economically. Kirsch and Smith are among 16 individuals and five groups receiving Defense Acquisition Workforce Development and Achievement Awards from the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. The JPO JLTV team received the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award, its second such honor in three years. “It is important that we continue to […]

A case study in acquisition centralization

A case study in acquisition centralization

PM P2E supports a globally connected Army—and the “global” part can be a real challenge, as requests for IT acquisition support flow in from around the world, including many urgent requests from Soldiers in theater. To respond, PM P2E had to revamp to meet the demand, and an organization that had used a traditional, decentralized approach to developing requirements created a one-stop shop for acquisition, which yields better buying power efficiencies and alignment with JIE objectives. By Mr. James “Chris” Christopher Woodis Product Manager Power Projection Enablers (PM P2E) is one of the Army’s top-tier information technology (IT) product offices. It acquires and implements enterprise IT capabilities for a globally […]

Early wins for Army’s commercial hardware strategy

Early wins for Army’s commercial hardware strategy

By Bridget Bernard ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 3, 2015) — As the one-stop-shop for the Army’s tactical commercial off-the-shelf information technology (COTS IT) hardware, the Common Hardware Systems (CHS) program is taking a holistic, innovative approach that is getting noticed. Recent undertakings resulted in increased efficiencies, significant cost avoidance and official designation as the primary organization to oversee tactical COTS IT hardware procurement for the Army. CHS provides state-of-the-art computing and networking equipment that improves connectivity, interoperability, logistics and maintenance support to Soldiers, and is available for use by all DOD and federal agencies. “We’ve always got to be looking ahead to understand where technology is going, how we […]

November Army DACM Hot Topics

November Army DACM Hot Topics

Hot Topics – November 3, 2015 By Marti Giella Hot Topics is a monthly breakdown of current news, important dates and updates affecting the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) in the next 30 to 60 days. Look for a new edition the first Tuesday of every month from the Office of the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM). Here’s what’s hot for November: FROM THE ARMY DACM OFFICE As a reminder, the Senior Rater Potential Evaluation policy took effect just over a month ago. This policy affects the entire Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW), starting with those at the GS-14 level. Read the policy, FAQs and other materials to learn more […]

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

POSITION AND UNIT: Contract specialist, 419th Contracting Support Brigade YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 1 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 10 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in contracting EDUCATION: B.S. in criminal justice administration, Columbia Southern University AWARDS: Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)); Army Achievement Medal (3 OLCs); Army Good Conduct Medal (3); National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (4); North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal Year one: lots to learn By Susan L. Follett Looking for a way to support her family, Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla joined the Army […]

Solidifying the base

Solidifying the base

PEO Ammunition creates greater flexibility to procure medium-caliber ammunition with an innovative acquisition strategy to make ‘family buys,’ reducing ammunition costs and keeping its industrial base warm.  By Maj. Edwin Churchill As the pace of combat operations has become widely variable, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition (PEO Ammunition) has created the flexibility to quickly ramp up medium-caliber ammunition production in response to rapidly changing requirements by having multiple manufacturing sources with warm lines. With the Medium Caliber Family acquisition (MCFA) strategy, PEO Ammunition is focusing on key capabilities specific to the production of medium cannon-caliber ammunition, reducing the administrative costs of the contract vehicle and maximizing the buying power […]

Iterative innovation

Iterative innovation

Just as no mission plan survives contact with the enemy, few chalkboard designs survive first contact with the Soldier. Because of that, CERDEC is leveraging its prototyping integration capabilities to prove out engineering and technology designs and put early prototypes into the hands of Soldiers, to obtain invaluable feedback and implement it more cheaply and quickly. By Mr. Christopher P. Manning and Mr. James G. Sroczynski Battle-tested and technologically savvy, today’s young Soldier is the most knowledgeable source available to provide relevant assessments and feedback on emerging Army platform systems. However, typical acquisition processes can delay how quickly Soldiers receive these technologies for testing. To accelerate the process from concept […]