A Plan to Make — and Break

A Plan  to Make — and Break

By Mr. Dale A. Ormond, Director, U.S. Army Research, Development And Engineering Command Most planning involves developing a series of concrete steps and conditional decision points that together define a good way ahead, and then—as no plan survives contact—adjusting that. As director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), when I contemplate the Army’s 30-year plan to modernize the force, I see our goal as not only to break that plan, but to break it often and before anyone else does. It is our job to make the Soldier’s kit obsolete. This we must do if we are to help the Army maintain its unparalleled dominance on […]

S&T Notebook: Active Collaboration

S&T Notebook: Active Collaboration

[author type="author"]Dr. Scott Fish[/author] This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs. The New Year continues to be a busy time for the Chief Scientist’s office. I took part in the Army Science Board plenary meeting held Jan. 18-20 at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Headquarters at Fort Eustis, VA. The Small Unit Data to Decisions Study was initiated with the full team. That study, and continued work on the Strategic Look at Army S&T Study, prepared for active engagements through the spring with various labs and S&T […]

S&T Notebook: Events Update

S&T Notebook: Events Update

[author type="author"]Dr. Scott Fish[/author] This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs. First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. There are a lot of exciting, significant events scheduled in 2012, and I will be updating these happenings for you in this column throughout the year. Since my last monthly update, DoD received an appropriation bill, and the Army’s science and technology portfolio was funded for FY12. Also, I took part in the Board on Army Science and Technology (BAST) session in Washington, DC, on Dec. 5-6. […]

S&T Notebook: Looking to the Future

S&T Notebook: Looking to the Future

[author type="author"]Dr. Scott Fish[/author] This is a regular column by Dr. Scott Fish, Army Chief Scientist, on activities in the Army science and technology (S&T) community and their potential impact on Army acquisition programs. A lot of exciting and great things have occurred since the last time I reported out to everyone. One of the most significant was the change of duty by LTC Amanda Greig back to the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center and her replacement by COL Lary Chinowsky as my new Military Assistant. COL Chinowsky has hit the ground running and has already represented me at the 19th Annual  U.S. Army Research Laboratory/United States Military Academy (ARL/USMA) Science Symposium […]

DACM Corner: Selecting, Mentoring, and Developing Interns

DACM Corner: Selecting, Mentoring, and Developing Interns

As I look around at my fellow professionals in the Army acquisition, logistics, and technology (AL&T) community, I see a dedicated, seasoned workforce—and I wonder, who will take the place of these experienced professionals when they decide to retire? This is something that leadership throughout AL&T should be thinking about: Where do we find the best and the brightest young people to bring into government service, and how do we help them develop into future AL&T leaders? Fortunately, we have some very successful internship programs to guide us. Experience has shown us that, despite the advantages that private industry may have over government in hiring, many talented college graduates want […]

DACM Corner: Selecting and Developing Acquisition Officers and NCOs

DACM Corner: Selecting and Developing Acquisition Officers and NCOs

[author type="author"]LTG William N. Phillips[/author] As we continue to build a world-class Acquisition Workforce with military and civilian professionals, we are faced with two equally important requirements: accessing the right skill sets to do the job and advancing career opportunities for the people who work diligently to execute the AL&T mission. All while staying focused on our vital mission to support Soldiers by getting the resources they need into their hands as quickly as possible, a mission in which we cannot fail. This vital mission is not possible without a robust, highly skilled, and professional AL&T Workforce that includes Acquisition Officers, Noncommissioned Officers, and Army Civilian members. The challenge is […]

DACM Corner: Growing the Acquisition Workforce

DACM Corner: Growing the Acquisition Workforce

[author type="author"]LTG William N. Phillips[/author] No doubt you’ve been hearing a lot about efficiencies and budget restraint, and about “doing more without more.” But you may not know that a few years before, they were a key topic of discussion in Washington in particular and among some senior leaders in DOD acquisition. The Army was well on its way to implementing a program that not only increases efficiencies, but also continues to ensure that the needs of our warfighters on the battlefield are met, and that we will have a viable and effective acquisition workforce into the future. Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY08 directed the […]

DACM Corner: AcqDemo: Rewarding Excellence

[author type="author"]LTG William N. Phillips[/author] Many of you in the Army Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Workforce no doubt are wondering what the pending transition from the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) to the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration Project (AcqDemo) will mean for your careers. I would like to assure you that AcqDemo brings with it great potential to recognize and reward your hard work on behalf of our Soldiers. The transition from NSPS to AcqDemo as the personnel and performance management system for approximately 14,000 employees in the DOD acquisition workforce, including about 6,000 in Army AL&T, is on track to be completed by May 22, as most of […]

Flying the CH-47F Chinook Helicopter: A Contracting Officer’s Journey

Flying the CH-47F Chinook Helicopter: A Contracting Officer’s Journey

[author type="author"]Jean Hodges[/author] When I started out in contracting, doing construction for the Kansas Army National Guard in the late 1980s, not a week went by that I wasn’t out at the job site climbing ladders, examining pipes, or doing aircraft hangar walk-throughs. But for many of us in contracting today, our phones, computers, and videoconferences wall us into our offices and chain us to our desks, as we try to keep up with an ever-growing workload. Touching what we procure has become a treat, and when it comes to systems, actually operating one is even more of a rarity. I recently had the opportunity to sit in a helicopter […]

DACM Corner: In Search of Contingency Contracting Officers and NCOs

[author type="author"]LTG William N. Phillips[/author] As I look at how to achieve growth and rebalancing across the acquisition workforce, it is clear to me that there are very talented, highly motivated people in our Army who would be great assets to our acquisition, logistics, and technology mission, if only they knew more about it. So I want to devote this column to an acquisition career field that is particularly rewarding and especially in need of more Soldiers: contingency contracting officer and contingency contracting NCO. Contingency contracting officers have the vital job of providing forward contracting support to ongoing war zone and humanitarian missions worldwide. Our Army is making a concerted […]