By Tristin Maximilian
FORT BELVOIR, Va.—Two noncommissioned officers (NCOs) have been selected for the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS) program, offering the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees in acquisition and business disciplines at civilian universities.
“The Army offers so many untapped opportunities to service members. There truly is no other program for enlisted service members like ACS,” said Staff. Sgt. Kailey Good-Hallahan, one of the selectees. She will pursue an MBA with a focus on supply chain and operations at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in the next year.
Good-Hallahan serves as a contracting NCO for the 715th Senior Contingency Contracting Team at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. “Being able to attend school full time while receiving the same level of face-to-face interaction with industry as my civilian counterparts will pay dividends later in life,” she said.
Staff Sgt. Gloria Gutierrez, assigned to the 641st Contracting Team at the Regional Contracting Center – Kuwait on Camp Arifjan, was also selected to attend ACS. “During my time in the Army, I have learned the importance of finding ways to better myself,” she said. “I trust this program will help better prepare NCOs to become more proficient within a continuously evolving Army.” Gutierrez will pursue an MBA at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business.
NCOs have always been permitted to apply to ACS, but when the 51C military occupational specialty (MOS) was in its infancy, understrength contracting commands couldn’t support NCOs to going to ACS.
“Now we are at a point where we are over-strength and we can support NCOs going off to do this,” said Sgt. Maj. Joey Barden, proponent sergeant major for the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center.
Contracting NCOs often perform the same tasks as acquisition officers, including cost pricing, unbalanced pricing and regression analysis. As a result, Barden noted, NCOs should have the same level of training as the officers.
The ACS program is designed to enhance the credibility and capability of the contracting NCO. “This is the single most valuable program we offer our NCOs,” said Barden. He strongly encouraged eligible NCOs to apply. The deadline for submitting applications for next year is Jan. 15, 2018. Those interested should contact Sgt. 1st Class Gentle Gladney at 703-664-5718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
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