• Army Reserve offers acquisition opportunities

    By Lt. Col. Jim Craig

     

    Do you have acquisition experience that you could use to continue to benefit the U.S. Army? Would you like to gain or hone these valuable skills? The Army Reserve is pursuing qualified officers, noncommissioned officers (NCOs), and civilians for the Army Reserve Acquisition Corps. Whether you are transferring out of the active component or are already in the Army Reserves, you might very well have what the Acquisition Corps needs!

    Potential benefits for this move may include, but are not limited to:

    • Reserve pay, retirement and status benefits
    • Continued education to further industry-recognized Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certifications and Army military education level (MEL)
    • requirements, through both resident and distance learning courses
    • Potential to serve in both the systems acquisition and contracting fields
    • Numerous assignment and training possibilities, both within and outside the continental United States
    • Promotion opportunities and continued service to the Army and the nation
    • Acquisition certifications and experience that are highly sought after in the U.S. government and the commercial marketplace

    Army acquisition personnel acquire technology, supplies, and services for our warfighters and our nation through responsive and innovative support. Both training and leadership are required to create strong, viable, and competent acquisition teams. Officers and NCOs receive the same training and skills as federal government civilian workforce.

    There are several career paths open to members of the United States Army Reserve (USAR) Acquisition Corps, and where you serve is dependent upon your personal skill set. The primary military acquisition career fields are program management and contracting but other acquisition fields (i.e. those listed in Chapter 42 of AR 600-3) are also potential options for service. Regardless of the field, the USAR will provide the required training to those personnel that meet the qualifications and have the desire to learn.

    For Active duty officers and NCOs, the points of contact at the Army Reserve Sustainment Command (ARSC) are Lt. Col. Patrick O’Leary patrick.g.oleary.mil@mail.mil and Mr. Dennis Denton, (205) 795-1693, dennis.a.denton.civ@mail.mil. The ARSC can help you determine (along with your Army Reserve Career Counselor) how to best slot you into an Army Reserve Acquisition position.

    Army Reserve officers must first complete a packet as indicated in military personnel message 14-062. Officer packets are vetted prior to the board and then those that are selected/non-selected are notified following the board. Selected applicants are then assisted with finding positions by the ARSC.

    NCOs in the Army Reserve follow a similar process. NCOs should be between the ranks of E5(P) and E7 and meet certain, specific educational criteria.

    Eligible and interested NCOs must submit packets to be vetted prior to the next board. As NCO reclassification boards occur based on need and the availability of a considered population, and the timing of this process varies. Once selected, NCOs are notified and a personal training plan is developed in conjunction with the ARSC.

    Additional points of contact may be obtained by contacting the 915th and 917th Contingency Contracting Battalions (CCBn) at the915thcontractingbn@outlook.com and the917thcontractingbn@outlook.com respectively, to inquire about joining the ARSC and become part of a ready and relevant group of acquisition professionals. (The 915th and 917th CCBns are in the ARSC chain of command.)

    Civilians who work in one of the acquisition fields and are members of the Army Reserve are also eligible for immediate consideration and may use the same points of contact previously listed.

    Interested officers and NCOs should keep in mind that there are several ways to reach their ultimate acquisition destination. Be diligent and work the process. Even during this time of drawing down, the USAR Acquisition Corps is growing. We look forward to seeing you in our corps in the very near future!


    Lt. Col. Craig has been in the Army Reserve Acquisition Corps since 2005. He has held jobs in both program management and contracting. He has deployed to Iraq as a contingency contracting officer and is currently enrolled in DAU’s PMT 401 course in preparation for his upcoming contracting command tour.

     


    • Subscribe to Access AL&T is the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce. .

      Subscribe


    Read more »
  • ASA(ALT) welcomes new military deputy

     
     
    Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson became the principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)) and the director, acquisition career management on April 4, 2014 during his promotion ceremony. The Hon. Heidi Shyu, the Army acquisition executive hosted the event, and was joined by the Hon. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, in welcoming the new (ASA(ALT)) principal military deputy. (U.S. Army photo by Jerome Howard)

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     


    Read more »
  • GOOD FELLOWS

    Competitive Development Group welcomes 2014 fellows

    The Director, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC), Craig Spisak, welcomes seven new Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) fellows during an orientation meeting at Defense Acquisition University on April 1, 2014. The three-year fellowship program offers developmental assignments in program executive offices, assistant secretary of the army for acquisition, logistics and technology offices, U.S. Army Materiel Command Headquarters and functional organizations providing expanded training and leadership development for future Army acquisition leaders.

    From the left: Walter Hamm, U.S. Army Contracting Command; Maurice Stephens, Engineering Center and Communications Electronics Command; Kyle Bruner, Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T); Monica Clemons, U.S. Army Contracting Command, Chandra Evansmitchell, CDG/AFF program manager; Craig Spisak, USAASC director, Lauren McNew, PEO C3T; Kelly Courtney, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support and David Oatley, PEO Ammunition. (Photo by Bob Coultas)

    For more information on the CDG/AAF program go to http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/programs/competitive-development-group-army-acquisition-fellowship/


    Read more »
  • Acquisition Education and Training Corner

    Education and training opportunities

     

    By USAASC Acquisition, Education and Training Branch

     

    2014 Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP): Applications will be accepted starting March 12- April 21. Following a review board, selections will be announced the week of May 19, 2014. Acceptance requires a three-year civilian service agreement (CSA). Acceptance to the program one year does not guarantee acceptance in subsequent years. Additional information and application instructions are available on the SLRP webpage.

    Defense Acquisition University-Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF): The announcement opened Jan. 29 and closes April 2. This Military Education Level One (MEL-1) Army-approved SSCF provides SSC equivalency at your local commuting area if you live in Maryland (Aberdeen Proving Ground), Alabama (Huntsville), or Michigan (Warren). The purpose of the SSCF is to provide leadership and acquisition training to prepare senior level civilians for senior leadership roles such as product and project managers, program executive officers and other key acquisition leadership positions. Participants not only graduate from an SSC, they will also complete the Army Program Managers Course (PMT 401), and have the option to complete a master’s degree. For additional information on this great GS-14/15 SSC, visit the DAU-SSCF website.

    The announcement can be accessed through the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS). Log in at the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP). Next, click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, select the AAPDS tab, and then select the Application Module link. Click on Apply and view all Army DACM available opportunities.

    REMINDER: Applicants need to complete the Civilian Education System (CES) advanced course prior to the start of the fellowship. If interested applicants have not yet completed the resident portion of the advanced course due to lack of seat availability, a waiver may be requested.

    Naval Post Graduate School – Master’s of Science in Program Management (NPS-MSPM): The announcement closes March 18, 2014. NPS is the premier director of acquisition career management (DACM)-funded master’s degree program, and offers an opportunity to complete a master’s of science in program management on a part-time basis within two years. The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Army DACM Office is the sponsor of the NPS-MSPM program and will fund the tuition and book costs.

    This eight-quarter part-time degree opportunity is open to permanent civilian members of the Army acquisition workforce who are GS-11-15 or broadband or pay band equivalent and have met their current position Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification requirement. The target audience for the NPS-MSPM program is high-performing workforce members who have been identified by their organization as demonstrating the potential for positions of increased responsibility. Because of limited funds, this program is primarily intended for our Army acquisition applicants who do not currently have a master’s in an acquisition- or business-related discipline. Eligible Army acquisition workforce members must first obtain a letter of acceptance from the NPS prior to submitting an application through the USAASC Army DACM Office for consideration of funding. Selection of applicants will depend on funding availability.

    For additional details and application instructions, visit the NPS-MSPM website.

    School of Choice (SOC): There will not be a SOC announcement in FY14 because of the current fiscal environment. Should a command have an urgent need to send a high performing workforce member to obtain his or her bachelor’s or master’s degree during duty-time, please contact the AET Branch Chief Scott Greene to discuss potential for the DACM office to fund.

    Having trouble keeping the dates straight? All of the opening and closing dates noted above are also posted to the USAASC Events Calendar.

    Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training

    FY15 DAU Course Registration: The FY15 course schedule will launch May 15. Students must plan their training schedule to ensure all required prerequisites outlined in the DAU iCatalog are met prior to registering for FY15 courses. Advance planning and applying early allows for timely completion of certification requirements and afford students a better opportunity to secure a reservation in their desired timeframe. Once open, eligible students should apply immediately in the Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) by selecting a “C” next to the most cost-effective class location. Encourage your supervisor to approve the training request as soon as you apply. Supervisors must approve the training prior to further processing by the USAASC registration office.

    FY14 DAU Course Registration: Students should continue to apply to the FY14 schedule using AITAS.

    Student Application Profile: It is imperative that both student and supervisor email addresses are correctly listed on the AITAS student profile. For students with a disability, please ensure you select “Yes” on your student profile. This selection prompts a DAU Student Services representative to contact the student directly with additional questions and provide reasonable accommodations for student during the training period. For more information on DAU training to include, systematic instructions, training priority definition or FAQs, please visit DAU Training website.

    Low-fill Classes: A weekly low-fill listing, posted on DAU’s website, allows students the opportunity to attend classes coming up in the next 60 days. Low-fill classes within 60 days from the start date of the class are available on a first-come, first-served basis for priority 2 students and 40 days for priority 3-5 students. Please remember that even if a class is on the low-fill list, students must choose the designated cost-effective location to minimize travel cost.

    Alternate Delivery Method Courses: DAU continues to pilot innovative delivery methods to provide the same level of seat capacity of 57,000 and providing effective learning assets. Alternate delivery methods for student pilots include video teleconferencing (VTC), Telepresence using high-definition resolution, Defense Connect Online (DCO), and flipped classroom. The pilots will continue to run until the end of FY14. Upcoming pilots include ACQ 370, class 951 at Chester, Va., using flipped classroom format. Students interested in attending this pilot offering should apply in AITAS. This class is scheduled for three and a half days starting April 15 and ending at noon Eastern time, April 18. You will be required to complete several online activities that include several reading assignments, preparing and submitting a written summation of the readings, viewing a video, completing a group project, and taking a quiz. For more information, visit the flipped classrooms website.

    College of Contract Management (CCM): CCM is now a new business unit under DAU with the primary goal to support tailored training for Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) employees. DAU deployed two new resident courses offered under the College of Contract Management (CCM), CMA 211 – Joint Government Flight Representative (GFR) and CMA 221-Joint Government Ground Representative (GGR). This is a certification course intended for those who will serve as an appointed GFR or GGR. If you are a supervisor or commander, contracting officer, contractor employee, or of another non-aircraft operations discipline who is interested in this subject matter, please pursue the Continuous Learning Module, CLX 110, “Fundamentals of GRF and GGR”. Commands must fund travel for both courses. DCMA employees, please seek travel funding from your unit.

    DAU deployment of Single Sign-On (SSO): DAU recently deployed a single sign-on (SSO) capability, which allows users to authenticate once and have access to multiple applications within DAU for which they have privileges. SSO will allow users many self-service options such as resetting your own DAU password and re-activating login accounts without having to call the DAU Help Desk to reset or reactivate accounts to the DAU Virtual Campus; access to communities of practice hosted on Acquisition Community Connection; and other knowledge sharing resources like the Defense Acquisition Portal. The deployment of SSO did result in latency issues causing a high call volume to the DAU helpdesk. For quicker assistance, DAU advises students to email instead of calling the helpdesk.


    • If you have questions on any Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience (AETE) programs or DAU Training, please contact the the AETE Branch Chief Scott Greene @ scott.greene4@us.army.mil

    DACM News


    Read more »
  • Acquisition Education and Training Corner

    Education and training opportunities

     

    By USAASC Acquisition, Education and Training Branch

     

    Defense Acquisition University-Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF): The DAU-SSCF Announcement opened Jan. 29 and closes April 2, 2014. This Military Education Level One (MEL-1) Army approved Senior Service College Fellowship provides SSC equivalency at your local commuting area if you live in Maryland (Aberdeen Proving Ground), Alabama (Huntsville), or Michigan (Warren). The purpose of the SSCF Program is to provide leadership and acquisition training to prepare senior level civilians for senior leadership roles such as Product and Project Managers, Program Executive Officers and other key acquisition leadership positions. Participants not only graduate from a SSC, they will also complete the Army Program Managers Course (PMT 401), and have the option to complete a Masters Degree. For additional information on this great GS-14/15 Senior Service College, visit our DAU-SSCF website.

    The announcement will be offered through the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS). To access AAPDS, login at the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP). Next, click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, select the “AAPDS” tab, and then select the “Application Module” link. Click on “Apply” and view all Army DACM available opportunities.

    REMINDER: Applicants need to complete the Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course prior to the start of the fellowship. If interested applicants have not yet completed the resident portion of the Advanced Course due to lack of seat availability, a waiver may be requested.

    Naval Post Graduate School – Masters of Science in Program Management (NPS-MSPM): The NPS-MSPM Announcement opened Feb. 3 and closes March 18, 2014. This degree program at NPS is the premier Director of Acquisition Career Management (DACM) funded master’s degree program. This program offers an opportunity to complete a Master’s of Science Degree in program management on a part-time basis within a two-year timeframe. The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Army DACM Office is the sponsor of the NPS-MSPM program and will fund the tuition and book costs.

    This eight-quarter part-time degree opportunity is open to permanent civilian members of the Army acquisition workforce who are GS-11 through GS-15 or broadband/pay band equivalent and have met their current position Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification requirement. The target audience for the NPS-MSPM program is high performing workforce members who have been identified by their organization as demonstrating the potential for positions of increased responsibility. Due to limited funding, this program is primarily intended for our Army acquisition applicants who do not currently have a master’s degree in an acquisition or business related discipline. Eligible Army acquisition workforce members must first obtain a letter of acceptance from the NPS prior to submitting an application through the USAASC Army DACM Office for consideration of funding. Selection of applicants will depend on funding availability.

    For additional details and application instructions, visit our NPS-MSPM website.

    School of Choice (SOC): There will not be a SOC Announcement in FY14 because of the current fiscal environment. Should a command have an urgent need to send a high performing workforce member to obtain his/her Bachelor or Masters Degree during duty-time, please contact the AET Branch Chief, Scott Greene, to discuss potential for the DACM office to fund.

    Army DACM Mentoring Efforts: In response to attrition rates within the Army’s Acquisition Workforce (AAWF), new and innovative opportunities are being developed to ensure that the workforce of tomorrow is prepared to assume the roles and responsibilities of today’s senior acquisition leaders. In addition to the recruitment campaign enabled by the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund, USAASC is developing an AAWF Mentoring Program, in three levels:


    Mentoring Level 1: Meet Your Virtual Acquisition Career Guide (VACG), “Ellie”

    USAASC recently completed pilot testing on an exciting capability based upon virtual human technology. While “Ellie” will never be able to, nor is she intended to replace the face-to-face/personal relationship of mentors and protégés, “Ellie” has demonstrated the ability to provide a consistent message at any time, at any location to a member of the workforce, as it pertains to the Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB) and the offerings of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). Additionally, “Ellie” is able to ascertain the AAWF member’s current certification status, currency of the IDP and compliance under the Army’s continuous learning policy (CLP). Future efforts under consideration include personalized certification guidance, general business skills, leadership competencies and career roadmap guidance.

    Note: USAASC would like to acknowledge and thank the contracting workforce at Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their participation and feedback during beta and pilot testing.

    Related story: “Meet Ellie, your new virtual human acquisition career guide.”


    Mentoring Level 2: Meet Your USAASC Virtual Mentor

    USAASC intends to capitalize on existing virtual technology to foster a robust exchange of information between protégés and mentors, to include expanding the Career Acquisition Personnel Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS) Workforce Management Inquiry system, an online FAQ function supported by dedicated career management staff; USAASC-sponsored Go To Meetings/ Defense Connect Online (DCO) meetings; and flash mentoring, a one-time meeting that enables an individual to learn and seek guidance from a more experienced person who can pass on relevant knowledge and experience.


    Mentoring Level 3: Meet Your Mentor

    USAASC is piloting this phase, with the assistance of current Army key leadership position members and members of the Army’s competitive development groups, graduates of the senior service college programs, and prior centralized selection list applicants, resulting in pilot mapping arrangements of approximately 60 AAWF members. USAASC presented program participants with a two-day training program enabling live interaction via a professional, to kick start the pilot program. Formalized mentoring agreements were executed identifying rules of engagement, goals and future interactions. Following this session, USAASC gathered feedback from program participants on their experiences and perceptions, and although only months old, this information is being used to improve the mentor-protégé experience through the pilot program. According to one participant, “[The pilot program] addresses a weakness that the Army has had for a long time, which is putting an emphasis on mentoring our employees to assist them in reaching their potential.”

    As each phase is developed and vetted, USAASC will keep you informed on how you or your organization may capitalize on our lessons learned and the program elements suited for your individual and programmatic needs.

    DAU Research Award – One of last year’s DAU-SSC Fellows, Eileen Whaley, completed a research paper co-authored by DAU Professor Dana Stewart entitled, “Path from Urgent Operational Need to Program of Record,” and recently won the 2014 DAU Alumni Association Edward Hirsch Acquisition Writing Award. The award will be presented at Fort Belvoir, Va. in April during the Acquisition Symposium. The article will appear in an upcoming edition of the Defense Acquisition Research Journal, a peer reviewed DAU publication.

    Having trouble keeping the dates straight? All of the opening and closing dates are also posted to the USAASC Events Calendar.

     

     

     

    Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training

    FY14 DAU Course Registration: Students should continue to apply to the FY14 schedule using AITAS. Planning and applying early will afford students better opportunity in obtaining a class in the timeframe requested. Encourage your supervisor to approve your training request as soon as you apply. Supervisors must approve the training request in Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) for application processing by USAASC registration office. Students should view the DAU iCatalog to ensure they meet the prerequisite(s), prior to applying to a DAU course. Workforce members and their supervisors should plan their training and ensure they have adequate time to complete prerequisite training prior to attend the follow on course.

    FY15 DAU Schedule Build: Army DACM Office, in conjunction with the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is in the early phase of developing the FY15. The anticipated ‘go live’ date for the FY15 schedule is May 15. Student plan their training schedule not to meet prerequisites requirements prior to registration for a FY15 course. Doing so will ensure timely completion of certification requirements and afford student obtain a reservation in their desired timeframe.

    Student Application Profile: It is imperative the student and supervisor email address is correctly listed on the AITAS student profile. For students with a disability, please ensure you select “Yes” on your student profile. This selection prompts a DAU Student Services representative to contact the student directly with additional questions and provide reasonable accommodations for student during the training period. For more information on DAU training to include, systematic instructions, training priority definition or FAQs, please visit USAASC’s DAU Training webpage .

    Low fill Classes: A weekly low fill listing, posted weekly on DAU’s website , allows students the opportunity to attend classes coming up in the next 60 days. Low fill classes within 60 days from the start date of the class are available on a first-come, first-served basis for priority 2 students and 40 days for priority 3-5 students. Please remember that even if a class is on the low-fill list, students must choose the designated cost-effective location to minimize travel cost.

    Alternate Delivery Method Courses: In a constrained fiscal environment, DAU is looking at using innovative delivery methods to provide the same level of seat capacity of 57,000, at the same time providing effective learning assets. Alternate delivery methods for student pilots include video teleconferencing Telepresence using high definition resolution, Defense Connect Online, flipped classroom. The pilots will continue to run until the end of FY14. Upcoming pilots include Telepresence for three FE 301 offerings (Ft. Belvoir, Huntsville, Ala. and California, Md.) and PMT 401 (Kettering, Ohio). ACQ 370 will be conducted in April 2014 at Chester Va. using flipped classroom format.

    College of Contract Management (CCM): CCM is now a new business unit under DAU with the primary goal to support tailored training for Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) employees. DAU deployed two new resident courses offered under the CCM: CMA 211 – Joint Government Flight Representative (GFR) and CMA 221 – Joint Government Ground Representative (GGR). This is a certification course, which is intended for those who will serve as an appointed GFR, or GGRs. If you are a supervisor/commander, contracting officer, contractor employee, or of another non-aircraft operations discipline who is interested in this subject matter, please pursue the Continuous Learning Module, CLX 110, “Fundamentals of GRF and GGR”. Commands must fund travel for both courses. DCMA employees, please seek funding from your unit.


    • If you have questions on any Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience (AETE) programs or DAU Training, please contact the the AETE Branch Chief Scott Greene @ scott.greene4@us.army.mil

    DACM News


    Read more »
  • Meet ‘Ellie,’ your new virtual human acquisition career guide

    By Tara Clements

     

    FORT BELVOIR, Va. – If you think the movie “Her” is futuristic, members of the Office of the Army Director for Acquisition Career Management (DACM) have someone for you to meet.

    “Ellie” is her name and this virtual human looks and speaks to you just as any human would in the Virtual Acquisition Career Guide (VACG) prototype. The prototype program provides the opportunity for a user to interact with a virtual “person” and receive personalized career feedback and assistance. The Army DACM team presented the prototype to the Army DACM, Lt. Gen. William Phillips on Jan. 16.

    “Even though we support and encourage mentoring across the entire community, it is still an activity that is under-utilized by our workforce and particularly so by our newer and more junior professionals,” said Craig Spisak, director of the Army Acquisition Support Center and the deputy DACM. “I believe that the VACG will not only provide that help and basic mentoring that many of that population need today, but will also expose them to the ideas and concept of a mentor-protégé relationship and get them more accustomed to it,” he added.

    And while the traditional mentor-protégé relationship has been through human interaction, Ellie provides a similar capability with a few clicks and keystrokes. She won’t help with life experiences, because she has none. What she can do is check files; see where you’ve gone and where you need to be.

    Ellie interfaces with the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP), the Army acquisition community’s centralized personnel system, and has the capability to check a user’s file, including individual develop plan status, acquisition certification and glide path, to name a few.

    During last week’s demonstration, Ellie welcomed Phillips, checked his file, noting he was “good to go” and current. At that point, Phillips, like any other user, had the opportunity to pose a question, such as, “How can I access the Defense Acquisition University class schedule?”—or anything else that might be related to career development. Ellie politely responds both verbally and in writing right on the monitor, taking the typical FAQs to a new, interactive level.

    Through a series of testing and data building, Ellie has increased her ability to answer questions at a nearly 80 percent accuracy rate. “She has the ability to learn and get smarter with additional questions and input, and with time, we’re aiming for a 95 percent accuracy rate,” said Scott Greene, chief, Army DACM Office Acquisition Education and Training Branch.

    Bringing Ellie to life and continuing to develop her knowledge is not a small undertaking. The Army DACM team has partnered with the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Simulation & Training Technology Center to bring Ellie to this point, but there’s a long way to go.

    “We’re in the very early stages of building the VACG. We’re taking great care to test the prototype and determine if this would be a good career guidance capability for the Army Acquisition Workforce,” said Kelly Terry, project lead. “To date, focus group testing has been on our contracting community and testing the application among members of Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but we are looking to expand into other career fields in the future,” she added.

    How far in the future? According to Greene, if the results and feedback from upcoming testing are successful, the acquisition community may have a chance to meet Ellie in an initial version later in this fiscal year.

    And from Phillips’ point of view, “this is very exciting.”


    Read more »
  • Acquisition Education and Training Corner

    Education and training opportunities

    Congratulations to Newly Selected Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellows:
    Congratulations to the Year Group 14 (YG 14) CDG/AAF inductees. The YG 14 inductees are:

    • Kyle Bruner, Program Executive Office (PEO) Combat Support & Combat Service Support
    • Monica Clemons, Army Contracting Command
    • Kelly Courtney, Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM)
    • Walter Hamm, Army Contracting Command
    • Lauren McNew, PEO Command, Control, Communications-Tactical
    • David Oatley, RDECOM
    • Maurice Stephens, Communications-Electronics Command

    The CDG/AAF Program is a three-year leadership program that offers competitively selected GS-12/13s (or broad/pay band equivalent) expanded leadership training and experience opportunities.

    Defense Acquisition University-Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF): The DAU-SSCF announcement will open Jan. 29 and close April 2, 2014. This Military Education Level One (MEL-1) Army approved Senior Service College Fellowship provides SSC equivalency at your local commuting area if you live in either Maryland (APG), Alabama (Huntsville) or Michigan (Warren). The purpose of the SSCF Program is to provide leadership and acquisition training to prepare senior level civilians for senior leadership roles such as product and project managers, program executive officers and other key acquisition leadership positions. Participants not only graduate from a SSC, but will also complete the Army Program Managers Course (PMT 401), and have the option to complete a master’s degree. For additional information on this great GS-14/15 Senior Service College, go to the DAU-SSCF website.

    The announcement will be offered through the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS). To access AAPDS, login at the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP). Next, click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, select the “AAPDS” tab, and then select the “Application Module” link. Click on “Apply” and view all Army DACM available opportunities.

    REMINDER: Applicants must to complete Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course prior to the start of the fellowship.

    School of Choice (SOC): There will not be a SOC Announcement in FY14 due to the current fiscal environment. Should a command have an urgent need to send a high performing workforce member to obtain his/her Bachelor or Masters Degree during duty-time, please contact the AET Branch Chief, Scott Greene, to discuss potential for the DACM office to fund.

    Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program (ALCP):
    Now in its 4th FY, ALCP is quickly becoming the foundation of Army acquisition civilian leadership development. This two-and-a-half day leadership experience challenges students to examine themselves and their environments in order to become stronger leaders within their current and future organizations.

    The Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office has split our FY14 offerings into four quarters. The announcement for Q3 will be open Feb. 10 – March 10, 2014.

    NOTE: ALCP will not be announced using AAPDS. If interested, please contact your command/organization Acquisition Career Management Advocate (ACMA) or Organizational Acquisition POC (OAP) to obtain a command allocation.

     

    OFFERING DATE COURSE LEVEL LOCATION WHO MAY ATTEND ANNOUNCEMENT DATES*
    Jan. 13-15, 2014 ALCP I Atlanta, Ga. All-WF GS12/13 Closed
    Jan. 15-17 ALCP II Atlanta All-WF GS14/15 Closed
    Feb. 24-26 ALCP I Alexandria, Va. Local-WF GS12/13 Closed
    Feb. 26-28 ALCP I Alexandria Local-WF GS14/15 Closed
    March 3-4 ALCP B Aberdeen, Md. Local-WF GS07-11 Closed
    March 17-19 ALCP I Orlando, Fla. Local-WF GS12/13 Closed
    March 19-21 ALCP I Orlando, FL Local-WF GS12/13 Closed
    April 28-30 ALCP I Aberdeen Local-WF GS12/13 Feb. 10 – March 10
    April 30 – May 2 ALCP I Aberdeen Local-WF GS12/13 Feb. 10 – March 10
    May 19-21 ALCP I Atlanta All-WF GS12/13 Feb. 10 – March 10
    May 21-23 ALCP II Atlanta All-WF GS14/15 Feb. 10 – March 10
    June 9-11 ALCP I Warren, Mich. Local-WF GS12/13 Feb. 10 – March 10
    June 11-13 ALCP II Warren Local-WF GS14/15 Feb. 10 – March 10
    June 23-24 ALCP B Huntsville, Ala. Local-WF GS07-11 Feb. 10 – March 10
    July 28-30 ALCP I Huntsville Local-WF GS12/13 TBD
    July 30 – Aug. 1 ALCP I Huntsville Local-WF GS14/15 TBD
    Aug. 18-20 ALCP I Atlanta All-WF GS12/13 TBD
    Aug. 20-22   ALCP II Atlanta All-WF GS14/15 TBD
    Aug. 25-26 ALCP B Atlanta All-WF GS07-11 TBD
    Aug. 27-28 ALCP B Atlanta All-WF GS07-11 TBD

     

    Having trouble keeping the dates straight? All of the opening and closing dates are also posted to the USAASC Events Calendar.

     

    Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training

    • FY14 DAU Course Registration: Students should continue to apply to the FY14 schedule using AITAS. Planning and applying early will afford students better opportunity in obtaining a class in the timeframe requested. Encourage your supervisor to approve your training request as soon as you apply. Supervisors must approve the training request in Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) for application processing by USAASC registration office. Students should view the DAU iCatalog to ensure they meet the prerequisite(s), prior to applying to a DAU course. Workforce members and their supervisors should plan their training and ensure they have adequate time to complete prerequisite training prior to attend the follow on course. Reservations in follow on courses are cancelled if prerequisite requirements are not met.
    • It is imperative the student and supervisor email address is listed correctly on the AITAS student profile. Please apply through the AITAS. For more information on DAU training to include, systematic instructions, training priority definition or FAQs, please visit USAASC’s DAU Training webpage.
    • TDY Funding for DAU classes: Students should apply to the classes available in the next cost-effective location. We received reduced DAU travel funds for FY14. USAASC will only fund Priority 1 and 2 students travel to cost effective locations.
    • Low fill Classes: A weekly low-fill listing, posted weekly on DAU’s website, allows students the opportunity to attend classes coming up in the next 60 days. Low-fill classes within 60 days from the start date of the class are available on a first-come, first-served basis for students priority 2 and 40 days for priority 3-5 students. Please remember that even if a class is on the low-fill list, students must choose the designated cost-effective location for their training.
    • Alternate Delivery Method Courses: In a constrained fiscal environment, DAU is looking at using innovative delivery methods to provide the same level of seat capacity of 57,000, at the same time providing effective learning assets. Alternate delivery methods for student pilots include video teleconferencing (VTC), Telepresence using high definition resolution, Defense Connect Online (DCO), and flipped classroom. The pilots will continue to run until the end of FY14. DAU hopes to offer alternate delivery courses on the FY15 schedule. Upcoming pilots include Telepresence for three FE 301 offerings (Fort Belvoir, Huntsville, Ala., and California, Md.) and PMT 401 (Kettering Ohio). ACQ 370 will be conducted in April 2014 at Chester Va. using flipped classroom format.
    • College of Contract Management (CCM): CCM is now a new business unit under DAU with the primary goal to support tailored training for Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) employees. DAU will deploy two new resident courses offered under CCM, CMA 211 – Joint Government Flight Representative (GFR) and CMA 221 – Joint Government Ground Representative (GGR). This is a certification course, which is intended for those who will serve as an appointed GFR, or GGRs. If you are a supervisor/commander, contracting officer, contractor employee, or of another nonaircraft-operations discipline who is interested in this subject matter, please pursue the Continuous Learning Module, CLX 110, “Fundamentals of GRF and GGR.”
    • FY15 Schedule Build: The Army DACM is responsible for submitting the Army’s DAU training demand. Commands and PEOs are solicited to host DAU onsites in FY15. Army DAU onsites are classes hosted by a command or organization. The intent of the onsites is to bring localized required DAU Training to the students to save on travel cost. Onsites are ideal locations where DAU main or satellite campus is not available locally. Army onsites will be included in the Army’s consolidated seat demand to DAU. Once finalized, the FY15 schedule will be available for student registration on Thursday, 15 May 2014.

    • If you have questions on any Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience (AETE) programs or DAU Training, please contact the the AETE Branch Chief Scott Greene @ scott.greene4@us.army.mil

    DACM News


    Read more »
  • GoArmyEd released; soon to be linked to legacy systems

    GoArmyEd.com, launched in September, is a portal soldiers and Army civilians can use to electronically access or process education training applications, SF-182 authorization, drops and withdrawals, and their Army education records.

    By Susan L. Follett

     

    Trying to determine the best way to manage civilian career development can be daunting, given the array of available tools and requirements. Staying current on the latest websites and their features is a vital part of that effort.

    Scott Greene, Acquisition Education & Training Branch chief from the Office of the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) at the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, recently took some time to explain how the newly released GoArmyEd can help the Army acquisition community with career development tasks.

    GoArmyEd, which went live in September, is a role-based portal that centralizes and standardizes the management of education benefit policies and funds while coordinating the activities of key stakeholders. Soldiers and Army civilians may use GoArmyEd to electronically request tuition assistance, training, and leadership development programs as well as access and manage their education records.

    Army G-3/5/7 administrative users, including supervisors, career program managers, training managers, and Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7, can use GoArmyEd to respond to support requests, manage funds, approve training applications and registration requests, record and track completions, and manage school and vendor invoices based on the permissions of assigned administrative role.

    The system offers toll-free helpdesk support, automated email confirmations and alerts, and self-service registration for on-duty courses.

    “GoArmyEd is a great tool,” said Greene, “but it’s important to note that it’s not yet integrated with legacy systems like the Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System [CAPPMIS] that are used by the Army Acquisition Workforce.

    “Army civilians will continue to be required to maintain an Acquisition Individual Development Plan [IDP] in CAPPMIS,” he explained. “And until an IT solution is developed for our acquisition-unique requirements, they may be required by their career program, to also maintain an IDP in Army Career Tracker, the system of record for Army IDPs for enlisted soldiers, officers and Army civilians. Continuous learning points, IDPs, and certifications must also be kept current within CAPPMIS/ Army Civilian Training, Education and Development System (ACTEDS).”

    Greene offered simple steps for which systems to use. For any DACM-sponsored tuition assistance program that requires an SF-182, the SF-182 must be created and processed within the CAPPMIS Army Acquisition Professional Development System.

    “GoArmyEd is a great tool, but it’s important to note that it’s not yet integrated with legacy systems like the Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System.”

    For training, education or other non-DACM training funded through ACTEDS or your command or organization, apply for those courses in GoArmyEd. Any document generation—the SF-182, for example—will be done there.

    Efforts are underway to integrate the legacy systems with GoArmyEd so users will have just one source to access. Once that’s complete, Army civilians will be able to use GoArmyEd to process online training applications, SF-182 authorizations, and certification of training requests for centrally and command-funded training and professional development classes. The timetable for that integration is currently under development and not expected until at least mid-FY15.

    “We highly suggest exploring GoArmyEd to familiarize yourself with what it has to offer, so users will be ready to access it when the integration happens,” Greene said. GoArmyEd features roughly 20 training videos for Army civilians on the key functions they’re likely to use, and roughly 30 administrative user training documents guide users through each of the administrative GoArmyEd functions used to support Army civilians.

    Additional information can be found on GoArmyEd and tutorial videos on YouTube.


    Read more »
  • Acquisition Education and Training Corner

    Education and training opportunities

     

    By USAASC Acquistion, Education and Training Branch

     

    Defense Acquisition University-Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF): The DAU-SSCF Announcement will open Jan. 29 and close April 2, 2014. This Military Education Level One (MEL-1) Army-approved Senior Service College (SSC) Fellowship provides SSC equivalency at your local commuting area if you live in either Maryland (APG), Alabama (Huntsville), or Michigan (Warren). The purpose of the SSCF Program is to provide leadership and acquisition training to prepare senior level civilians for senior leadership roles such as product and project managers, program executive officers and other key acquisition leadership positions. Participants not only graduate from an SSC, they will also complete the Army Program Managers Course (PMT 401), and have the option to complete a master’s degree. For additional information on this great GS-14/15 SSC, visit our DAU-SSCF website.

    The announcement will be offered through the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS). To access AAPDS, login at the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP). Next, click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, select the “AAPDS” tab, and then select the “Application Module” link. Click on “Apply” and view all Army DACM available opportunities.

    REMINDER: Applicants need to complete Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course before the start of the fellowship.

    School of Choice (SOC): There will not be a SOC Announcement in FY14 because of the current fiscal environment. Should a command have an urgent need to send a high performing workforce member to obtain his/her bachelor or master’s degree during duty-time, please contact the Acquisition, Education and Training Branch Chief Scott Greene, to discuss potential for the director, acquisition career management (DACM) office to fund.

    Acquisition Leadership Challenge Program (ALCP): ALCP began as an Army pilot in FY11. Now in its fourth year, ALCP is quickly becoming the foundation of Army acquisition civilian leadership development. This two-and-a-half day leadership experience challenges students to examine themselves and their environment in order to become stronger leaders within their current and future organizations. The Army DACM Office has split our FY14 offerings into four quarters. The announcement for Q2 will close on December 4. ALCP will not be announced using AAPDS. Please contact your command/organization acquisition career management advocate (ACMA) or organizational acquisition POC (OAP) if interested in order to obtain a command allocation.

    FY14 ALCP Offerings

    Having trouble keeping the dates straight? All of the opening and closing dates noted above are also posted to the USAASC Events Calendar.

    Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training

    Students should continue to apply to the FY14 schedule using AITAS. Planning and applying early will afford students better opportunity in obtaining a class in the timeframe requested. Encourage your supervisor to approve your training request as soon as you apply. Supervisors must approve the training request in Army Training Requirements (ATRRS) and Resources Internet Training Application System (AITAS) for application processing by USAASC registration office. Students should view the DAU iCatalog to ensure they meet the prerequisite(s), before applying to a DAU course. Workforce members and their supervisors should plan their training and ensure they have adequate time to complete prerequisite training before attend the follow on course. Reservations in follow on courses are cancelled if prerequisite requirements are not met.

    It is imperative the student and supervisor email addresses are listed correctly on the AITAS student profile. Please apply through the AITAS. For more information on DAU training to include, systematic instructions, training priority definition or FAQs, please visit USAASC’s DAU Training webpage.

    TDY Funding for DAU classes: We received reduced DAU travel funds for FY14, so students should apply to the classes available in their next cost-effective location. At this time, USAASC will only fund Priority 1 and 2 students travel to cost-effective locations.

    DAU Training Best Practices: Here are some key points for how students can better prepare for a DAU resident course:

    • Reduce lag time between taking part A (online prerequisite) and part B (resident).
    • Review prerequisite materiel before attending a follow-on resident portion.
    • Review course objectives (available in the DAU iCatalog) before attending class.
    • Consult with instructors before class on their recommendations to ensure success.
    • Reach out to instructors and fellow peers during class time for further assistance.
    • Prepare by reading and having a general overview of the class materials before the beginning of each class.
    • Study nightly and review notes in the morning before class.

    Program Manager’s & Executive Program Manager’s Course: The two courses, also known as PMT 401 & PMT 402, are statutorily required for program executive officers(PEOs), deputy PEOs (DPEOs), and program managers (PMs) or deputy PMs (DPMs) of ACAT I and II programs. Board-selected ACAT I or II program managers should attend the course before beginning their assignment. PEO, DPEOs, DPMs must complete the mandatory training 36 months from encumbering their position. Please ensure work with your command and supervisor to ensure attendance in the required training. High potential Level III acquisition professionals in O-5 or GS-14 or above with extensive experience in acquisition, including four years in or directly supporting a program may participate on space available slots. More details of the course available on the DAU’s iCatalog. Each FY, the Army only receives scarce allocation of seats in selected offerings. Here is schedule of Army seats available for the remainder of FY14.

    Low-fill Classes: A low-fill listing, posted weekly on DAU’s website, allows students the opportunity to attend classes coming up in the next 60 days. Low-fill classes within 60 days from the start date of the class are available on a first come, first served basis for students priority 2 and 40 days for priority 3-5 students. Please remember that even if a class is on the low-fill list, students must choose the designated cost-effective location for their training.

    Alternate Delivery Method Courses: In a constrained fiscal environment, DAU is looking at using innovative delivery methods to provide the same level of seat capacity of 57,000, at the same time providing effective learning assets. Alternate delivery methods for student pilots include video teleconferencing (VTC), telepresence using high definition resolution, Defense Connect Online (DCO), flipped classroom). The pilots will continue to run until the end of FY14. DAU hopes to offer alternate delivery courses on the FY15 schedule. DAU is also pursuing more prerequisite requirements and video delivery of preliminary material to reduce actual classroom time.


    • If you have questions on any Acquisition Education, Training, and Experience (AETE) programs or DAU Training, please contact the the AETE Branch Chief Scott Greene @ scott.greene4@us.army.mil

    DACM News


    Read more »
  • Recent leadership program graduates prepare to mentor the next generation

    By Darrell Whitehurst

     

    FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Seven Army acquisition professionals are recent graduates of this year’s Excellence in Government Fellows (EIGF) program conducted by the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C., taking with them a new-found view and approach to become effective leaders and mentors for the next generation of Army acquisition professionals.

    This year-long leadership development program is specifically designed for government acquisition professionals offering hands-on leadership development for project managers and other acquisition professionals who are competitively selected at the GS-14 and 15 grade levels and in some cases, high-performing GS-13 professionals.

    The purpose of the program is quite simple, but no small feat: transform managers into leaders.

    “It has truly been one of the best leadership programs that I have participated in within the Army,” said Karen Arnold, one of this year’s graduates and the director of logistics at Program Executive Office (PEO) Ground Combat Systems. “It really raises the self-awareness and self discovery of who you are as a leader.”

    The Partnership for Public Service Fellows is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works. The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center began the EIGF program in October 2009 graduating 60 acquisition professionals to date.

    Selected fellows remain in their full-time jobs and meet every six weeks for a total of 20 days throughout the year. On average, fellows devote up to five hours per week on course projects and are required to participate in training events in Washington, D.C. and other locations across the country.

    “The program also provided many valuable tools that can be utilized immediately on the job to help not only your leadership ship skills, but you as a person as well,” said Arnold.

    The program explores ways to retain the best leaders in the government acquisition concentration community (including contracting officers, program and project managers and others whose success is dependent on strategic acquisition leadership), and encourages them to develop and practice new skill sets, behaviors, and assume more strategic roles in their agencies. These same leaders can serve as mentors for the next generation.

    “I believe the success of the Army Acquisition workforce lies in the development, training and transformation of the next generation of contracting professionals,” said Kimberly Kolb, group manager-Information Technology Center at Army Contracting Command in N.J. “I will continue to apply the skills learned to achieve and measure results in difficult environments and strive to assume a more strategic role in my organization by building partnerships and motivating teams,” she said.

    Course requirements include the completion of a 360 degree feedback survey, developing individual mission statements, and participation in various team building and self-exploration exercises focused on the qualities of leadership.

    “One of the broadening and exciting aspects of the program was that each section was composed of participants from across the federal government,” said George Mitchell, product director at PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support at Redstone Arsenal. “Completion of the program, besides making you a ‘Senior Fellow’ also creates opportunities for participation in follow-on activities among more than 20 years of graduates and a fairly large population for networking across the government,” he added.

    The application window for fiscal year (FY) 2014 EIGF program is closed; however, the FY15 program announcement opens next summer on June 12, 2014. Additional information about the program and the application process is available on the EIGF webpage. The program begins every October.

    Congratulations to the 2013 graduates:

    • Karen Arnold, PEO Ground Combat Systems, Warren, Mich.
    • Nita Clark, PEO Missiles and Space, Huntsville, Ala.
    • Kimberly Kolb, Army Contracting Command – Communications – Electronics Command Contracting Center Washington Operations, Washington, D.C.
    • Mark McCoy, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Warren, Mich.
    • George Mitchell, PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.
    • Juan Patino, PEO Ammunition, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
    • Marilyn Shortle, Army Contracting Command – Communications – Electronics Command Contracting Center Washington Operations, Washington, D.C.

    Read more »