Army Reserve offers acquisition opportunities

By April 15, 2014May 14th, 2014Acquisition
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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 and Mr. Dennis Denton, (205) 795-1693, 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 and 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.


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