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NCO ONBOARDING AND CAREER PLANNING

A 51C staff sergeants performs all the traditional duties expected of any staff sergeant in the Army (assisting in preparation of an operation order, for example, or using or assisting in the military problem-solving process. 51C staff sergeants also assist sergeants first class in the MOS in their conduct of duties. In units with a personnel shortage, where workload exceeds personnel capacity, or where a staff sergeant is very experienced, a staff sergeant may assume some or all of the duties of a sergeant first class. Staff sergeants may be eligible to serve as warranted contracting officers (able to obligate the U.S. government) depending on unit, command and Army policies. They serve as contracting NCOs in a contracting team, contracting battalion, contracting support brigade or other table of distribution and allowances/generating force organization. In contracting battalions and contracting support brigades, they can be found in the Command or Contract Administration Services section. Dependent on their experience and competence level, 51C staff sergeants assist or are responsible for:

(a) Establishing a contracting work center.
(b) Soliciting contract actions.
(c) Processing and executing purchase orders.
(d) Performing contract administration and management (e.g., performing contract award orientations; notifying unsuccessful offerors; performing post-contract award synopsis; processing contract protests; exercising contract options; monitoring contract performance and quality assurance; processing contract documents for payment; modifying contracts; processing unauthorized commitments; training and managing contracting officer representatives; terminating contracts; and processing claims).
(e) Performing specific tasks related to contingency contract administration services (e.g., administering contract-related property requirements, terms, and conditions; providing property management system analysis; administering use of government sources by contractors; administering quality assurance; performing audit services; monitoring subcontract management; and managing the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program).
(f) Processing and executing orders through the General Services Administration.
(g) Serving as curators of paper and electronic contract files.
(h) Preparing for individual deployment.
(i) Administering a contract support integration plan, which details how commands in a theater of operation request and receive contract support.
(j) Reviewing a contract requirement package.

A sergeant first class moves from a primary role of assisting to a primary execution role for 51C duties. Sergeants first class generally serve in contracting teams as NCOs in Charge; in contracting battalions in the Operations and Requirements or Contract Administration Services sections; in contracting support brigades in the Operations and Requirements, Contract Administration Services, or Plans and Policy sections; and other table of distribution and allowances and generating force assignments. 51C sergeants first class perform all the traditional duties expected of any sergeants first class in the Army. In addition, they are tasked with:

(a) Providing general contracting advice and assistance to the operational commander.
(b) Providing technical advice and assistance to supported units.
(c) Assisting with leading, deploying and executing orders, contingency plans and deliberate plans for contingencies and military operations.
(d) Managing operations and requirements generation support for deployed and exercising joint task forces.
(e) Assisting with development, revision and maintenance for all operational databases and plans for deployable contingency contracting computer hardware and software.
(f) Assisting with development of procedures that best support the unit or organization’s needs with the main intent to familiarize supported units and organizations with the location, mission and procedures to expedite supply, services and construction contracts.
(g) Managing administrative assistance with the execution, administration and revision of contracting support plans, annexes and appendices in support of operational, contingency and deliberate plans associated with the supported area of responsibility.
(h) Assisting with the development, administration and revision of contracting support plans and policies, annexes and appendices in support of operational contingency and deliberate plans associated with operations in the area of responsibility.
(i) Managing pre- and post-award contract actions.
(j) Executing other contracting support tasks as assigned.
(k) Preparing the contracting team for deployment.
(l) Deploying and redeploying the contracting team.

A 51C master sergeant generally serves in the Operations and Requirements or Contract Administration Services sections of contracting battalions and contracting support brigades. 51C master sergeants can also be found in other table of distribution and allowances and generating force assignments. They generally conduct their duties at the battalion or brigade level. In addition to the duties of the staff sergeant and sergeant first class, master sergeants are tasked with:

(a) Coordinating and identifying commander’s intent and mission-critical points with supporting units.
(b) Determining levels of support that may be provided by the supported units, either organic or noncontracted support that the unit can provide itself.
(c) Reporting projected requirements for sustainment of missions to the supported units.
(d) Providing pre- and post-award theater contracting oversight.

A sergeant major or command sergeant major is expected to master all the tasks required at lower skill levels. The small size of contracting units presents a somewhat non-traditional role at skill level 6; the sergeant major or command sergeant major in MOS 51C is expected to perform a substantial amount of functional contracting in order to stay relevant and to train and mentor their NCOs in this highly technical field.

The sergeant major or command sergeant major’s roles are as follows:

  • Serves as the senior enlisted advisor to the brigade commander in a contracting battalion or contracting support brigade, or to the primary staff colonel or lieutenant colonel in a TDA unit (depending on the sergeant major or command sergeant major’s professional development proficiency code).
  • Performs all tasks to ensure the health and welfare of Soldiers in their assigned unit/command.
  • Serves as the primary enlisted contracting and business advisor to the commander of a contracting support brigade in support of corps, Army service component commands, and sub-unified commands.
  • Mentors subordinate 51C NCOs on leadership, contracting, general acquisition and general Soldier skills.
  • Ensures a high level of readiness and training proficiency within their unit, in a contracting battalion or a contracting support brigade. In a contracting battalion, the sergeant major serves as the primary enlisted contracting and business advisor to the commander in support of division-level operational commands.

NCO Steps to Planning Your Acquisition Career

DAWIA: All 51C NCOs must achieve their appropriate level of contracting Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification within 24 months of assignment to an acquisition workforce position, in accordance with DoDI 5000.66. The appropriate level of contracting certification is defined as the following: staff sergeant – Level I or higher DAWIA certified in contracting; sergeant first class – Level II or higher DAWIA certified in contracting; master sergeant, sergeant major and command sergeant major – Level III DAWIA certified in contracting. If the appropriate contracting certification is not achieved, the NCO will be subject to involuntary reclassification into another MOS at the needs of the Army (not necessarily their secondary MOS). The requirement for certification at each level does not go away after promotion. For example, staff sergeants promoted to sergeant first class must still achieve Level I DAWIA certification or higher within 24 months of MOS 51C award, just as a master sergeant promoted to sergeant major or command sergeant major still has 24 months from the date of promotion to master sergeant, not sergeant major or command sergeant major. Certification requires a bachelor’s degree and 24 semester hours of business-related classes, as well as other training and experience requirements. This makes a bachelor’s degree an implied requirement for maintaining the MOS. Determination of which classes count as business-related are at the discretion of the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center and is based on guidance from the Defense Acquisition University (DAU).

NCOs reclassifying into MOS 51C must meet the Service Remaining Requirement of five years (60 months). Additionally, Soldiers may not reclassify again to any other enlisted MOS during this five-year requirement. This restriction on reclassification includes reclassification to career recruiter and career counselor (MOSs 79R and 79S).

Prospective candidates for MOS 51C are advised that many typical broadening positions for NCOs are generally not available to 51C NCOs. If it is an NCO’s life-long dream to become a drill sergeant, recruiter or inspector general NCO, for example, the 51C MOS is likely not a good fit.

To ensure a trained and professional workforce, the Director, Acquisition Career Management Office serves as the career management proponent for all 51C NCOs.

NCO Development Model. All 51C acquisition NCOs can expect to have ample opportunities to serve in diverse assignments and receive the training required to attain DAWIA certification. Professional military schooling, acquisition-unique training and experience as well as a strong performance over time help NCOs to be competitive for subsequent positions with increasing responsibilities and challenges.

Information on current certification requirements can be found in the DAU catalog at http:// icatalog.dau.mil.

DAWIA certification is not automatically granted. After completion of the appropriate training, education and experience required by your acquisition position, you must apply for certification through the automated Certification Management System (CMS). The CMS can be accessed from CAPPMIS: Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the CMS tab. After the certifying official reviews your application, you will be notified by email of the decision. If approved, the certification will be added to Section X of your Acquisition Career Record Brief. If your application is denied, a justification will be provided with further instructions, if applicable.

Becoming certified in your position is mandatory. Once you are placed into your acquisition position, you have a 24-month grace period to earn your certification. Failure to meet the statutory acquisition career field certification within the grace period may result in various personnel actions, such as reassignment, reduction in grade or pay band, loss of consideration for promotion, or separation from federal service. (For more information, see Director, Army Acquisition Career Management Memorandum #8.) Your command can request a waiver, using DD Form 2905, to give you extra time if mandatory classes are filled or you cannot attend training schedules required for certification. Please see the Acquisition Workforce Strategy Map for a detailed DAWIA certification roadmap.

Steps to Certification

Step One – Prepare an Enlisted Records Brief or Officer Records Brief:

The Enlisted Records Brief (ERB) or Officer Records Brief (ORB) is an automated, authenticated record of your education, training, and acquisition assignment history. Many of the fields in the ERB or ORB are populated automatically when you are assigned to your acquisition position. It is your official acquisition record and it is your responsibility to update and maintain it accurately. TheERB or ORB can be accessed from CAPPMIS. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select theERB or ORB tab. CAPPMIS is an integrated set of tools to help serve and manage your acquisition career. It provides access to theERB or ORB, Individual Development Plan (IDP) and the ATRRS Internet Training Application System (AITAS). All three are important to you as an acquisition workforce member.

Step Two – Review Certification Requirements:

The DefenseAcquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) requires that employees meet the acquisition certification requirements (education, training and experience) associated with the acquisition position they encumber within 24 months after assignment. Certification levels are generally based on the grade (or pay band equivalent) of the position as follows: Level I – GS-05 through GS-08; Level II – GS-09 through GS-12; Level III – GS-13 and above. Certification requirements can be found in the DAU icatalog (click on the “Certification & Core + Development Guides” button). Your first priority is to become certified in the ACF and level required by your current acquisition position. The ACF and level required for your acquisition position are shown on your ACRB under Section I (Current Position Data).

Step Three – Prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP):

Army acquisition workforce members are required to maintain a five-year IDP. Based on the assignment to your initial acquisition position, your IDP is automatically populated with the courses required for your DAWIA certification. Beyond the certification requirements, preparation of the IDP is a joint venture between you and your supervisor. The IDP permits you and your supervisor to identify and track acquisition career objectives in the areas of education, training and experiential opportunities. Objectives should reflect overall broad career goals and specific developmental activities intended to accomplish them. The developmental objectives should be attainable in a reasonable time frame and do not have to be purely acquisition related. They can include items such as functional training, leadership, education, professional activities, and assignment experience that can lead toward the overall achievement of broad career goals. The IDP should be reviewed in conjunction with the normal appraisal cycles (initial review, mid-point review, and final rating period). The IDP can be accessed from CAPPMIS. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the IDP tab. Note for Total Employee Development (TED) users: Employee course requests, IDP goals and IDP objectives are entered first into TED. TED IDP entries will then flow immediately into CAPPMIS.

Step Four – Submit your IDP for Approval:

Once you have annotated all of your acquisition career goals and have entered any education, training or experience that is required to achieve certification, you may submit your IDP to your supervisor for approval. This approval process is done electronically; therefore, you must ensure your current supervisor’s name and correct email address are listed in your IDP. If your current supervisor is not listed in your IDP, please advise your supervisor to log on to the IDP site and add you to his/her employee listing (Supervisor: log in at CAPPMIS, select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, then select the IDP tab, click on “Supervisor” and then on the “Add Employee(s)” button). Your supervisor will receive a system-generated email notification when you submit your IDP for review and approval. Once your supervisor has approved or denied your request, you will receive email notification. Note for TED users: TED class request, supervisor approvals and other IDP changes will post to the CAPPMIS IDP

Step Five – Apply for Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Training:

After your IDP is approved by your supervisor, you may apply for DAU courses at ATRRS. The ATRRS Internet Training Application System (AITAS) is the web based application system that provides dates, locations, and availability for all DAU training. AITAS works in conjunction with the IDP and allows Army acquisition workforce members to submit their training applications electronically for both distance learning and resident courses. It is important to remember that the IDP is for planning purposes only; it is not the vehicle to register for DAU training. However, you cannot register for any DAU training unless the course is identified on your IDP and the supervisor has approved it. Note to TED users: Notify your TED administrator when you have completed a DAU class, so that TED records can be updated.

Step Six – Apply for Certification:

DAWIA certification is not automatically granted. After completion of the appropriate training, education and experience required by your acquisition position, you must apply for certification through the automated Certification Management System (CMS). The CMS can be accessed from CAPPMIS. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the CMS tab. After the certifying official reviews your application, you will be notified by email of the approval or denial decision. If approved, the certification will be added to Section X of your ACRB. If your application is denied, a justification will be provided with further instructions, if applicable. Becoming certified in your position is mandatory. Once you are placed into your acquisition position, you have a 24-month grace period to earn your certification. Failure to meet the statutory acquisition career field certification within the grace period may result in various personnel actions such as reassignment, reduction in grade or pay band, loss of consideration for promotion, or separation from Federal service (see Director, Army Acquisition Career Management Memorandum #8). Your command can request a waiver, using DD Form 2905, to give you extra time if mandatory classes are filled or you cannot make certain training schedules required for certification. Please see the Acquisition Workforce Strategy Map for a detailed DAWIA certification roadmap.

Apply for Acquisition Corps Membership

Designation as an Acquisition Corps member occurs when specific training, education and experience milestones are met. Acquisition Corps membership shall be made in accordance with criteria and procedures established by the Secretary of Defense. Only NCOs who meet all of the following requirements may be considered for Acquisition Corps membership:
(a) Have received a bachelor’s degree at an accredited educational institution authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees, with at least 24 semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of study from an accredited institution of higher education from among the following disciplines: accounting, business finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, and organization and management or equivalent training; or, at least 24 semester credit hours (or the equivalent) from an accredited institution of higher education in program management or contracting and 12 semester credit hours (or the equivalent) from such an institution from among the disciplines listed above.

https://asc.army.mil/docs/policy/aac_policy_signed.pdf

Once you are certified…

Continuous Learning Points (CLPs):

The Department of Defense (DOD) policy on continuous learning requires each acquisition workforce member earn 40 CLPs every year as a goal and 80 CLPs being mandatory within two years. The 2-year cycle begins 1 October of the even year and runs through 30 September of the following even year. The Department of Defense (DOD) policy on continuous learning ensures that workforce members remain current and relevant throughout their acquisition careers. The automated IDP is the document used to annotate activities that count toward continuous learning and can be found at CAPPMIS. For DAU courses (including Continuous Learning Modules), your CLPs will be automatically entered into your ACRB/IDP via the training update process using the Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS). It may take up to two weeks after completion of the course before the data is transferred to the ACRB/IDP. For all other coursework, you must enter the course in your IDP, annotate completion, and request corresponding CLPs be awarded by your supervisor. Note to TED users: TED users do not need to manually add course completions to CAPPMIS. The CLPs for all TED class completions will automatically post to CAPPMIS when the record is moved to “history.” In some cases, completion of a TED course survey is required before the record will move to “history.” Non-training events can be input directly into TED history, and will post to CAPPMIS after supervisor approval of the CLPs.

Career-Broadening Activities:

The mark of your proficiency in your acquisition career field is attainment of the level of certification required of your position. Even if your position requires that you achieve Level II certification, you are encouraged to work toward attaining Level III certification in your acquisition career field. The following information is provided to assist you with your career development plan.

    • Core Plus – The Core Plus program provides a “roadmap” for acquisition workforce members to attain functional competencies within their ACF beyond the minimum certification standards required for their position. The Core Plus Development Guides can be found in the DAU icatalog (select the “Certification & Core + Development Guides” button). The Core Plus Development Guide is intended to assist employees and their supervisors in preparing an IDP by identifying training, education, and experience beyond certification requirements that may be beneficial to career development or performance in a particular type of assignment. Core Plus activities may also be applied toward the CLP requirement.
    • Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) – All Army acquisition workforce employees, regardless of grade level, should be aware of the AAC eligibility requirements. Special attention should be given to the education requirements of the AAC. Employees who do not meet the degree or business hour requirements should place special emphasis on completing those requirements. AAC requirements can be found in the DoDI 5000.66, Enclosure 7. GS-13 (or broadband equivalent) employees who meet AAC requirements should apply using the automated application. Select CAPPMIS on the navigation bar, and then select the AAC MS tab.
    • Acquisition Education, Training and Experience (AET) – The AET Catalog outlines those USAASC/Army DACM Office funded opportunities that will assist acquisition workforce members in their career progression. It provides basic information on available opportunities and the process by which to apply. The AET Catalog is divided into three major categories: educational/academic opportunities, functional/technical and leadership training, and experiential and developmental opportunities. Examples of AET programs include the Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) Program, Acquisition Tuition Assistance Program, Naval Postgraduate School Programs, and Senior Service College Fellowship Programs.

CAREER RESOURCES

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