***The CDG/AAF program is being redesigned to better meet the needs of our evolving Army Acquisition Workforce. The redesigned program is expected to launch the summer of 2021.***
The Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) program is a premier three-year leadership development program offering expanded training through a series of education, leader development and broadening assignments to build skills required for positions of greater responsibility. Managed by the USAASC Army DACM office, the program is designed to enhance the leadership acumen of the Army’s civilian acquisition workforce. Fellows are provided centrally funded leadership training and developmental assignments within the acquisition community.
While this program does not guarantee a promotion, it does strengthen desired skills, providing a competitive edge for those who compete for senior acquisition leader positions. Since the first class in 1997, 70% of participants have been promoted to at least GS-14. Program participants are encouraged to seek promotion opportunities during their tenure in the program by applying for vacancies through the competitive process.
Two training tracks are available: The Program Management track and the Acquisition Leader track. The primary focus of the Program Management Track is to develop high performing and high leadership potential acquisition personnel toward a future goal of attaining Command Select List (CSL) civilian Product and Project Manager positions and Product Director positions. Program Management track offers fellows an opportunity for developmental assignments as a Product Lead, Program Officer (PO), or an Assistant Program Manager (APM) in a Program Management Office (PMO), Department of the Army Systems Coordinator and other similar developmental assignment PM positions. In addition to the PM Track, we also offer the Acquisition Leader track. The Acquisition Leader track offers fellows not interested in PM, to focus their CDG experience on broadening assignments to round out any identified experiential gaps within or outside of their current acquisition career field (ex. Resource management, contracting, HQ time, etc.).
- CDG/AAF fellows, along with their Command and assistance from the CDG/AAF Program Manager, are responsible for finding mentors to assist in career development and provide guidance throughout the assignment period. A senior (GS-15 or SES) mentor is required.
- Fellows will be assigned to a centrally-funded developmental leadership position on the U. S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA).
- Fellows shall conduct their developmental assignments in the geographic location where they are permanently stationed. Exceptions for those who are in remote locations will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
- One extended TDY (Not to Exceed 179 days), will be required and centrally-funded by USAASC.
- All fellows are required to complete a 179-day tour in one of the Headquarters: ASA(ALT) offices or Army Material Command.
- Graduation from the Program includes successful completion of the mandatory training requirements as identified by the USAASC ARMY DACM Office.
Applicants must meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Be a current Department of the Army Acquisition workforce member serving in a Career or Career Conditional appointment.
- Be a GS-13 (or high performing GS-12) or broadband equivalent
NOTE: Applicants not already participating in the DoD Civilian Acquisition Workforce Demonstration will be converted to it upon placement on the USAASC TDA if selected.
- At the time of application, applicants must have met their current acquisition certification requirement. In addition, applicants must be certified at Level III in at least one Acquisition Career Field (ACF).
The application process is located online in the Army Acquisition Professional Development System (AAPDS). To access AAPDS, please login to the Career Acquisition Management Portal (CAMP) and click on Career Acquisition Personnel and Position Management Information System (CAPPMIS). Once in CAPPMIS, click the “AAPDS” tab, then select the “Application Module” link.
The documents identified below in the Required Application Documents paragraph must be submitted in full in order to receive consideration. All required documents must be contained in the online application tool, AAPDS, as discussed above. Incomplete applications will be ineligible.
- Complete online applications must be finalized and submitted by established dates. Late applications will not be accepted.
- Applications are subject to verification.
- For helpful hints on preparing your application, see Application Best Practices.
CDG/AAF Program Track Selection. Indicate your desire for the PM Track or the Acquisition Leader Track.
Acquisition Career Record Brief (ACRB). AAPDS pulls in the latest version of your ACRB automatically into your application. Ensure your ACRB is updated and correct prior to submission of application. Applicants may update and correct specific fields of their ACRB using the edit functions within CAPPMIS. For the areas in the ACRB that cannot be changed by the Applicant, please request assistance using our Army DACM Office online help desk request at the following link: Workforce Management Inquiring (WMI) System. Applicants will want to pay particular attention to the training, education, and assignment history sections of the ACRB, ensuring that the information is accurate. The training section should only reflect top level relevant training completed; recommend not including any DAU continuous learning modules or annual Army required training.
Resume: Upload your resume using this format. RESUMES MAY NOT EXCEED 4 PAGES and must be submitted in a .pdf format. This is the applicant’s opportunity to highlight educational achievements, work experiences, skills, and accomplishments, which are key indicators to the preparation for and success as an acquisition professional. Applicants should also highlight their qualities and strengths instead of listing responsibilities. Ensure experience descriptions and dates match those in the ACRB.
Statement of Interest: In 4000 characters or less, please describe your reasons for applying to the CDG/AAF program and the benefits the Army will gain by your acceptance. Clearly articulate your goals, desired career path, and how the CDG/AAF program will help you achieve those goals.
Senior Rater Potential Evaluation (SRPE): The SRPE is a critical piece of the application. In accordance with Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) SRPE Policy and SRPE Guidance, dated 10 July 2015, the applicant’s Senior Rater (SR) is the rater of the employee’s rater. The SR must be a supervisor and senior in grade/organizational position to the rated employee.
The SRPE must have an ending date (the “thru” date) within no later than one year of the closing date of the announcement. The SRPE must be completed and generated using CAPPMIS. Of particular note, the SR should not use bullet comments; rather, narrative comments to support the overall rating are highly suggested. Senior Raters should view a SRPE as the equivalent to a “complete the record OER”, and should provide supporting comments accordingly.
For additional information on the completion of the SRPE, Senior Raters should refer to the USAASC policy web page under the SRPE section. The link to the new SRPE form (AAC Form 1) and instructions are also located on the USAASC policy web page under the SRPE section. Applicants should print and retain a signed copy of the SRPE for their records.
Failure to have a completed/finalized SRPE in the CAPPMIS system at the time of announcement closing, will result in the applicant being declared ineligible and their application will not be provided to the board for consideration.
Instructions are available in CAPPMIS to assist the rater and Senior Rater in completing the SRPE. This form must be completed online by your supervisor and senior rater into your online application package. Once the senior rater completes the SRPE, it is not available online for 7 days. The SRPE must be completed/finalized in CAMP NLT the closing date of this announcement. Failure to have a completed/finalized SRPE in the CAPPMIS system at the time of announcement closing, will result in the applicant being declared ineligible and their application will not be provided to the board for consideration.
Command Endorsement and Organizational Return Rights Forms. The Command Endorsement must be prepared and signed by a General Officer or Senior Executive Service member within your command. The original Organizational Return Rights document must be signed by the applicants, applicants’ supervisors, the Human Resources and the General Officer or Senior Executive Service member of your command. Once signed, the documents must be scanned and uploaded into the online application system (AAPDS). The forms are available to download:
- All eligible applicants are reviewed by the Selection Board which will determine the “Referral List” for phase II interviews.
- Applicants on the Referral List will be required to appear before the Selection Board either in person or via VTC. Exceptions to in- person interviews will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The approval authority for such exception is the Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM).
- For planning purposes, the interview portion of the Selection Board is typically scheduled in January, annually.
- The applicant is responsible for notifying his/her supervisor chain-of-command of the requirement to travel for the interview.
- Per Diem and Travel will be centrally-funded by the USAASC DACM Office.
In accordance with Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) memorandum, subject: Consequences for Academic Failures and No- Shows in Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Resident Courses, 30 March 2012, the following applies:
a. Acquisition workforce members who academically fail a resident DAU course required for their acquisition certification will not be eligible to participate in any of the Army DACM Office offered training programs. These acquisition members will remain ineligible for these programs until they successfully meet their certification requirements. Additionally, the acquisition workforce members who academically fail a resident DAU course required for their certification will not be eligible to participate in any incentive programs.
b. The program restrictions listed in the above paragraph will also apply to any acquisition workforce members who are enrolled in any resident DAU course (regardless if the course is required for certification) and fail to show up for the class. The Army DACM and the DAU consider these students “no-shows”. This status can negatively impact the Army’s future seat allocations for these courses. “No-show” workforce members will remain ineligible to apply for AET training and incentive programs for a period of one year starting on the last day of the scheduled resident course for which they failed to appear.
Privacy Act Information
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is authorized to rate applicants for Federal 6 jobs under Sections 1302, 3301, and 3304 of Title 5, US Code. Section 1104, Title 5, allows OPM to authorize other Federal agencies to rate applicants for Federal jobs. Information you put on your resume and other forms is needed to see how well your education and work experience qualifies you for Federal jobs. We may also need information such as citizenship and military service to see what laws we must follow in deciding whom the Federal Government may employ. Your social security number (SSN) is required to keep your records separate from other applicants who may have the same name and date of birth. We may also use your SSN to request information about you from schools, employers, banks, and others who know you but only as allowed by law or Presidential directives. Information you provide may also be given to Federal, State, and local agencies checking for violations of the law or other lawful purposes. Providing this information is voluntary. However, your application cannot be processed if you do not provide this information.
“The CDG/AAF program demonstrates that a carefully planned combination of training, education, and experience is instrumental in building future Army Acquisition leaders. Not only is there a high promotion rate among the graduates, they have had the opportunity to use the knowledge and experience gained from the program to make great contributions to their respective organizations.” – Retired Lt. Gen. Michael E. Williamson, Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) and Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM)
“The CDG program expanded my experience with all phases of the acquisition life cycle and tiers of U.S. Army and joint acquisition management, by exposing me to multiple programs with different ACAT [acquisition category] levels, phases of acquisition and management constructs.”
“Life after CDG – I left the CDG program and accepted a GS-14 position within Joint PM Guardian, JPEO CBD [Joint Project Manager Guardian, Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense] as the director for engineering and acquisition. This challenging position included a mixture of Army and joint programs of record as well as urgent capability requirements. Approximately three years later, I was offered and accepted the position as deputy program manager for the direct reporting Program Manager for Positioning, Navigation and Timing [PM PNT].” – Michael Trzeciak, deputy program manager, PNT
“The CDG program provided me an opportunity to really ‘see’ the Army. The required DA headquarters developmental assignment allowed me to engage with senior leaders one on one – there was perhaps no better way to learn about leadership and how the Army runs. The ability to go into almost any area, assignment or organization to fill in my knowledge gaps was truly a plus! Just before graduating from the CDG program, I began interviewing for promotion opportunities. I successfully obtained multiple opportunities shortly before finishing my tenure as a CDG, and ended up transitioning into an assistant product manager position at the next level (NH-04). I have continued to leverage my experiences and leadership training along with the network of mentors I obtained throughout the years of rotating through the different PEOs and PM organizations. This has been very beneficial in carrying out my day-to-day duties as a program integrator/officer, allowing me to bring a broader view to the table from the many different areas I was exposed to during my tenure as a CDG.” – Alvin Bing, program officer, Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support