By Shannon Potter, AAW Outreach and Communications
Very few careers have specialized universities designed to train personnel in the nuances of their daily work and for unexpected situations. Even fewer have funding reserved solely for enhancing individual skills and all-around job improvement. This is just not feasible in most business models nowadays. So why do these benefits exist for the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) and what’s the “so what”?
Congress cares. Seriously, it cares enough that it sets aside half a billion dollars every year to educate and train members of the DOD Acquisition Workforce. The Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund (DAWDF), managed by the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office for the 40,000 AAW professionals, is approximately $75 million spent on a fiscal year basis.
People matter. The Defense Acquisition Workforce is the reason that our military members have a shot at coming home safely. Whether it’s improving protective gear or making sure it is armed with the most sophisticated equipment, our military relies on the sound (and educated) decisions made by these professionals.
So why not just go through the motions?
Learn it in the classroom, not the boardroom. You know you won’t ask what a term means or how something works when your boss mentions it in the middle of a big meeting. Don’t pretend to know it, really know it.
Your professors have been there. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) is chock full of acquisition brain power and they know their subjects inside and out. They won’t only teach you, they’ll mentor you. Use the resource: it’s there for a reason.
You’ll need the backup in case of an emergency. The knowledge you gain is your nest egg for the surprises that are sure to come.
No surprise, learning the subject will make your job easier! Get the skills, network with other acquisition professionals and DAU professors, become more efficient, and really pull the value—out of the class you’re attending. You have to go anyway, so you may as well get something out of it. You won’t regret it and you’ll sound so smart the next time you are put on the spot. And, we owe it to our Soldiers in the field to be the best acquisition experts we can be in support of the Army mission. DAU provides the baseline acquisition understanding, and you add the education and experience to achieve Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification-level requirements.
For more information: DAU’s Academic Policies and Procedures
This article is published in the October 2018 DACM Newsletter.
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