Army to double its specialized acquisition workforce

Despite looming cuts to its budget and troop levels, the Army will continue to grow in some areas, including contracting, according to a Defense Department release.

Officials from the Army Acquisition Support Center said the number of soldiers in the contracting military occupational specialty, which is open to officers and enlisted soldiers, will double by the end of 2013.

Those who are selected join the Army Acquisition Corps, which has different areas that need officers, noncommissioned officers and enlisted soldiers. Once selected and assigned, soldiers specializing in contracting deploy with units and help relay soldiers’ needs in the field to commanders and up the chain of command.

“You are the procurement guy for the guys in the field,” said Army Acquisition Support Center’s Maj. Anthony Maneri. “You also are a business advisor to the battalion or brigade or division commander.”

That means that although no unit deploys with every last item it may need, the contract specialists work in teams of four – a major, a captain and two non-commissioned officers – to get the soldiers whatever is necessary, whether it’s more water or new technology.

According to the DOD release, it was contracting specialists who helped deployed troops quickly get improvised explosive device jammers back in 2003 and 2004. It was a catalyst for the trade, Maneri noted.

“In the early days, commanders weren’t sure what we could do for them,” he said. “After a few successes, warfighters started understanding the other aspects that we could offer to help them do their jobs.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 Dave

How is this Revisionist History? I am not arguing...I honestly don't understand your point. What is the real history?

Mon, Feb 20, 2012

Revisionist History if I've ever seen it -- "According to the DOD release, it was contracting specialists who helped deployed troops quickly get improvised explosive device jammers back in 2003 and 2004. It was a catalyst for the trade, Maneri noted."

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above