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.

Featured

  • Defense
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) reveal concept renderings for the Next NGA West (N2W) campus from the design-build team McCarthy HITT winning proposal. The entirety of the campus is anticipated to be operational in 2025.

    How NGA is tackling interoperability challenges

    Mark Munsell, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s CTO, talks about talent shortages and how the agency is working to get more unclassified data.

  • Veterans Affairs
    Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer speaks at an Oct. 10 FCW event (Photo credit: Troy K. Schneider)

    VA's pivot to agile

    With 10 months on the job, Veterans Affairs CIO Jim Gfrerer is pushing his organization toward a culture of constant delivery.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.