|The Acquisition, Logistics,
and Technology Contracting NCO
|by Sergeant Major Ethan A. Jones
officers in a new military occupational specialty
will support the Army’s increasing need for contingency
capability in the modular force.
The way ahead for the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) and the
U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) includes training
and educating members of the Army’s newest military occupational
specialty (MOS)—51C, Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology
(AL&T) Contracting Noncommissioned Officer (NCO)—and
integrating them into the Army’s force pool.
The MOS 51C AL&T Contracting NCOs will be assigned to the
Army Sustainment Command (ASC)—formerly the Army Field
Support Command—at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. ASC
became operational on 1 October 2006 as a subordinate command
of the Army Materiel Command. AL&T Contracting NCOs will
perform their contingency contracting mission while assigned
to modular contracting units, including contracting support
brigades, contingency contracting battalions, senior contingency
contracting teams, and contingency contracting teams. USAASC
will be the proponent for MOS 51C and will be responsible for
the life-cycle management process of the Army’s new Contracting
NCO Corps. The life-cycle management process consists of recruitment,
retention, individual training and education, distribution,
sustainment, professional development, and separation. AL&T
Contracting NCOs will receive the same Defense Acquisition
University (DAU) training opportunities in the contracting
field that are available to the Army’s acquisition officers
Commands and agencies that play a vital role in supporting,
training, assigning, providing doctrine for, deploying, and
developing the AL&T NCO Corps, in addition to USAASC and
DAU, include the—
- Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology.
- Army Materiel Command.
- Army Special Operations Command.
- Department of the Army G–3/5/7 (Training).
- Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
- Army Combined Arms Support Command.
- Army Combined Arms Center.
- Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Futures Office.
- Army Logistics Management College.
- Air Force Contracting, Training, and Flight Academy.
- Army Contracting Agency.
- Army Human Resources Command (HRC).
- Contracting community.
Who is Eligible?
NCOs in any career management field (CMF), in both the Active
and Reserve components, who meet reclassification prerequisites for
MOS 51C are eligible. They must be in the ranks of staff sergeant or
sergeant first class with less than 10 years of active Federal service.
They must submit a recommendation letter signed by a battalion commander
(lieutenant colonel or higher), copies of college transcripts or a
diploma from an accredited institution, and copies of training certification
related to contract training, if applicable. Each NCO must submit verification
of a security clearance; meet height and weight standards in accordance
with AR 600–9, The Army Weight Control Program; exhibit stability
in personal affairs in accordance with AR 600–20, Army Command
Policy; be competitive for promotion; and have had a successful tour
in a leadership role and no derogatory information in their Official
Military Personnel File.
The official retention criteria for MOS 51C will be published
and announced through HRC’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff
for Operations Notifications of Future Changes and sent out through command
How Are 51C Soldiers Trained?
The DAU contracting curriculum for level I contracting
certification (obtained through distance learning) serves
as the advanced
individual training (AIT) and MOS 51C award-producing training.
An NCO who meets reclassification prerequisites for MOS
51C is given a contracting assignment and placed in a
nondeployable status for 120 days so he can complete the
following DAU level I contracting courses—
- CON 110, Mission Support Planning.
- CON 111, Mission Support Execution.
- CON 112, Mission Performance Assessment.
After being awarded MOS 51C, the Soldier will
be required to successfully complete CON 234, Contingency Contracting
(through resident training), and other contracting resident
courses as part of mission requirements and certification.
Once the AL&T contracting NCO (E–6 or E–7)
has successfully completed at least a 1- to 2-year tour in
contracting, he will attend the Air Force’s Mission Airmen
Ready Contract Apprentice Course (MARCAC) at Lackland Air Force
Base, Texas. This 8-week course is the equivalent of the Army’s
Basic NCO Course (BNCOC). The MARCAC provides the Soldier with
refresher technical training and computer lab-based training.
After completing tours in contracting, the staff sergeant (promotable)
or sergeant first class AL&T contracting NCO will attend
the Army Logistics Management College’s Army Intermediate
Contracting Course (AICC) in Huntsville, Alabama. This is equivalent
to the Army’s Advanced NCO Course (ANCOC). Those NCOs
who have successfully completed BNCOCs or ANCOCs in their respective
branches before they are selected for reclassification also
will be afforded the opportunity to attend
MARCAC or AICC or take DAU contracting courses. All AL&T
Contracting NCOs will meet contracting commanders’ and
proponents’ requirements for training, certification,
career development, and mission.
All AL&T Contracting NCOs in all Army components are eligible
to receive DAU contracting certifications in contracting at
levels I, II, and III. All Department of Defense personnel
must meet the experience and training requirements set forth
by DAU and the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act
before they can become certified in any acquisition discipline.
TRADOC and the Army Sergeants Major Academy establish educational
and training standards for the Army’s enlisted force.
They identify core courses and training that complement and
supplement institutional instruction. USAASC has developed
and will implement career progression standards and a professional
development model for AL&T contracting NCOs. These professional
development programs are designed to train, support professional
growth, provide operational experience, and enhance leadership
competencies throughout the Soldiers’ careers. This includes
professional certification, credentialing, and degree-related
training for the AL&T contracting NCO and other acquisition
disciplines. As the CMF 51 series matures and future concept
plans for force structure are developed and supported, AL&T
Contracting NCOs may become service school instructors, Chief
Personnel Proponent NCO, HRC Career Development and Training
Managers, Command Sergeant Major of the Army Acquisition Corps,
and even Senior Enlisted Advisor at the Defense Contract Management
As MOS 51C matures, AL&T Contracting NCOs will provide continuity and stability
for the Army’s military contingency contracting workforce. They will become
contingency contracting technical experts and trainers for newly accessed acquisition
officers (area of concentration 51C) and Soldiers who reclassify into MOS 51C.
In the first 4 to 5 years of their careers, AL&T contracting NCOs will require
more technical training than leadership training because their focus will be
on mission support, deployments, and contracting statutes, laws, and regulations.
The AL&T Contracting NCO personnel force structure was developed to support
the Army’s modular force and design. Contracting units and teams are modular
and are a part of the Army Force Generation cycle and will be evaluated and assessed
during joint exercises and National Training Center, Joint Readiness Training
Center, and Joint Maneuver Training Center rotations.
Army contracting activities acquire technology,
supplies, and services for our warfighters and our Nation through
responsive and innovative support. Training and leadership
are required to create strong, viable, and competent acquisition
teams. The NCO Corps is, and always will be, the backbone of
the Army, and now the Army Acquisition Corps and the Army Materiel
Command will bring AL&T modular capabilities holistically
to the battlefield through the Army Acquisition NCO Corps.
Sergeant Major Ethan A. Jones serves as the Army’s
Senior Contracting Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) and Principal
Technical NCO Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army
for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology and the Military
Deputy. He also serves as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to
the Director of the Army Contracting Agency. He is level
III-certified in contracting. Sergeant Major Jones has a
B.A. degree in public relations and mass communication from
Paine University and is pursuing a master’s degree
in acquisition management from American Graduate University.