Shortage of Marine Corps acquisition officers prompts policy change of profound and lasting impact.
The award illustrates that the acquisition process affects the warfighter not only in the long term, but in the near term as well. Acquisition program managers are responsible for leading a program through major milestones, which cover cradle-to-grave aspects of weapons systems and equipment, said Col. Robert Martinez, commanding officer, Marine Aviation Detachment, Patuxent River, Md.
Until recently, officers seeking to advance in the acquisition career field had to train for their primary military occupational specialty (MOS) while at the same time working towards acquisition requirements. This often resulted in acquisition officers' non-selection for promotion. With no primary MOS in acquisitions, the Marine Corps was challenged to provide enough qualified candidates to lead its important acquisition programs, said Martinez.
To improve the situation, he said, the commandant of the Marine Corps created the U.S. Marine Corps Acquisition Professional Officer 9959 MOS in 2004. The Marine Corps Acquisition Command Slate Board selects highly qualified 9959 Marine officers where the Corps has a unique and vested interest.
Membership in the acquisition workforce initially comes through the primary MOS monitor, who assigns officers to entry- and mid-level acquisition billets. Billets are coordinated through co-occupational field sponsors (chief of staff, Marine Corps Systems Command for ground officer, and the commanding officer Marine Aviation Detachment, Patuxent River for aviation officers). Once assigned to an acquisition billet, officers can seek acquisition certification, said Martinez. Certification also depends on eligibility for membership in the Acquisition Corps.
Martinez is commanding officer, Marine Aviation Detachment, Patuxent River, Md., and Morris is his acquisition manpower officer.
Col Robert Martinez, USMC * Ron Morris
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|Title Annotation:||Career Development|
|Publication:||Defense AT & L|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2006|
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