Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System Plan
CP-14 - Contracting and Acquisition Career Program


A. Leader-Development Model. Leader-Development is an essential element of development for members of CP-14. Leader-Development is the process of developing or promoting the growth of confident, competent leaders. It is a continuous and cumulative process of education and training, experience, assessment, remediation/reinforcement and feedback. It rests on three pillars: (1) institutional training, (2) assignments, and (3) self-development (see Figure 8).

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  1. 1. The Institutional Training pillar provides formal education and leadership training that CP-14 personnel receive in preparation for service as leaders.
  2. 2. The Assignments Pillar gives personnel the opportunity to build upon the skills and knowledge they acquired during formal education and training and use them in actual leadership positions.
  3. 3. The Self-Development Pillar recognizes individual initiative and self-development of every leader. The formal education system is limited, and individuals must act on their own to expand that knowledge and fill any gaps. Reading programs, civilian education, and self-study programs are among the principal self-development opportunities.
  4. 4. The model's foundation is based on the fundamental and enduring values of Army professional ethics: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. The expectations and standards derived from these values and ethics include competence in performance, commitment to the Army and the organization's goals and mission, moral courage and candor in decision-making and communications, and compassion in human relations. Although not formally included in the Contribution-based Compensation and Appraisal System (CCAS) being used in the Personnel Demonstration Projects, the importance of values to the Army is evident by their inclusion in both the Senior and Base Civilian Evaluation Reports under TAPES. The leader should, in turn counsel, coach, and mentor subordinates on the importance of values and ethics.

B. Institutional Training. The first pillar (see Figure 9) is institutional training. The institutional training pillar consists of a model of progressive cumulative mandatory and desirable training aimed at four levels of career progression - intern, supervisor, manager, and executive. In addition, mid-level employees should make every effort to complete (either by correspondence or in residence) the Sustaining Base Leadership Management course (SBLM) at the Army Management Staff College (AMSC) no later than 18 months after promotion to the GS-13 level. Figure 10 portrays the common core Army civilian leadership training directed by AR 690-400, Chapter 410 and indicates the mandatory courses with a [M] and the desirable courses with a [D]; these courses are included in the Master Training Plan.

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C. Assignments. The second pillar is assignments (see Figure 11). There are leadership and management assignments of two types: (1) assignments to contracting and acquisition organizations; (2) operational assignments outside of contracting in other acquisition organizations.

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  1. Acquisition assignments. Personnel assigned to supervisory or management positions in contracting and acquisition have the opportunity to hone their leadership skills by leading acquisition organizations and by developing subordinates.
  2. Operational assignments. Acquisition personnel may also broaden their leader-development skills by developmental assignments outside of contracting and acquisition. Such assignments should enhance the individual's perspective of the user and requirements community. Completion of such assignments should provide individuals with a greater customer appreciation and sensitivity.

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D. Self-Development. The third pillar (see Figure 12) is Self-Development, and it is the most challenging component of the leader-development framework. Self-development is the planned, progressive, and sequential program followed by employees to enhance competencies and sustain job growth and satisfaction. Self-development includes self-assessment, off-duty civilian schooling and additional professional training, a formal reading program, and membership in professional associations and continuing education efforts through the professional associations. Self-development has three interrelated spheres: (1) professional development; (2) leader-development; and (3) managerial-executive development. Resting on a firm foundation of technical competency, professional self-development consists of individual study through training and education beyond required minimums, research, reading, practice, self-assessment, and professional association. These opportunities will increase knowledge, improve competence in the employee's area of interest, and offset any limitations identified in the career planning process. Recognition of the importance of the self-development pillar is exemplified in the DoD Continuous Learning Policy discussed later in Section VIII, which establishes a standard for continuous learning that facilitates self-development. While this ACTEDS Plan focuses on professional self-development, individuals should not overlook the contribution to general well-being that is provided by personal self-development in areas like fitness, hobbies, involvement in community and civic activities, and other areas of personal interest.

E. Defense Leadership and Management Program (DLAMP). In addition to the Army Leader-Development program, DoD established the DLAMP. DLAMP, authorized by DoDD 1430.16, is a DoD-wide program for developing future civilian leaders. The Office of the Secretary of Defense announced in December 2001 a major restructuring of the Defense Leadership and Management Program (DLAMP). The program changes are based on direction from GAO and Congressional recommendations. The original DLAMP objective remains to develop a highly capable cadre of senior civilian executives with a joint perspective to manage the Department's workforce and programs. The refocused DLAMP will be more flexible, cost-effective, and efficient in meeting short- and long-term requirements for highly capable civilian leaders. The key elements of the revised program are as follows.

  1. Formal Education. Upon graduation, every DLAMP participant is expected to have a master's degree (or equivalent advanced education), in either a technical discipline or a management field. Participants who enter the program with a pre-existing advanced degree will be required to assess their past formal education with their supervisors and determine whether or not additional graduate courses in specific subjects are key to their success as future leaders in the Department. These employees will be afforded the opportunity to attend up to six (6) graduate courses in business management and public policy areas, at their local duty station to round-out their academic portfolio. A participant who enters the program without an advanced degree may earn one through professional military education (PME) attendance (where master's degrees are conferred) or through an accredited university on a full or part-time basis. There will be 100 master's degree fellowships awarded each year to selected program participants. Participants are expected to pursue this opportunity with local universities and colleges.
  2. Professional Military Education. All participants will receive a thorough education in national security policy, studies, and decision-making, as well as leadership. The existing spaces in the 10-month PME in Senior Service Schools and at the National Defense University (NDU) will continue. Additionally the Center for Defense Leadership and Management Program (CDLAMP), at NDU, will modify its program to provide 4-5 courses on national security strategy and leadership. The CDLAMP courses will provide an excellent introduction to national security and leadership issues in preparation for Senior Service School attendance and are required for all participants.
  3. Rotational Assignments. A joint or cross-Component assignment of at least 12 months is highly encouraged, but not funded by DLAMP.
  4. Backfill for Long-term Training (LTT). Backfill will be provided for twenty-five percent of the students in long-term training.

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