MARINE CORPS CONTRACTING OFFICER CAREER PATHWAY: RESTRUCTURE MOS DESIGNATION SYSTEM TO SUPPORT AND IMPROVE THE SERVICE'S ACQUISITION WORKFORCE
Dunlap, Jeffrey R.
Young, Wynndee, Marine Corps Systems Command
Robinson Jr., Macon, Defense Logistics Agency
Brito Jr., Leonel, Marine Forces Reserve
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This research analyzed the Marine Corps’ selection and development processes regarding contracting officers. It further examined when contracting officers become eligible for advancement into the acquisition workforce (AW). The analysis scrutinized when in an officer’s career and at what paygrade they are qualified to apply for the contracting Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Additionally, the following were reviewed: current structure and geographical location for contracting officer billets, fiscal year 2023 field grade promotion board results, and government and non-government reviews on improving the Department of Defense Contracting and AW. Challenges and inconsistencies were found with the Marine Corps’ management of the contracting workforce as a secondary MOS, especially when compared and contrasted to primary MOSs. It exposed a lack of incentive for interested officers to join the contracting field, making it less desirable for well-qualified officers. With worthy officers not interested, the challenge to manage and sustain this critical MOS, which simultaneously provides capability to Fleet Marine Forces training operations and combatant commanders, is genuine and problematic. The research revealed a lackadaisical and uninformed view regarding contingency contracting and its role in the Commandant’s Force Design 2030 planning initiative, which directs futuristic planning.
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