In the Army acquisition profession, leader development and talent management are key. Being able to identify, train and support acquisition experts as they move up throughout their career helps ensure the Army acquisition field remains the best, most innovative and professional workforce in the Army and beyond. That’s why the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management Office offers the Inspiring and Developing Excellence in Acquisition Leaders (IDEAL) course, which is facilitated by the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence (AACoE).
EDUCATION AND TRAINING MANAGER INSIGHT
by Kristine Faria
I’m happy to hear Krysta had a good experience with the IDEAL course. It sounds like she is getting a lot out of the course that she can immediately apply to her work and professional relationships, which is exactly what we are going for.
IDEAL is a leadership development program for midcareer acquisition professionals. The program prepares midcareer professionals for positions where they will lead people, teams and other workgroups. We want to prepare future leaders and supervisors before they assume formal leadership roles.
IDEAL is in its third year. The program focuses on the following competencies: prepares self, builds trust, stewards the profession, communicates, gets results, leads by example, extends influence, creates a positive environment, develops others and leads others. AACoE instructors facilitate a number of learning modules and courses to illustrate the competencies. We’ve found that people really like the influencer and crucial conversations courses, as Krysta discusses.
If you’re interested in applying for IDEAL, let me give you some tips on what makes a good application—here is a summary of what past IDEAL boards have said:
- A senior rater potential evaluation (SRPE) that contains a metric against the applicant’s peers. Has high or exceptional potential rating. Contains senior rater comments that highly recommend for leadership training. Recognizes exceptional potential.
- Broad experience in multiple acquisition areas.
- A resume that shows depth of experience and that is well-written, concisely highlighting accomplishments and skills. A shortened bullet format is the best.
- A history of success in positions of increasing levels of responsibility.
- An up-to-date acquisition career record brief (ACRB).
Make note of the announcement dates so that you know when the window is to apply and don’t miss your opportunity. After the announcement closes, a selection board composed of senior Army Acquisition Workforce professionals reviews and rates the applications and makes selection recommendations to the Director, Acquisition Career Management (DACM). The DACM makes the final selections.
My advice? There’s a lot of competition for a seat in IDEAL, so you need to put together your best application. The application consists of a resume, a statement of interest, an ACRB and a SRPE. It’s important that you write a good resume and statement of interest. You also need to review your ACRB and make sure everything is current, including training, education, certifications and assignments. Another set of eyes looking at your application can be very helpful, so consider asking a trusted colleague, supervisor or friend to review your documents before you submit.
For more information on the SRPE visit:
Kristine Faria is an acquisition and education training manager for the Army Director, Acquisition Career Management Office, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, where she is also the program manager for IDEAL and other leadership development programs. She holds a B.A. in sociology and an M.Ed. in counseling/college student personnel services from the College of William and Mary. She began her government career as a computer/IT specialist and later transitioned to managing workforce development and training programs for the acquisition workforce. She is Level III certified in information technology and Level II certified in program management.