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MOU Provides New Opportunities for Army Acquisitions
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MOU Provides New Opportunities for Army Acquisitions

By Matt Schehl

A new agreement has been reached between the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and the U.S. Army which will pave the way for new generations of more technically-proficient acquisition professionals.

A memorandum signed in May between NPS President Ronald A. Route and Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, director of the Army Acquisition Corps, establishes two new NPS master’s programs in systems management for Army civilians and officers to provide students greater exposure and training across multiple career fields and domains.

“There are very few accredited institutions that can provide Department of Defense (DOD) experience via the practitioner faculty that NPS has; they’ve worked inside the DOD system and understand the pitfalls,” said Craig Spisak, Army Director of Acquisition Career Management. “It’s their faculty’s operational relevance that sets NPS apart and makes it unique.”

The new interdisciplinary Master of Science degrees will expand the technical knowledge and skills beyond the currently available MBA program at NPS.

Beginning this summer, the first – designated Curriculum 522 – will train Army officers with non-technical backgrounds to manage and lead acquisition programs for complex combat systems and to work with DOD suppliers through contracts.

The second – Curriculum 722 – will teach Army civilians the finer points of the systems engineering process, from establishing system requirements through testing and evaluation, and how to manage, schedule and budget programs.

These programs will provide a thorough understanding of the technical acumen for both parts of the acquisition business, Spisak said. This technical training is exceedingly difficult to obtain, unlike management and leadership training.

“The true power that NPS can provide is that it brings operational relevance to this education,” he added. “You can send anybody anywhere for a systems engineering degree or a MBA – there are great institutions all over the world – but there are very few places that can provide real-world operational experience via practitioners that have walked in the shoes you will be walking in as an acquisition professional.”

The six-quarter curriculum 522 course of study will lead to a Master of Science in Systems Engineering Management, as well as Level III certification in program management, engineering and contracting, plus fully integrated JPME.

Students in the eight-quarter curriculum 722 program will earn a Master of Science in Systems and Program Management, including certification in Level III program management, engineering as well as test and evaluation; Level II production, quality and manufacturing; and Level I life cycle logistics.

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June 2018

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