OSMS and YOU: Acquisition Project Management

This blog post is the 25th in a series of posts highlighting the various specialties and subspecialties offered by the recently launched Officer Specialty Management System. Stay tuned as we share key information about each specialty/subspecialty in the coming weeks!




Written by Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Parker


Why seek Acquisition Project Management, CG-MGT16?

Acquisition professionals are at the center of mission support and mission execution each and every day. They acquire mission critical products needed by our operators in the field and bring them to life through contracting, design and build, as well as ensuring support systems are in place so assets remain effective throughout their lifecycle. Successful project management is a highly valued professional skill within the Coast Guard, throughout the federal government and in the private sector.


Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate


As a member of the Assistant Commandant for Acquisition team, or CG-9, you’ll help oversee more than 20 major acquisition projects – ranging from cutters and response boats to fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, and the systems and infrastructure that integrate the fleet – in execution of a $1.2 billion annual budget. To accomplish this, more than 800 personnel makeup CG-9 offices and units, 40 percent of which are military members. Of the officer positions, 16 are designated for O-6 assignment; that’s more than double the percentage of O-6 assignment opportunities available in most headquarters directorates! Within CG-9 there are two flag positions, eight designated program manager positions, and five commanding officer positions at CG-9 field units including the Research and Development Center, the Asset Project Offices (APO), Legacy Support Sustainment Unit (LSSU), and various Project Residence Offices (PROs).




What does the Acquisition Project Management officer specialty code provide?

The code serves as an ideal balance in an officer’s career, both in acquisition assignments and beyond, and provides the Coast Guard with experts who are responsible for efficiently and effectively acquiring major systems required for the successful execution of Coast Guard missions. These large-scale projects demand highly skilled individuals to integrate complex projects, motivate people, and achieve cost-effective results. Acquisition project managers develop project specifications and evaluation criteria, project costs, schedules, and monitor performance while ensuring compliance with federal acquisition policies and laws.




How can you be competitive in the acquisition enterprise?

Earning the CG-MGT16 officer specialty code is the most visible way to document your project management capabilities as a secondary specialty and is the first step in becoming a leader in the acquisition community. Officers rotating through an acquisition tour bring a technical, organizational and operational understanding of their primary specialty with a mission focused perspective. Most officers complete a tour in CG-9 and continue with their career in a primary specialty while others return to lead major acquisition projects and command field units, managing the Coast Guard’s recapitalization portfolio. CG-9 encourages a healthy rotation between acquisition and your operational specialty, and values the relevant recent field experiences that our military provide.

How do you obtain the CG-MGT16 designation?

Earning your Federal Acquisition Institute Program and Project Manager certification, or FAC-P/PM, qualifies you to obtain the CG-MGT16 designation. CG-9 facilitates a robust training and certification program leading to FAC-P/PM as well as 10 additional certifications including business financial management, systems engineering, lifecycle logistics, and test/evaluation.

CG-9 employs officers from all operational and mission support specialties and backgrounds. The graphic below demonstrates CG-MGT16 opportunities; an assignment in acquisition offers an ideal broadening experience to complement your primary career track.


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For more information about the CG-MGT16 Officer Specialty or a tour in CG-9, contact the acquisition workforce manager in the Office of Acquisition Workforce Management (CG-921) at (202) 475-3008.



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