By Jacqueline M. Hames for Army AL&T magazineJune 13, 2024

(Photo Credit: (Image by Nataliia Mysak, Getty Images) ) VIEW ORIGINAL

The push to equip the Army Acquisition Workforce with digital skills continues with MOREin’24.

Last fall, the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) was introduced to the digital foundations pathway with Udemy—three online courses designed to digitally upskill workforce members in preparation for the digital transformation of the Army. (See “Serving the Digital Soup” in the Fall 2023 issue of Army AL&T.) The Army Director of Acquisition Career Management (DACM) Office spent the last few months improving that pathway. Those three online courses have become a new Digital Foundations credential, which can be accessed through Udemy—and the DACM Office is launching this first-of-its-kind credential with its MOREin’24 campaign.

The campaign signals the DACM Office’s continuous commitment to upskilling and digital prowess as the Army prepares to excel in the digital age. Ashley Kestner, communications analyst in the DACM Office, explained that the campaign not only wants to educate the workforce about the availability of the new courses, but also how the workforce can continue to evolve in the overall transformation mindset.

“It all just comes down to fostering that digital-first culture and that, of course, starts with people,” Kestner said.

The campaign promotes the new credential, three additional digital upskilling courses debuting in 2024, and educates new acquisition-coded employees about the fiscal year 2024 mandatory objective for the Udemy Digital Foundations learning pathway.

Young Bang, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, delivers remarks on the Army’s digital transformation during a panel at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 28, 2023. Bang led the search for solutions to upskill the workforce.
(Photo Credit: Caroline Hernandez, PEO Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Strategic Communications)


Young Bang, the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)), is spearheading the digital transformation mindset for Army acquisition. He initiated the search for a training solution to help upskill the workforce last year and found Udemy.

The MOREin’24 campaign nests under ASA(ALT)’s “accelerate mindset,” Kestner explained. “People are at the center of the Army’s modernization effort. By investing in acquisition workforce upskilling, we also grow our ability to have advantage over our adversaries,” Kestner said. “Getting into that accelerate mindset, we gave you the foundations. But how do we take this a step further to the overall digital transformation of the Army? One area garnering a lot of focus of late is responsible integration of artificial intelligence [AI]. Specifically, how can we responsibly use AI to empower our Soldiers with decision advantage—leveraging data quickly and effectively to build scalable and trusted AI capabilities that can be leveraged across programs.”

The AAW is a big part of the Army’s digital transformation, and “it’s imperative that the workforce understand the AI landscape as part of our continuous learning and digital upskilling effort,” Kestner said.

All new acquisition-coded personnel assigned to ASA(ALT), the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center and the program executive offices are required to take the first three prioritized courses in the Digital Foundations learning pathway: the Digital Transformation Masterclass, Agile Samurai Bootcamp and Product Management in AI and Data Science. The Digital Foundations credential is comprised of those required courses—and is the first of four campaign pillars. The credential was officially launched in March 2024 and signifies a mastery of digital transformation.

The other three pillars of the campaign are the newly recommended Udemy courses for fiscal year 2024 in the Digital Foundations learning pathway:

  • Design Thinking: The Fundamentals (1.5 hours).
  • Executive Briefing: Data Science and Machine Learning (2 hours).
  • Introduction to the Cloud (2 hours).

The new credential is the guiding credential for Army digital transformation, Kestner said. It will allow workforce members to earn a total of 18 continuous learning points (CLPs)—14 for the foundational courses and four more for the credential. If you’ve completed the courses in fiscal year 2023, your Digital Foundations credential and additional four CLPs will retroactively and automatically populate in the Certification Management System (CMS). An official certificate issued by the DACM Office is yours to download through the CMS tab in CAPPMIS.

How will the integration of AI empower our Soldiers with decision-making advantages? (Photo Credit: Image by Gerd Altmann, Pixabay) VIEW ORIGINAL


While the Digital Foundations credential is open to all acquisition-coded employees, another course exists to target leaders. The DACM Office has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to offer courses to higher-level officers and senior executives as part of the digital foundations pathway, in response to a fiscal year 2023 congressional mandate for the services to focus on developing a greater awareness of AI.

In response to that mandate, the DACM Office coordinated an in-person, weeklong Data Driven Leadership course for senior civilian and military leaders at Carnegie Mellon University, said Susan Clark, DACM development branch chief. “The course enables progress toward meeting our collective digital transformation goals,” she said.

According to the program overview, the course will provide AAW members with a certificate in Data Driven Leadership, covering six key areas: Data management, data science, decision making, emerging technology, change management, and data privacy and security.

The certificate is a 10-module course where students will participate in group exercises to share experiences and discuss how they would apply what they learned during the course to benefit their career and the current work environment. Ultimately, course graduates will be able to assist Army leadership in the development of a robust enterprise data management and data science capability to improve decision-making.

“The course is very popular and receives excellent feedback from attendees—all of our classes for fiscal year 2024 are full with waitlists,” Clark said.


The MOREin’24 campaign also hopes to expand its AI upskilling options during the summer of 2024 and will include the Defense Acquisition University’s AI Foundations for the DOD credential in its offerings. This course will help acquisition professionals better understand AI projects. According to the course description, “students will receive a grounding in the topics of AI definitions and technologies, the AI ecosystem and the importance of data and algorithmic ethics.” Check the DACM Office’s Digital Transformation landing page for updated information later this summer.

The Digital Foundations learning pathway helps the workforce be agile, ready to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape; versatile, mastering skills crucial for modern warfare; resilient, thriving in an environment of constant innovation and evolution; and will position workforce members as leaders in the digital revolution.

“It’s an imperative that we keep pace with their [AAW members] learning, so that we can keep pace with technology, which keeps the Soldier in the field safe and gives them the tools they need to defeat our adversaries and ultimately defend the nation,” Kestner said.

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JACQUELINE M. HAMES is the senior editor with Army AL&T magazine. She holds a B.A. in creative writing from Christopher Newport University. She has more than 15 years of experience writing and editing news and feature articles for publication.

Read the full article in the Spring 2024 issue of Army AL&T magazine.
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