FORT BRAGG, N.C. (June 25, 2012) -- As the Army reduces in size, reclassification into the acquisition corps may be an option for qualified Soldiers to stay in the Army.

While the rest of the Army is cutting back, the contracting career field, acquisition noncommissioned officer military occupational specialty 51 charlie, is expected to grow by almost 50 percent of its current population by the end of fiscal year 2013. The career field needs more officers and NCOs, said Master Sgt. Jason Pitts, senior enlisted advisor, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, or ASC.

To capitalize on the situation, the U.S. Army's Expeditionary Contracting Command maintains a partnership with ASC to participate in the active recruiting of future acquisition noncommissioned officers at Fort Bragg, N.C. The installation has almost 60,000 Soldiers and is a prime location for highly qualified candidates according to Lt. Col. Dennis McGowan, director, Mission Contracting Office-Fort Bragg.

During a two-day symposium in March, Soldiers were briefed, given detailed information on the acquisition corps and what it means to be a member.

Pitts and Sgt. Maj. Leatrice Person, MCO - Fort Bragg sergeant major, led the effort to pull the Fort Bragg units together for the recruitment effort. The senior NCOs gained support from Fort Bragg's garrison, 82nd Airborne Division, and the XVIII Airborne Corps command sergeants major, all of whom pledged to support recruiting for the military occupational specialty and to support Soldiers who serve.

According to Person, ECC pursued multiple avenues to conduct the recruitment. Once the senior leadership was on board, the ECC established contact with all the retention NCOs to get the word out. They distributed flyers and arranged for an article in the post newspaper. Person and Pitts said the event was a success.

While the rest of the Army is shrinking, as are retention benefits, the acquisition corps is growing and providing bonuses, excellent promotion opportunities, advanced civilian schooling, degree completion, and training with industry.

For more information about the acquisition corps or 51 charlie reclassification opportunities, visit the website at: or call (703) 805-1048.