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Operational contract support (OCS) is important to unit and Army mission success.  If applied carefully, OCS can be an important force multiplier and enhancing operational responsiveness for unit operations and the Department of Defense.  OCS can also supplement high-demand, low density organic support force capabilities or provide capabilities that do not exist in the military structure.  OCS allows prioritization of military units for combat power and higher priority missions and reduce operational tempo for support forces. A typical example in theater for the use of contract support is reception, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) activities (Department of Defense, 2019).

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Sergeants major (SGMs) must know OCS is the process of planning for and obtaining supplies, services, and construction from commercial sources in support of operations.  SGMs must understand OCS is a complex source of support planned and executed with the Joint Force or Combatant Commander’s guidance through the contracting authority of military department or Department of Defense agencies.  SGMs, among others, need to advise commanders about OCS activities to provide effective and legal support to Soldiers.  This begins with whether the commander’s unit is a requiring activity, a supported activity, or both.  A requiring activity identifies, plans, and coordinates OCS while a supported unit receives support.  A unit can be both if it initiates the request for support (Department of Defense, 2016). 

SGMs have to ensure the commander does not step in several potholes of OCS.  This includes unauthorized commitment and understanding command authority does not equal contracting authority.  An unauthorized commitment is an agreement that is not legally binding because the government representative lacks the authority to enter that agreement on behalf of the government.  Only contracting officers can enter contractual actions or modifications.  Military or civil service members can be financially liable for unauthorized commitments.  Command authority is the legal authority of the military commander to organize and employ assigned and attached forces.  Command authority does not include the authority to enter in binding contracts for the United States government.  The legally binding contracts express the specific terms and conditions contractors adhere to complete their contract (Department of Defense, 2016).  Commanders need advice to stay out of the many potholes of OCS.

References

Department of Defense. (2016). Multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Operational Contract Support (ATP 4-10). Retrieved from https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/atp4_10.pdf

Department of Defense. (2019). Operational Contract Support (JP 4-10). Retrieved from https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp4_10.pdf

     Contracting support operations play a critical role in the success of Army operations.  Regardless of the location for an operation, contractors and contracting support serve receive a point of emphasis for planning and execution.  The Command Sergeant Major (CSM) or Sergeant Major (SGM) must know the impacts contracting has on mission success as well as ensure proper oversight to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.  

             The utilization of contracting and presence of contractors at Army installations persists both within the United States and at operating bases around the world.  At one point during operations within Central Command, contractors numbered so high that “the ratio of contractor to military personnel was 1 to 1” (Gould, 2012, p. 24).  The purpose and mission of these contractors vary; however, one point is clear: the purpose of each is necessary for mission accomplishment.  This means the utilization of contractors frees up Soldiers for their wartime mission, equating contracting to a “significant force multiplier” (Department of Defense, 2019, p. I-11). 

CSM or SGM must know the different functions supported by contractors.  Contractors receive assignments in logistics, maintenance, sanitation, and security, just to name a few.  Without utilizing contracting, senior leaders would need to assign Soldiers to these duties.  The ability to eliminate support duties for Soldiers reinforces the importance of contracting for the Army.  However, senior enlisted leaders must understand the contracting process and ensure contractors follow the contracts as written.  This helps to ensure fiscal responsibility and eliminate waste.

            The CSM or SGM must know the impacts contracting has on mission success as well as ensure proper oversight to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.  Contracting enhances a unit’s ability to achieve mission success by reassigning support roles from Soldiers to contractors.  The increase of manpower for unit leadership increases lethality.

References:

Department of the Defense. (2019). Operational contract support (JP 4-10). Retrieved from https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp4_10.pdf?ver=2019-04-12-133833-707.

Gould, R.. (2012). “Operational contract support: Not just for contingencies.” Army Sustainment, 44(4), 24-26.

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DB Post Response # 1

In a minimum of 200 words, please provide a response to the post below, with at least one cited source. Please only use the military sources provided and one outside source if using more than one cited source.

Note: Rubrics attached.

RUBRICS.pdf

Form 1009C

Contribution to Group Discussion Assessment

Levels of Achievement

Criteria Failed Unsatisfactory Marginal Developing Proficient Exemplary

Quality and Scope of Posted Content

0 to 5 points

No or irrelevant discussion participation.

6 to 8 points

Initial posting is not on topic; the content is unrelated to the discussion question; post demonstrates superficial thought and poor preparation. No depth in response to classmates; response does not relate directly, either conceptually or materially, to classmate postings.

9 to 11 points

Initial posting demonstrates a lack of reflection and answers few aspects of the discussion question; Development of concepts is not evident. Provides questionable comments of fails to offer new information to other posts; Responses do not promote further discussion of topic.

12 to 14 points

Initial posting demonstrates legitimate reflection and answers most aspects of the discussion question; full development of concepts is not evident. Provides relevant comments and new information to other posts; not all responses promote further discussion of topic.

15 to 17 points

Initial posting reveals a clear understanding of all aspects of the discussion question; uses factual and relevant information; demonstrates proficient development of concepts. Demonstrates understanding of other posts; extends discussion by building on previous posts and offering perspectives.

18 to 20 points

Initial posting demonstrates a thorough understanding of all aspects of the discussion question; uses factual and relevant information from scholarly sources; demonstrates full and insightful development of key concepts. Demonstrates critical analysis of other posts; extends meaningful discussion by building on previous posts and offering alternative perspectives.

Collaborative Communication Skills

0 to 5 points

No or irrelevant discussion participation.

6 to 8 points

Rarely provides useful ideas when participating in group discussions. Does not effectively engage with classmates by acknowledging and accepting other points of view. Publically critical of the work of others. Often displays unproductive communication that instigates a negative response rather than promotes collaboration.

9 to 11 points

Rarely provides useful ideas when participating in group discussions. Publically critical of the work of others. Rarely displays a positive narrative. Rarely shares with and supports the efforts of others. Sometimes causes undue tension or issues in the discussion forum.

12 to 14 points

Usually provides useful ideas when participating in group discussions. Rarely publically critical of the work of others. Often displays a positive narrative. Usually shares with and supports the efforts of others. Does not cause undue tension or issues in the discussion forum.

15 to 17 points

Routinely provides useful ideas when participating in group discussion. Never publically critical of the work of others. Always displays a positive narrative. Regularly shares with and supports the efforts of others. Maintains a productive and collaborative discussion with classmates.

18 to 20 points

Always provides creative ideas when participating in group discussion. Supports the work of others while keeping discussion on topic. Always displays a positive narrative. Regularly shares with and supports the efforts of others. Leads a productive and collaborative discussion with classmates.

Critical and Creative Thinking

0 to 5 points

No or irrelevant discussion participation.

6 to 8 points

Demonstrates a lack of proficiency in conceptualizing the problem; viewpoints and

9 to 11 points

Demonstrates limited or poor proficiency in conceptualizing the problem; viewpoints and

12 to 14 points

Demonstrates developing proficiency in conceptualizing and providing

15 to 17 points

Demonstrates considerable proficiency in conceptualizing the problem

18 to 20 points

Demonstrates mastery in conceptualizing the problem and presenting

Name

Description

Rubric Detail

Page 1 of 2

Levels of Achievement

Criteria Failed Unsatisfactory Marginal Developing Proficient Exemplary

assumptions of experts lack analysis and evaluation; conclusions are either absent or poorly conceived and supported.

assumptions of experts are not sufficiently analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated; conclusions are either poorly conceived and supported.

context to the problem; viewpoints and assumptions of experts are not sufficiently analyzed, synthesized, or evaluated; conclusions lack clear rationale.

and presenting appropriate perspectives; viewpoints and assumptions of experts are accurately analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated; conclusions are logically presented with applicable rationale.

logical perspectives; viewpoints and assumptions of experts are superbly analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated; conclusions are logically presented with detailed rationale.

Reference to Supporting Sources

0 to 5 points

No or irrelevant discussion participation.

6 to 8 points

Does not refer to assigned readings or other sources; fails to cite properly and/or cites questionable sources.

9 to 11 points

Refers to questionable sources. Attempts to cite sources with major deficiencies in citation format; fails to use two or more sources in initial post. Fails to use any source in response to classmates.

12 to 14 points

Refers to scholarly sources from assigned or outside reading and attempts to cite sources with few deficiencies in citation format; fails to use two or more sources in initial post.

15 to 17 points

Refers to and properly cites scholarly sources from assigned or outside reading and research with two or more sources cited in the initial post and at least one source cited in response to classmates.

18 to 20 points

Refers to and properly cites recent and relevant scholarly sources from assigned or outside reading and research with two or more sources cited in the initial post and at least one source cited in response to classmates.

Style and Mechanics

0 to 5 points

No or irrelevant discussion participation.

6 to 8 points

Writing contains numerous wordy, vague, or poorly constructed sentences. Frequent instances of grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation errors.

9 to 11 points

Writing contains few wordy, vague, or poorly constructed sentences. Occasional instances of grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation errors.

12 to 14 points

Writing displays a developing sense of academic writing with structurally sound sentences. 5-10 errors in grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation.

15 to 17 points

Writing displays a proficiency of academic writing with clearly written and structurally sound sentences. Less than 5 errors in grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation.

18 to 20 points

Writing displays a mastery of academic writing with clearly written and structurally sound sentences. No errors in grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation.

Assignment Requirements

-31 to -31 points

One or more posts contain plagiarism.

-15 to -15 points

Failed to meet assignment requirements and one or more submissions after due date.

-10 to -10 points

Failed to meet assignment requirements.

-5 to -5 points

One or more submissions after due date.

0 to 0 points

Met all requirements.

0 to 0 points

Met all requirements.

Page 2 of 2

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