Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2017 Contents more opinions, which means the document may take more than
a year to complete.
A CDD is typically about 45 pages. For the jungle boot, it
identifies the complete specifications needed, including the
color, height, material, water resistance, traction, speed of
drying, protection from the environment for the Soldier, and
any other requirements you would want from a boot. A CDD
also addresses all the doctrine, organizational, training, mate-
rial, leadership, personnel, facilities and policy (DOTMLPF-P)
changes required for a new jungle boot. But why would there be
any changes to DOTMLPF-P areas for a jungle boot?
Contrast the CDD to an operational needs statement (ONS),
used by troops in the field to request an existing commercial
off-the-shelf (COTS) product. It’s five pages. An ONS also
defines the who, what, when, where, why and how of a need.
But it does not address DOTMLPF-P concerns or the complete
life cycle of the boot, including disposal once the boot does
not meet the established standards. (And that’s not when the
boot owner disposes of it; that’s when the Army decides to go
through this exercise again and develop a new boot.) Separately,
the Army will develop an online maintenance handbook based
on the CDD to inform the Soldier of the care and cleaning of
the jungle boot. But the Army does not maintain a boot. Army
supply personnel do what everyone else does: Throw them away
and ask for a new pair.
In case you’ve lost track, we are now at more than 360 days since
the initial request for a boot.
Once the CDD is in draft form, the document writer posts it to
an online portal to allow units around the globe to comment,
hence the name of this next stage: worldwide staffing. The Army
Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) gatekeeper, the person
responsible for moving the document through the JCIDS pro-
cess, provides the document writer the initial list of units. The
document writer will add to that list based on his or her experi-
ence. Once the document is posted, each unit usually has 30
days to comment. However, 30 days is an arbitrary number and
could increase based on requests from the specific units. The
document writer must adjudicate all the comments before the
approval process can begin. The adjudication process could take
a month, depending on the number and complexity of the com-
ments. We are now at approximately 390 days.
THE SAWTOOTH EFFECT
Mowgli avoided being eaten by Shere Khan, a tiger. Unfortu-
nately, the JCIDS process has been overcome by a sawtooth
approval process. Once the CDD is signed by the MCOE com-
mander (a two-star general), the document goes to the ARCIC
gatekeeper (a colonel) for validation and processing through
multiple layers of approval. (See Figure 2, Page 104.) The Army
Requirements Oversight Council (AROC) approves the CDD
only after the Army Working Group (AWG), Army Require-
ments and Resourcing Board (AR2B) and Army Control Board
(ACB) approve it.
If multiple branches of the military (Air Force, Nav y, Marines)
will use the CDD, an additional Joint Requirements Over-
sight Council (JROC), with similar prior approvals, is required.
Army personnel call bouncing between these different levels of
approval “the sawtooth effect,” because the graphic representa-
tion of the document moving between the different levels looks
like a sawtooth blade.
All of these levels of approval take approximately 90 to 140 days.
If any group at any level has questions, waiting for answers can
delay or stop the process. If an answer to a question is critical in
nature, the ARCIC gatekeeper may send the CDD back to the
beginning of the approval process. Once approved at the AROC
and JROC levels, the ARCIC gatekeeper sends the CDD to the
chief of staff of the Army for final approval.
HURRY UP AND WAIT
Once the approval of the boot is completed, the funding and
contracting efforts begin. The average time to develop a contract
for the boot through competition is 240 days. The develop-
ment of a Federal Acquisition Requirements-compliant contract
includes requests for information, approval to distribute the
contract, distribution of the contract to all vendors for competi-
tion, receipt of proposals from all the vendors, assessment of all
proposals and contract award.
The JCIDS manual in 2003 was 91
pages; today, after seven iterations
through which Army leadership
attempted to simplify the process, the
manual is more than 420 pages.
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