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Defense Health Agency

"On October 1, 2013, the Department of Defense established the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to manage the activities of the Military Health System. These activities include those previously managed by TRICARE Management Activity (TMA), which was disestablished on the same date. During the next several months, all TMA websites will change to reflect the new DHA. We appreciate your patience during this transition."

Career Development

Career Progression
Individual Development

Career development is a key element of the AT&L Workforce Education, Training, and Career Development Program. This program helps develop a highly qualified workforce capable of performing current and future acquisition functions. Career development helps AT&L Workforce members become more proficient in their current positions and provides opportunities for advancement as their abilities evolve. Finally, career development of the AT&L Workforce will provide DoD with capable, competent workers for senior AT&L positions depending on current and future needs.

Career Progression
There is more than one way to advance a career. Advancement within and between career fields is highly encouraged, primarily at the intermediate level, to broaden the member’s experience. This can be done through rotational assignments.

For most upper-level positions, experience in more than one specialty is desirable and is particularly important for candidates who seek senior-level and other key acquisition positions. To obtain this experience, members should train and work in more than one area of acquisition.

In addition, members who have operational and staff experience will help themselves if they seek high-level positions in acquisition career fields.

Finally, it is important that members have experience in the industry. This experience allows them to have a perspective on private sector business practices and apply “best practices” to high level positions.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
Planning is essential for successful career development. AT&L Workforce members, in coordination with their supervisors, should prepare an individual/career development plan. Plans should identify short-term and long-term career goals, such as membership in the Acquisition Corps or certification in an AT&L Career Field. An AT&L Workforce member’s individual/career development plan should outline how they will accomplish the education, training, and developmental activities needed to achieve their career goals and objectives.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) will be updated periodically to ensure accuracy and currency. The following voluntary activities should be considered in formulating comprehensive IDPs:

Work and Developmental Activities

Work and developmental requirements for each career field vary, depending on the field. The duration of these activities is 1 to 3 years. Acquisition workforce members and their supervisors should plan and coordinate these assignments in the IDP to ensure timely progression to higher levels of certification.

Rotational Assignments

Rotational assignments are a valuable source of experience and opportunity for growth. They allow members to demonstrate their ability to apply course knowledge and skills on the job to show that they have achieved the desired level of proficiency. In addition, rotational assignments promote a cross-disciplinary approach to acquisition, and enhance members’ appreciation of how the various functions contribute to the acquisition process. These assignments are intended to assist acquisition workforce members in completing work and developmental activity requirements and in acquiring more experience inside and outside of DHA and the Federal Government.


Mentoring is a structured agreement, either formal or informal, between two acquisition workforce members outside the normal employee/supervisory relationship wherein the mentor provides assistance to the protégé in his/her career development planning process. Mentoring can provide valuable coaching and feedback regarding career plans and choices.

Professional Associations

Membership in professional associations allows the acquisition workforce member to keep abreast of current topics and trends important to job performance and can provide opportunities for an exchange of knowledge, experiences, information, and ideas on a variety of issues. Professional associations can also provide the member with sources of conferences, seminars, workshops, video-telecasts, printed literature, research, databases, training, and other valuable opportunities. In addition, professional associations enable members to meet others who have similar interests and careers, and facilitate networking opportunities.