DoD's Cadre of Experts
The Commercial Item Group

Rotational Training Opportunity Program (RTOP) - Experience the DCMA CIG!

Opportunity Details

  • Gain firsthand experience in commercial acquisitions and CIG operations during a 100-day rotation
  • Share your own unique acquisition knowledge with the CIG cadre
  • Learn about commercial acquisition procedures & regulations
  • Perform complex pricing and technical analysis, market research, and provide vital negotiation intelligence in support of real-world Commercial Determinations and pricing recommendations


  • Work from your current duty location; this is a virtual assignment
  • No TDY requirements
  • Must be available for full time commitment during the program (April-July)
  • Home organization retains all funding and administrative/personnel responsibility
  • This is not a DCMA recruitment program; return home and share the knowledge!


  • Open to high-performing GS12-13 (or equivalent) DoD personnel in the contracting, engineering, price/cost estimating, or program management functional series
  • Security clearance verification required prior to start





Important Dates

  • Applications Due: 29 February 2024
  • Notification of Selection: 15 March 2024
  • Rotation Begins: NLT 30 April 2024



Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Will rotational employees be in a telework status?

    Rotational candidates will continue to work from their permanent duty location, and in accordance with existing telework or remote work agreements. There is no in-person or location specific requirement for the program. However, candidates cannot work from a government office inside of a contractor facility due to the necessary handling of proprietary contractor data.

  2. Who covers TDY expenses?

    There is no planned TDY travel during the rotation. However, if an emergent, mission critical TDY opportunity arises, the DCMA CIG will discuss attendance and funding with the rotational employee’s home organization.

  3. What type of work assignments can I look forward to as part of the program?

    The program experience will mimic an accelerated version of what a new CIG employee experiences. The first few weeks of the program are focused on self-study academics, meeting the team, and getting oriented with the CIG organizational structure, processes and mission. The next phase of the program consists of shadowing experienced peers to begin getting familiar with the CIG work products. In the final and longest phase of the program, the candidate will be assigned their own real-world commerciality or pricing case to own and work through to completion.

    Throughout the program, candidates will work closely with their CIG teammates and team lead. There will be opportunities for candidates to present their own unique knowledge and expertise to the team as well. At the end of the program, the candidate will provide an out-brief to CIG leadership, highlighting their experience with the program.

  4. Ok, I understand the types of work assignments I’ll be expected to participate in, but what will I get out of the program?

    Since the rotational employee will have an opportunity to support other DoD Program Offices and Buying Commands, they will come away with a more holistic view of the DoD enterprise in support of the Joint Force mission described in the 2022 National Defense Strategy. In addition, the employee will have a better understanding the available training, tools, resources, and guidance as it pertains to commercial acquisitions. Finally, the candidate will gain hands-on experience with CIG processes, products, and DoD commercial determinations.

  5. That sounds great, but how does the DCMA CIG benefit from this program?

    Great question! The DCMA CIG will obtain valuable insights on what information is helpful to the buying commands to support our DCMA 2023-2025 Strategic Plan LOE to exploit multi-functional data and agency-wide predictive insights to enhance value proposition to DOD Customers and other acquisition stakeholders. Additionally, this rotational program enhances direct lines of communication, increasing the DoD workforce awareness of the CIG services, processes, and information needed to maximize our support to buying commands and program offices on future acquisition requirements.

  6. Where are the project/offices located?

    The rotational employee will be assigned to one of the four multifunctional teams within the CIG, reporting to a supervisory cost/price analyst or supervisory engineer, with a team lead. The majority of the DCMA CIG resides in six main locations: Hanscom AFB, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Indianapolis, IN; Denver, CO; Luke AFB, AZ; and St. Petersburg, FL. As the organization has embraced remote/virtual work, we have several employees who reside in other cities, spanning the continental US. Workload within the CIG is not dependent on location, contractor, or customer. The CIG supports all customers through an agile workload intake and distribution process in which any project can be worked by anyone, anywhere.

  7. How long are the rotations?

    The 2024 rotation is designed to nominally last 100 calendar days, beginning in April and ending in July. This is to allow ample time to complete the rotation, gain the desired commercial acquisition knowledge, and return to the Home organization prior to FY closeout activities.

  8. Is a security clearance required for this program?

    Yes, candidates should possess at least a Secret clearance. Although the handling of classified information is not anticipated, the CIG does routinely process CUI and contractor proprietary information. The candidate’s security clearance will be verified via DISS prior to the start of the program.

  9. Who can participate in the program?

    The RTOP is open to DoD personnel at the GS12-GS13 (or equivalent) levels. Candidates should be in the contracting, engineering or program management career fields with at least two years of experience in a program office. Favorable consideration will be given to individuals who have some experience with commercial acquisitions, or whose program routinely utilizes commercial procedures.

  10. How do you select participants?

    The DCMA CIG will accept rotational employee program candidates based on the professional experience identified in their resume, supervisor recommendation and answers to the application questions.

  11. Once accepted, what are the in-processing requirements?

    The home organization security office will transmit the appropriate security clearance information of the participant to the DCMA Security Office for validation prior to the detail. The appropriate security clearance will be held by the parent agency on behalf of the participant during the rotation.

  12. What type of work schedule will be required of me?

    Specific schedules can be coordinated with the rotational assignment supervisor upon arrival.

  13. How do I account for my time and attendance?

    Rotational employees should continue to enter time and request leave with their Home organization as normal. If the Home organization requires confirmation from your rotational assignment supervisor of your hours, we will work to accommodate that request.

  14. I am currently enrolled in a lengthy instructor-led DAU course, or have extended leave planned, during the rotation. Am I still eligible to participate?

    The RTOP is an intense, high-paced program, which requires a full-time commitment throughout the duration. If you have known extended commitments that may interfere with your participation in the program, please communicate that during the application/onboarding process.

  15. How do I coordinate leave during my assignment?

    Leave may still be taken during the program and should be requested/approved with the Home organization per their normal time and attendance process.

    Leave that has been scheduled prior to the start of your rotation should be conveyed to the DCMA CIG rotational supervisor during the onboarding process. Any leave planning during your rotation should be coordinated with both your home organization and DCMA CIG rotational assignment supervisor with proper and timely notification.

  16. Who will be responsible for preparing my performance appraisal during my rotation?

    The Home organization retains responsibility for conducting your performance appraisals and reviews. If requested, the assigned CIG rotational assignment supervisor may provide performance feedback to the Home organization supervisor.

  17. I am interested in transferring to DCMA, is this a good opportunity to get my foot in the door?

No, the RTOP is not a DCMA or CIG recruitment program. The intent of this program is to bring DoD acquisition professionals into the CIG for a limited time, provide in-depth training/education on commercial acquisitions and CIG operations, then return them to their Home organization to spread this knowledge. RTOP alumni are force multipliers, spreading commercial acquisition expertise throughout the DoD acquisition community.