Prior to deploying to Kosovo as the G4 Plans Officer in 2006, I had to attend the Army Contracting Officer Representative (COR) Course in Indiana. As part of the G4 and MMC team, we were responsible for overseeing some of the contracts that were in place between the U.S. Army and KBR at Camp Bondsteel.
The course is a one week course (40 hours) designed to teach the contracting process to include contract administration, statutory laws and regulations that govern the contracting process. Basically, it ensures that the individual COR has sound knowledge about the contracting process so they can properly evaluate the performance of contractors.
In essence, the COR makes sure that the contractor is doing what they are supposed to be doing (according to the contract) and not ripping off the government. Please keep in mind that the Army Contracting Officer Representative is much different than the Contracting or Acquisition Officer. A COR basically “grades” contractors on their performance, whereas the contractor sets up the contractors with the contractors.
The course provides a solid overview of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR). Prior to taking the class students are required to read the COR Reference Book and take a pre-test.
From a personal standpoint, I found the class very informative. I really had no idea how complex the entire contracting world is. While the 40 hour COR Course is a good starting point, you will learn most of your knowledge through On the Job Training. It’s just hard to take in and master everything you need to know about contracts in a 40 hour course.
To the best of my knowledge, not just anyone can take the course. It is typically reserved for Officers (O3 to O6), Warrant Officers (W2-W5), NCOs (E5 thru E9) and GS Employees (GS7 thru GS14). The Officers and NCOs can be Active Duty, Army Reserves, or Army National Guard.
The course is taught by Army Logistics University. The course code is 8D-F51/551-F51 (MC). It is a resident course. Click on the link to learn more about the Army COR Course.
If you’ve ever taken the course I would love to hear your thoughts about it. Just leave a comment to tell me what you think.