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  • Question

    Can you please provide any background on the use of CO vs. KO when referring to Contracting Officers? My understanding has been that KO was primarily used in a deployed/contingency/military scenario when there was a Commanding Officer who was referred to as the CO.


    Answer

    You are correct in that the term "KO" is used in order to distinguish "contracting officer" from "commanding officer." However, the purpose of the distinction goes beyond the contingency environment. Unlike as is the case in the Air Force, "CO" is common Army, Navy, and Marine Corps parlance for "commanding officer." A distinct acronym was needed for use in situations where "commanding officer" and "contracting officer" needed to be clearly distinguished.

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