By Ryan Mattox
After more than a year since its introduction, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command Readiness Initiative is still reaping benefits for those who seek advancement opportunities.
MRI has allowed the MICC-Fort Leonard Wood contracting office to competitively promote 11 individuals in the 1105 purchasing agent career series to 1102 contract specialist positions. Nine of these selections were internal promotions, and two other purchasing agents were military spouses who obtained positions at their new location.
Implementation of the MRI has eased the loss of experienced acquisition personnel in the 1102 series, and restored many 1102 positions across the command. The initiative rescinded an organizational effort that previously converted more than 200 positions in the 1102 contracting career series to 1105 purchasing agents. That decision opened the door for civilian employees and military veterans in purchasing agent positions to compete for and, in some cases, directly convert to 1102 positions to better meet the command’s complex workload.
“I felt it was my responsibility to take the lead and ensure we selected the best candidates. Fort Leonard Wood is a rural area, and I saw this as an opportunity to ‘build my bench’ for future 1102 vacancies,” said James Tucker, director of the MICC-Fort Leonard Wood contracting office.
“As a management team, we focused on locating people who met the educational requirements for the 1102s. We had a large talent pool of candidates with Government Purchase Card, supply and contracting officer representative experience.”
Tucker directed his division chiefs and contracting officers to lead training for those converting to 1102s. Their goal for training was to mimic the 1102 intern training program to facilitate individuals’ development from 1105s to 1102s.
Division chiefs maintained oversight on workload and opportunities to provide developmental assignments.
“The largest benefit to our office is increased morale,” Tucker said. “The staff sees the commitment to grow and develop themselves for future positions. This in turn has reduced turnover and increased the long-term stability for the organization. As these individuals gain more experience and complete their Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certifications, they will be poised to be future leaders in the command.”
Eric Chaney, now a contract specialist with the contracting office, was an 1105 for a year and a half before moving into an 1102 position.
“I believe it was more about positions becoming available and being a good qualified candidate for the position,” Chaney said. “This has affected my career path substantially. Before I was hired into the contracting field, I had a job that had limited progression and few opportunities for growth. I now have a career that has substantial opportunities for progression as well as the opportunities for personal and professional growth.”
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon.
The command is made up of two contracting support brigades, two field directorates, 30 contracting offices and nine battalions. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.
(Editor’s note: Mattox is with the Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs Office at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.)