Spotlight on...Undra Robinson II
May 29, 2013
For Undra Robinson II, the Army Contracting Command's Deployable Cadre Program has been a window of opportunity both professionally and personally.
Prior to his deployment in October, Robinson, a contract specialist at the ACC-National Capital Region in Alexandria, Va., decided he wanted to serve closer to Soldiers. So when he was able to deploy with them, he jumped at the chance.
"I have always wanted to support the war fighter in a contingency location and this job gives me the ability to do that," said the George Washington University graduate. "I am currently a contract specialist with a limited warrant with ACC-Qatar procuring services for Camp As Sayliyah, other bases in Qatar and contracting missions throughout the Middle East."
Applying for the program in February 2012, Robinson got his wish in October and soon found himself in a whole new world.
"The type of contracting I do here is different than back at ACC-NCR," said the 28-year-old who calls the northern Virginia area home. "At ACC-NCR, I work mostly on information technology services contracts. In theater, I've been working on construction projects."
Robinson is working side-by-side with the Soldiers he has supported from afar and is gaining a better appreciation on how contracting supports their needs.
"I work with a lot more Soldiers than civilians back at home. My work here in theater directly supports the war fighter just as it does back home. The thing is, there I can't see that. Here, I have the opportunity to see it for myself," said Robinson, who enjoys travelling as well as singing in the church choir back in Virginia.
Robinson said the experience has allowed him to learn about contracting as a whole.
"I am learning a lot about base operations contracting. I'm also learning how to work with Soldiers as customers, not as contracting officer's representatives, which is totally different," he said.
Robinson said the DCP is something every junior contracting specialist should consider.
"You gain experience in contracting that will be satisfying career-wise and personally. Being a member of the DCP you learn and do things not every civilian military contracting specialist can say they have done. You meet great people that could potentially help your career in the future," said Robinson, who met his personal goal of supporting Soldiers overseas after three years of working for the government.
"On a personal note," he said, "being in the DCP makes me feel like I'm actively doing something to assist in the defense of my country."