Soldier enjoys the art of contracting
July 8, 2014
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Capt. Damian Dixon will tell you that creating a solid contracting document requires creative thinking while exercising appropriate discipline, skills also inherent in one of his other great passions: art.
"I'm a huge art guy, so one of the first things on my agenda in a new city is to go to that city's art museum," said Dixon, contract specialist, Army Contracting Command-Rock Island.
A Steubenville, Ohio native, he has been with ACC-RI since December after completing the Army Acquisition Foundation and the Army Basic Contracting courses. Because of his interest in art, he said visiting the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa, was one of the first things he did and he continues to visit regularly.
Dixon said he also loves history and traveling, things he has been able to take advantage of during previous assignments throughout the world. Of all the places he has been, he said Seoul, South Korea, is the most interesting place because of how modern and active it is.
Dixon enlisted in the Army as a medical laboratory specialist 12 years ago, after earning his bachelor's degree in business administration from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and served as a medical laboratory specialist. Two-and-a-half years after enlisting, he was selected to attend officer candidate school.
Assigned as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear officer, Dixon's most rewarding assignment was as the commander of the 44th CBRN Company, Fort Hood, Texas.
"It was an amazing group of Soldiers who were very intelligent, hard working, and had a no-quit attitude," he said.
In 2013, Dixon joined the acquisition corps and he now procures supplies and services for the National Capital Region and the Pentagon. In the six months that he has been at ACC-RI, he has administered and awarded 20 contracts totaling more than $2.2 million.
Dixon said he likes the contracting field because it is a dynamic, constantly evolving career field.
"You cannot become complacent in contracting because policies can literally change daily," said Dixon. "I'm a proactive guy who enjoys challenges and this career field is fresh and exciting. I feel I am constantly learning and giving back."
Dixon said he has learned a lot in the little time he's been in acquisition.
"It is awesome being able to work with the civilians here because they are able to teach us our job," said Dixon. "This builds teamwork, which is the ultimate goal. As a Soldier, it's the experience, the mission challenge, and that integration with the civilian population that makes Army contracting so successful."
While Dixon said he is enjoying his time at ACC-RI, he is looking forward to upcoming opportunities that will take him out of the Quad Cities. Later this year, he is slated to deploy to Southwest Asia as a part of an ACC-RI team supporting the Contingency Contract Administration Services.
"It's my understanding that we are the first group that will assume this mission," said Dixon. "After us, another group of contracting teams will deploy to replace the outgoing teams."
Upon his return, Dixon will attend the Intermediate Level Education resident course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
"Long story short, I will go straight from deployment to the ILE course," said Dixon who is on the promotion list. "The ILE course trains and develops Soldiers who have been selected for promotion to field grade officer on how to be effective in this role, and I'm looking forward to it."