By Betsy Kozak-Howard, ACC-Aberdeen Proving GroundJune 25, 2013
Kevin Parker received more than just a pat-on-the-back for a job well done.
Parker, a contract specialist with the Army Contracting Command -- Aberdeen Proving Ground's Natick Division in Natick, Mass., received a letter of appreciation and commander's coin from Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for his contracting work on the Navy Working Uniform.
"Thank you very much for your outstanding support," Winnefeld wrote in the letter. "You consistently perform in an exemplary manner."
Parker has been providing support to the NWU program for more than two years. The program initiated more than 30 contracts valued at more than $100 million, according to Parker.
"The NWU contracting activities consisted of several components and there were many working parts to the design and quality of the Type II and Type III uniforms," said Parker.
"These uniforms are considered tactical uniforms for expeditionary sailors, with the Type II for desert wear and Type III for a woodland environment."
Parker, a four-year Army veteran, said it was important that the military received a top-quality product.
"One of the difficulties for this contracting effort was the coordination between numerous vendors," said Parker. "It was difficult to manage the delivery schedules and complex logistical requirements while ensuring quality objectives were met. There was also extensive collaboration amongst the government team with the added pressure of a very aggressive timeline. We overcame many obstacles."
The biggest hurdle for this program was "nailing down the final requirements and specifications," stated the Boston native. "There were inputs from many sources that had to be considered."
Parker said the team analyzed the pockets, waistband, parka design, fleece liner and headgear, just to mention a few of the uniform components addressed by the team. Many of the uniform components were produced separately by different contractors.
The NWU program issued contracts to small, disadvantaged businesses; AbilityOne vendors for people with disabilities; the Federal Prison Industries; Native American and Alaskan Native suppliers.
"There were a lot of moving parts with this program and many contracts were issued including three indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts," Parker said.
Parker started his contracting career in 2004 when he joined the Natick Division and today he works as an acquisition level III contracting officer. Prior to 2004, he attended Boston College Law School where he received his juris doctor degree to compliment his bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
"The benefit of working in the contracting career field is it provides me the opportunity to use each discipline, business and law," he said.