JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Jan. 13, 2014) -- A Mission and Installation Contracting Command Soldier was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service as a contracting specialist in Afghanistan during a ceremony Jan. 9 at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Cranford, from MICC-Fort Drum, was recognized for administering construction contracts valued at more than $19 million in supporting of more than 110,000 U.S., coalition and Afghan forces that included more than 250 missions outside the wire.

Cranford, who represents the third generation of his family to serve his nation, assumed a modest approach to the award of the Bronze Star.

"It's very humbling knowing what the Bronze Star means and that people think of me that way," said the Stephenville, Texas, native who credits his values as a noncommissioned officer and putting others first as contributing factors toward receiving the medal.

The Bronze Star is the fourth highest individual military award presented to individuals for actors of heroism or merit in a combat zone.

The married father of two boys said he had a good comfort level of experience after a year of contracting commodities before deploying, but quickly found opportunities to broaden that understanding. Cranford expanded his contracting knowledge through administering numerous construction contracts, interacting with the Afghan people and seeing the entire scope of contracting. The 38-year-old NCO said that experience will pay dividends now that he has returned to MICC-Fort Drum.

"My experience helps further clarify normal contracting in a garrison environment and how it can be impacted from a contingency environment," he said with a confidence of tackling more complex contract actions. "Having been in a contingency environment brings new perspectives when looking at other contract actions."

Cranford holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Tarleton State University in Stephenville and a Master of Business Administration from Trident University.