JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (July 28, 2014) -- Five acquisition professionals from throughout the Mission and Installation Contracting Command completed the requirements to be named as American Society for Quality certified quality auditors in June.The board of American Society for Quality announced the following people have fulfilled all requirements for the certification: John Finch, MICC-White Sands, New Mexico; Gary Floor, MICC-Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Mike Johnson, 412th Contracting Support Brigade, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Mike Ricke, MICC-Fort Rucker, Alabama; Nick Pierrelouis, MICC-Fort Lee, Virginia; and Ben Rush, MICC headquarters, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston."This certification is a way to provide formal recognition to professionals who have demonstrated an understanding of and a commitment to quality techniques and practices in the career field," said Rush, a quality assurance specialist with the MICC. "This is a great accomplishment for our people. It represents a high level of peer recognition."In order to qualify for the certified quality auditor examination, an individual must have eight years of experience related to the auditing career field.Rush explained that a certified quality auditor is a professional who understands the standards and principles of auditing and the auditing techniques of examining, questioning, evaluating and reporting to determine a quality system's adequacy and deficiencies."During these times of budgetary uncertainties, our command leadership bent over backward to help facilitate and accommodate this training," Rush said. "This training accomplishes one of the command's priorities of increasing professional certifications."With encouragement from his supervisors and assistance from the MICC training and readiness team, Rush took it upon himself to set up the class for the MICC.Once funding was secured and a vendor selected who could provide the proper certification training, Rush identified participants who needed this certification. In order to fill the class quota of 20, he reached out to the Army Contracting Command and Expeditionary Contracting Command."We had several individuals take advantage of this unique opportunity, one at ACC (Robert Burns, ACC-Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama) and two others in ECC (Dan Goff, ECC headquarters, Huntsville, Alabama. and Steve Turkovich, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Fort Schafter, Hawaii)," Rush said. "One, quality assurance specialist, Jeff Parry, of Fort Knox, Kentucky, was even able to complete the class while deployed to Afghanistan."There were 12 members eligible to take the exam in June. The remaining members will test in December."The certification gave me a better understanding of how industry performs audits, which is much different from the methods Department of Defense officials use," said Ricke, a quality assurance specialist. "The course was very challenging, requiring an exceptional amount of study and relearning of audit practices and methods to comply with industry standards."Since 1968, when the first ASQ certification examination was administered, more than 190,000 individuals have attained certification in their field or profession."All things considered, I am excited that I was one of only a few who successfully completed this semi-annual exam," Ricke said. "The exam pass rate is an indication of how complex and challenging the training and testing was. This certification presents me with new opportunities for advancement within the DOD. I'm very grateful for having been presented the opportunity to achieve this ASQ CQA certification."