JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Feb. 2, 2015) February marks Black History Month, a period during which members across the DOD and nation honor the contributions made by African-Americans. Those who led the Civil Rights Movement two generations ago and called for the march on Washington and historic passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act cleared the way for unprecedented opportunities across America and a diverse workforce helping lead the Army today.The strength in leveraging that rich diversity is evident throughout the year in the many uniformed and civilian members who play key roles across the Mission and Installation Contracting Command. Among those is Angela Jacobs, the acting director of MICC-Fort Campbell, Kentucky, who understands the value and encourages the advancement of diversity in the workplace."Working in a vacuum and relying on only one or two viewpoints is detrimental to any project or mission and hinders the growth and success of an organization and its individuals," she said. "Diversity is key; everyone has something to bring to the organization, and as leaders we must know how to bring out the best in everyone -- that is done by merely listening and accepting others."Jacobs added that embracing people for who they are regardless of race, sex or beliefs creates an environment where people can openly express themselves and contribute greater to the mission.Home of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell's operational contracting needs in support of its training mission directly impacts Soldiers across the globe. Contracting support for the installation also extends to the Military Entrance Processing Station, ROTC activities as well as various other tenant units.Jacobs leads a team of approximately 50 military and civilian staff making up contracting divisions responsible for installation supplies and services, construction and engineering in support of the directorate of public works and the Government Purchase Card Program. She also performs management, review and audit functions for the contracting office and provides assistance to small businesses.Having begun her procurement career at Fort Ord, California, she has spent 21 of the last 26 years at Fort Campbell building a wealth of knowledge involving all aspects of the contracting life cycle, from simplified contract actions to some of the most complex acquisitions. The MICC-Fort Campbell contracting office executed in 1,251 contract actions in fiscal 2014 valued at more than $93 million.As an acquisition leader, she finds mentoring and teaching to be the most enjoyable part of the job."I love sharing my knowledge and giving back to individuals who are excited about contracting," the Osceola, Arkansas, native said. "Also, I enjoy the different challenges and opportunities that are encountered every single day … and knowing that through contracting I am directly supporting our warfighter by ensuring supplies and services are contracted properly and in a timely manner."Jacobs has shared that passion to guide others as a mentor for the Leadership Fort Campbell Program for 12 years. She meets with participants on a regular basis to coach, share advice and experiences founded in Army values as well as discuss concerns and professional development. Participants in the nine-month program select mentors to help them learn what it takes to be a leader.The contracting director finds the need for mentors even more important in Army acquisitions due to its ever-changing complexity."Mentorship is critical in the acquisition career field. It is my responsibility to ensure I pass the 'baton' to the next up-and-coming leader so the organization continues to thrive when I am no longer here," said Jacobs, who holds Level III and Level I certifications in contracting and program management, respectively.She credits her own personal and professional success to several mentors."They are all unknown. I watch peoples' actions on a regular basis to see if their words line up with their actions," she said. "When I have the opportunity to talk with other leaders I truly listen to their thoughts, ideas and experiences, and through those conversations I feel as though I am being mentored."Applying those subtle lessons in the workplace has led to her recognition a number of times at Fort Campbell. She's earned Civilian Employee of the Year awards in both the leadership and professional categories as well as being named the U.S. Forces Command Outstanding Contracting Officer.Possessing a bachelor's degree in business management from Saint Leo University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix, it's her current pursuit of a graduate degree in professional counseling from Liberty University she is most eager to put to practice next year following graduation."I believe one of my callings is to inspire, motivate and heal others who are hurting from life experiences," she said. "I am so looking forward to being a professional counselor in the mental health field and already have a local psychiatrist in Clarksville, Tennessee, that has agreed to allow me intern and practice."Jacobs has witnessed firsthand the emotional impact of deployments on Soldiers and their families while deployed as a supervisory contract specialist from August 2008 through August 2009 to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. There she stood up a contract administration division to help alleviate an overwhelming contract pre-award workload while also processing claims, resolving outdated vendor payments, closing out contracts and providing oversight for a large contracting officer representative program."The greatest take away from my deployment is that when people truly focus on the mission, anything can be accomplished. My team was comprised of Army, Air Force, Navy, contractor employees and Army civilians -- we set a lot of goals and through teamwork and focus on the mission, accomplished almost every goal."She said she draws on that experience at every opportunity to stress the importance of teamwork and how individuals from every cultural background have something to contribute to the team."As long as we stay focused on the mission and goal, anything can be accomplished."