JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (May 20, 2015) -- After spending the majority of her 37 years of civil service at one location, a leader in the acquisition workforce retires this week at Fort Knox, Kentucky.Debbie Ault had spent all but one and half years of her civil service at what is now known as Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Knox.At only 17 years old, Ault made the decision to work for the Army as a civilian shortly after graduating from high school."During high school, I realized public service was probably the right path for me," she said. "I debated between joining the Army and entering civil service. Civil service won and appears to have been a very good decision."She began her civil service career in 1978. A year later she started her contracting career, first as a procurement clerk typist, then working in various contracting positions in the contracting office from a warranted contracting officer, to division chief, to eventually being named director in April 2013.
As director, Ault is responsible for leading, managing and supervising an organization consisting of approximately 100 civilian and military personnel at the MICC-Fort Knox contracting office. Under her leadership, contracting personnel executed more than 3,300 contract actions with $855 million obligated last fiscal year.Ault said one of the many highlights in her career was when the Army recognized her efforts awarding her the 2012 Secretary of the Army Award for Excellence in Contracting for her work with AbilityOne; having made such a difference in the lives of those who have benefited from those contracts."I absolutely love the fact our contracts with AbilityOne/Source America put people to work who otherwise might not have the opportunity to do so," Ault said. "What a wonderful program. It has been a privilege to play some small part in that."Others also noticed Ault's work in the contracting field."Regardless of the requirement though, big or small, Debbie has always worked diligently to ensure compliance, mission success and customer satisfaction," said Col. Timothy Strange, 412th Contracting Support Brigade commander at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. "She has served as a mentor and adviser to countless acquisition professionals and military leaders. Throughout the constant changes, she has always ensured that individuals trusted to her care received the proper resources and tools to be effective, accomplish the mission and achieve success."Being around the people in her office is what Ault says she is going to miss most after she leaves."I will miss being around and working with the awesome people at Fort Knox, especially those at MICC-Fort Knox," she said. "I won't miss getting up at 4:30 a.m."As for life after contracting, she has no plans of starting a second career in any field."I am going to really retire," Ault said.Born in Wurzburg, Germany, Ault moved around a bit while her father was in the Army, and eventually settled in Louisville, Kentucky. After retiring, its Louisville is where she plans to stay, relax for a few months and then begin her volunteer work."I want to get involved with the Louisville public schools, specifically with literacy," Ault said. "I would love to work with children on reading skills. Once I know how much time I will spend doing that, I will seek out other volunteer opportunities."