JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Aug. 12, 2015) The director of contracting for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, retires Aug. 17 during a ceremony honoring 36 years of federal service.Having navigated from the entry level to the senior supervisory level of civil service, the commitment to the Army by Pamela Munoz has been recognized at multiple levels by her superiors and higher headquarters.Beginning her career in contracting more than halfway into her federal service, she finds her departure for retirement bittersweet as she leaves a team of people including Steve Dawson, Greg Davidson, Kathleen Benjamin, Angela Chaplinski, Taz Williams, Cliff Jackson, Lt. Col. Jason Jefferis and Dea Cooper who have played a significant role in her office's success."These are the leaders who guide and encourage our military and civilians to make MICC-JBLM the No. 1 office within MICC," she said. "They made my job easy, and it was a joy to work with them each and every day."She considers her work in support of programs that assist in employing people with disabilities the highlight of her career. Munoz cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics that reveals 17.1 percent of persons with a disability were employed in 2014 in contrast to 64.6 percent of persons without disabilities. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities was 12.5 percent compared to 5.9 percent for persons without disabilities."This is not only a contracting responsibility set forth by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act but, to me, a corporate social responsibility to assist this socio-economic group of Americans - many of whom are service disabled veterans - with employment opportunities," Munoz said.Contracting efforts by the director and her staff have enabled people with disabilities to provide a variety of services on JBLM. They serve as dining facility attendants; maintain vehicles that take Soldiers on exercises and transports them in battle; provide chemical latrine services for exercise support and various events on JBLM; maintain fire hydrants for post safety; clean offices and common areas; operate the central issue facility that issues gear to Soldiers for deployment; run base supply centers; maintain barracks; and provide grounds maintenance at cemeteries for those who have served the nation."The support we receive through contracts that employ people with disabilities provide exceptional services to support our mission at JBLM," she said.Those efforts contributed to her earning the Government Award for Services in the military category at the 2010 National Institute for the Severely Handicapped National Conference. The NISH is one of two national, nonprofit agencies designated by the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled to support nonprofit agencies with federal contracts. In 2011, Munoz was recognized by the US AbilityOne Commission for outstanding contributions and earned the Army Contracting Command Commander's Award for Civilian Service for outstanding achievement.During her time as a military spouse, multiple reassignments often accompanied by breaks in civil service became the norm but never deterred a federal career of supporting Soldiers and their families.Munoz began her civil service career in 1976 in Germany as a clerk typist for a combat equipment battalion before taking a position as a mail clerk. In 1980, she worked a short period as a data transcriber before being selected as a medical clerk at the installation hospital.While serving as a part-time clerk-typist for the Oak Park recruiting battalion in the mid-1980s, Munoz was selected as a finalist for the Chicago Federal Employee of the Year Award by the Chicago Federal Executive Board for her Army Community Service volunteer work assisting spouses and families of Soldiers entering the arduous recruiting duty. From 1986 to 1990, she held varying positions of increased responsibility moving from medical clerk, voucher examiner and housing assignment clerk to housing inspector and eventually unaccompanied housing manager, responsible for monitoring the use of 7,700 barracks spaces including bachelor officer quarters. While in Hawaii, she also completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, graduating cum laude.A follow-on move to Fort Lewis, Washington, returned Munoz to a supply clerk positions through priority placement."Since I completed my bachelor's degree, I patiently waited for 'the right job announcement' to come out," she said. "That is when my life and civil service career took a dramatic change."In April 1992, she was selected as a Department of the Army intern in the field of contracting at the Fort Lewis Directorate of Contracting."I had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time," Munoz recalled.After completing the internship, she was placed in a contract administrator position. A move to Southern California in 1995 led to a break in civil service and a job as a contracts administrator for a small company that manufactured GPS antennas. It was there that she processed a purchase order for the Defense Contracts Management Command and found her next opportunity for networking. In 1997, she was selected for a position as contract administrator for the DCMC Oxnard contracting office administering purchase orders for ship and aircraft parts.Despite the promotion, Munoz admits that she "found the job very boring" and missed the tempo of installation contracting. During a visit to Washington State, she stopped by the Fort Lewis contracting office to meet with then director Jim Edwards and her former division chief, Kathy Noorgard, to inquire about open positions. Within a few months, she returned to Fort Lewis as a contract specialist, administering a new multi-award task order construction contracts vehicle. It was her administration of the MATOC for which she earned the U.S. Army Forces Command Acquisition Reform Individual Excellence Award in 1999.Her willingness to take on assignments of increased responsibility led to her 2001 selection as the chief of the engineering division, which awarded and administrated contracts in support of the Fort Lewis Directorate of Public Works. In 2004, she was promoted to deputy director and chief of the services division at the Fort Lewis contracting office. Along the way, she also focused on professional development to be better prepared as an acquisition leader. Munoz completed an MBA, the three-month leadership course Sustaining Base Leadership and Management, Organizational Leadership for Executives, Personnel Management for Executives, and other leadership courses.In March 2007, she was promoted to the position as director of contracting at Fort Lewis - a position that would later be upgraded as her acquisition responsibilities grew at the largest Army-led joint base in the DOD.
Munoz was later selected to lead the MICC Field Directorate Office-JBLM in August 2011, responsible for oversight of MICC contracting offices at JBLM; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Fort Irwin, California; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; and Fort Riley, Kansas. Following the closure of the FDO as part of a MICC realignment, she returned as director to MICC-JBLM.MICC-JBLM provides support to Army and Air Force customers on the joint base as well as Army requirements at Yakima Training Center, Washington. Its procurements include supplies, services, minor construction, utilities, and grant-cooperative agreement support. The contracting office's core customers include the Joint Base Lewis-McChord headquarters, I Corps, 62nd Airlift Wing, Madigan Army Medical Center and JBLM Network Enterprise Center. In fiscal 2014, MICC-JBLM awarded more than 1,650 contract actions valued at more than $147 million and managed another $34 million in Government Purchase Card Program transactions for the joint base.Her endeavors in supporting agencies that create job opportunities for people with disabilities has led to a post-retirement job opportunity with the Northwest Regional SourceAmerica office in Seattle.Her federal retirement also includes spending more time with her first grandchild and longtime endeavor."I love to garden. I have created a backyard oasis of many flowers and shrubs that provides year round enjoyment," Munoz said. "I also have numerous berry plants and plant a large variety of vegetables each spring and summer."