JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Jan. 19, 2017) Happy new year to the men and women of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command. As a team we have reached some remarkable levels as the Army's premier contracting organization, and this year will be better.

We closed fiscal 2016 successfully while executing more than 32,000 contract actions valued at $4.6 billion, and we did that while meeting all five of our small business socioeconomic goals. But what we do is more than provide contracts; what the MICC truly does is provide readiness to our Soldiers.

The Army chief of staff's top priority -- readiness -- starts at the MICC. We support the warfighter by acquiring contracted equipment, supplies and services vital to the Army mission and well-being of Soldiers. The MICC ensures more than 200,000 Soldiers are fed in contracted dining facilities every day. For combatant commanders, the MICC supports contract services to prepare more than 100,000 conventional force members annually at combat training centers giving the American military a sustained flow of trained and ready forces. We also support training for more than 500,000 active-duty, civilian, joint and international students each year at schools organized under eight centers of excellence. Readiness has been and always will be the MICC's top priority.

While we provide readiness through contracts in support of Soldiers, we must not lose sight that the MICC has two missions. First, we provide responsive contracting solutions to our customers. Secondly, we provide trained and ready contracting support forces when called upon. Both are equally important, and both compliment the operational and future force. It is clearly evident that everything we do impacts Army readiness, and that is why it is crucial that every MICC team member continue to do the right thing every day. We are held to the highest standards of accountability; therefore, it is imperative that we strive to perform at our best each day.

To take the MICC to even higher levels, we need to focus this year on standardization across the command. Standardization can be accomplished as we continue to learn from each other through sharing and emulating best practices done across the command. We have creative and innovative employees throughout our enterprise developing incredible contracting solutions, and now we will be taking the best of the best to develop MICC standards for executing our mission.

The MICC continues to be a learning organization, and this year we are working with experts across the command to finalize the Commanders/Directors Office Guide. This guide leverages best practices from the field that have yielded the greatest successes. It is best to learn from each other and take advice from seasoned acquisition professionals so the MICC runs smoothly while incorporating standard business practices lending conformity to each office to make sure that we all do things as one team.

We already have numerous great acquisition practices in place throughout the MICC, and now we need to implement them across the board. Some of those good practices are conducting standard business meetings, and having normal battle rhythms with all customers. The standard grounds maintenance and custodial standardized contracts are already on the MICC SharePoint site, and they are built with instructions for tailoring the package for the customer. We have good disciplines in our craft, like how we have vastly improved our contract action reports and contract performance assessment reports, and we need to continue to do those well. Instead of recreating the wheel 31 different ways, we will gather our corporate knowledge in 2017 and discover the best ways to accomplish tasks we all face every day then share the most effective and efficient ways across the MICC to provide the highest quality acquisition services possible to our customers. We need to continue to learn from each other by emulating best practices. We have done a great job of this proven by the Command Contracting Operations Metrics program. By standardizing our processes, it benefits every level of our command; from Tier 1 offices all the way to the headquarters while gaining efficiencies across the MICC enterprise.

Another area that we can improve our efficiencies is in our standardized office structure. We established the tier office structure to provide the best contracting the Army can afford. Our Tier 1 and 2 office methodologies have proven to be sound, and they are manned according to their projected workload. The design of the three tiers enables Tier 1 and 2 offices to migrate workload to Tier 3 contracting centers. We are making every effort to properly resource Tier 3 offices to assume the migrated workload while providing the highest quality contracting support to our customers. The Tier 3 offices -- the standardization and adherence to our business rules at those offices -- will be one of our top focuses in 2017.

To conclude, I am focused on coalescing the things that we currently have on hand. The MICC's role in readiness, standardizing our business practices and taking a hard look at our Tier 3 offices is what we need to accomplish in 2017. These initiatives will enable us to bolster credibility, build trust, strengthen partnerships with our customers, provide visibility of contract actions, and reinforce transparency in the acquisition process. It takes tremendous skill and serious dedication from every member of our command to support our Soldiers and warfighters with responsive contracting solutions that contribute to the success of our mission partners day after day. Thank you! I am confident that 2017 will be our best year yet.