By Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka N. O'Neal, Mission and Installation Contracting Command command sergeant majorApril 20, 2017
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (April 20, 2017) Saying farewell to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command is very somber. This has been one of the best assignments that I could have ever asked for, and my sincere gratitude and appreciation goes to my commanding general, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert, for selecting me at the right time as his senior enlisted adviser and battle buddy.
In the short 17 months that I've had the pleasure to serve alongside the Soldiers and civilians of the MICC, I can't help but feel that we've not been able to complete the book, but just a few chapters. Within those chapters; however, are many accomplishments.
My assignment with the MICC has been, unequivocally, the most intriguing position I've had in which I did not knowingly have the technical background that is so prevalent in the contracting command. I am a demonstrated master logistician and sustainer by trade and craft, but now I consider myself a contracting professional, and it is because of this magnificent team of military and civilians who make up this organization.
It is because of your tactical and technical proficiency that Soldiers and their families have what they need, and at the right time. You are the "silent heroes" or "quiet professionals" who execute the largest small business obligations within the Army Materiel Command enterprise. As professionals, you demonstrate daily the tenacity to get things done by keeping and maintaining the moral and ethical azimuth checks without being deterred by a little pressure every now and then from the top.
You are a team that showed selfless determination to ensure that missions were met and closed out in a timely manner as fiscal years came to a close by burning the midnight oil and candles on both ends. I am proud to have served with a team that has unfettered resolve even in the toughest of circumstances when things did not go well, but somehow you found a way to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The teamwork I've witnessed firsthand between our civilians and military across the command is nothing short of remarkable. In the Army's search to save costs, increase productivity and improve processes, the MICC team is already out in front. It has been evidenced in the feedback I've received throughout my travels when meeting with our customers. That innovative support allows our installations to generate Army readiness by providing the infrastructure and services needed to train, man, equip and develop the Army. Your installation support creates a platform to rapidly deploy Army forces at any given moment.
The operations tempo in contracting is rising, and although there are ups and downs, they always lead to a new day. I'm proud of the Soldiers and civilians who have taken the craft they've honed and deployed forward in direct support of combat operations and contingencies around the globe. More than 185,000 Soldiers are currently supporting combatant commanders across 140 different countries. Our Army is much smaller than what it was when many of the Soldiers in our command first volunteered to serve. The harsh reality of that has meant increased deployments as a fact of life in the contracting community. But our Army leaders are taking action to responsibly increase the number of Soldiers across the total force. An increase in end strength by 28,000 service members this fiscal year will not only maximize readiness across the Army but also require increased contract support.
The MICC boasts the best and brightest workforce in the Army. Noncommissioned officers across the MICC are the most technically proficient NCOs the Army has to offer. I take with me the knowledge and utmost assurance that the greatest institution on the face of the Earth is in good hands when it comes to its acquisition needs. The world-class contracting, oversight, quality control and support you provide Soldiers and their families day in and day out continues to sustain the readiness that allows our Army to maintain its decisive edge.
My tour with the MICC has been the very best, and I am so blessed and thankful to have had the opportunity to serve each and every one of you as your command sergeant major. There is no other greater feeling than to know that you are leaving an organization performing at its optimum -- an organization with more than 1,500 employees spanning 31 geographical locations with leaders forward deployed and operating in garrison accomplishing our Army mission in direct support of the warfighter and their families.
God speed and best wishes to all of Team MICC … hooah!