It's a distinct privilege to join the Mission and Installation Contracting Command family, known across the Army for the outstanding contracting solutions and oversight provided for our customers in the continental United States and Puerto Rico. I'd like to thank all members of the MICC for such a warm welcome and an incredible change-of-command ceremony. I look forward to meeting everyone I can as the command sergeant major and I visit our teammates across the command.

Let me also welcome Command Sgt. Major Marco Torres to our team. He comes to us from the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command at Fort Hood, Texas. His experience with sustainment operations is highly valuable as the link between acquisition and our customers at the tactical and operational level, and I look forward to my battle buddy striving to do great things for our Soldiers and Army civilians.

Rounding off our command team is Clay Cole, who recently was selected as the MICC deputy to the commanding general and appointed to the Senior Executive Service. He holds decades of Army acquisition knowledge and will spearhead our efforts to operationalize contracting. As your command leadership team, we ask only one thing of you: to do your best every day, and we promise to do the same.

As we are in year-end operations -- our busiest time of the year -- I'm aware that many of us will have to put in long hours to accomplish our acquisition mission. Thank you for all the hard work toward closing the fiscal year to sustain materiel readiness by our Soldiers and Army. Remain focused on priorities: our people and our customers. Tasks can get intense during end-of-year operations, but remember we are all on the same team providing critical contracting solutions for our Soldiers.

On that note, let me remind the MICC workforce that there is absolutely zero tolerance for any form of harassment and sexual assault. It is also my policy to provide a work environment free of discrimination. We all have a stake in our organization, and I encourage everyone to report incidents if they see any wrongdoing. It is up to each of us to treat everyone with dignity and respect and not allow harassment and discrimination to tarnish our great organization.

I have a standing open door policy if Soldiers or Army civilians would like to talk to me. All you have to do is contact my executive assistant to schedule a time so we can discuss items of interest. I do encourage our workforce to use the chain of command first; however, I am always here to assist in addressing any issues across the command that need my or the command sergeant major's attention. As a last resort, there is always the anonymous email that you can find through the MICC SharePoint to send your concerns to me, but I still recommend that you try to resolve issues at the lowest level first.

Your voice is important, and the command sergeant major and I would like to request that every member of the MICC take the time to provide input to the command climate survey when it is released in October. We truly want to hear about your concerns -- good and bad -- because our intent is to make this great organization even better.

Let me be clear, our No. 1 priority is to provide materiel readiness, and to do that we must continue to operationalize contracting. We must support the Army chief of staff's top priority of readiness, and operationalizing contracting supports readiness as we move toward fulfilling the MICC, Army Contracting Command and Army Materiel Command increased readiness posture toward mission support.

Linda and I are thrilled to be a part of the MICC. I've been in the Army for 30 years, joined the Acquisition Corps in 1995, and have loved working in the contracting community both in the contingency side and on the installation side. The command sergeant major and I will be visiting as many of our people and offices as possible, and we look forward to working with a professional and dedicated staff with the sterling reputation as the Army's premier contracting organization.

In closing, I'd like to thank Lt. Col. Wyeth Anderson and the other Soldiers who deployed to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in the Houston area. A few of our civilians were also activated to support relief operations with their Guard units. Let me also acknowledge that we had six team members who were impacted at MICC-Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico as well as those effected by Hurricane Irma. Please keep them, along with the more than 70 members of our formation deployed in harm's way, in your thoughts and prayers.

Together as a team, we make up the vital underpinning that allows Army installations to project power and serve as operational platforms, ultimately driving readiness. Thank you for all your selfless dedication during year-end operations and all year round.