JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 29, 2019) -- Soldiers in the finance management military occupational specialty are continuing to help fill a critical capabilities gap while at the same time gaining valuable developmental skills training at select Mission and Installation Contracting Command offices.

A program that was initially forged six years ago between the Army Budget Office and Army Contracting Command continues to develop financial management Soldiers while mutually benefitting contracting operations. U.S. Army Forces Command officials formalized the effort in September 2013.

"The purpose of the program is to enhance the Army's financial management Soldiers' core resource management competencies by first sending them to Defense Finance and Accounting Service-Rome (N.Y.) for hands-on training, then attaching them to corps and division resource management and contacting offices for nine months of intense on-the-job training," said C.T. Fortune, a program manager with the MICC Future Operations Office. "It's a win-win for everyone involved. The Soldiers hone their skills and the resource management and contracting offices receive a valuable asset to assist with their day-to-day workload."

The Soldiers assist with verifying status, accuracy of payments and invoices, disbursing reports, and other relevant pay documents.

"The analysis of these reports allow the MICC to move to the de-obligation and closeouts," said Sgt. Appolinaire Kombassere, a senior vendor service analyst with the 82nd Financial Management Support Unit. "It also allows resource managers to properly close out their books from all these prior fiscal years."

The 82nd FMSU Soldiers support the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, contracting office by ensuring unliquidated obligations are accurately de-obligated and prior to the de-obligation, document all prior modification in a system of record to move to the closeout process. They also assists the MICC in reaching out to vendors who have either not been paid or those who have not submitted an invoice.

"So far the two main focuses are ULOs on the contracts assigned to MICC-Fort Bragg and closeouts. We do assist other contract specialists on status-of-pay reports," Kombassere said.

Soldiers are assigned to one of six MICC locations, including Fort Bragg; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Fort Hood, Texas.

About a dozen Soldiers making up this rotation arrived at MICC offices in May and are scheduled to complete their nine-month developmental assignments at the end of January 2020. The next wave of financial management technicians will begin arriving in January 2020.

"A brief overlap is purposely built into the rotation schedule in order for the incoming FM Soldiers to work with the outgoing Soldiers prior to their departure," Fortune said.

Participation in the program is driven by the Army Force Generation deployment cycle of financial management support units as well as required military pay services by the garrison in support of the DFAS.

Financial management technicians, who serve as a link between procurement and the DFAS, arrive possessing limited to basic levels of skill with the General Fund Enterprise Business System. GFEBS is an Army web-enabled financial, asset and accounting management system that shares data across Army components. It also integrates enterprise-wide procurement management capabilities in use at contracting offices across the MICC.

About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.