JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (June 11, 2020) -- Members of the 900th Contracting Battalion and Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, welcomed a new commander during a change-of-command ceremony June 11.
Lt. Col. Jay VanDenbos assumed command of the battalion from Lt. Col. Jason Miles in a ceremony officiated virtually by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the MICC commanding general, from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
VanDenbos comes to the 900th CBN from the Army Acquisition Center of Excellence at Huntsville, Alabama, where he served as a contingency contracting and Procurement Desktop Defense contract management system instructor.
“It is your task to lead and take this exceptional organization to accomplish its vital contracting mission and forge strategic alliances with our mission partners,” Beeler said, adding that the incoming commander previously worked for her as a contract support plans and operations lead planner at the 414th Contracting Support Brigade in Vicenza, Italy. “I know he will continue to serve with honor and deliver decisive business solutions and contracting support to the Army enterprise.”
VanDenbos was commissioned as a Chemical Officer with the Army through the ROTC in June 2002 after earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He also holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from Webster University. VanDenbos has served a variety of assignments of increasing responsibility before joining the Army Acquisition Corps. He is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in contracting.
“I'm excited for the opportunity to command this successful organization. I look forward to integrating with our mission partners and providing continued contracting support,” VanDenbos said, adding that he is impressed with the battalion's accomplishments and numerous challenging missions in support of the nation at home and abroad. “The Soldiers and civilians have shown the professionalism during this time of COVID-19 by staying synchronized and engaged with our mission partners.”
Miles, who commanded the 900th CBN since July 2017, departs to attend the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Beeler took time to thank him for his leadership over the last three years and highlight a few of his accomplishments while leading the uniformed and civilian members of the battalion. She noted his most recent return from the New York epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak where he led contract efforts supporting more than 4,000 Soldiers deployed in response. The MICC commanding general also commended Miles for his instrumental role in leading the command’s efforts procuring containerized mobile fitness units, or gym-in-a-box, for the U.S. Forces Command allowing Soldiers to maintain readiness. Miles also directly supported relief efforts following Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Miles said it has truly been an honor to command the 900th CBN and serve as both the deputy and director of MICC-Fort Bragg. He also commended the professionalism and leadership of his fellow Soldiers and contracting professionals.
“This command was extremely challenging, but it allowed me to develop new competencies as a leader and a Soldier, and for that I’m sincerely thankful,” Miles said.
Prior to the start of the change-of-command ceremony, Beeler said the high spirit and energy Miles brought to battalion command will next serve to influence future strategic leaders across the Army during his war college on the role contracting plays in building combat. The outgoing commander was then awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
The tradition of changes of command is rooted in military history dating back to the 18th century when organizational flags with colors and symbols unique to each unit were developed. During a change of command conducted in front of the unit, the organizational flag was passed to the individual assuming command to which Soldiers of the unit would dedicate their loyalty and trust. Today, a unit’s colors also represents its heritage and history. Adapted to comply with current COVID-19 limitations, the traditional passing of the colors were instead replaced by the posting of colors by Master Sgt. Della Overton, who serves as the battalion sergeant major. A render of salute to the colors by Miles served to relinquish command while an ensuing salute by VanDenbos signaled his assumption of battalion responsibility and authority.
The 900th CBN is made up of five contracting teams including the 608th Contracting Team, 609th CT, 614th CT, 639th CT and 717th CT. Since its inception, battalion Soldiers have deployed continuously around the world in support of exercises and contingency operations. Soldiers have supported named operations including Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve as well as to Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, El Salvador, Columbia, Guantanamo Bay, Tajikistan and numerous exercises within the United States.
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.