Leader’s perspective: MICC making a difference for nation, people

By Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, Mission and Installation Contracting Command commanding generalMarch 16, 2021

Leader’s perspective: MICC making a difference for the nation, people
In her latest Leader's Perspective column, Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler said the Mission and Installation Contracting Command remains clearly focused on taking care of our people, supporting our mission partners and doing our best toward the federal response to COVID-19. Beeler is the MICC commanding general. (Photo Credit: Daniel P. Elkins) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (March 16, 2021) -- The dedicated Soldiers and Army civilians of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command continue to provide outstanding acquisition support to our mission partners while also helping the nation make incredible strides against the coronavirus pandemic.

As we are in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, we are focused on taking care of our people, supporting our mission partners, and doing our best toward the federal response to COVID-19.

The MICC’s No. 1 priority is taking care of our Soldiers, civilians and families.

We have initiated the strategic human capital program All Things People that ensures an equitable and inclusive environment and empowers Team MICC’s diverse workforce. Our five main focus area are people, Project Inclusion, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, and wellness and suicide prevention.

As we take care of our people, we strive to keep our Army culture strong and strengthen the Army’s culture of trust between Soldiers, leaders and families. Diversity, equity and inclusion across the MICC are vital and represent what is truly great about our Army and nation. We also are improving our talent management with several career opportunities as well as continuing to improve the quality of life for our Soldiers and Families.

As your commanding general, I am impressed with the competence, resilience, discipline and trust our Soldiers and civilians demonstrate on a daily basis. Unfortunately the Army is not immune to corrosive behaviors such as sexual harassment and assault, suicide and extremism that degrades the Army’s ability to build cohesive teams. These behaviors break the trust within the MICC and hurt the entire workforce. We will have a one-day stand-down to address extremism in the ranks to identify and eliminate this behavior in our command. Our workplace must foster an environment free of discrimination, hate, and harassment to prevent harm to the Army and honor the trust of the American people. Every MICC Soldier and Army civilian will participate in our stand-down to combat this unacceptable behavior and further build a more cohesive MICC team in a culture of respect, trust and discipline.

To further enhance the building of our teams, the Project Inclusion strategy entails a holistic effort to improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the MICC. Racial division erodes trust, and although Army personnel aspire to live by the Army values, we sometimes fall short. In the MICC, we value and integrate different cultures, backgrounds and talents. The Army is a place where all team members are accepted, treated with dignity and respect, and given an equal opportunity to contribute and succeed. Army leadership is conducting a deliberate effort to ask the “hard questions” and listen to the answers in listening sessions at Army installations, called “Your Voice Matters.” This proactive, comprehensive approach is an outgrowth of the Army People Strategy to identify and address systemic changes, which will include changing anything lending itself even to the perception of unfairness. We will execute this mission in the context of our Army Values, the Warrior Ethos and Army Civilian Corps Creed.

The third area of focus in the MICC’s All Things People initiative is our Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program. Our program aims to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault by creating a climate of dignity and respect, and awareness and prevention materials to fight against sexual harassment and sexual assault. Sexual assault, sexual harassment and associated retaliatory behaviors are contrary to Army values and pose a devastating effect on our people, processes and performance. Let me be perfectly clear: sexual harassment or sexual assault has no place in our Army. Complaints of sexual harassment and unrestricted reports of sexual assault are thoroughly investigated, and offenders will be held appropriately accountable for their actions.

The MICC SHARP mission is to enhance Army readiness through the prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and associated retaliatory behaviors while providing comprehensive response capabilities. We are recruiting for additional volunteer sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates to provide our civilians, Soldiers and families with more trusted agents to help in this effort.  Prevention focuses on eliminating such acts, and this ultimately takes a total team effort. Those interested in volunteering may contact the MICC SHARP program manager at (210) 466-2343 or (210) 560-5531.

Crucial to taking care of our people is ensuring the wellness of our team and a safe MICC work environment. Every MICC Soldier and civilian should do all they can to protect yourself, your family and your fellow teammates against COVID-19. Vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine, are essential to the Army’s ability to deploy and fight, and we are monitoring that at every MICC location.

Let me add that every MICC Soldier and civilian is a valued member of Team MICC, and everyone is critical to our command delivering ready, decisive and synchronized business solutions and contracting support to the Army enterprise. Each one of us should check in with each other to ensure that even though we are physically distancing, we are still connected. I ask each of you to be aware of the warning signs of suicide and have the skills to intervene.

One last note is that the MICC Office of Small Business Programs will host a nationwide virtual Acquisition Planning Brief for Industry March 22 to 26. For the first time, we will combine all our office small business experts to provide transparency to large and small businesses across the country to forecast upcoming contracting opportunities for the mission partners we support. Mark Massie and his team have built an incredible week, and our contracting efforts and the Army will greatly benefit from this APBI.

March marks one year since we have all battled the coronavirus pandemic while transitioning the majority of our workforce to telework. You all have worked long hours and made selfless sacrifices, and I could not be more proud of Team MICC’s efforts to remain strategically engaged with our mission partners. Team MICC has been a vital Army asset to the nation’s fight against the pandemic. We continue to support this fight on three platforms: programmatic platforms of the vaccination distribution operations, clinical trials support, and monitoring base life support requirements in support of initial COVID-19 efforts. Since the onset of COVID-19, the MICC has executed 7,304 actions at a total value in excess of $103 million. We also still have our standing mission to provide essential installation readiness across the Army, which you have accomplished seamlessly while having approximately 75% of our workforce at their homes. Now more than ever before, you have shown that the MICC is the acquisition partner of choice across the strategic support areas as we continue to win when our supported partners succeed.

Thank you for all you do to support our Soldiers, our Army and our nation.

People First! Winning Matters! Contracting for Soldiers … With Honor!