JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (July 12, 2021) -- Members of the 901st Contracting Battalion and Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Hood, Texas, welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony July 8 at Fort Hood.
Lt. Col. Ian Vargas assumed command of the battalion from Lt. Col. Kizzy Danser in a ceremony officiated by Col. Joel Greer, the 418th Contracting Support Brigade commander from Fort Hood.
Greer applauded Danser on the decisive role she has played over the last three years in guiding the battalion to provide critical operational readiness and contracting support for the 1st Cavalry Division and Fort Hood mission partners. He next welcomed Vargas and his family to the brigade and underscored the challenges of tighter budgets and increased threats around the world that await both leaders.
“I truly believe that you are the right leader and … have no doubt that the 901st is in good hands with you at the helm,” Greer said of Vargas, adding he is no stranger to Army Contracting Command. “Leaders like the two on the field here today are to be commended for what they will continue to do as the Army comes fact to face with the challenges ahead.”
Vargas comes to the 901st CBN after spending the past year as a Training with Industry fellow with Moonshots Capital in nearby Austin, where he served as an associate responsible for its business operations, management of portfolio companies, investment capital manager, and military liaison to commercial industries.
Following his recognition of the battalion and its leadership over the last three years, Vargas said he is honored to join the 418th CSB and 901st CBN and stands ready to provide worldwide contracting support to the warfighter as they confront the challenges facing the Army.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to join your great team, and I look forward to serving with each and every one of you as we continue providing III Corps, 1st Calvary Division, Army Test and Evaluation Command, 13th Expeditionary Support Command, our mission support elements, Fort Hood, and of course, the warfighter with rock solid contracting support,” Vargas said.
Vargas received his commission in the U.S. Army Field Artillery in 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Master of Business Administration from Naval Postgraduate School.
Vargas has held a variety of assignments of increasing responsibility at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. Those include acquisition assignments with the 636th Contingency Contracting Team and 713th CCT at Fort Polk, Louisiana; International Security Assistance Force and Regional Command South-Kandahar, Afghanistan; Arlington National Cemetery and Army National Military Cemeteries at Arlington, Virginia; and North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. His operation multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
“Exactly three years ago, I stood in this very spot not knowing what the future would hold, only knowing I had to prepare to deploy to Iraq within 90 days. Preparing for that deployment was my first opportunity to witness the outstanding teamwork, dedication and commitment of the 901st Soldiers and MICC-Fort Hood civilians,” Danser said. “They are the best because they … demonstrated daily how to live up to the motto ‘Without Hesitation or Fear,’ which made me proud to be their commander.”
Danser cited the organization’s uniformed and civilian contracting professionals toward multiple efforts in support of the 1st Cav. Div., Installation Management Command, ATEC and tenant units on Fort Hood. Those included the execution of almost 6,000 contracts valued at more than $1 billion, deployments with aligned mission partners, COVID-19 operations, Operation Warp Speed support, and response to April’s winter storms in Texas.
“I feel extremely blessed today to have served with the best contracting NCOs and officers and civilians,” she said. “Your dedication to the mission and to our fighting force are truly second to none. You have mold me to become a better person and leader.”
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 is passed to the individual assuming command to which Soldiers of the unit would dedicate their loyalty and trust.
About the MICC
Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-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. As part of its mission, 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.