JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 13, 2021) -- Members of the 919th and 923rd Contracting Battalions welcomed their new sergeants major during change of responsibility ceremonies Aug. 4 at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Aug. 12 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Sgt. Maj. Natasha McKellum assumed responsibility as the 919th CBN’s senior enlisted leader in a ceremony officiated by battalion commander Lt. Col. Eric Brooks, while Sgt. Maj. Keita Lyles assumed responsibility of the 923rd CBN as its senior enlisted leader in a ceremony officiated by Lt. Col. Randy Garcia, battalion commander.
McKellum, a Fayetteville, North Carolina, native, comes to the 919th CBN after graduating from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. She replaces Master Sgt. Corey Anderson, Contracting Detachment A detachment sergeant, and Sgt. 1st Class Fernando Ramirez, CONDET B detachment sergeant, who filled the position under her arrival.
“I’m honored that the Army has selected me to serve in this organization for my first battalion-level position within our Army,” McKellum said. “I’m confident that we will build a strong command relationship that fosters teamwork to achieve mission goals, and I look forward to strengthening our team.”
McKellum enlisted in the Army in January 2004 as a motor transport operator. She has accomplished all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System. McKellum holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Business and Management from Excelsior College and a Master of Business Administration from Liberty University. She holds a Level III certification through the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act in contracting and is working to become a certified federal contracts manager.
McKellum became a member of the acquisition workforce in 2010 and has operational deployment experience in Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan.
Lyles assumed responsibility of the 923rd CBN from Sgt. Maj. Jason Martinez. She previously served as the battalion sergeant major with the 902nd CBN at Joint Base Lewis-Mchord, Washington. She graduated from U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy prior to arriving at Fort Riley.
“Thank you for giving me this remarkable opportunity to serve in this capacity for this awesome organization,” Lyles said. “I look forward to working with you all and to continue building on our organization’s strong family bond.”
Lyles enlisted in the Army in December 1998 as a motor transport operator. Lyles holds a Bachelor and Master of Business Administration and Management from Columbia Southern College University. She holds a Level III certification through the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act in contracting.
The assumption of responsibility ceremony included the passing of the battalion colors, which symbolize the heritage and history of the organization as well as unity and loyalty of its Soldiers. As the new battalion sergeant major, McKellum and Lyles are the keeper of their respective organizational colors.
Following the 923rd CBN ceremony, Martinez was laterally promoted to command sergeant major in preparation to become the command sergeant major for the 411th Contracting Brigade at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.
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.