JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 31, 2021) -- Two former Mission and Installation Contracting Command Soldiers are taking on senior leadership roles at the command’s 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood and Fort Sam Houston Field Directorate Office at Joint Base San Antonio, both in Texas.
Brig. Gen. Doug Lowrey officiated change of command ceremonies for Col. Jessie Griffith who assumed command of the 418th CSB from Col. Joel Greer Aug. 27 and Col. Toney Stephenson who assumed command of FDO-Fort Sam Houston from Col. Jason Jefferis Aug. 26.
Griffith comes to the 418th CSB from the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where he served as director of mission operations. During remarks at the change of command, Lowrey charged Griffith with providing Army commands, installations and activities with disciplined and responsive contracting solutions and oversight.
“You now lead the fine men and women of the 418th Contracting Support Brigade, seize the initiative and go on the offensive. You have an imperative, a cohesive, committed, well-trained and disciplined organization of Soldiers and civilians. Lead them well, I guarantee they will surpass your expectations,” Lowrey said. “You’re the right guy at the right place and time. I have full faith and trust in your ability, and look forward to watching you command over the next three years. Now it’s time to go live your legacy.”
Griffith previously served as the commander of the MICC’s 925th Contracting Battalion and MICC-Fort Drum contracting office in New York, and led the 708th Contracting Team at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
After thanking Army contracting leaders for the opportunity and trust to command, Griffith recognized the brigade’s members at its subordinate battalions and contracting offices.
“You are contracting at the spear, providing supplies, services and construction for the Soldiers, civilians and their families at and across the central and western United States. I thank all of you for your incredible focus, effort and dedication to delivering readiness to the warfighter who support and delivered critical support during the national vaccination response effort,” Griffith said. “I’m extremely honored and humbled to be chosen as your commander. I look forward to … serving with and learning with you as we navigate our mission to provide exceptional contracting support that will enable the U.S. Army to maintain its focus on our people and continue its modernization extravagance in the needs of a great power competition.”
He was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1999 following graduation from the University of South Carolina. He served in a number of assignments of increasing responsibility including platoon leader, company executive officer and battalion principal staff officer for personnel support, and commander, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. Griffith joined the Army Acquisition Corps in 2007. As a member of the 902nd CBN at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, he deployed in 2009 to serve as the regional contracting center for Forward Operating Base Fenty. While assigned to Fort Campbell, he deployed in 2012 in support of the Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan. He went on to serve as the lead operational contract support planner for the joint logistics and engineering division for NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command. His operational assignments include Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve.
Griffith’s advanced education includes a Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisition Management from Webster University and Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
The 418th CSB is responsible for contract support to I Corps, III Corps, the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, National Training Center, and Joint Readiness Training Center through its subordinate battalions and contracting offices at nine installations.
Greer commanded the 418th CSB since July 2018, leading the organization through a number achievements, which were highlighted by Lowrey during remarks. Those accomplishments include the brigade’s execution of more than 18,000 actions valued at more than $1.4 billion, synchronizing contracts to meet operational needs for leaders across III corps, multiple divisions, and brigade level commands, and leading the Joint Forces Contracting Exercise-21. Greer also led the 418th CSB during its 10-month deployment as Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support.
Greer thanked and cited his staff and command sergeant major as instrumental in the brigade’s successes, camaraderie and discussions over the last 37 months. Greer departs brigade for his next assignment with the Central Technical Support Facility at Fort Hood. The facility is responsible for integration and testing of the Army’s tactical software baselines. Prior to the ceremony, Lowrey awarded Greer the Legion of Merit for his exceptionally meritorious leadership, improving the 418th CSB operations and contributing to the success of the Army's mission.
Stephenson comes to FDO-Fort Sam Houston following an assignment as the deputy director for resource management and senior procurement adviser with the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan/Resolute Support during which he provide acquisition and financial support to the Afghan Security Sector forces, senior government ministers and NATO senior leadership on critical acquisitions and sustainment. He previously commanded the MICC’s 902nd CBN while concurrently serving as the deputy director of the MICC Joint Base Lewis-McChord contracting office.
“It is now time for you to live the legacy and build upon a ready, transparent and accountable organization that is built on trust and respect,” Lowrey said of the incoming director. “Members of the FDO, both military and civilian, have provided outstanding contracting support. You have an immense responsibility to the deployable forces, future Soldiers as well as installation support to several garrisons.”
FDO-Fort Sam Houston is responsible for providing contracting support to the Arlington National Cemetery, Army Sustainment Command, Military District of Washington, Army Cadet Command, Army Human Resources Command, Army Installation Management Command, Army North, Army Recruiting Command, Military Entrance Processing Command, elements of Department of the Army Secretariat and Army staff in the Pentagon.
“You’ve showed the nation what a team of acquisition professionals are capable of doing. You brilliantly supported the federal response to COVID-19,” Stephenson said of the staff making up the FDO. “More than ever, the decisive, synchronized business solutions are what’s needed today as we move into great power competition, and supporting our Soldier and their families so that they can meet the nation’s challenges.”
Stephenson was commissioned into the Air Defense Artillery in September 1997. He has served in a number of assignments of increasing responsibility before accessing into the Army Acquisition Corps. His acquisition assignments have included the 614th Contingency Contracting Team at Fort Benning, Georgia, U.S. Army Central Command, 410th Contracting Support Brigade at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, and Joint Task Force Bravo at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. He has also served as the deputy chief of staff for operations with the MICC headquarters. His operational assignments include serving as the chief of contracting for Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Stephenson was awarded a commission as an Army Air Defense Artillery officer following his 1996 graduation from the University of the South with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He is a member of the Army Acquisition Corps and is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in contracting.
Jefferis directed FDO-Fort Sam Houston since November 2018 and led the organization’s contracting support in response to the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, earning the directorate recognition as the 2020 Secretary of the Army Awards for Excellence in Contracting Contingency Contracting Award. As a senior contracting official, he also led the field directorate office in support of a number of defense support to civil authorities operations throughout the nation. He took time to thank members of the MICC and FDO-Fort Sam Houston before departing for an assignment as deputy director of contracting for the Army Corps of Engineers at Washington, D.C.
“It takes dedicated people to make an organization run well, and the men and women of the MICC and this FDO have consistently proven their dedication and professionalism as they have tackled the great challenges of the last 18 months through the most difficult periods in our nation’s history,” Jefferis said. “You never fail to step up to the challenge and have performed brilliantly throughout.”
He went on to say that the acquisition efforts of FDO-Fort Sam Houston support the entire Soldier lifecycle and impacts every Soldier and their family – from recruiting and throughout the member’s career to transition from service and the nation’s final resting place at national cemeteries. Jefferis was awarded the Legion of Merit prior to the change of command for his exceptional leadership, drive to improve operations, and selfless devotion to duty and people.
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.