ACC names MICC Soldier best warrior
Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Sanders is the winner of the Army Contracting Command Best Warrior Competition conducted virtually May 9-13 and will go on to represent the higher headquarters at the Army Materiel Command competition in August. He is a contract specialist with the 919th Contracting Battalion who represented the Mission and Installation Contracting Command’s 418th Contracting Support Brigade at the ACC competition. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jimmy Perry) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (May 20, 2022) -- A contract specialist from the 919th Contracting Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas, bested eight of his fellow Soldiers to win the Army Contracting Command Best Warrior Competition.

The ACC commanding general announced Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Sanders as the winner May 16 following five days of virtual competition and an extensive board process May 9-13, and that he will go on to represent the command at the Army Materiel Command level.

Sanders represented the 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas, and Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Finishing as runner-up at the ACC level was Staff Sgt. Michael Sohn from the 411th CSB in Korea and second runner-up was Staff Sgt. Robert Cordell from the 905th CBN at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“It is truly one of the biggest moments in my career, and I am truly grateful for all the leaders, mentors, Soldiers and friends who got me where I am today,” Sanders said. “I hope I can be an inspiration to other 51Cs to step outside of their comfort zone and compete.”

Sanders, a native of Santa Ana, California, was one of three MICC Soldiers vying for top honors in the ACC competition. Sanders finished as runner-up to Sgt. 1st Class Alan Farr from the 902nd CBN in the 418th CSB competition while Staff Sgt. Stephen Mosley of the 922nd CBN represented the 419th CBN at ACC.

Sgt. Maj. Matthew Girard, the ACC Operations sergeant major who was among six senior enlisted leaders making up the best warrior competition board, said the competition was very stiff. He added there were a lot of exceptional NCOs who turned up to compete, and in the end, the top competitors demonstrated excellence in all areas of the competition.

"Sergeant First Class Sanders is an NCO who has strived for excellence in Soldier task beyond their contracting expertise. He exemplifies the best of our profession of arms by his pursuit of excellence in all areas of our profession," Girard said. "Preparation for a board often consumes personal time in order to be competitive. Those who volunteer to make the investment set the example for their subordinates and peers."

Sanders enlisted in the Army in August 2010 as an Infantryman before transitioning to the 51 Charlie contracting NCO military occupational specialty in August 2019. As a contracting NCO, he holds a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level II certification in contracting. He also possesses a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management and Master of Science in Leadership, both from Grand Canyon University.

Sanders said the most challenging part of the competition was the knowledge of representing his battalion and brigade.

“You want to give it your 100% and make sure you are doing everything to separate yourself from the other competitors,” he said. “I increased my focus on such things as risk management and Army history. It not only helped me for the board but definitely increased my knowledge on various approaches of safety. Also, it really shined a light on what Soldiers and leaders have done in the past to pave the way for leaders in the future. You cannot create a better future without understanding your past.”

He said also contributing to his performance was a confidence instilled by his sponsor, Master Sgt. Corey Anderson, and leadership that he could win the competition. Sanders said he appreciates the time they afforded him to focus on the necessary studies to be effective and successful while competing. He added this was also critical in meeting an expectation by 51 Charlies to both maintain readiness as a Soldier at all times while mastering their craft as a contracting professional.

“I always take time to make sure that I am up to date on my warrior tasks and battle drills while keeping up with the changes that contracting brings every day,” he said. “As a leader there is no excuse for not doing your job to the best of your ability; it is always up to you seek the level of success you want to reach.”

Significant achievements by Sanders over the last 12 months include serving as one of the first senior enlisted advisers for a regional contracting office with oversight for both operational contract support and contracting administrative services teams at Erbil Air Base, Iraq, while deployed as a warranted contracting officer for nine months. He was part of the Army contracting officer team to close out support for Operation Allies Welcome and oversaw the transition of Logistics Civil Augmentation Program IV to LOGCAP V at Erbil AB. Throughout his military service, the Purple Heart recipient has also deployed to Afghanistan and Spain.

Sanders and Sohn go on to represent ACC at the major command level in August where they will compete against Soldiers who won at their respective AMC subordinate command levels. Headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, AMC is one of four Army commands responsible for leading materiel integration, managing the global supply chain, and synchronizing logistics and sustainment activities across the Army.

“I anticipate to be tested mentally and physically (on) my ability to react to the unexpected. I look forward to the challenge and representing the Army Contracting Command,” Sanders said. “I expect nothing but the most rigorous challenges, and I am ready to attack them head on like ACC Soldiers do.”

About the MICC

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,300 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.