Developing MICC leaders: Kay Mckinzie

By Mission and Installation Contracting Command Public Affairs OfficeDecember 6, 2022

Developing MICC leaders: Kay Mckenzie
Kay Mckinzie is the director of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army graphic) VIEW ORIGINAL

Kay Mckinzie

Position: Director

Organization: Mission and Installation Contracting Command-Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Time in MICC/Army acquisitions: 36 years

Previous positions with the MICC: Department of the Army intern, contract specialist, cost/price analyst, contracting officer, division chief, deputy director and director.

What attracted you to the Army Acquisition Corps?

Like many others, I simply had the opportunity to take a position with the Department of the Army as a contracting intern. I applied for and was accepted into the program. The work was meaningful and challenging from the day I started and continues to be so. As a result, I have spent my professional career in contracting.

What contributed most to your professional development and growth with the MICC?

The most significant contributing factors were the mentors I had the privilege to work for and learn from throughout my career. Wise and experienced mentors enhanced my knowledge and skills and ensured I made positive contributions along the way.

What developmental assignments have enhanced your acquisition skills and leadership?

I accepted positions with Army Test and Evaluation Command as a deputy director of contracting and the Army Corps of Engineers as a procurement analyst and division chief. The positions illustrated the different approaches commands can take to the execution and administration of contracts. I believe witnessing and experiencing those differences allowed me to embrace flexibilities in all facets of contracting. In many cases, there are many options versus only one or two in how to approach and resolve a problem. Being creative in problem solving is very rewarding.

How do you apply your MICC experiences and development in leading your team today?

I ensure I ask nothing of those who support me that I would not ask of myself. Whether taking a position on executing a document or decision, my staff knows I will take ownership of the action myself if they have any misgivings or concerns with the approach. I ensure we provide a solid foundation to junior employees with on-site training and mentoring. I make a concentrated effort to build and maintain a team environment. I make decisions – hard ones when necessary – and stand by them. I am the buffer between my staff and any customer or contractor – if a buffer is needed. The methods I focus on are a direct result of either a strength or weakness I saw in my leadership as I was growing in the profession. I know, the leader who follows me will improve upon my methods by addressing weaknesses and strengths I brought to the position.

What advice would you offer interns or newer members of the command?

Learn the job – the theory, law and practices behind the actions you are asked to take in each position you occupy. If you fail to understand “the why” behind a specific action, you will never master the profession.

What do you take away from your job as an Army acquisition leader?

Pride in a job well done.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of personnel features highlighting members across the enterprise who have developed as leaders with the Mission and Installation Contracting Command and its legacy organization. The MICC offers numerous opportunities for professional development and growth throughout the command providing newer and seasoned acquisition professionals a chance to learn and grow into the next generation of leaders.

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.