JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 16, 2023) -- Members of the 419th Contracting Support Brigade welcomed their new commander during an Aug. 15 ceremony at the Hall of Heroes on Fort Liberty, North Carolina.
Col. Doug Ralph took command of the brigade from Col. Jim Craig during a ceremony officiated by Brig. Gen. Doug Lowrey, commanding general of the Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Following the passing of colors signifying the command change between the outgoing and incoming leaders, Lowrey outlined three key impacts made by Craig while leading the brigade over the last three years. He said they encompassed the trust earned through his unmatched support for mission partners; an ability to build readiness by the admiral response to conduct numerous no-notice missions; and the creation and emphasis of the command’s climate values of ownership and a mentality to win.
“This is what separates your brigade. They are experts at building relationships with supported units, build readiness every day and ensure that they win. This is a direct reflection of you as their commander,” Lowrey said. “You’ve led your brigade well through some tough missions. Be proud of yourself and the brigade you leave behind.”
Ralph returns to the MICC following his assignment as deputy director of the Army Hypersonic Program Office with the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office at Huntsville, Alabama. He has previously served with the MICC as the director of contracting at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, executive officer for the commanding general, and contracting team leader and operations officer with the 900th Contracting Battalion and MICC-Fort Liberty.
The MICC commanding general spoke to the value of Ralph’s familiarity with the command and its critical mission.
“His reputation for technical and tactical proficiency is without peer, and he’s been noted for outstanding leadership abilities. In short, he is well prepared to take over this brigade,” Lowrey said. “Brigade command is like no other unit you will ever command. Not only do you have to focus inward but up and out as well. I know you will do this without fail and take the 419th to new heights.”
Ralph expressed gratitude for those, including a few familiar faces in the audience, who over the last decade have played an influential role in his success as an acquisition professional, dating back to his first contracting assignment at the former Fort Bragg. The new brigade commander concluded his remarks with a commitment to support mission partners including the 18th Airborne Corps, Special Operations Command and Installation Management Command as well as both civilian and uniformed members of the acquisition workforce.
“It is going to be our goal to build an acquisition and contracting program that you all can be proud of,” Ralph said. “A program that takes care of its workforce, and a program that delivers to Soldiers, paratroopers and operators, whether they’re here in the United States or deployed globally defending our freedom.”
Craig took the opportunity to thank those at all levels of command for their selfless acts that although may have gone unnoticed by many still contributed to the success of the brigade and its people. He also expressed the brigade’s efforts to onboard 50-plus new personnel recently joining the organization to support Soldiers and their families through contracting.
“At the end of the day … I truly believe we have brought on, we’re developing and continue to shape the best team of contracting professionals,” Craig said.
Craig departs the 419th CSB to serve as the chief of staff for the MICC headquarters beginning in September. He replaces Col. Toney Stephenson, who returns to serve as director of MICC Field Directorate Office at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
About the MICC:
Headquartered at JBSA-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. 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.