Sgt 1st Class Rodney Smith had been working in the supply field for 16 years as a Supply Specialist and felt like it was time for a change. He heard about this new MOS "Acquisition, Logistics and Technology" 51C from a friend and fellow Non Commissioned Officer, Sgt. 1st Class Bonds.

Bonds said that contracting presented a unique and challenging environment that would be beneficial to the Army and the NCO Corps now and well into the future. Being the high speed NCO that he is, Smith decided to accept the challenge and pursue changing his MOS to 51C and become a contracting NCO. Smith was reclassified in early 2008 and his first contracting assignment was with the 632nd Contingency Contracting Team at Fort Knox, Ky. He arrived in August 2008, and received his training and is currently assigned to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command's office at Fort Knox.

Since arriving, Smith has worked on blanket purchase agreements, and procuring supplies and commodities under simplified acquisition procedures. Smith said his job as a contracting specialist impacts the warfighters by providing them with the necessary equipment and service to accomplish their mission.

"Without the support that we give as contracting specialists, they will not be able to accomplish their mission as warfighters," Smith said. "We all work hand-n-hand to accomplish a common goal, and the support that I give is just a piece of the puzzle".

Smith deployed to the Army Contracting Command-Qatar in March 2009. He wanted to receive some additional training and work in a deployed environment. Upon arrival at Qatar, Smith was assigned a 'battle buddy' and was supervised by Debbie Hunter, deputy director of contracting.

Under the guidance of his battle buddy, Smith immediately began to rise to the top. Viewing each assigned task as a challenge, he made it a goal to strive for excellence. With each task, his skills progressed at a rapid pace. During his tenure at Qatar, he has worked a variety of requirements to include blanket purchase agreements, service and supplies contracts, construction, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity's, and has had the toughest task of all and that was to work on a Novation.

He has procured multiple commodities above and below the simplified acquisition threshold. The highlight of his accomplishments was the writing of his first price objective memorandum/price negotiation memorandum which clearly demonstrated his skills and an understanding of documenting the acquisition process. Qatar considers training soldiers to assume contingency contracting roles as vital to the success of the Expeditionary Contracting Command mission. It is clear that Smith is a contracting professional, ready and capable of leading a team.