By Lt. Col. William H. McDonald, Battle Command Training ProgramDecember 8, 2010
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - Napoleon's famous maxim that "an army travels on its stomach" is an observation of the most basic need of a military force made when logistics involved horse-drawn wagons and barrels of gunpowder. In today's Army, equipped with sophisticated, high-tech, extremely mobile warfighting systems, it certainly makes a difference to have an acquisition officer like Lt. Col. Tonie D. Jackson around to ensure that Soldiers have the material they need to fight with the greatest lethality, survivability and sustainability regardless of where the battle or mission may take them.
Jackson, who is the newly assigned Chief of Operational Contracting Support - Operations Group COE within the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was one of three officers recently nominated for the 2010 Secretary of the Army's "Army Acquisition Director, Project Manager and Product Manager of the Year Award." He was selected from a field of hundreds of acquisition professionals competing for the honor.
The U.S. Army's Acquisition Corps' annual award program is designed to recognize the uniformed and civilian professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide combatant commanders and their Soldiers with the weapons and equipment they need to execute decisive, full-spectrum operations in support of whatever mission they are committed to.
In a recent awards ceremony in Alexandria, Va., Jackson was recognized as a runner-up for the award. Commenting afterward, he took the nomination and attention in stride. "My goals in life are simple: Continue to attempt to improve personally and professionally every day; and when you wake up tomorrow, try again," he said.
Jackson also attributes his success and achievements to having the right attitude.
"Attitude is everything," he said. "I have never seen another individual trying to emulate someone with a bad attitude. It does absolutely nothing for you."
Col. Mark E. McKnight, BCTP Commander, said Jackson's "can-do attitude" that makes him a valuable asset to his command and his ability to train our senior leaders in the complexities of contract support during deployments around the world.
McKnight pointed out that Jackson's nomination for the prestigious acquisition award is a perfect example of the outstanding caliber of BCTP officers and NCOs.
"The quality of our officers and NCO's is simply amazing," he said. "Many of them have been on multiple combat tours plus they have held command and leadership positions throughout the Army. Collectively they bring an experience level to BCTP that rivals any military training center in the world."
According to McKnight, when you add the experience of the civilian workforce into the mix of uniformed professionals at BCTP, senior commanders would be hard-pressed to find a better training unit to prepare their brigade, division and corps headquarters for combat deployments and other contingencies.
Lt. Col. Jackson, a former Infantry officer who is now promotable to colonel, would no doubt agree with McKnight and let out a big "HOOAH" acknowledging the critical role that BCTP officers and NCO's play in readying our senior leaders to take America's most precious resource, her sons and daughters, into harm's way.
Based at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the U.S. Army's Battle Command Training Program provides training for commanders and staffs so they can fight and win in a wide spectrum of warfighting environments. BCTP provides experienced and knowledgeable trainers who employ sophisticated simulations to help maximize unit readiness.
BCTP is part of the Combined Arms Center-Training (CAC-T), which delivers training programs, products and services to leaders and units in support of Army readiness. Wherever Army training occurs, the Combined Arms Center-Training helps make it happen. To learn more about the Battle Command Training Program and CAC-T, visit http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cac-t/