Staff Sgt. Matthew S. Shults, a contract specialist assigned to the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion in Kaiserslautern, Germany, began his military career in 2004.

Shults spent the first part of his military career as a medic and was given the opportunity to reclassify into the 51C contracting field. Upon completion of his training with the Defense Acquisition University, he reported to the 409th Contracting Support Brigade headquarters in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Shults received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma. After completing a master’s degree in accounting with a concentration in federal taxation from Southeastern University, Baton Rouge, La., he was anxious to use his education and continue his service with the United States military.

"When I spoke to the career counselor, he mentioned contracting and the advantages of the 51C military occupation specialty. The 51C career field seemed like the perfect area to continue my military career while furthering my business knowledge," Shults said.

As a member of the 409th, Shults serves as an operations non-commissioned officer working in support of exercises and deployments across the brigade’s footprint. He also had the opportunity to focus on implementing new changes within the training program. In 2010 he moved over to the brigade’s 627th Contingency Contracting Team.

"My favorite and probably most valuable time thus far has been attending the 903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion’s field training exercise. While having not been involved in contracting for very long I was able to learn and add some very useful knowledge to my toolbox , by listening to the experiences and advice from other 51Cs across the 409th," said Shults.

He is currently working towards completing the requirements to become a certified public accountant and is interested in furthering his military and contracting education.

"I am really looking forward to getting the opportunity to attend the senior leader course," he said.

With a strong educational drive, Shults has his sights set on obtaining recommendation for promotion to sergeant first class as well as flexing his contracting muscles out in the field.

**Update: On May 25, Shults was named the Exepeditionary Contracting Command's Noncommissioned Officer of the Year