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NEWS | April 4, 2020

Leader perspective: Be the calm in the storm

By Command Sgt. Maj. Chantel Sena-Diaz U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command

The U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command is answering the call to one of our nation’s greatest challenges as we aggressively fight to kill the enemy we all know as Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

All of our teams are collectively engaged with COVID-19 contract requirements, while staying ahead of our primary mission of contracting support to the Army enterprise.

Whether you find yourself walking the grounds and assessing the blank canvass of the next field hospital or executing contracts in your favorite sweatpants at home, we all play a vital role in this critical mission.

We can’t turn on the television, crack open a newspaper or check our social media without the sober reminder that we are at war with an invisible enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy our lives as we know it.

I’m encouraged by the response of our leadership and thankful to serve in the fight through contracting. Team MICC readily moved to lock arms with mission partners in effort to identify and forecast base support requirements in response to the U.S. Army North Joint Force Land Component Command’s emerging Defense Support to Civil Authorities and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. Incredible work is happening across the force by many of our MICC and Army Contracting Command teammates to support contingency contracting operations, led by Col. Jason Jefferis and the COVID-19 fusion cell.

As we aggressively engage and work to stay in front of the problem, we must remain agile and innovative in our execution. We need to see ourselves, the enemy and viable solution sets.

Are you honestly and accurately assessing your capabilities and identifying gaps? Remember, this is not the enemy you’ve trained for at the last external evaluation. As such, we need to execute our mission with intentionality, understanding risks and employing mitigation strategies.

Our people remain our No. 1 priority in the fight. We continue to demonstrate our commitment and flexibility to excel while operating in a constrained environment.

However, as we execute personal and professional distancing at work and home, don’t lose sight of the “person” behind the work.

On the other side of that Global Video Services connection, teleconference call and email is a teammate who is striving to give their very best to the organization while facing their own set of challenges or concerns. Find ways to continue to invest in your people and cultivate community while exercising social distancing. Without a healthy and motivated force, our mission will inevitably be compromised.

Stay engaged with your mission partners and all things that support readiness. Do not lose the bubble on your personnel readiness, training and reporting requirements. We can’t make the mistake of focusing solely at the 50-meter target such as COVID-19. We have to anticipate contracting requirements that must be accomplished by year’s end, not waiting for the last-minute surge.

We need every MICC professional to be leaders in this time of uncertainty. Communicate consistently, accurately and broadly; always asking who else needs to know.

Let's operate with the “facts” and not in assumptions. This environment is fast and often unforgiving, so don’t operate in ambiguity with an assumption that someone else will filter through the requirements. Help your people to "see the big picture" and don't jump on the uncertainty bandwagon.

Finally, be the calm in the storm and know that together we will see victory. Thank you for your dedication and continued care for Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors. Be encouraged that the work you do every day matters.

I along with the rest of the command team sincerely appreciate your leadership and tireless efforts in support of the MICC. Stay the course, stay encouraged. Contracting for Soldiers … with Honor!