The U.S. Army Director of Contracting, Brig. Gen. Michael Hoskins, was so impressed with two members of the Wilmington District’s contracting branch that he personally recognized them for their efforts during the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hurricane Florence missions.
Contracting Officer Ros Shoemaker loves a challenge, especially during emergency operations. She deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) twice, and remained as the contracting officer when she returned to Wilmington. Working on hurricane missions can be a very fast-paced and a stressful environment, and during that time she had a full workload with the hurricane relief in the USVI, in addition to her normal workload.. She was humbled by receiving the award, but her work ethic and commitment to the contracting mission is something she takes very seriously.
“I think to get recognized for going above and beyond, you have to be more than an employee who comes to work to punch a clock and get a paycheck,” she said. “I care about the mission and getting the work done, and I think that shows in the output of my work. I think that organization and my ability to prioritize work is also really important. I have gotten some great opportunities since coming to the Wilmington District, and I'm very grateful that I've become a more diverse contracting officer.”
Brig Gen. Hoskins also recognized Shoemaker’s colleague Jere West for his outstanding performance. West likes the challenge of living in the moment when he has to turn around mounds of paperwork in a short period of time. When Hurricane Florence hit southeastern North Carolina, he left Wilmington for West Virginia with his laptop and worked through the Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection every day as if he were in the office. And since it was nearing the end of the fiscal year, he worked extra hours and on weekends to accomplish the mission.
“’Beating the clock’ mostly counts around end-of-year, but the work needs to be completed accurately in a reasonable amount of time,” West explained. “Mostly, I just like contracting. I get to work with a varied group of people, and while every contract or task order requires pretty much the same steps to be taken and the same documents written and filed, each project has enough difference to require thought, and in many cases, ingenuity, in order to get through the solicitation phase and awarded to a contractor. It's sometimes tedious, but never boring.”
Shoemaker echoes West when it comes to the variety of work in their jobs. She loves that she is always doing something different, and that there is always something new to learn since contracting rules and regulations change frequently.
“I enjoy when I get a contract awarded ahead of schedule. We have standard procurement acquisition lead times, and there isn't a better feeling than getting a project done early. This is important to our customers and stakeholders, and it also saves taxpayer dollars,” she said.