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Transcription of
"Always Learning"

My name is Joyce Grudzinski. I’m currently a procurement analyst here at the Army Contracting Command. I’ve been in contracting twenty-five years. I’ve been deployed twice uhh, each one was approximately a year assignment. My first one was in Kuwait. I was actually the chief of the procurement division at Army Contracting Command, Command Southwest Asia. A couple of times I had, I thought; ‘Well, you’re out of your mind. You’re 60-years-old, and you’re, you’re in a contingency environment.’(laughs) But, umm, I really, I’m glad I did it and I would do it again. And I did do it again. I worked for the Defense Contract Management Agency and last June 2009, I was asked to be a lead administrative contracting officer in Joint Base Balad in Iraq. I was actually the transition contracting officer for basic life services.

Latrines. Showers. Food. Transportation. These are all things that you, the normal person probably wouldn’t think about, but they’re all critical. I think a lot of people don’t realize the sacrifices that the military make on a day-to-day basis. Not just being away from their family, but just things that we all take for granted. And that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to work in the contingency environment to share what I had been privileged to learn.

Most people want to learn as many aspects of, of contracting as you possibly can. You’re only as good as your experience allows you to be. And that’s probably one of the reasons why I went to, to Iraq and Kuwait because you’re always learning on a daily basis in this field. It has made me a better contracting person I think.