WINCHESTER, Va. –The Middle East District’s Chief of Contracting, Darralyn Williams, was honored in a retirement ceremony Dec. 20, for her lasting impact on the district’s contracting operations.
Williams, who retired with more than 35 years of federal service, has served with the Middle East District since February 2009. In her position as Chief of the Contracting Division, she was responsible for providing acquisition services to support the district’s operations in the Middle East and Central Asia on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Darralyn will be remembered for realigning our Contracting Division, for improving performance ratings during the contracting inspections from higher headquarters, and for setting up contracting operations for success,” said Col. Jon Christensen, district commander. “We will miss her energy and her passion.”
Williams expressed her appreciation to Christensen and to her senior colleagues for their support throughout her tenure and especially during the reorganization of Contracting Division. “No one does anything in a vacuum,” she said. “I’m extremely fortunate with the support I’ve had from the leaders within the Middle East District, the Transatlantic Division, and Headquarters USACE. I especially appreciate the support from the approximately 60 people who were part of my district contracting team.”
The contracting realignment was required by USACE as part of a national effort over the last five years to standardize and improve consistency of contracting operations. Part of the standardization solution was to establish similar organizational structures for contracting divisions throughout USACE. Those structures are based on each district’s mission complexity (such as types of contracts and procurement methods) and volume of work (obligations and number of actions). The Middle East District is a Tier 1 organization because its mission is complex and it has the largest contingency contracting division. The major realignment, spearheaded by Williams, improves service to customers, ensures that contracting actions comply with applicable rules and regulations, and allows career growth for contracting professionals.
Deborah Duncan, Deputy for Programs and Project Management, told Williams, “You have given so much to the Middle East District. You always had customers and Soldiers on your mind. You were passionate and committed 24/7.”
John Teetsov, Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting (Winchester), told Williams that the “true test of a leader is how you lead. You rebuilt this contracting organization. No one could do what you did without the level of energy you possess.”
Williams’ retirement ceremony was attended by district team members, employees from the Transatlantic Division, and friends and family. She was presented with several awards, including the Bronze Order of the deFleury Medal.
Williams expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the deFleury Medal. “This means so much to me. We are a team of professionals. I cannot think of a better organization in USACE to be part of than the Middle East District.”
The deFleury Medal is presented by the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment. The Bronze Order is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to an element of the Engineer Regiment, such as USACE.
Williams has spent most of her career in USACE. Before her assignment with the Middle East District, she served in leadership positions in contracting at the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss.; at Vicksburg District; at the Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala.; and in two tours in Iraq, in Mosul and Baghdad, from November 2004 until May 2006.
Williams is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a master’s degree in acquisition and contract management from the Florida Institute of Technology. She is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager.